The Wrap: Secrets of a No. 1 app, the minds behind Metro, 5 hot apps

This week’s story highlights are dedicated to the hardworking indie coders out there dreaming up and writing cool apps for my Windows Phone. You guys rock. Here’s some inspiration:

What’s it take to make your app No. 1?

imageMicrosoft’s Chris Barrows kicked off a new App Hub series this week called “App Insights” that you don’t want to miss if you dream about dominating the Marketplace download charts someday. Read the first installment

Chris works on the Marketplace operations team and plans to mine store data for big-picture lessons about which apps succeed and why. Look for monthly installments on everything from app promotion to pricing. Have a specific question about the business of making and selling apps you’d like covered? Send Chris an email: appinsights@microsoft.com.

How I made that app—the Rowi story

The Microsoft News Center and Channel 9 both recently took a closer look at the popular Twitter app, Rowi, and the guys who created it. The News Center profile is an interesting read. And if you’re curious to know more about how Erik Porter and Nathan Heskew built their hit app, watch this in-depth interview on Channel 9’s Inside Windows Phone.

Look who’s banking $1750 a day

People write Windows Phone apps for all kinds of reasons. Some do it for money, others for fun. Shuriken NinjaA few people I know built one just for bragging rights to prove they could. It’s all good. But if you’re squarely in the first camp, check out this new Microsoft Advertising case study that spotlights how two indie developers are making serious bank on their creations.

Geekworks LLC, maker of the hit game Shuriken Ninja, earned $245,000 in a single year from ad impressions. FourBros Studio’s Taptitude, meanwhile, averaged $800 a day over the last month—and pulled in $1750 in a single day.  Business Insider also recently spotlighted the Taptitude numbers. Have an app success story to share? Send me mail.

Meet the designers reshaping Microsoft

Bloomberg Businessweek ran a great feature this month about the design renaissance sweeping Microsoft and products like Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox LIVE. That fresh new look that probably drew you to Windows Phone in the first place is a design aesthetic known within the company as “Metro.” Lately it’s starting to create a lot of buzz in all kinds of unexpected corners. Curious? Hit the link.

And finally: 5 apps worth downloading

Microsoft’s Laura Foy continues her weekly look at Marketplace gold. This week’s batch includes: Monster Island, Dodonpachi Maximum, Crazy Kitties, Keymon Goes Fishing, and Starbucks Finder. Take a look.