Developers

Windows Phone Geek, the developer focused community website, has released a Windows Phone developer magazine. Issue #1 has been made available on its website, which covers a number of topics including the Windows Phone 8 SDK. The website has previously launched a developer marketplace that enables folk to purchase as well as sell components and the like for other developers to make use of.

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Last year we reported on Microsoft’s Canadian initiative to spur on developers to create some great apps and in the process pick up some awesome stuff.

The system is based on points and from simply registering to publishing your app, you’ll be rewarded with some credits towards a long list of prizes. Read on past the break to see what you can get.

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RIP Parcel Tracker: 2010-2012

We have to paint yet another bleak picture for one of our favorite apps on Windows Phone: Parcel Tracker. The package tracker app was featured numerous times on this site and we always gave it a thumbs up, but evidently that wasn’t enough as the app has been removed from the Store.

The developers have evidently sent a news-update thru the app to current customers letting them know that development has stopped and the app has been withdrawn. While current users can still use the app when it comes to Windows Phone 8, you’ll be out of luck.

The developers cite that most users never bought the app and therefore it wasn’t financially lucrative enough to support it anymore. As we’ve heard from some devs before you have to be in Windows Phone dev as a hobby right now.

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XNA is dead. Long live XNA!

So, as many of you have heard, Microsoft has killed off XNA and every game written in the framework is doomed.

Except that isn’t the whole story.

If you don’t know, XNA is a game development framework made by Microsoft to aid developers in rapidly creating cross platform games. The name stands for: XNA's Not Acronymed. Writing a game in XNA enables it to run on Windows, XBOX, Windows Phone, and the [now dead] Zune HD. The only real changes that need to be made are the controls and UI (different screen sizes). Even if you’ve never heard of XNA, chances are that you’ve played a game made in it if you’ve ever used a Windows Phone. One such game is ARMED! - which now has a Windows 8 version made in MonoGame.  XNA was loved by a lot of people, and gained popularity because it was an easy entry point into 2D and 3D game development, and it was a good way to reuse code across platforms.

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New look and new options

For those of you who are looking to promote your Windows Phone app on the web, you’ll want to go grab these new virtual badges from Microsoft.

The new design comes in 3 resolutions (125 x 40; 208 x 67; and 376 x 120), two colors (blue and black) and reflect the more Modern UI look that we’re accustomed to with Windows Phone including the new Store logo. In addition, Microsoft explains how to do the all important region-neutral deep link for the Store for your app. That’s the method we use here at Windows Phone Central so that the link will redirect you to your localized market.

More information can be found on the Windows Phone Developer blog.

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The Windows Phone User Group is back, and in full force it seems. To be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, WPUG will once again be catering for developers to network, show off Windows Phone projects and to discuss aspects of the platform. 

The WPGeek Developer Marketplace will be covered next Wednesday, as well as the possibility of some Windows Phone 8 hardware being present. We've previously been to WPUG meet-ups where Nokia has not only shown a friendly face, but has also sponsored the event itself, so there's certainly a chance of a device or two being present.

Our Rob Brand, Jay Bennett and myself will be heading along, so be sure to sign up for next week's event if you believe you'll be able to attend and we'll see you there.

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As Bruce Forsyth would say - higher or lower?

Bernardo Zamora has published an insightful blog post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, which goes into detail on how developers should configure individual market pricing - if at all. It's an interesting part of marketing one's work. Building and submitting the app is one thing. Effectively pricing your app(s) is another.

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We're only a month away from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 being released, but is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot? Windows Phone Central has had access to the Windows Phone SDK for a few days now, but what about every established developer on the platform? Unfortunately this doesn't appear to be the case - as our Jay Bennet knows too well.

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The big news for developers with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is of course the coming together of the two platforms under the same core. While it is far from being a 1:1 overlap in terms of coding, it is clear that developing on one platform will naturally lend itself to developing on the other, often with devs being able to recycle much of their code and design.

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We managed to finally get our hands on the finalized (or very near finalized) software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 8--the one where only select developers were given access too. The SDK had surfaced on the internet a few days ago via WinUnleaked and has been floating around ever since.

After spending a few hours configuring our PC for the SDK (you need Windows 8 Pro RTM 64-bit, seriously), we fired up Windows Phone 8 OS...

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Carbon, has left the building...

Say what you will about Twitter clients, but the developers behind them can be a finicky bunch from our experience. That notion is being reinforced again today with the announcement that Carbon has been pulled from the Windows Phone Store for good.

The man behind Carbon, M.Saleh Esmaeili, took to his Google+ page to discuss what had happened after his interview on our podcast, Iterate. In short, Carbon was never meant to be multi-platform.

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Left: the old Store search; Right, new Store search with developer lookup

Microsoft has been hard at work “doing things” to the Windows Phone store, which in theory will improve things (so far, all we’ve heard are developer complaints about delayed app publishing).

One of those areas is now coming forward although we have yet been able to verify in the US. WPArea.de has noticed that you can now search by the developer’s name in addition to their app. In a side by side with an HTC Mozart and a Lumia 800, they found the Mozart was able to get different search results when “Kik” was entered.

On the Mozart, Kik returned the developer house first, followed by the app whereas the Lumia 800 showed the more traditional KiK Messenger as the first.

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