Developers

Are you a Windows Phone Developer looking to win a Nokia Lumia 1020? Nokia is sponsoring the August Developer Registration Drive where established developers can have a shot at a new Lumia 1020.

To qualify for the contest you must live in the U.S. or Canada, you must be an existing Windows Phone developer with at least one published app currently in the Windows Phone Store, and you must be an active Windows Phone developer as of August 31, 2013. This means you must have either published a new Windows Phone application or have published an update to an existing Windows Phone application within a 180 day period (from August 31st that would be March 5th).

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Today, Microsoft is making another effort to woo developers to Windows Phone, especially for those who are novices or who are located in emerging markets.

The latest change is two-fold and involves new online software for developers and a more lenient unlocking policy to sideload apps.The effort is to make it easier for developers to jump on board Windows Phone by lowering the cost and barrier to entry.

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Popular Windows Phone developer Liquid Daffodil has revealed a sweet deal for those who are looking at getting involved with platform development. Partnering with Wintellect (www.wintellect.com), who specialise in technology training and consultation for companies, limited-time promotional access to online training is now available to developers for free with a 14 day promotion.

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If you have a Nokia Lumia 520 (on AT&T), 925 or 1020 you already have the GDR2 update for Windows Phone 8. Otherwise the update is slowly rolling out, devices like the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S have been seeing it show up for their devices. GDR2 (aka OS build 10327) brings some new features and fixes to Windows Phone for consumers as documented here by Microsoft, in addition to the Other storage fix and new hardware support.

But what about developers? Evidence for an update to the Windows Phone SDK recently appeared and disappeared last night.

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Nokia's busy giving away Windows Phones. Actually, scrap that - when isn't good guy Nokia giving hardware to partners and developers? This is just a friendly reminder that the Nokia Future Capture submission process ends tomorrow. You've got to get your app ideas over to the OEM before the time is up to be in with a chance of winning your own Lumia 1020.

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Published an app on the Windows Phone Store? Wish there was some way to get noticed or perhaps tackle competition on the store? Developers who are attempting to break into the market may find it difficult to accumulate downloads and get their name out there, so how do you get apps and games noticed?

There are numerous ways (including Windows Phone Central - *hint*), but one that we'll highlight today is an example of a service that should be avoided (and reported where applicable) - fake reviews.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company's cloud services, has added SDK support for Microsoft's Windows Phone and Windows platforms. In a blog post on the official AWS blog, a developer preview of the next version of the SDK for .NET introduces support for apps on both platforms. Developers can connect to Windows and Windows Phone apps to AWS services and develop an app that's backed by the cloud platform.

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Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview introduced their latest version of the Trident based web browser, Internet Explorer 11. Today the company has released the developer preview of IE11 for those still on Windows 7.

Internet Explorer 11 promises to bring improved performance, faster page load times, new standards support for next generation sites, and a completely redesigned “F12” developer toolkit.

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The popular DI.FM client for Windows Phone, Beem has been made open source. The client essentially allows users to connect to DI.FM servers and stream EDM (electronic dance music). Supporting both standard and premium streams, the developer has released the source code on GitHub with documentation for others to get involved and work some magic. It's all released under the Microsoft Public License (MS-PL).

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This is a great week for Windows 8 game development. First the full version of Unity 4.2 arrived with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 support. Now Autodesk, makers of Autodesk Scaleform and many more middleware solutions, has just released their latest development tool: Autodesk FBX Review.  The application will allow developers to view 3D characters and animations from a variety of devices, including Windows 8. Not only is FBX Review built specifically for Windows 8, but it’s free!

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Unity Technologies have announced on their official blog that version 4.2 of the popular game engine is now available. Three new platforms are officially supported with this version, including Windows Phone 8 and Windows. We've previously looked at the beta program opening up to Microsoft's new platforms, but this marks as a huge step in the right direction for developers to create more advanced content for consumers.

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Results of the largest mobile developer study, spanning 115 countries and 6,000 participating developers has shown that more developers plan to start developing apps and games for Windows Phone than any competing platform. That may sound like something to celebrate, but we have to remember that 71 percent of developers who took part in the study already have work published for Android and 56 percent on iOS. That said, it's positive they're showing interest in Microsoft's mobile OS.

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If you're sitting around waiting for an update to Kik Messenger for Windows Phone, it may be some time before you see an update notification for the popular IM app. That's the bad news.

Why? According to Kik Messenger CEO Ted Livingston the app hasn't been updated to Windows Phone 8 due to Microsoft not supporting Webkit standard in Windows Phone 8. Webkit is an open source HTML 5 standard that is supported by iOS and Android. Without support for Webkit, it becomes more difficult and challenging for Kik to update to a Windows Phone 8 version.

But all is not lost....

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Nokia has only just announced the Lumia 1020 Windows Phone, as well as new imaging API for developers to take advantage of to create unique and feature rich experiences. If you're a resident developer and would like to get your hardcoding hands on the new flagship smartphone, this article is for you. Nokia is going to be handing out prizes, including the Lumia 1020, to developers who get creative with the camera.

With the latest in mobile photography, the company really is pushing the boundaries and wants software to follow suit.

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At the Nokia Zoom Re-Invented event, there was mention that Nokia was going to make their imaging SDK available to third party developers to use in their Windows Phone 8 apps. Additionally, Nokia has a Map and Music Explorer API available for developers to tap into as well.

To give developers and consumers a feel for things, Nokia has made available five example applications that demonstrate the Map API, Music API, and several imaging SDKs.  The Music and Map apps have been out for some time now but the imaging apps are relatively new.

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Stephen Elop put out the word to developers that Nokia is looking for their help to push innovations in imaging technology. To aid them in this venture, Nokia will be releasing the developers SDK, which promises to offer "deep access" to the settings on the Lumia 1020.

Some big names have already signed on to use the new developers tools for official apps. Look for new releases from CNN, Vyclone, Yelp, Flipboard, Foursquare and Path.

Stay tuned for more details from the floor.

You can also grab the SDK right here

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Microsoft has announced this week that it will be removing Windows Phone apps that the company deems to have critical vulnerabilities. Microsoft notes in a TechNet blog post that developers will be provided 180 days to patch the issues in their app or their work will be pulled from the store, preventing consumers from accessing the app from their smartphones or via the web.

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The Telerik team, the brains behind the popular developer tools for Windows Phone and other platforms, has announced push notification support for Windows Phone. Every feature supported by the Windows Phone OS is now implemented in Everlive, enabling developers to take full advantage of the functionality in Microsoft's mobile platform, while being able to fully support iOS and Android.

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You can never have too many hobbies. You also shouldn’t be living life not accomplishing goals you’ve set for yourself in concrete or passing. Learning how to develop is rewarding in and of itself. But once you learn how to develop there isn’t much standing between you and apps you want to use that don’t exist yet. Odds are you’re reading this on a Windows Phone device, so why not combine all these little things and learn how to develop apps for Windows Phone 8? You can with this new beginners series on Channel 9.

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Windows Phone 8’s multiplatform game engine support has improved steadily since the mobile OS’s launch at the end of 2012. Developers have access to several middleware options: Unity, Havok, Marmalade, and Autodesk Scaleform, all in various degrees of commercial readiness. And now Havok has taken their support a step further with the release of Project Anarchy.

Project Anarchy is a complete end-to-end mobile 3D game production engine. It packs four of Havok’s core software releases into one powerful suite – basically everything you’d need to create a 3D mobile game. Games created with Project Anarchy can then be deployed to multiple platforms with a minimum of effort – including Windows 8. Full Windows Phone 8 support is scheduled for release later in the year, but developers can contact Havok now to request beta access.

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