Developers

Canada based Health Pack Games, the team behind titles such as Chicken Story 2 and Monster Stack 2, has been interviewed by Nokia about the company's switch to the Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX) programme. Nokia launched the developer programme late last year, which enables developers to monetise apps and games using Nokia's partnership with inneractive.

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Recently we took a look at Nokia’s coverage of some developer events in Barcelona and now we have a one on one video with Rudy Huyn, one of the most popular devs on our platform. Rudy won a Windows Phone Geek Lumia Challenge award recently for his popular app TVShow and Nokia was on hand to showcase his talents in this two minute video.

In the video, we catch a glimpse of Rudy working on his apps, learn why he loves Windows Phone (and Nokia support) and how he helps the developers in France through his meet-up group. We even see his famous Bi(n)g Maps (errr, HERE Maps)  which involved linking 28 Windows Phones together for one big map. He’s quite the impressive guy and luckily Jay Bennett and I were able to finally meet him in person during Mobile World Congress.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Huyn’s work, you’re encouraged to try out his various apps including TVShow (keeps track of what you’re watching), Wikipedia (the de-facto Wiki app for Windows Phone), GContacts (Gmail contact syncing), Fuse (RSS news reader) and more.  

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The Unity team (behind the Unity video game engine that powers a number of popular titles) has announced on the official blog that the Windows Store apps early access programme is kicking off. With Unity 4.2, developers will be able to create games for computers and tablets running Windows 8 and RT, publishing them on the Windows Store.

This opens up the floodgates for both developers and consumers to connect with Unity-powered content, but what about Windows Phone?

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Windows Phone Central's app support inbox has been flooded recently, by users complaining that news does not load correctly in the app. We've been kind of stumped on this one frankly because it's only been affecting certain users, so we've been digging.

It turns out that other apps were also running into problems (WeatherFlow is one example), and as we dug further we identified that most of the affected users were Italian, and that the issue had started on March 1st. Now, thanks to twitter user @SergioPedri and others in our forums, we've finally been able to replicate the problem. The good news is there's a workaround.

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If you were following along with our coverage of MWC last week, you'll know that for Windows Phone it was pretty much the Nokia show. That's not to say that other manufacturers weren't present, simply that Nokia were without a doubt the most proactive in getting the most out of the annual mobile conference.

Now Nokia Developer have posted a very well produced video over on YouTube which gives you a great chance to see everything that Nokia were doing last week (primarily on the Monday). That includes the Nokia Apps Developer Conference (ADC) which we sorely wanted to cover, but were kept somewhat busy with everything else Nokia had to show.

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This morning we reported that NotifyMe! was in the works as an independent notification system for Windows Phone 8 and how this will be competing with Liquid Daffodil’s proposed Unification system, which is already in early beta testing.

We now have more info including some new screenshots of what that Unification system will look like, including some features that users can expect when it is finally released. What makes this interesting of course is this is not just conceptual but already being done by Liquid Daffodil, moving beyond the numerous proposed models we’ve seen in the past from the Windows Phone community.

This is real, this is happening, folks.

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We broke the news last week that Liquid Daffodil will be releasing a notification center system called Unification for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 sometime in the near future (it's officially in Beta testing as we speak).. The system is opt-in meaning devs can just add a line of code to their app to hook into it. Now it looks like a competing system is starting to take form from Alex White, called NotifyMe!

The app is still vaporware at this time and like LD’s, it uses an opt-in system for developers to use the notification system. The concept is interesting as it evidently uses the dynamic Lock Screen ability in Windows Phone 8 to generate new wallpaper (we’re assuming) when there’s a new notification.

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One of the neat features we like with Local Scout, the Bing service that shows you things to do around your location, is the tie in with apps. For instance, when you go under eat + drink and pull up a restaurant you can scroll over to Apps to open up the listing in a third party app like Foodspotting.

The ability to do that is quite useful as it saves you time in having to go to your favorite app and look up the same information. One change that came with Windows Phone 8 though has us scratching our head, and it’s affecting third party apps, including Liquid Daffodil’s popular Add to Contacts app.

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Whilst at MWC, Windows Phone Central had the chance to sit down with Marco Argenti, Senior Vice President of the Developer and Marketplace division at Nokia. We had just been checking out the new partner apps being shown off in Nokia’s sizeable booth and were keen to hear more about the relationships Nokia are continuing to build with developers both commercial and indie, especially following the news of Nokia’s new imaging and HERE API features.

You can find the full write up of that discussion after the break.

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Dev Center is a Windows Phone app from Microsoft designed to give Windows Phone developers a better handle on their app's performances.

While all the performance data is available through Microsoft's Windows Phone Dev Center website, Dev Center app puts all that information on your Windows Phone, allowing developers to track the real world performance of their apps while on the go.

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Liquid Daffodil has unveiled to Windows Phone Central a new notification system that will provide developers on all Microsoft platforms the ability to tap into services offered by the team. What we're looking at here is an encrypted, cross-platform notification service for Windows and Windows Phone, hosted on the Azure cloud. So what could this mean for consumers should developers hop on and implement the system into apps?

Think unified Notification Center and you've got the idea.

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The Microsoft Media Platform team has released version 1.1 of the Player Framework for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The release includes a number of improvements, and is targeting developers who are building media apps (much like the Vimeo app - pictured above). The framework supports Silverlight, HTML5, Xbox, as well as Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps.

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There are numerous resources available for Windows Phone developers to read through and engage with for tips and helpful tutorials on functionality for the platform. Creating the perfect app is a must for anyone looking to create content for a mobile platform, especially Windows Phone where consumers also critically review the overall presentation of content.

Daniel Vaughan, Microsoft MVP for Client Application Development has crafted a book in the depths of code and lookups, which is currently available for pre-order and will be released this coming May. Titled Windows Phone 8 Unleashed, it's resource for developers to better make use of functionality in Windows Phone 8.

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Seeing as how we don’t have a new Xbox Windows Phone release to talk about this week, it’s a perfect time for some Xbox 360 discussion. Zombie Driver HD - one of my personal favorite XBLA games of 2012 is on sale to Xbox Live Gold members for only 400 MS Points/$5 this week. It regularly sells for 800 Points, which is already a fair deal given the trend towards pricing XBLA titles at 1200.

To celebrate the sale, we’ve got Zombie Driver HD gameplay impressions and an interview with the game’s developer. Oh, and did I mention we’re giving away Zombie Driver avatar clothing and props as well? Find out how to win one after the break!

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So you're thinking about developing an app for Windows Phone, but how does one create an awesome app for consumers to download and enjoy? Much like our own Windows Phone app - which is highly rated by our readers - there are a number of apps available on the store that are effectively designed for the platform. Microsoft has detailed some pointers on how to make a quality app.

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According to Business Insider, Microsoft is interested in buying Appcelerator (www.appcelerator.com). Appcelerator is a mobile app cloud company that powers some 50,208 applications installed on over 111 million devices, which is roughly 10 percent of the world’s smartphone apps.

Appcelerator’s development product, Titanium, provides an impressive amount of tools for developers to create and manage mobile apps operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and HTML5. Compaies like eBay, PayPal and Wall Street Journal are just a few examples of who’s already on board with the program.

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On Sunday we anticipated that Microsoft would start talking more about Windows Phone 7.8 as all signs point to January 31st as the beginning of a global rollout for current Windows Phone users.

Today, Microsoft has announced the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK update, which will allow developers to better target the 7.8 changes—specifically new Tile options—and to make sure that the apps behave as intended.

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When Windows Phone 7 rolled out in 2010, it had one feature that was met with some mixed feelings: over-the-air download limits for apps and games tied to your cellular connection. In short, Microsoft imposed a 20MB cap when you were on cellular to help limit data usage for people on the go.

What some don’t realize is this limit was lifted recently by Microsoft (we don’t have an exact date). Now users of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 can download files up to 50MB, matching the iPhone.

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The Windows Phone team have published some helpful tips and pointers for developers who are thinking of submitting apps to the Windows Phone Store. They go into some detail, covering the multiple XAPs per GUID, as well as deciding on how to approach the submission. Walkthroughs for three scenarios have been provided for the benefit of those who may find themselves needing a quick helping hand.

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