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Windows Phone 8.1 and universal apps can now be submitted to the Dev Center

It was just this weekend that Microsoft unified pricing tiers to help make universal apps easier, and today they've opened the floodgates to developers and are now accepting Windows Phone 8.1 and universal apps for review. As a refresher, universal apps take advantage of new frameworks in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 to allow developers to build apps once and deploy them across both platforms.

The unification of apps across platforms was announced at Build 2014, just two weeks ago. And with today's deployment of Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, Microsoft is now accepting apps written for the updated OS. Developers will need Visual Studio Update 2 RC to develop said apps.

They'll be able to use the Silverlight platform, or the Windows Runtime platform so they can reuse code across platforms. When deploying a new package that specifically targets a new version of Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Store will now intelligently offer the appropriate version to users depending on which platform they're running on.

Developers can now link apps across the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store so users can buy an app once and have it installed everywhere. This even extends to in-app purchases — buy once, download and use everywhere. Notifications, too, are synced now through Windows Push Notification Service.

As mentioned earlier, developers will no longer need a credit card to register an account and submit apps, and instead can be paid via PayPal. Developers will also be able reserve app names in the Windows Phone store for up to 12 months before release (they've been able to do this for some time in the Windows Store). The Dev Center has also been redesigned to make it easier to find the documentation that developers need.

While that's a lot of updating, there's more to come — Microsoft has options for timed promotion pricing, pre-submission validation checks, and touch-device specific targeting on the way for developers. Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Phone 8.1 have kickstarted the need for changes to the Dev Center and developer tools, so it's good to see that finally happening.

Source: Microsoft

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • Glad they're making things easier! Good article Derek!
  • Anyone using 8.1 have power button lag??? My screen lags to turn on/off.
  • I have everything lag. I have the features.. But it feels like a beta.. I thought they delayed it to fix bugs?
  • Hard reset your phone if it doesn't feel right, these updates ALWAYS need a fresh install
  • Did u wait till all your apps were reinstalled?
  • Checked, no lag on my 920.....
  • on/off lag is almost gone to me. much better than 8.0.. using Lumia 920.
  • No lag on my 920.
  • Do I have to backup my data before updating to the developers preview ?
  • No lag on my 920 either with regular use. Although I notice that after I change around some tiles they 'load' longer than normal. Meaning that they dont properly display their content and instead show the theme color. Then 1 or 2 seconds later the concent pops up. After a few minutes of usage the lag disappears. The moment I change a tile, the cycle repeats.
  • No lag on L920, neither on 822
  • My wp 8.1 Icon has been doing this too, but just when turning the screen on.  Sometimes it only lags for like a second, other times it just won't turn on at all!  I have to hold down the camera button to get the phone to turn on.  I just updated it today and have not done a hard reset (not wanting to go through the hassle).
  • I did a hard reset just to see if that would fix my screen turning on lag, no dice unfortunately, good thing it's sporadic when it happens... or maybe that's a bad thing?...  Otherwise I'm loving the new changes
  • Any news about the lockscreen apps that Joe Belfoire demonstrated at Build? Those from Rudy Huyn for example?
  • He officially posted they are coming later and will not be included in the developer preview.
  • Ok thans man. That's too bad
  • I lag when I try to power on my phone when the screen has been off for a little bit. But once I start using it it goes away.
  • Hard reset.
  • WP FTW :D
  • 8.1 made my 920 feel like a brand new phone again, I love it! :D
    I really want my comma back though :'(
  • Just go in settings then
  • Settings -> Keyboard -> More -> Show comma. (Smth like this, translated from German)
  • Thanks. Now I can wholeheartedly enjoy the update.
  • Aargh, had not noticed this yet. Wth Microsoft? Give me my comma back! Otherwise a great update.
  • You can enable it in settings again
  • I have my comma key
  • The comma is there. Just got to Settings> Keyboard> Advanced>Show a comma key when available
  • I totally agree with you!! Feels like I got a brand new phone! :)
  • I still have a comma. Next to the space bar.
  • First fix the store in EU..
  • This.
  • That would be nice.. One of the few features that I still have to try.
  • Me too...
  • Cool
  • Excited!
  • So now where is:
    - The Whatsapp update;
    - The Instagram beta update (I saw it with a transparent tile in the demos);
    - The Skype update (same above);
    - The Flipboard app??
  • Add in the Xboc Music update ;) it still is no universal app unlike xbox video. So there is a very good possibilty that this thing will get updated in the near future.
  • WPCentral universal app coming soon? Jay?
  • +8.1. :)
  • Yeah would like to know if its that simple
  • Definitely not that simple
  • I started on a universal app and I agree, not nearly as simple as everyone thinks. I'm still trying to get used to the new changes.
  • But wp sl 8.1 should be possible without much effort.. Enable fast app resume :)
  • Don't underestimate just how much legacy code we have from being one of the first news apps in the store back in Windows Phone 7
  • Hey Jay. Why I can't make WP Central tile transparent?? :(
  • You can if you buy the app cant you?
  • Because they haven't updated it yet for 8.1 guys. Should be obvious that we don't have 8.1 apps yet so that's why. Just give it time!
  • Because it writes jpg format not png, like 99% of app live tiles. That's because png drinks memory. With 8.1 this should hopefully change, but will need an app update.
  • Good news, but I have a question regarding updating... If a developer updates their app to support for WP8.1 only features, will the developers have to have a WP8 and WP8.1 version in the Store?  For example, if the new video editings APIs were to allow Instagram to add video support, will they have two apps (one for 8, one for 8.1). Along the same line, will the end user have to download the 8.1 version, or will the 8 version just update to the 8.1 version?
  • I think the app won't have the new features if your phone doesn't have the latest software. That or the app won't update until you have the latest software.
  • To target 8.0 and 8.1, there will have to be versions for both 8.0 and 8.1, and depending on what OS version you have, the appropriate app version will be installed. There's no way for you to install the 8.1 version of the app without having WP 8.1. If there is no 8.1 version of the app, the 8.0 will work on WP 8.1 just fine.
  • Won't this deprive app developers of their revenue, if users can buy something once and use it on multiple devices and platforms? Don't see a whole lot of devs doing this, especially not the small time devs.
  • I would be considered a small time dev and if I was to make a paid app I would release it with exactly this. Buy once, use on all. Why? Because it opens it up for a wider audience and people would be more likely to use the app on both if they only had to purchase once.
  • I'm pretty sure most people dont buy the same app twice so no it wont deprive anyone of anything.
  • Think it will entice people to buy more apps. imho as a non developer.
  • It's good to have the option to do so. Different people choose different monetization strategies.   I wonder if it's possible, if you buy the WP version for example, to be able to get the Win8 version for just a fraction of the cost?
  • Can't get Xbox Music to play anything now. Just get "this item not available". Stuff on the phone plays but nothing else. Also very juddery, background just flickering all the time.
  • Can someone please tell me what's the deal with background tasks now?
  • There aren't any! That you have to manage...its all just notifications settings now
  • Incorrect I'm afraid. They've just moved all those settings to the battery sense app :)
  • I see. Well this is less confusing now and i hope i don't still get warnings of too many background tasks!! I'm disappointed the email app still cannot attach videos...i thought this mess was fixed?
  • Wow haha, I didn't even realize you could swipe in it
  • I am having a problem I can't open the store does anyone know what this error mean 805a0190
  • Technical difficulties in some regions. Hopefully they will fix it soon
  • Some users are having trouble with the Store right now. More info here.
  • Does this mean I can get Halo on my phone now? I have it in W8!
    Edit: Just answered my own question and, awesome sauce, downloading now!
  • Don't be a tease! Can you?
  • Tried the other way around......I own the wp8 version, but no signifyer on my surface pro 2 that marks it as a universal app. So, all i get is confirm/cancel with no mention if it'll cost me or not.
  • Can anyone get the developer preview and how much does it cost
  • It's free! Just download the app from the store.
  • Try this link.
  • Thanks to the two of you, might have a look
  • Here is the link for free dev account: Also, read the wpcentral guide if you get confused:
  • Thank you for the help i now have it
  • Would recommend it. I was really apprehensive as my first time, but did Prev for Dev and used it all day with no issues. Feels like a new phone. Enjoy :D
  • Never knew I needed a notification centre until now. Liking it alot
  • Derek everytime I see your last name all I can think of is Infamous.
  • Work flawless on my 1020.. No lag on the power button
  • Sorry, only partially related, but I have had an odd issue that had been there since I got my launch 920. In comments on WPC app, it flashes very briefly in the comments sometimes. Not often, but never heard anyone mention this before.
  • Gmail apparently syncs now
  • I have no cortana live tile on my 920 after 8.1 update
  • I have updated to WP8.1. If I do a hard reset now, will it remain 8.1 or will it revert back to WP8?
  • I can't use the store yet. Anyone else too?
  • SHAZAM already works this way! check it out in the Store on WP8.1 and swipe to details pane.
  • I will not be submitted anything using a Release Candidate SDK. My users deserve better.
  • Will unified apps bring problem in optimization for low memory devices?
  • How i update lumia 620 to 8.1 ..i m in pakistan