Finishing your Windows Phone 8 application isn’t the end of your Windows Phone journey. You’ve now got to get it into everyone’s hot little hands – by submitting it to the Store. Having developed for the Windows Phone platform now for a number of years, I can attest that just uploading your XAP file isn’t the only thing required to make this happen. Similar to my post on “Must have tools for Windows Phone” I'll try and fill you in on a few things I wish I'd known before I submitted.
This weekend a bunch of like minded people are getting together to hack on Windows 8 and Windows Phone to create some awesome applications and win sweet sweet prizes. You can be one of them – so why don’t you come rock out with Microsoft, eat and drink on the house and create some app awesomeness.
Today marks the official start to Microsoft’s TechEd Australia Conference on the sunny Queensland Gold Coast. With over 4 days of talks, product launch education, hands-on labs along with device and software manufacturers spruiking their wares, it is sure to be a great week – if you are around shoot me a tweet so that we can try and cross paths during the week.
I have been playing with the Windows Phone 7 SDK for a while now, however I have been lucky to still have a day-job while doing my tinkering and therefore haven’t sourced my main income from sales in the WP7 marketplace. There are others who don’t have the same luxury as me and have bet a considerable amount of their time on the platform to date. Whether these developers are aware of it or not they are fighting a silent battle that I want to bring more awareness to – a problem that every smart phone ecosystem has faced to date: Piracy.
During my development journey with Windows Phone 7 , there have been a number of things that I overlooked when writing your first app – things I wished I’d kept front of mind. None of these items are necessarily difficult or complicated things to cover off, so I thought I'd mention them here to save you the trouble, and at the same time show you ways to overcome each of them.
After developing Windows Phone 7 applications in my spare time over the last year, I've collected an assortment of tools that make developing apps so much easier than when I first jumped in to Silverlight/Windows Phone 7 development. I only wish I'd know about them all when I first started down the Windows Phone 7 path. Whether you are just starting out or have been developing Windows Phone 7 apps for a while now, there’s something here for everyone.
One of the subtleties I've found recently while working with the Windows Phone 7 SDK is found when working with the ApplicationBar programmatically. There are a number of differences that the ApplicationBar has when compared to a normal Windows Phone 7 Silverlight control – these very differences can be really frustrating if you are not aware of them as they stop you from interacting with it in the same way you do other Silverlight controls. Hopefully after we’ve taken a closer look it will make sense why they are so.
So i seem to have stumbled across a bug in the Windows Phone 7 Live Tile update toast notification update API. The bug occurs while sending a tile update URL using toast notifications that are longer in length than 260 characters. While you may think this is a problem that only affects extreme/edge usage cases, in situations where you need to pull a tile from an SSL path that contains security keys or other query string parameter data and this data is longer than this 260 character limit, you come to a dead end.
If you’ve worked with Windows Phone 7 Live Tiles, you may have noticed a bit of a hole in the platform SDK’s functionality – the inability to programmatically update the current running applications tile without the push coming from a remote webserver. The purpose of this post is to show you that this is not the end of the world, and there is a way around this.
So today marks another day in my Windows Phone 7 development journey: the release of “InTheKnow – Google Analytics on the go!” This app allows you to view your website’s traffic stats anywhere with mobile data coverage or Wi-Fi connection in an easy to read and digest form. No longer do you need to be near a PC to check how that last blog post was received or daily product special is fairing.
So after submitting applications a few times for both myself and a few friends, i have learnt a few a few do’s and don’ts that can make the difference between it taking 2 weeks to get your application in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace, and only a day or two including registration. With the help of the tips below, hopefully i can help some of you avoid any of the frustrations that can come from starting development on a new platform.
Over Christmas and New Year i had a little fun with the free time i had, i did what i do most years and started a spelunking exercise into something new and exciting, this time it was: Windows Phone development. After purchasing a Samsung Omnia 7 and getting a feel for the OS and UI design, i set out to create a simple app to try my luck at the lucrative (… we’ll see) world of Windows Phone 7 development. My first Release, BurnStats - a simple app that allows you to view your FeedBurner statistics natively on the device, has finally hit the app store – in true festive spirit, there was much rejoicing to be had.
In my early testing of Windows Phone 7 apps, it has become apparent that a lot of developers are simply not checking for network connectivity before attempting to access the internet – this gives a bad user experience as the user is left to wait until the connection times out. Checking to see if the device is connected to a network will improve this user experience dramatically.