Beta apps no longer expire, plus an update for the Dev Center app

Beta apps no longer expire, plus an update for the Dev Center app

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Today I have two updates I’d like to share with you: beta apps no longer have an expiration date, and the Windows Phone Dev Center app has a new “markets” view.

Beta apps no longer have an expiration date

As many of you know, you can submit a beta app to Windows Phone Dev Center to help you test before you submit your app to the public catalog in the Windows Phone Store. Beta apps have a few special properties:

  • Access is limited to a set of users (between 1 and 10,000) selected by the developer
  • Access is available only via a link; the beta app doesn’t appear when users search or browse the Store
  • Certification is not required; developers can rapidly iterate on the app
  • Before today’s announcement, expiration for beta apps was 90 days after their creation date

We’ve spoken with many of our developers to learn more about how they use beta apps. Many indicate that they want to maintain multiple “update trains” for their apps: one for the public app that’s available to everyone in the Store, and another for the beta app that’s frequently updated and tested by a community of specific users. Developers use the beta app (or in some cases multiple beta apps) to test out their latest and greatest version, discover bugs, and determine when an updated app is ready for the general public. When they have a version that’s ready, they release it by submitting it as an update to their public app.

With this usage pattern, we learned that the 90-day expiration for beta apps got in the way. Every 90 days developers would need to submit a new beta app and send the new link out to all of their beta testers. But, no longer. Here’s what you’ll see on the app info page when you create a new beta app:

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Existing beta apps that have already been created in Dev Center will still expire after 90 days, even if they are updated. However, from this point forward, newly created beta apps will not expire and developers can keep updating them as frequently as they like. We hope this change makes the beta app feature more useful for you. For more thoughts about how to test your apps, please see Bernardo Zamora’s recent post, Options for testing and publishing Windows Phone apps.

The “markets” page in the Dev Center app

The Dev Center app makes it easier than ever to see how your app is doing in each of the markets where it’s offered. Now, when you tap one of your apps to see how it’s doing, you’ll find a new “markets” page that provides a per-market breakdown of downloads, ratings, and reviews. You can sort by any of these statistics to learn more about how your app is doing around the world.

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We’re continuing to evolve the Dev Center and we hope that you find these changes valuable. As always, please keep sharing your feedback to help influence our priorities; the Windows Phone Dev Center UserVoice forum is the best way to do that. Thanks for continuing to write great apps for Windows Phone!

9 Comments
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  • @bzamora: exactly this error is not due xap files, because the same xap file before the "event" takes place, it works perfectly on all devices wp7 & wp8, after the change and upload again (since expired), it occurs only error on wp7 device

  • @bzamora [MSFT] : I have opened a ticket but i have received a stupid response :(

    "Hello Christophe,

    I understand you are beta testing your "Smartphone France Beta" app, but you have noticed that the WP7 version is crashing, but this is not occurring when using the emulator in Visual Studio. We often recommend that developers test their app as a beta since it may behave differently once it has been processed by the store if the app capabilities have not been properly declared, for example.

    The following blog post should help you understand the common reasons your app may fail to launch:

    App fails to launch: blogs.msdn.com/.../your-published-windows-phone-7-8-application-fails-to-run.aspx

    Another thing to consider is checking for any unhandled exceptions. The following article should provide some insight into that:

    www.developer.nokia.com/.../Reporting_unhandled_exceptions_in_your_Windows_Phone_apps

    If you need any technical support, I recommend posting on the forums or opening a case with our technical support team. Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to your response.

    Regards,"

    Ticket number : SRX1226527535ID

  • Ron1
    0 Posts

    @bzamora - To be more specific, the same WP7 app crashes on a WP7.5 device but runs fine on WP8 device when downloaded from Beta.  The same app runs fine on both devices when downloaded from the normal marketplace.

  • Ron1
    0 Posts

    @bzamora - The support ticket raising processing states that there will be a charge.  I just want to tell Microsoft that there is a bug with the new Beta apps system that now makes WP7 apps crash.  Is there a way to do that without going through a chargeable process?

  • @cordoweb: By the same problems plus the recently very busy so I ask you this error for MS feedback for me

    @bzamora [MSFT]: Error occurs with all applications that support for wp7 device, not just a specific application of all.

    p/s: sorry for my english not good

  • @cordoweb and @brazil88, please submit a support ticket (in Dev Center), including the App ID that is having this problem, and include in the support ticket a notice to share this info with Bernardo Zamora (Microsoft employee) to help debug the problem.

    Thank you

    Bernardo Zamora

    Windows and Windows Phone Store

  • Same problem for me !

    WP8 version is OK but WP7 version crash after Windows Phone Store download :(

  • why when event "Beta app no longer expire" start, all wp7 devices can't not use beta app: download and install ok but when click to access, it crash and out.

  • The markets feature looks the same as my app App Spotlights! www.windowsphone.com/.../33695cc5-1f28-40f1-b5d3-e7f06f74820e