Touring the Windows Phone 8 Dev Center

Touring the Windows Phone 8 Dev Center

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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.

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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.

More improvements:

  • 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 (480x640, 480x800, 480x853).
  • 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. 

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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.

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Optimize your app price per market. This post provides some guidance.
  4. Take a look at the new reporting and reviews features.
  5. Download the Windows Phone 8 SDK, which you can use to add new double-wide tiles to your 7.x apps, among other things.
  6. 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.

3 Comments
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  • toybook
    0 Posts

    I had a habit of testing my app in emulator & device in my free bored time. With the WP SDK 7.1.1 update, there comes 2 versions of emulator - but actually it's a single Executable. so we cant launch the same app twice with different configuration. http://www.bankinfoonline.com/

  • I have to chime in with some of the criticism: the page while looking amazing has become very confusing in that it changes appearance quite often and we have to hunt around for information we already knew where to find. I hope it will be more stable now.

    Aside from that I just sent my updated App off to certification and hope to have it available in the Marketplace soon.

  • anatolyl
    19 Posts

    Apps list: "Last updated" date appear incorrectly so the developer doesn't have a way to actually know if their app was updated or not and when. I contacted support multiple times, but the only response I've got was "it will be fixed around next week". This is lasting since the beginning of August. Sigh.

    This is a critical bug and the arrogant approach of the team towards fixing issues on the dev center is beyond any level. All we get is constant refreshes and moving links around the site so it will be much harder to find each time them I guess.

    APK update screen is incomprehensible and not intuitive , one doesn't really know intuitevely what to do to update the APK, and there is no indication whether or not the APK was updated or failed, there is no APK upload date anywhere and the APK version is set manually instead of being extracted from the APK itself as we have this setting in IDE.

    To sum it up - there are losts of issues in the dev center. Please fix ASAP.