Developers

Starting later today, anyone can update their phone to Windows Phone 8 Update 3, as Microsoft announces new Preview Program

This morning, in addition to announcing Windows Phone 8 GDR3 (or just 'Update 3' as it is now being called), Microsoft has finally detailed their enthusiast update program so that owners of Windows Phone 8 devices can get the latest version of the OS without having to wait for OEMs or carriers. While technically designated for “developers”, anyone with a Windows Phone 8 device and a few minutes of their time can participate.

The program, detailed on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, will allow those who meet Microsoft’s loose standards to update to GDR3 starting later today. You read that right. The point of the program is to allow developers to try out their apps and optimize their code before the new OS goes live to millions of Windows Phone users, in addition to giving feedback to Microsoft.

Unofficially, it is meant to allow anyone to update their phones over-the-air to the latest version of Windows Phone 8, without carrier interference. 

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Microsoft UK's TechDays Online are running from Wednesday November 6 until Friday November 8th. There are numerous sessions lined up with daily prize draws and competitions for attendees to enter. There will also be Xbox One bundle packages on offer, so if you're wanting to learn something as well as potentially grabbing an Xbox One package, you'll definitely want to check these sessions out.

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We were at a local Nokia developer event in London last night. The Developer Experience team decided to hold an informal session at the company's Paddington offices, inviting both bloggers and developers to mingle and show off some cool Windows Phone apps. There was more demand than spaces available, but fear not if you were unable to attend as Nokia plans to kick off similar events in the future.

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The DVLUP (www.dvlup.com) team have announced two changes that are occurring at the Nokia rewards program for Windows Phone developers. If you’ve never heard of DVLUP, the program (launched back in 2012 in the US and Canada) enables those who publish content to the stores to take full advantage of some unique challenges that lead to exciting opportunities and rewards being earned.

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Nearly a year ago, at Microsoft’s 2012 Build conference Nokia had their own little announcement for developers. It was there that Nokia announced their Premium Developer Program and the Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX). Today, one of those is still around, while the other has faded into history. Nokia has transitioned from directly managing NAX and developers will now work directly with Inneractive to monetize their games and apps. Details below.

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Google has announced on its advertising developer blog that a beta version of its AdMob SDK for Windows Phone 8 is now available. This addition of AdMob to the array of services already available provides developers — building content for Microsoft's mobile platform — with more choice when it comes to looking at ways to monetise their apps.

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In an interesting twist to the Nokia Create program for developers, the company is tasking Windows Phone developers with a mission dedicated to the idea of "Doing Good." Partnering with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Nokia is calling for developers to create new apps that will help make the lives of those with low vision easier; or update their existing content to make it more accessible.

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We love to support the Windows Phone development community whenever we can here. It’s what will help propel Windows Phone forward when devices like the Lumia 520 bring millions of new users to the platform. But what can we do to help future Windows Phone developers? Promoting cool deals and incentives to bring newbies to the Windows Phone Store. Here’s a great one for any potential European and United States developers.

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Back in early August, Microsoft announced a new program aimed at empowering you to create your own apps. Windows Phone App Studio may not be for guys who know their way around Visual Studio, but it’s a great way for people to create niche apps that only they will use. That program is still in beta, but has continually received new updates. The latest came out today. So let’s check out what’s new.

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Developers, looking for a way to spruce up your app? Need advice on your creation’s UI? Then you may want to take a look at Toledo Designs who just partnered up with Nokia through their popular DVLUP program.

Why go with Toledo? It’s simple. One of the founders of the company is Arturo Toledo, a former Senior User Experience Designer for Microsoft's Windows Phone Design Studio. The man certainly knows his design theory as he wrote a whole guide on UI design for Windows Phone in a series which we covered back in 2011-2012. He recently wrote an interesting piece on the new look for the Facebook app in response to those who said it wasn't Modern.

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It's times like these I wish I knew how to create apps. Unfortunately, I couldn’t code my way out of an Altair 8800 if my life depended on it. But if you find yourself being savvy with Visual Studio, C# and the rest of the development skillset needed to create winning Windows Phone apps you might be interested in this contest.

Nokia Create is a just launched contest to develop for Windows Phone. There are various prizes throughout, but you’re going to want to read on for the details for the grand prize winner. Nokia will make you very happy.

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Developers have been complaining about issues with the Windows Phone Developer Center where download reporting has ceased to function normally. The problem being that download data simply isn't displayed with a "zero" in its place, offering no value to developers who may wish to monitor how their work is performing on the store front.

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If we we’re clinical psychologists (we’re not) we might suggest that Microsoft is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, something also known as multiple personality disorder. The company has been doing 180s on products and announcements more frequently than anyone one company should. Take for example some of the backtracking Microsoft did with the Xbox One and features announced back in May at the unveiling compared to what will now be available on launch on November 22nd

And today, the most recent example – developers can now download Windows 8.1 RTM via TechNet or MSDN.

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Earlier this year, we brought news of a mobile payment system called Fortumo extending its support to Windows Phone and Windows 8. Fortumo allows developers to add mobile carrier billing to their games and apps, even on platforms that don’t normally support In-App Purchases  like Windows Phone 7. Fortumo’s carrier billing can allow users living in countries where credit cards are uncommon to make online purchases that they would otherwise miss out on.

Fortumo support on mobile Windows Phone platforms is still fairly new, but one popular game has already integrated it: Ragdoll Run from Swedish developer Dawnbreak Studios. Ragdoll Run is a free to play game that also happens to be exclusive to Windows Phone 7, 8, and Windows 8. Just how well do the game’s the Fortumo payments work, and what made Dawnbreak decide on Fortumo integration? Head past the break for the full story.

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Kinvey (www.kinvey.com) is a cloud development platform that enables developers and enterprise to host and operate backend systems, without having to manage or scale physical hardware. Support for Windows Phone 8 has been absent until now, thanks to software development firm Penrillian. The company has developed a Windows Phone 8 DLL for Kinvey.

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This is just a late (yeah, we know it's short notice) reminder that the Windows Phone Dev Day in Bournemouth is occurring tomorrow (August 31st). The event will be held at Redweb with numerous souls preparing to give talks and mingle with attendees. The event was held at the same location last year, where we also gave a quick speech on Windows Phone Central. The day turned out to be a great opportunity for networking.

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Liquid Daffodil is quite the name within the Windows Phone community. We've covered the developer numerous times here with multiple apps, services and incredible deals and offers for both consumers and developers to get involved. Through receiving a number of requests from developers, today we'll be looking at App to App protocols and how simple it is to connect to Liquid Daffodil apps.

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Autodesk creates a wide range of products, from consumer-oriented Windows 8 apps like Sketchbook Express all the way to enterprise-level programs such as Maya 3D. The latter is used by movie makers, advertisers, and even gaming professionals to create 3D art and animations. But as mobile and indie game development has been on the rise, Maya 3D has sometimes proven too costly for smaller developers to use.

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Back when Windows Phone launched, developers had to fork over $99 a year for access to the Dev Center (then it was called App Hub).  However, at the beginning of this summer, Microsoft slashed the price to just $19, or as they aptly put it “the cost of a pizza”. That special offer was to expire yesterday, but Microsoft’s Todd Brix has taken to Twitter to announce that the price is staying for the near future (he actually announced it yesterday, but we missed it).

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Microsoft has unveiled its digital self-publishing indie developer program for the Xbox One, essentially enabling developers to self-publish their work for consumers to enjoy on their consoles. The program is titled Independent Developers @ Xbox (ID@Xbox - www.xbox.com/id) and the company promises a smooth experience regarding actual development, distribution and discovery of titles on the Xbox One digital store. Registration has opened today.

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