In addition to launching Windows Phone 8 and our new developer platform this week, we also refreshed the Dev Center, which is now ready for Windows Phone 8 app submissions. In case you haven’t had a chance to look around yet, I’ll briefly walk you through some of the highlights and tell you how you can take advantage of the new content and features, including a special limited-time offer.
The first thing you’ll likely notice is the site’s fresh new look and feel that puts top tasks front and center. On the home page you can download the new Windows Phone 8 SDK, see What’s New, sign up for a local hands-on Dev Camp event, and watch showcase videos like this in-depth platform introduction from Windows Phone engineer Peter Torr. We update these areas weekly—so stay tuned for more in-depth guidance including //BUILD session recordings.
We also reorganized site content to make it easier to find and use. Here’s just one example: All the steps and guidance for publishing an app are now under one tab.
This release also includes a number of changes and improvements to address your feedback. First, we’ve reduced latency for app download and in-app purchase reports to two days (down from six). Our reporting infrastructure is set for the UTC time zone, so depending on where you’re located you’ll experience the change at different times as the reports catch up on transactions across the globe. (It will take a few days for the changes to roll out globally.) We’re working hard to reduce this reporting lag even further in an upcoming release.
- An all new document library (tens of thousands of pages) with a new code gallery, API library, and a sections on games and Direct 3D app development.
- Support for landscape screenshots so they’ll appear in the correct orientation on your app details page.
- Better keyword discoverability.
- New advertising unit sizes (480×640, 480×800, 480×853).
- New confirmation messages for certain actions during app submission.
- For new apps using the map control, with the new SDK you can now get the required authentication tokens via Dev Center. (If you already have maps in your app, there’s no change required.)
- The new auto complete drop down list (shown below) makes it easier for developers with lots of apps to find the one they want to manage.
In the fun surprise department, we collaborated with the Windows Phone design studio to deliver an all-new and more encompassing content area devoted to design. This section walks you through the principles and process behind the Windows Phone UI, and provides a library of guidelines, controls and assets to aid you in creating your app.
I know there’s a lot to take in, so here’s a short checklist of key things to start doing now. If you have an existing app:
- Review the Application Provider Agreement and Windows Phone Store Policies. Both have been updated to reflect new product capabilities and market considerations. You’ll want to take the time to familiarize yourself with both documents, which includes both new (e.g. in–app purchase – policy 2.13) and updated (e.g. country/region specific requirements – policy 3.10) sections.
- Expose your app to more potential customers by using Dev Center to select from the list of 191 supported markets—or just choose all of them.
- Optimize your app price per market. This post provides some guidance.
- Take a look at the new reporting and reviews features.
- Download the Windows Phone 8 SDK, which you can use to add new double-wide tiles to your 7.x apps, among other things.
- Sign-up for a local Dev Camp to get hands-on, in-person guidance from the experts.
If you’re new to Windows Phone or just getting started, you’ll want to register for a new Individual Account by November 7 for just $8 (U.S.), a savings of $91. See Dev Center for additional details.
We’ll continue to provide guidance over the coming weeks so be sure to check back often. And please continue to provide feedback here or at #wpdev.