We promised in late July that August would bring another round of developer news. That day has come! Today we will begin accepting and certifying Mango apps through the App Hub. This means that new and existing titles optimized for Mango features like fast app switching, background audio, multiple and double sided Live Tiles, better Search integration and more will begin publishing in a matter of days. Now that’s not to say that Mango will arrive on existing devices in the coming days (sorry, not quite yet). It does, however, mean that people running early builds of Mango will see these new apps and games. And of course, in addition to new and updated apps for Mango, the nearly 30,000 Windows Phone app and game titles available today will also run on Mango. Below I cover a few more items we’ve added to help bring your great Mango apps to market.
First, we have updated and enhanced the Windows Phone SDK 7.1. Today, we made the Release Candidate (RC) of the WPSDK available in English and Japanese with a ‘Go Live’ license that lets you publish your apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace. In order to take advantage of the ‘Go Live’ license and publish, your apps must be recompiled using the 7.1 SDK. In addition to the ‘Go Live’ license, the WPSDK 7.1 RC includes the completed Marketplace Test Kit, which allows you to test your app for certification requirements on your machine, running the same technical cert tests that the Marketplace team runs. This should dramatically improve your chances at passing cert the first time. Finally, for those developers interested in making money via advertising, our Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone is already included in the WPSDK making it easier to get started monetizing your apps. The final version of WPSDK 7.1 will be available at the end of September and will be localized into all of our supported languages.
Second, game developers can now submit their games to the new Mango markets. We announced the markets in July and asked you to cross-submit your apps (which thousands of developers have), but asked you to hold off on cross submitting existing games to the new markets. That changes today. Developers can now cross submit games to the newly supported Mango countries, as well as include any game ratings information, via App Hub. This also now includes free access to the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) game rating system, via PEGI Express, for Windows Phone developers. PEGI Express is an easy to use online tool enabling developers to generate an age rating certificate for their game which they can submit via App Hub
So it’s time to bring those Mango apps to market! If you’ve already created or updated your app for Mango, just install the new tools to get the Go Live license and submit to App Hub. If you needed one last bit of encouragement to wrap your project up; here it is. The next generation of Windows Phone apps will soon be hitting the market. Now is the time submit the must have apps for the new wave of Mango phones.
Senior Director, Windows Phone Marketplace