Windows Phone Store

Time to check in on how the Windows Phone Store is doing against competitors. While the app marketplaces for Android and iOS are larger than Windows Phone, the gap between high-quality apps gets smaller and smaller each week.

Today we're going to check out the top 25 free apps in the iOS App Store and see if they're available for Windows Phone. If an app isn't available, we'll try and offer an alternative for Windows Phone fans. Let's go.

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Vserv.mobi, the global mobile advertising exchange, has shared an interesting infographic that puts together the milestones and elements of the journey of Windows Phone platform across the globe. The company has been helping Windows Phone developers monetize across emerging markets and the number of requests on the exchange, especially for the Windows platform, grew by 18.2X last year.

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The best thing about being a developer in the Microsoft technology ecosystem is the terrific support that the company offers to the developers. From dedicated forums and learning resources to public events, the community feeds off this support and grows further.

Microsoft has just launched an Windows Phone app for developers that aggregates official Microsoft resources related to building apps for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. The app is titled ‘#wpdev’, picking up from the popular Twitter hashtag that Microsoft and the developer community use on Twitter for sharing development resources and insights.

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Ready to find out how the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store are doing? Microsoft has just published a report showing trends for the two platforms. We learn a lot of interesting things in the post. For example, did you know that low-memory devices, like the Lumia 520, lead in app downloads? Highlights after the break.

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While we have seen the selection in the Windows Phone Store grow by leaps and bounds, there still may be a few apps out there that are missing in action.

A recent WPCentral Forums discussion asks the simple question, "What is your top five most wanted apps for Windows Phone 8.1?" The discussion was started by WPCentral Forum member burnabite who would like to see TED talks, NHL Gamecenter, Mozilla Firefox, Dropbox and BBM developed for Windows Phone.

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This is one of those Windows Phone 8.1 changes that will only affect like 0.1% of you, though it’s still interesting if you’re into security and what may be best described as piracy.

Last summer, we ran a controversial story about how to install OEM exclusive apps to your Windows Phone. Those apps are always ‘free’ though they are in theory subsidized by your purchase of that OEM’s phone. There was a method used where you can spoof your Nokia Lumia to look like a Samsung one, or vice versa.

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Changelogs. They’re the list of reasons why we want to update an app or game. It’s the simplest thing that some app creators often ignore. It’s baffling. Version 1.2 of your app is out? Great, umm, why do I care unless you tell me?

Granted, in Windows Phone 8.0, and earlier there was no real region for a proper list of changes, resulting in some developers creating pop-up screens detailing the fixes upon first launch, or a separate area under ‘About’ where they can detail their continuing hard work, or even jamming it under the app description in the Store. It wasn’t ideal, but people definitely appreciated the effort.

But developers, you no longer have such an excuse with Windows Phone 8.1. And we hope you notice.

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The more we use Windows Phone 8.1 the more features we discover. Such as re-installing apps and games you’ve purchased in the past.

In the past there were basically two ways to re-install an app or game you had deleted from your Windows Phone. First, you could hunt down the app in the Store and re-install it. Second, you could pull up the Windows Phone Store’s website and go into your account to view your purchase history to find the app or game to re-install.

While those two options still exist, Windows Phone 8.1 now offers you a third option.

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Back at Build 2014 (remember that, two weeks ago?), Microsoft announced their initiative to unify apps across their entire ecosystem. That way a developer could build an app once and deploy it to Windows Phone, Windows, and even Xbox. But to make that a reality there was some back-end housekeeping to be done in order to make that a possibility. One of those steps: making it so you can price apps the same across all the stores.

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Windows Phone developers are poised to have happy days ahead. At Build 2014 Microsoft detailed plans to overhaul and improve much of the processes that have hindered development, including unifying apps across Windows 8.1 update 1 and Windows Phone 8.1, improved automated certification, and the ability to reply to user reviews in the Windows Phone Store.

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The Windows Phone 8.1 core has been finished today, so it seems appropriate to take a look at an area that is need of some improvement: the Windows Phone Store.

The Windows Phone Store has been both a source of inspiration (e.g. trials), and tribulations (e.g. weak tools for reviews). Luckily for you, it looks like the Windows Phone team is delivering some user-requested features and parity with Windows 8.1. Hopefully these changes will deliver a more satisfying user experience.

The information comes to us from people familiar with the matter, and we have been able to verify that the information is accurate. Having said that, there may be some changes to the final design for the RTM release of Windows Phone 8.1.

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If there’s one thing we can all agree on is that Windows Phone has a perception problem, especially in the US and Canada. The phone hardware is often reviewed favorably, but critics tend to ding the OS for lack of apps. This so-called ‘app-gap’ has become less of problem as of late 2013, but the perception is still there. Also, MIA apps like Sonos don’t help either.

Nokia’s new ad, showcased on their Canadian YouTube channel, does a really good job of breaking it all down for the consumer. In fact, it’s one of the best we’ve seen. With bold bright graphics, the narrator talks about how impressive the Windows Phone store has become, highlighting things like UI design, Live Tiles, Windows Phone exclusive apps, and how major titles like Vine, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are all here already.

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It's old news when we talk about Microsoft's problem with getting developers on-board with both Windows and Windows Phone. The company has had trouble having new content developed and released on its own operating systems alongside iOS and Android. It's no secret that Microsoft platforms are generally left in the dark — just take a look at Flappy Bird.

Now, according to The Verge, Redmond could be considering Android apps to solve its problems. We've previously looked at what Microsoft is actively doing to help alleviate their market growth issues, but there could always be more done to bring across more platform support. 

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Dong Nguyen's hit-game Flappy Bird is on its way to Windows Phone, that we already know. But what we didn't know was an expected date. The developer took to Twitter to reveal that Flappy Bird has been submitted to the store and needs to be approved by Microsoft. This means the game is well on its way and it shouldn't be too long until we're able to ragequit while mobile. 

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AppsQuiz is a new Windows Phone game that tests your knowledge of the Windows Phone Store icons (or logos) for many of the apps and games that are on the shelves.

The game is similar to the many logo/trademark trivia games (Iconmania, Logoarama, etc) but instead of guessing the manufacturer’s branding you are tasked with identifying a Windows Phone app or game based on its Store icon.

AppsQuiz is a fun game for your Windows Phone.  The game only has fifty levels, which may make it short lived for some, but we are hopeful that the next update will add more gaming to the mix.

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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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