marketplace

Bazaar is a Windows Phone alternative marketplace designed to provide both users and developers a means to share and install homebrew apps easily to your unlocked Windows Phone. Bazaar hosts and shares only free homebrew apps and is similar to the Deepshining Marketplace we mentioned some time ago.

While Bazaar has been available from the PC, it's now available through the Bazaar Windows Phone app. It functions just like your Windows Phone Marketplace app but delivers homebrew apps to your phone instead.

Bazaar supports a wide range of unlocked Windows Phones. Developer unlocked devices can browse apps from the Bazaar app but must install them via the Bazaar for PC application. Fully unlocked devices can browse, share, manage, and install apps directly from the Bazaar app.

If you're into homebrewing on your Windows Phone and are looking for an alternative marketplace, Bazaar might be worth looking into. You can find all the details and download both the Bazaar app and Bazaar PC application here at Bazaar's website.

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Looks like the Windows Phone Marketplace is still working its way around the globe.

Over the next few days Microsoft will be expanding the reach of the Windows Phone Marketplace to thirteen more countries. They include; Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela. The Marketplace storefronts won't open with each country overnight, but over the next few days things should be coming online with these thirteen new markets.

These thirteen new Marketplace storefronts join the launches earlier this year in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines and China. All totaled, this will bring the total number of Windows Phone Marketplace storefronts to fifty-four world wide. And Microsoft isn't stopping there. Look for Windows Phone Marketplace storefronts in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand and Vietnam in the near future.

Oh, speaking of China, in less than three months Microsoft has added 20,000 apps and 15,000 registered developers to the new China Marketplace. If you're curious as to what's being offered in China, here's the link to the China Marketplace.

Microsoft's Marketplace expansion in such a short time, involving some challenging markets is impressive.  It's nice to see the global growth the Windows Phone Marketplace is experiencing.

source: windowsteamblog

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Microsoft has announced the opening of AppHub submissions to the 23 new countries added to the pool of support. Developers in these countries (and beyond) will be able to submit their work to the localised Marketplaces, which will open up to consumers in the near future.

To recap on the newly added countries: Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam. The total number of supported markets is now at a respectable 63.

A quick reminder to developers - it's now reportedly taking more than 7 days to approve Marketplace submissions. Something to consider when keeping to announced release dates.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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The Windows Phone team is set to enable AppHub access for developers to 23 more countries, which were announced late last month by Joe Belfiore, in the next two weeks. Where will we be seeing this new support? Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Todd Brix states that after this batch of countries is rolled out, the total number of supported countries will be bumped to 63 - an impressive amount of targetable markets for platform developers. Do note, however, that there may be some issues with some of the newly added markets, as Brix explains (and Carbon found out):

"Keep in mind that some new markets— Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE—are subject to additional certification requirements due to local laws or norms. Check Section 3.10 of our content policy for more details."

As a final note, it's warned that app submissions are taking up to seven days to certify due to volumes, and this delay may well increase. Something for developers to be aware of when submitting apps with a published date in mind.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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Microsoft is sending out email notices to current and former Windows Mobile 6.x users to prepare them for the upcoming shutdown of the 6.x Marketplace.  As of May 9, browsing, purchasing and downloading functionality will be discontinued.  While currently installed apps and games will continue to function, users are warned to check for updates sooner, rather than later, as they will no longer be provided for the soon-to-be legacy software.

It's the end of an era and an opportune time to upgrade.  There is a wide range of Windows Phone devices out there at every price range (unless you're on Verizon or Sprint).  However, with Apollo due out later in the year, does it make sense to cut off Windows Mobile users and inspire them to upgrade, only to prompt buyer's remorse when Windows Phone 8 hits?  Could this timing signify the arrival of Apollo, or at least offer hope that WP7 can be upgraded to WP8?

Source: Microsoft

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Developed by dotcmpt over at XDA, the Deepshining Marketplace was an extension of the Deepshining custom ROMs for older HTC devices like the HD7. The Marketplace took advantage of the ability to install XAP files over Internet Explore, a trick developed by the Dark Forces Team. By hosting Homebrew XAP files on his own server, dotcompt was able to deliver XAP files via his Marketplace to folks using his custom ROMs.

Now he's released the XAP for his custom, homebrew Marketplace for others to use. This means of course that you could install it on any dev unlocked phone--but be warned, installing XAPs over IE won't work making this little more than a browsing tool (with some swanky wallpapers and site links). Having said that, others who have custom ROMs by other chefs could now install this thereby taking advantage of dotcompt's nice work.

In that sense, this news is clearly for the niche user out there but it's still a great move in the right direction. The DS Marketplace is smooth and elegantly made so it deserves a little more attention from those with custom ROMs out there.

Dotcompt also released a power tool call DS Supertool that gives quick links to certain settings and even a speed dialer. That will work on any dev-unlocked phone and is worth checking out if you like new homebrew apps to play with.

Find DS Marketplace here at XDA and DS Super tool here in these threads for more info. For another take on the Hombrew Marketplace scene, take a look at our Bazaar coverage.

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Joe Belfiore has just announced via the Windows Phone Developer Blog that the Windows Phone Marketplace is being enabled in 23 new regions. This won't be effective immediately, but in the coming months the Marketplace will be available to publishers and consumers in the following regions:

Bahrain
Bulgaria
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Estonia
Iceland
Iraq
Israel
Kazakhstan
Latvia
Lithuania
Qatar
Romania
Saudi Arabia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Thailand
Turkey
UAE
Ukraine
Venezuela
Vietnam

This is part of a bigger move by Microsoft to get Windows Phone into "high growth" markets, and is accompanied by the official announcement of the low-cost Nokia Lumia 610 device.

He also goes on to say how much this actually effects publishers:

In terms of actual potential app customers, the addition of new price points and customers in China and the other new markets represents a near 60% increase in the total addressable market for Windows Phone. I told you it was a big step!

Next up is a new WP7 SDK update. The technical preview of the new update has gone live and will allow developers to test out their applications in the emulator which now supports a mode where the device memory is limited to just 256MB. This will allow developers to ensure that their apps work as expected on low-cost devices before publishing to these new markets. Developers can also opt-out of providing support for the new phones, but by default are automatically opted-in. Although there is automatic opt-in for this, developers will still need to update their apps to select the new markets to publish to.

The team used feedback from users who had opted-in to determine how much memory current WP7 apps were using, and if they would run with the new memory limits. Only around 5% of the current apps failed this test, and the developers have been contacted. So the good news, is that unless Microsoft has reached out to you, chances are that your app will work as-is.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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With all the litigation going on involving the smartphone industry, something good might have come from one Courtroom. The California Attorney General has struck a deal with Microsoft, Apple, Google, HP, RIM and Amazon that will have new privacy policies put in place.

In a nutshell the agreement will:

  • Require any software that uses personal information to provide a privacy policy that can be viewed in the store before any app is downloaded.
  • There will also be a requirement to provide links to the relevant documents in an obvious and consistent location.
  • Each app store will provide a simple way for users to report developers that violate the rules.
  • Each platform is committed to educating developers about their obligations to respect consumer privacy and to disclose what private information they collect, how it is used and how it is shared.

As far as enforcement is concerned, violators can be prosecuted under California's Unfair Competition and False Advertising laws. Not sure how far of a reach such enforcement will have but it's a start.

Source: California Attorney General Via: Engadget

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If you've been following the saga of Sonic's Jewels 7 (SJ7), you'll remember that the popular Sega Master System and Game Gear emulator was due for a nice sound update. That update actually did hit the Marketplace but only for a few hours before it was pulled due to a copyright claim by Sega.

Our own Rafael Rivera worked with the developer to sort through the claim, which revolved around the use of Sonic the Hedgehog and the dev was quoted as saying it will return. The condition of returning though would be to shed all of Sega's copyrights--images and names--in order for it to presumably pass the Marketplace certification. We spoke of this on the last podcast where the name "Blue Tomato" was tossed out as the new name.

Now we got word that Blue Tomato is in the certification process in the Marketplace and the developer has posted some screenshots, showing off the new artwork. The most pertinent question though many of you have is this: Will I have to re-buy the emulator? The answer appears to be "no" as this will by just another update to the existing Marketplace spot for the app. Certainly that should make some of you relieved.

Moreover, that sound update will be included as well as "better game loop" and Zip support, which should make things a lot easier for users. We'll keep you posted if/when the app passes and is re-available for download again.

Source: Facebook

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We've mentioned Bazaar before--it's the first serious attempt at a homebrew Marketplace for Windows Phone, a place where developers can centralize and easily distribute their work for end users, allowing people to keep up on updates and learn about new apps. That's important as browsing our forums, XDA or just watching our front page, while helpful, can cause you to miss things.

Previously though, Bazaar was restricted to custom ROMs as an addon app for Windows Phone. While extremely useful and impressive, this limited its influence. Today though that all changes with the release of the Bazaar Desktop client.

If you have a developer or Chevron unlocked phone, you'll definitely want this. The app is quite impressive allowing you to browse, as far as we can tell, all the homebrew apps that are out there. You have concise app descriptions including if it will work on your device (lots are restricted to Gen 1 devices, for instance) and screenshots to see what the app looks like.

Perhaps more importantly though is the ability to download and install directly to your phone, making the whole process extremely easy. The app simply piggybacks off of Zune Desktop and if you have your device paired with that app, it will "see" this one. That latter part is very useful as it even shows you already installed homebrew/sideloaded apps, making management a breeze (most of us are still limited to just 10 homebrew/sideloaded apps). 

Other worthy mentions include Featured, Browse, and Favorites making it a snap to find an app (although even we admit that the homebrew scene is a bit anemic).

Bazaar for Windows Desktop is free, well designed and just works. For that we're giving it a big recommendation and a thumbs up to the hard work of the dev team who are certainly worthy of a donation. Get more information and screenshots at their distribution page: http://118.139.161.234/bazaar/BazaarForPC.aspx

Source: Bazaar for PC; via Plaffo

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Marketplacebrowser.com closes its doors

Prior to Microsoft launching it's Marketplace web browser, most of us relied on third party websites to browse through all the Windows Phone apps. One of the first (if not the first) such site was Marketplacebrowser.com. It was a great resource and we have just learned that the site was shut down as of February 6, 2012.

Paul Willen, the sites creator, has posted a brief message on the site explaining that since Microsoft has launched their own Marketplace website, the task for Marketplacebrowser.com has been fullfilled.  All is not lost though.  Willen will now focus his efforts to a new website focused on the Windows Phone Community, WP7.nl.

We'd like to wish Paul the best in continuing his efforts to support and promote Windows Phones in the Netherlands and on the web.

Thanks, hd7guy, for the tip!

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Windows Phone App Review: Reinstaller

One thing I miss about Windows Mobile is the ability to reinstall apps from a central location. Either from ActiveSync, a backup file or the Windows Mobile Marketplace reinstalling apps after a hard reset or setting up a new phone seemed to be easier back in the day. That is until now.

Reinstaller is a new utility app for your Windows Phone that creates a list of all the apps associated with your Live account and helps you to install all or just some of them. It's not the perfect system to reinstall your apps but it's a step in the right direction.

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Every now and then we feature apps whose prices are going down for a small promotional period.  Obviously, in general people seem to like free stuff. But how much?

Well, I have an app called FFFFound in the Windows Phone Marketplace, which has been mentioned here on WPCentral a few times.  It's has quite a niche target market, and because of that doesn't have many users.  So before going into numbers, you need to realize that this is an app that not too many people actually want or need.  BUT for the few who are looking for something like this, they love it.  Because the users who have reviewed it have made it quite clear that they love the design, I wanted to get it into more hands.

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LG has been in the spotlight recently with leaks of the upcoming LG Fantasy/Miracle (passing through FCC) coming to light, and now the OEM has released three more apps for consumers to download from the Marketplace. Those who own LG Windows Phones can now get their hands on NowCaster, Winny Toolbox and Winny & Friends (the last two are aimed at the younger ages).

NowCaster is a useful app that users can fire up when waking up to the world, which will read out your calendar, the latest weather forecast, as well as other news and reports out loud. The app's usefulness is restricted to those moments when you're occupied but require to check out said information (driving, cooking, etc.).

Winny Toolbox is an app full of tools that children would find valuable with a comprehensive unit converter (energy, angle, pressure, weight, volume, temperature, etc.), time/date calculator, sales price calculator, clothes size converter, random number generator, to name just a few. Though the app is designed for children, I'm sure adults could also put a handful of the tools to good use.

Finally, Winny and Friends enables children to have amusing fun with their Windows Phone by taking photos and editing them with overlays, etc. Not only that, but there are cartoon characters that come alive when tapping on the screen, perfect for younger children.

To download these apps, head on over to LG's collection of OEM apps on the Marketplace.

Via: Professeur Thibault

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While we have a nice selection of apps on the Marketplace, we can certainly always use some more. And not just random apps but specific ones for certain services. The question is how do we let devs know?

One way is to simply vote. And now you can. Using the third-party service UserVoice, anyone can create a site that allows people to solicit feedback from customers and that's exactly what Scott Dorman, a Microsoft MVP, has done with Windows Phone Marketplace Requests. Folks can go there, type in an app and others can vote, it's really that simple.

Of course what does that mean? Well, it certainly is a way to gauge interest in apps but since this is not a Microsoft site and has no affiliation with the Windows Phone Marketplace, there's nothing really binding here. Furthermore, while many of us would like a Hulu app for Windows Phone, third-party devs can't access proprietary services, so requesting one here may not be the best way to get their attention.

Certainly feedback is good but in the end, there's only one thing that will bring more apps and services to Windows Phone: marketshare. When Microsoft's OS starts picking up steam, devs and companies will notice and respond accordingly. Until then, feel free to vote away.

Source: WP Marketplace Request; Original handout image via Shutterstock

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The Windows Phone Marketplace, which has been expanding at a relatively mediocre pace, now covers five more territories. Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines now join the 36 other countries that have access to games and apps for their handsets. Todd Brix recently published an article on the official team blog detailing plans for an upcoming expansion, urging developers of those countries to start submitting apps and games.

China is not open to Windows Phone owners just yet, but developers are able to submit content. If you're a developer with global reach, be sure to read up on Brix's latest post walking through this expansion. 

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog

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We've seen the headlines, we've heard the pundits (looking at you, Scoble) that tout apps as the "big" thing on smartphones. And while initially this may hold true for new users, the novelty wears off, or so suggests a new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

In that study, 68% of users only use five or fewer apps at least once a week. Furthermore, 17% don't use any apps on a regular basis while only 42% of respondents even have apps on their phones. Those are certainly interesting numbers and what it suggests is people are downloading lots of apps but rarely use them on a regular basis. In fact, we hear this often from developers who don't get many ad-hits in their apps after a few weeks despite seemingly large numbers of downloads. Speaking of, the study also points out that judging an app's popularity by number of downloads alone is probably not a good metric (though app reviews and number of them may be).

In other interesting stats from Nielsen, Android users spend about 90 minutes a day on their phones, two-thirds of that time in apps (probably customizing their UI, just kidding). That suggest that even though few use many apps, the ones they do use, they use often and on a regular basis.

While no numbers are revealed for Windows Phone users, it will be even more interesting for our users since things like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are baked into the OS, reducing the number of popular services that people need to download separate apps for. That will only increase if Microsoft continues, as expected, to bake in other services as the OS grows and updates roll out. This of course makes us ask the question: Do you fit this model or are you folks app-fiends? (We're also pretty sure games don't count as apps for the purposes of this study).

Let us know in comments....

via USA Today; Thanks Mark W. and ZX9, for the tips

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For some the Nokia Collection area of the Marketplace has been featuring all of the OEM apps available for Windows Phone (much like HTC, Samsung, LG, etc. have on their handsets), but for others this collection of apps has been missing since the Lumia handsets have been released. 

We've had the Nokia Collection missing from our European handsets, but our U.S. colleagues have had access to the collection. Our Jay Bennett has just noticed the additional menu entry just above 'applications' (see above screenshots) being made available, but I still can't see anything on the Lumia 710 (unlocked) or 800 (unlocked and carrier locked). Though the Nokia apps can be found via Marketplace search, should a reinstallation be required.

Let us know if you're able to access the Nokia Collection on your Nokia Windows Phone in the comments.

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We saw this before with a fake Spotify app that was being sold on the Windows Phone Marketplace and now we're seeing it again. Scam artist Manikandan S is selling for $1.99 (with no trial) "Chrome" which he flat out claims "is same as a google chrome web browser":

"Keep Chrome Browser handy on your device, especially for those unavoidable times you are on a slow crowded network, away from Wi-Fi. This app is same as a google chrome web browser. It has most stylish search button. Facebook, Google, Yahoo! -with Chrome Browser, all your favorite sites work great on your windows phone."

Clearly, this is not the same and both violates Google's copyright and is false advertising. Rather, it's just IE9 with a not-so-fancy wrapper around it. What's worse is the plethora of negative reviews which we could only take as an indication of numerous purchases.

Hopefully Microsoft will respond by yanking this app ASAP like the fake Spotify, but in the meantime, consider this a warning.

Source: Windows Phone Marketplace; Thanks, q21701, for the tip!

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This is almost becoming a television soap script. CarbonWP is an intriguing Twitter client (popular on webOS) that's currently in the process of being made available on the Marketplace. There have been a number of issues in the recent past with submissions and the approval process, but the app has now been denied for the fourth time. Announcing on Twitter (as can be seen above) the developers are losing interest - and we can't blame them.

But hope is not all lost. Some of those who are looking forward to seeing the Twitter client arrive on Windows Phone got in touch with a few members of the WP team and now Brandon Watson (and co.) are looking into what's going wrong with CarbonWP. Here's hoping we'll see this app on the Marketplace soon.

Source: Twitter (@CarbonWP); thanks, Mark, for the heads up!

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