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

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

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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:

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.

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  • mutabor
    7 Posts

    Am I the only one who can't find "Monster Island" in Marketplace? I have original Focus on ATT...

  • I saw the still frame above from Laura's Marketplace picks, and was intrigued as I know the content well. So after a bit of digging in the Marketplace for the 'app' I was more than a little annoyed.

    Essentially someone calling themselves 'I3arnon' has been ripping off content from the great Cyriak Harris ( and Weebl (, wrapping them in a so called 'app' and then flogging them for $0.99 a pop. More ridiculously, several of these apps are priced at $499.99, presumably in the hope that some kid who found their dad's phone will buy without realising the price. And without realising they're all up on YouTube anyhow.

    I'm a big Windows Phone fan, and this kind of thing just casts doubt on the whole 'approval' process for apps. The potential for ripping people off, the casual copyright violation - I'm not sure what checks are made on an app at present but I'm assuming that at least the $499.99 price should raise red flags somewhere.

    I'll be notifying Cyriak and Weebl about these, I've no doubt this goes on in other platform stores as well. I'd also appreciate it if someone looked into getting Laura's review changed...

  • It seems to be working fine. Version

  • KR
    503 Posts


    Lol as long as it's not Kennedy

    BTW,does your Samsung's Now weather live tile works?did download the latest update?

  • @ Kenny..

    You b!$%&!! Lol.. Don't make me start spelling your name wrong again... :-D

  • KR
    503 Posts

    To all

    After the recent update from Samsung to its "Now" app 2 days ago,the weather live tile is broken and the app is pretty much useless for me anyone experiencing this issue?lots of people are complaining about this on the reviews


    Please give a call to Samsung

    IMHO,the only two OEMs that do their job and have consideration for WP re HTC and Nokia

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Always also remember that MS has lots of products and WP marketing has a limited budget

  • KR
    503 Posts

    WP is lagging and IMHO is doing some "faux pas" compared compared to the competition and needs to address some of those issues before heavy marketing will work properly and bring WP to the front.

    One of the first reason every WP user presents as the best part of WP is the beautiful UI.which is if not the only,one of the very few advantages of WP.well guess what,it is the same thing people with MacBooks tell me "its beautiful",well that just not enough in today's tech world.

    I like putting it this way its about performance,capabilities,adaptability and aesthetics

    When you nail this guys down to a considerable level compared to the competition,then shall marketing fire up the nozzle

  • KR
    503 Posts


    While I know the name isn't the reason for WP not taking off,you yourself admitted some people get thrown away by the name Windows you probably know already I don't think it was a great name,not talking about the Windows brand.i still think if Windows phone is to do well it will have to integrate with all the main other windows products because it is sold as a windows branded product first(from its name) not as a Microsoft product.

    Anyways that wasn't my big big point is,while I understand you are fully biased you need to realize the other realities which even I don't know all,one of which is the fact that marketing is not the only thing that will make wp take off.Apple has marketed the Mac,iMac and MacBook and still does today but it is still lagging way book except the MacBook that is even starting to gain traction mostly among youths.

    I know you'll probably start telling me features and improvements are coming with WP8 or 9 or whatever as you said before with mango,but at the same time you've also said people should buy a product for what it does not what it will do.that's the problem with being biased and fan boy and it wouldn't really help.

  • The Android HTC One has a cool feature.. It lets you record video, and shoot pics at the same! I think I could really use a feature like that.... Just saying..

  • T Windows
    116 Posts


    Thanks for the heads-up, dude this location will be even better!

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • @ T.W

    Thanks...... The location for the event on Moday has changed. Did you get the message?

  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    @ Rodney

    You go boy!

    I can feel the passion in your post – LOL

    I read all of the comments on the ComputerWorld article, and after reading the strong bias comments left by  “ V ” you can see for one the Windows Phone struck a nerve in his world of mac.

    They are beginning to realize the game has changed for the mobile world, as well as form factors for all devices across the board- and that truly scares them.

    Competition is key for new innovation and there’s plenty of room for everybody to play; but rest assure  Microsoft will forever be at the forefront of it- I just wonder when they will get it.

    Thanks for sharing…

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • T Windows
    116 Posts


    Thanks for the post; it’s good to see the devs demoing their app’s in real-time; they did a great job on Rowi.

    The end user suggestion portal is awesome, and to see the app dev’s take these suggestions to heart really speaks volumes; this is a good blue print and roadmap for future developers.

    Thanks again Michael – oh by the way the Microsoft paper cups on the table are so official, I would love to have a bunch of these lying around my office & work space-  too cool.

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • I spelled You're wrong.. Oh well I'm from Texas. What can I say??

  • What a fun week in WP....

    This is a reply I couldn't resist to post to a remark a commenter on PC world made about the name "Windows Phone" And, I stand by my point, so I don't care if anyone disagrees with me HAHAHAHA! LOL!

    Have a great weekend everybody, and see some of you at the "Behind The Tiles" event on Monday. PEACE!

    ......."" So you're saying that the iPhone sold just because of it's name? Your saying that all of those PC users went out and bought a iPhone because they were waiting for something to save them from Windows? Your saying that they couldn't have traded their Windows PC in for a Mac, way before the iPhone came out? Are you saying that MOST people who are on a Windows PC trade it in for a Mac after buying a iPhone? How many Windows PC users still bought a Windows based computer even after buying a iPhone? Are you saying that the name Android is really catchy enough to grab 50% of the market just because of connotation? Do most people who use Android probably have a PC or a Mac??

    So yes, to some the name Windows, or Microsoft rubs them the wrong way, but seriously does the majority of people in this world not by Microsoft, and Windows based products? I'm not saying that Apple products aren't great, because they are fabulous, but we can't let our pride get in the way of the reality of the Windows Phone adoption issue which is MARKETING! Not the name.... No not the name! You see, nobody gave a flip about the name iPhone, or Android, they cared about what the devices had to offer, and the thing that made these two popular was marketing. So, if Windows Phone is marketed correctly it will sale,, its no different than any other product.. If you are stuck on name, well sir you are the minority. The average consumer just want's what's popular, and these major corporations can leverage that because of sheep like you who live only within their minds. The Windows Phone name is fine. It's awareness that's the issue.

    Also, three more questions. They are going to name the next version of Windows Desktop "Windows 8" does that mean it's not going to sell? Are all those new tablets, PC's, and Ultra books not going to sell? How many Windows/Microsoft named products sold, just today 4/27/12, worldwide? All those people, today, didn't mind the name "Windows"...

    The names not changing. Forget it!

    Apple never change it's products name, well maybe they did, but Microsoft is not at the point where Apple was at its lowest, and we are already suggesting changing the name of Windows Phone when Windows products are selling strong every day? Microsoft doesn't have to cave in because some minority of MS haters refuses to buy anything MS branded....You never sell out. Never! If the product is good you stand by it,,, for better or for worse.. Windows Phone will sell!..."""

  • @ sicnus: She's equally nice in person. A good egg.

  • sicnus
    1 Posts

    Laura Foys show is or she is (or both are) a riot. She's also pleasing to the eye. Look forward to the next one!

  • I love Taptitude!!  I think over the last month, it's even replaced Words by Post as my #1 game!