developers

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer eyes up a developer in the audience

Windows Phone developer registration has opened up in 13 new markets, according to a blog post published on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Small improvements and enhancements are being periodically applied to the Dev Center, which today includes further market adoption bundled with over 100 fixes and changes. 

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The Windows Phone User Group is back, and in full force it seems. To be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, WPUG will once again be catering for developers to network, show off Windows Phone projects and to discuss aspects of the platform. 

The WPGeek Developer Marketplace will be covered next Wednesday, as well as the possibility of some Windows Phone 8 hardware being present. We've previously been to WPUG meet-ups where Nokia has not only shown a friendly face, but has also sponsored the event itself, so there's certainly a chance of a device or two being present.

Our Rob Brand, Jay Bennett and myself will be heading along, so be sure to sign up for next week's event if you believe you'll be able to attend and we'll see you there.

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Cross-platform development is considered a safe guard when building and launching mobile apps and games. The ability to pump out content for more than one platform provides enough ground to fall back on should one eco-system not accumulate enough sales for a good ROI (Return On Investment).

Last week we covered the results from a survey held over at Windows Phone Geek, a popular destination for Windows Phone developers. Part one of the survey, which saw a total of 1853 developers take part, revealed a high interest in developing apps for Windows 8. The website has now published the remainder of the results.

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As Bruce Forsyth would say - higher or lower?

Bernardo Zamora has published an insightful blog post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, which goes into detail on how developers should configure individual market pricing - if at all. It's an interesting part of marketing one's work. Building and submitting the app is one thing. Effectively pricing your app(s) is another.

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We're only a month away from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 being released, but is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot? Windows Phone Central has had access to the Windows Phone SDK for a few days now, but what about every established developer on the platform? Unfortunately this doesn't appear to be the case - as our Jay Bennet knows too well.

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The big news for developers with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is of course the coming together of the two platforms under the same core. While it is far from being a 1:1 overlap in terms of coding, it is clear that developing on one platform will naturally lend itself to developing on the other, often with devs being able to recycle much of their code and design.

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Left: the old Store search; Right, new Store search with developer lookup

Microsoft has been hard at work “doing things” to the Windows Phone store, which in theory will improve things (so far, all we’ve heard are developer complaints about delayed app publishing).

One of those areas is now coming forward although we have yet been able to verify in the US. WPArea.de has noticed that you can now search by the developer’s name in addition to their app. In a side by side with an HTC Mozart and a Lumia 800, they found the Mozart was able to get different search results when “Kik” was entered.

On the Mozart, Kik returned the developer house first, followed by the app whereas the Lumia 800 showed the more traditional KiK Messenger as the first.

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YoYo Games (www.yoyogames.com) announced yesterday that GameMaker: Studio, the cross-platform games development environment, will support upcoming Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The studio enables developers to create games in a single code base and subsequently export with ease to multiple platforms and formats.

Current level of support includes HTML5, Facebook, Android, iOS, Windows and OS X. GameMaker: Studio for Windows 8 is stated to be available for developers prior to the OS launch, while support for Windows Phone 8 will reportedly arrive following device availability.

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It's another cryptic Microsoft error code...

Developers have been experiencing issues when submitting .XAP files to the Marketplace for approval. Whether it be new apps or updates for already-submitted content, developers are getting hit with an error code. Glenn Edwards, the brains and soul behind recently released MetroSpec, has also been having trouble getting his work published.

We last covered MetroSpec when it went live on the Marketplace a couple of days ago. The paid version got through, but the free, ad-supported baby brother is still being held back. It's an annoyance more than anything as the Windows Phone community love their trials and free versions of apps that seek their hard-earned cash - and rightly so. If developers can't publish all their work, then this could cost them valuable custom.

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The Windows Phone 8 SDK came a little closer to being released today with Microsoft announcing they accepting requests for access from developers. This will allow qualified developers to begin optimizing existing apps for Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft explains that the SDK for Windows Phone 8 isn't being publicly released due to the presence of features that haven't been announced.

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Alan Mendelevich, the genius behind the AdDuplex advertising network for Windows Phone developers, has launched a new marketing and monetisation focused podcast titled AppBizDev (www.apbizdev.com). The bi-weekly podcast aims to aid developers and businesses who choose to launch apps on Windows platforms - be it Windows 8 or Windows Phone.

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While we continue to impatiently approach Nokia's event this coming week where we'll hopefully see what the Finnish manufacturer has to offer in terms of Windows Phone Apollo hardware, news has unearthed today surrounding the AppCampus (www.apcampus.fi), which was set up earlier in the year.

The joint venture between Microsoft, Aalto University (Finland) and Nokia was established at a cost of $23 million to promote quality app development on Windows Phone. AppCampus has revealed that it has distributed the first $1 million of its budget on 36 developers out of a total of 900 submissions.

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Unity as a company has one mission: help games developers be more successful. Unity is one of the top game development platforms, routinely seen powering the biggest games on a multitude of platforms such as Castle Warriors, Battle Bears, Max & the Magic Marker, CSR Racing, Temple Run and Shadowgun and now its the turn of Windows Phone to get in on the Unity action.

We recently sat down with CEO of Unity Technologies, David Helgason--freshly back from Unite 12--to hear why they are betting on Windows Phone 8 and why it is good news for developers and gamers alike. 

David tells us right off that they want to bring Unity to the platforms that matter most. Surprisingly their decision to bring Unity to Windows Phone was driven by an upwelling of requests from developers...

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Winners of Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2012

Registration has opened up for the 2013 Microsoft Imagine Cup for sudents aged 16 and above. The technology competition is in its 11th year, and to more inspire students and encourage a wider variety of aspiring innovators to participate, Microsoft has redesigned the Imagine Cup to cover the World Citizenship, Games and Innovation. If that wasn't enough, the prize money has been raised to $300,000 (US). 

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With the official launch of Windows 8 on October 26'th, things in the developer world are heating up. Microsoft has been furiously getting quality apps onto the Windows Store via their App Excellence program, and devs have been touching up their XAML skills. And why wouldn't they be? With a potential market this big, any developer would be silly to not be planning to get something onto the store at some stage.

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Me pondering what we look for from developers

If you’re a Windows Phone developer and want a peek behind the current on Windows Phone Central and our process on app reviews, you’ll want to head to the AdDuplex blog. AdDuplex as many of you know powers the developer promotion network behind many Windows Phone apps (and now Windows 8) and the service’s creator, Alan Mendelevich, was curious as to what we look for when developers contacts us.

Ah yes, the table has turned as we’re the ones being interviewed!

The conversation was with myself and Alan asks some really great questions, such as how many app-review requests we get, what we look for in those emails, are dedicated app-websites beneficial and more. Basically if you’re a developer it’s a roadmap on how best to get your app noticed by us for a potential review. (The first step though is the app or game better be good).

You can read that full interview here at the AdDuplex blog. And if you’re more curious about Alan and his role in Windows Phone, you can read our interview with him from February.

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O iPlayer, Where Art Thou?

The on again, off again saga of iPlayer for the BBC and Windows Phone has been toying with anxious readers for months now. At first the Inquirer said it was coming and then Pocket-lint effectively squashed that rumor just three days later, leaving consumers with little hope for an effective media solution.

The hope was always that Nokia would some how come in and save the day for Windows Phone users but alas, that does not seem to be the case. One of our readers, Paul A., emailed the BBC asking for information as to their reasons for not supporting Windows Phone. Surprisingly, Daniel Danker who is the General Manager of Programmes & On Demand for the BBC gave a very thorough response to Paul’s question as to why there is no Windows Phone support.

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Marketplace fix has been applied but it may take a day or two deploy

As expected, Microsoft has begun deploying the digital certificate fix for the Marketplace that has resulted in some Windows Phone users unable to either install or update a select few apps (notably WhatsApp, NY Times and Translator). In a recent change to the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix notes:

“We fixed the digital certificate problem and last evening resumed publishing new apps. It will take a day or two for the repair to fully deploy and newly-published apps to begin appearing in Marketplace again.  If your app was in the process of being published, you don’t need to take any action.  We have applied the fix and the app will continue through the certification and publishing workflow as normal.”

Of course as mentioned above that does not mean you can now instantly re-install or update those apps with issues as it can take time for the changes to rollout across their servers. Still, users should be begin to see updates by the end of the weekend.

Let us know in comments if you have had any success. Thanks, ThisIsMetro, for the heads up

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