Posts Tagged ‘marketplace’
Yesterday Microsoft announced that marketplaces in 13 new countries were opening up. Today I am happy to announce that support for those new marketplaces has been added to the WP7 Review Reader tool. The tool keeps helping out developers to get easy access to their reviews by simply entering the AppId and bookmarking the URL. For more information on the Review Reader, please see the previous posts on this subject. Some of you might have also noticed that I’ve gone a little silent on my blog and twitter recently. I’m trying to catch up, but there are some important WP7 projects that require my full attention at the moment. I will be releasing some brand new Windows Phone apps targeted at the Dutch market in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more news on that part.
Those of you following me on Twitter might have noticed some complaints about the beta version of one of my new applications not working the way it should. The app implements a BackgroundAudioAgent to play an audio stream. When directly deploying the XAP to a device this works like a charm. For a last round of testing I submitted the app for private beta testing through the App Hub. To my big surprise the version downloaded through private beta instantly crashes when trying to start the backgroundagent. Apart from analyzing, signing, encrypting and repackaging the XAP nothing should be changed by the private beta process, so this should not be possible.
I don’t know if anybody experienced problems with apps crashing after going to the marketplace submissions process, but the first place to search for errors appears to be the detected capabilities. The Marketplace Test Kit performs the same analysis the marketplace does, so it’s easy to check. The engineering team is working on fixing the issues, but for the time being forcing detection by adding dummy elements is easiest workaround.
CauseWe investigated the problem together with the Microsoft Marketplace Dev Support team. We figured out the crash was related to the specified capabilities. To play background audio the agent relies on the ID_CAP_MEDIALIB capability. This was specified in our manifest-file, but during the submission process the required capabilities are analyzed and overwritten. Apparently the App Hub contains a bug causing the medialib capability to remain undetected in certain situations. When using the Marketplace Test Kit the same problem shows, it does NOT detect the medialib capability. When the application tries to execute any action related to this capability it simply throws an exception and crashes.
SolutionObviously this is a bug in the Marketplace Ingestion tool that Microsoft needs to fix. The support team states: “I can tell you that it’s a known problem at our side that Engineering Team is already investigating”. Fortunately there’s a pretty obvious and easy workaround to solve this problem. Just add a “dummy” page to your application. Add elements to this page the ensure detection of the missing capability. In my case we forced detection of the MediaLib capability by inserting a MediaElement and making sure at least the x:Name is specified( <MediaElement x:Name=”DUMMY” />). Now both the Marketplace Test Kit and the App Hub’s ingestion tool will detect the capability therefore solving the problem. Update: The support team also provided me with some other workarounds that are easier and cleaner, but still force detection of the missing MEDIALIB capability. If your app is referencing any of these libraries just add the one line of code to your app.
|If it’s referencing:||Then add:|
|Microsoft.Phone.dll||Microsoft.Devices.MediaHistory history = null;|
|Microsoft.Xna.Framework.dll||Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Media.MediaLibrary lib = null;|
|none of the above ones, so very likely it’s at least referencing System.Windows.dll||System.Windows.Controls.MediaElement me = null;|
With the launch of the new App Hub Microsoft also opened up 19 new consumer markets for application submission. Developers running the Mango beta can already access the new marketplace and thus can leave reviews for applications. Therefore I updated the Review Reader with support for all new marketplaces. If you haven’t done so please make sure your applications are submitted to the new marketplaces, even if your app was set for worldwide distribution it requires manual action (see my blogpost on worldwide distribution). It’s also worthwile to note a few changes to the new App Hub that impact checking your reviews. Within the App Hub it is now possible to view reviews and average for one marketplace at a time. This is an improvement, but MS isn’t quite there yet when they want to provide easy and efficient access to reviews. Compared to the App Hub my review reader still offers this extra functionality: – Overview of all marketplaces – No-nonsense interface – Excel/CSV export – A try at contacting the reviewers – Average ratings since last update I still hope Microsoft will improve this experience in a future update, in the meantime my tool will stay available for all WP7 devs out there. Please let me know if you have any feedback or feature suggestions. You can find me on Twitter.
Today I finally took some time to check out the recent update to the App Hub. I have to say, Microsoft deserves some credits here. A lot of annoyances that existed before have been fixed. Still there’s some work left to be done. The biggest question: What happened to worldwide distribution?
After countless hours of work you finally finished your amazing WP7 app. The first thing you think of now is getting the application out on the marketplace as soon as possible. Unfortunately many developers still waste the potential of their application by not taking time to carefully think about how users are going to find and use their application. Taking a little extra time to think about marketing will pay off in the end. The whole process of getting your app published is quite straightforward, but in this post I will cover some of the things I came across that you might want to consider. This is one out of a series of follow-up posts to my session at the Dutch DevDays.
Last Friday I presented a session at the Dutch Microsoft DevDays in the Hague. It was a tips & tricks session about earning money with Windows Phone 7 apps in which I covered everything except the app development itself. Subjects covered included the marketplace submission process, trial & marketplace tasks, advertising, reports & feedback and runtime intelligence. The goal was to provide a high-level overview of the different aspects of making money with WP7 applications to motivate all developers to spend just a little more time thinking about marketing their app. My session has been recorded and will be published on Channel9 later this week, it was presented in Dutch and therefore probably irrelevant to most of the world 😉 implementing trial mode back in December, but I will also publish a new and improved post on this subject. This years DevDays have been yet another great experience and I want to thank everyone for making it happen, especially Arie Leeuwesteijn and Matthijs Hoekstra. It has been great catching up with the Dutch WP7 community and other speakers. See you all next year!
A few days ago i announced the upcoming application “WP7NL Apps”. The app will provide easy access to all currently available WP7 apps published from the Netherlands. I just got notified that version 1.0 has passed testing and will be available in the marketplace within a few hours. Matthijs Hoekstra provided a list of all Dutch applications, so the app will list all 144 apps and their 72 publishers. Please note that this is version 1.0 and an improved version 1.1 has already been submitted. This will fix list tombstoning and contains some minor improvements. Direct link The feedback I received on this concept has been very positive and some people suggested some other countries could also benefit from an app like this. It would be great to provide an app to other countries. If you would like to help to get an app in your country out, please get in touch with me. Basically all i need is a list of AppIds which your local Microsoft representative might be able to provide.
It has been half a year since the first Windows Phone 7 devices went on sale in the Netherlands. While we are still awaiting the launch of our localized marketplace the group of early adaptors is growing. With over 450 registered developers and over 120 published apps there is a decent community supporting WP7. Unfortunately all Dutch users are forced to choose one of the foreign marketplaces to be able to download applications. This has one big disadvantage, Dutch apps never get the attention they deserve. What we need is our own spot within the international marketplaces and that is exactly what the “WP7NL Apps” application is going to provide.
It’s a problem encountered by every (WP7) app developer: users leaving reviews and there’s just no way to contact them. How often did you want to clarify features misunderstood by a user? Or just want to let the user know you appreciate the input and will consider their feedback for a future update? A while ago Silverlight MVP and PicturesLab developer Rene Schulte shared his manual way of contacting reviewers through Zune social on his blog. Although this works in only 50% of the cases it is the best method I am currently aware off. Therefore I decided to integrate messaging users with the existing WP7 Review Reader I built a while ago. This provides developers with an easy way of contacting their customers. Here’s how to use it:
It’s been about 2 weeks since the first Windows Phone 7 devices became available and the Windows Phone 7 Applications Marketplace officially launched. This means consumers now have access to all the applications and for us developers this means our products (apps) can actually be sold. Unfortunately Microsoft does not provide easy access to reviews on the marketplaces just yet, all you can do is fire up the Zune software and check out the ratings in your local marketplace. I discussed this issue with Matthijs Hoekstra and have been trying to find a solution during the last few days.Fortunately i found one: