developers

Microsoft has just announced a new developer contest that should make things very interesting both for developers and regular consumers who use their apps every day. The contest, entitled “Windows Phone Next App Star Competition”, will offer up over $1M in prizes to 64 winners but it’s the top spot that should gain the most attention. 

Should you win the #1 app, Microsoft will feature your creation on a TV commercial featured in primetime.

The way the contest is structured is very simple. Developers just need to have their apps published by March 5th and users will merely vote for their favorite app based on the ratings (“stars”) they give it in the Store. That means apps with 4 or 5 star ratings starting on March 5th will get ranked higher than ones with 2 or 3 stars...

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Microsoft and Nokia are currently holding developer events alongside the Windows Phone User Group at Modern Jago in East London. Microsoft has rented it out to provide a central location for all platform exhibitions and events to take place - it's a superb building.

Back in December, at a recent WPUG meetup and AlphaLabs event, those who attended witnessed a row of white Lumia 920 Windows Phones on one side of the main conference hall. These handsets were each running an interesting app, more on this in a minute. Modern Jago has become the place-to-go for developers and designers to collaborate and share ideas.

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Todd Brix has published a new entry on the Windows Phone Developer Blog detailing highlights of 2012 for Windows Phone. The goal for the team was to establish a new, scalable platform on the mobile phone as well as the cloud. Providing a unique experience for consumers to enjoy when downloading and using apps from a catalogue of apps.

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Fire up Photoshop or Illustrator because design magazine Core77 is running another design competition for Windows Phone. The contest is similar to one a year ago that Core77 did in partnership with the Windows Phone Team, this one is also a joint effort. Back then the contest was called "Fast Track to the Mobile App" and this year is going under the name "App to the Future". Winning submissions will have some nice prizes to look forward too! What's also unique about this contest is that it isn't restricted to North American residents, it's open to every abled designer on the planet.

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Yesterday’s delisting of Turn N Run – literally the night before our review went live, and only six days after the game’s release – highlights a large and ongoing problem in the world of Xbox Windows Phone games. Since the debut of Windows Phone 8, incompatibility with the new OS has been discovered among a number of Xbox WP7 titles. Each of these games has been completely delisted from the web version of the Windows Phone Store, and either partially or fully removed from Store searches on actual Windows Phones.

Read on to learn what games have been affected so far, and how Microsoft may be mishandling the Windows Phone 8 incompatibility issues in more ways than one.

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The Windows Phone Store (previously the Windows Phone Marketplace) has been growing at a fairly steady rate since the platform launched back in 2010. The number of apps and games available to consumers to download (both free and paid) is still increasing, and the platform has passed the 100,000 app milestone.

Since Windows Phone is a smaller ecosystem than both iOS and Android, is it worth investing in app and game development? According to data from EEDAR's 2012 Mobile Syndicated Reports, Windows Phone is actually a valid option for developers when it comes to monetisation. According to the reports, Windows Phone users spend more funds in the Store than users on competing platforms.

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If there is one thing we can say about Windows Phone 8 is that it is reportedly very secure, specifically  during the boot process. But that doesn't mean that the OS cannot be "dumped" and looked at for exploits or--the holy grail--to be back ported to older Windows Phone 7.x handsets.

That process has now officially begun over at XDA Forums where a user named 'neilgoco' has managed to get his hands on an HTC 8X engineering device. That means it is more 'open" and has access to developer tools not found on the commercial release.

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With BUILD 2012 now behind us, we can talk a little about those Lumia 920’s that were handed out en masse to all the developers in attendance (media did not get them nor the Surface).

Seeing as BUILD attracts developers from all over the world, it would be a bit inconsiderate to give out a phone with limited 3G/4G capabilities as some would get the full package, while others would be restricted to their network. The problem is multi-dimensional as 3G GSM and 4G LTE networks vary quite widely, not to mention the combination of the two often required for great performance.

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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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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer eyes up a developer in the audience

Windows Phone developer registration has opened up in 13 new markets, according to a blog post published on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Small improvements and enhancements are being periodically applied to the Dev Center, which today includes further market adoption bundled with over 100 fixes and changes. 

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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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