Latest Windows Phone app submission improvements

Latest Windows Phone app submission improvements

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As Todd mentioned in his post last week, I’d like to share some details about the latest improvements we’ve made to Dev Center to address your feedback.

Multiple XAP management during app submission

As more developers update their apps to take advantage of new Windows Phone 8 functionality, managing multiple XAP files for a single app becomes an increasingly common scenario. Many apps have different XAPs for Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8.0. Dev Center allows each to be serviced independently. Many of you asked for a simplified way to manage XAPs, so we set out to streamline the experience, make it easier to keep track of which XAPs exist for your app, and to clearly identify which XAP you’re acting on when you make a change. Here’s the new UI for managing XAPs in an app submission:

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When you update an existing app, you’ll see that all of the XAPs for your app are already present in the submission. You can replace or delete one or more of the existing XAPs, add new ones, or leave them unchanged. Typically you’ll only want to add a new XAP when you’re either submitting a new app or adding support for a new platform version to an existing app. (For more details, see Guidance for app management for Windows Phone). Be careful when you delete a XAP in a submission because it will be removed from your app and no longer available in Store after the submission is published. You can think of this table as showing all XAPs that will be available for your app when the submission is published.

After you’ve established the XAPs that you want for your app, you can select each XAP individually by clicking the button beside its name, and then add/edit the Store listing info for each language that the XAP supports.

MPNS certificate management

To use authenticated push notifications from the Microsoft Push Notification Service (MPNS), your app needs to be associated with the authentication certificate that’s used by your service. You can manage certificates at an account level in Dev Center and then choose from those certificates when you submit a new app or update an existing app.

We’ve refreshed the certificate management UI to make it easier to see all of the certificates that you’ve uploaded, and to differentiate between them:

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We’ve also updated the certificate selection UI on the App info submission page to help you select the correct certificate. Remember that if you’re updating an app to associate it with an updated certificate, MPNS requires that the Subject Name CN value remains the same. Dev Center will enforce this restriction to ensure that push notifications continue to work after your update is published.

Review submission

When you create a submission for a new or existing app in Dev Center, that submission will remain until you submit or delete it. This means that you can make changes to a submission on different days and from different browser windows and we’ll keep track of them. This can be a powerful feature as you don’t have to worry about losing changes by closing your browser or switching computers. However, this also makes it important to check your work before final submission to make sure you’re aware of all of the changes. We’ve created a new review page to help you do just that. Now you’ll have the opportunity to check the review page for a submission to be sure you are satisfied with the changes that you’ve made before you submit your app. Here’s an example:

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The review page is organized into three sections:

  1. Submission: Displays the publish option chosen, along with errors and warnings if applicable.
  2. App: Displays the changes made at the app level. By default, this section shows only the changes you made, but you can clear the Only show changes I made box to see the full summary.
  3. XAPs: Displays a list of XAPs that will be published for your app.

Here’s how the page looks if you choose to see the full summary of app-level information:

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We made these changes to enhance your experience with Dev Center. As always, please keep adding your feedback to the Windows Phone Dev Center UserVoice forum. We appreciate hearing from you and your feedback helps us shape future development priorities.

UpdateBe sure to read the post titled More Dev Center features – we’re listening for additional Dev Center details.

6 Comments
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  • Not really clear to me : is it possible for a single Windows Phone 8 app to have multiple XAPs? I mean I would like to separate the heavy JPEGs that do not change from one version to another into one XAP and a smaller one with the application logic. When I change only the application logic the user would only have to download that small XAP only.

  • @Arterius, Dev Center allows developers to submit multiple XAPs for the same app targeted to different platform versions. Here is the MSDN documentation that covers how you can submit a 7.1 XAP and an 8.0 XAP for the same app: msdn.microsoft.com/.../jj631569(v=vs.105).aspx. Doing so will make the app appear only once on Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8.0 devices. The Store will serve the appropriate XAP for the device of the user accessing the store.

  • The Trial and Free are separate Apps in the Marketplace. If you upload a WP8 version of the same App they won't see the WP7 version of that App. But you're having two Apps on WP7 so one of those gets a WP8 version with IAP and the other App still shows up although with it's WP7 version.

    This has nothing to do with the Application name but rather with the App in the Dev Center.

  • Daemon
    0 Posts

    @Arterius: it's stated on the forum that, as long as the apps have the same name, WP8 users won't see WP7 version. Hope this is true 'cause I'm going to have the same need of yours.

  • Thank You :)

    Good improvements, but we need to be able to reply to user comments and reviews.

  • Great improvements. Thank you! But still waiting for ability to selective hiding for platform version. For example if I uploaded xap only for WP7 devices then I want to be able to make it visible only for WP7 devices and NOT for WP8 devices. Today I have to upload 3 versions of same app - two versions for WP7 (free and trial) and one version for WP8 (with In-App purchases). So the WP8 user seeing all this 3 versions of app and only WP7 users seeing 2 versions. Its very annoying and strange why you still did not think about that!