Windows Phone Store

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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There's nothing worse than purchasing a Windows Phone, but not able to rock the night away with apps and games from the store. The unique market that is China has been an interesting addition to the ecosystem with Xbox Live, social networks and even store content being affected by tight restrictions (The Great Firewall).

Luckily there's light at the end of the tunnel as LiveSino reports that it's now possible to alter your region and then download content from the store that's not published for China.

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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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Engadget took time out to sit down with Bryan Biniak, VP and General Manager of Global Partner and App Development at Nokia, to ask about app development on Windows Phone. Since today was also the UK launch of JobLens, as well as a new partnership with Entrepreneur First to help fuel mobile innovation in young minds seeking to start new businesses.

Biniak explained how the Windows Phone ecosystem is growing quickly and most-wanted apps are more the question of "when?" and not "if only."

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Microsoft has released Where's My App? for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 devices, a utility designed to help you find Windows Phone apps and games.  Where's My App? will show you the app availability and if what you are looking for isn't available, Where's My App? will suggest alternatives to consider.

Where's My App? isn't intended to replace the Windows Phone Store but rather highlight popular apps that are available on other platforms as well as offering alternatives for those apps that haven't found their way to the Windows Phone Store.

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We all know that feeling. You read about an awesome app on Windows Phone Central and go to download only to see the Windows Phone Store throw up some error right in your face. You want to rage and throw your phone at a wall, but you don’t. And sometimes it’s not an app you want, but a new song or album and well you know where we’re going with this. Yup, Xbox Music isn’t working for some folks. Details after the break.

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Nope, you’re not alone if you’re seeing Windows Phone Store errors. After hearing that the HERE Drive+ was updated, we tried to download the latest Nokia innovation only to be met with a download glitch on our Lumia 920. Same on the Lumia 928. And soft-resetting has no effect either.

We then jumped to our inbox and sure enough, quite a few of you are reporting to us that you are seeing c101b000 error messages when trying to download apps.

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Despite high expectations, the internet is not a place where you can say whatever you want. There are etiquettes to make sure everyone could have reasonably enjoyable online experience. That's why there are moderators and administrators everywhere to have personal assaults in discussion threads removed, and to have user who spam banned.

The same applies to Windows Phone Store, and Windows Store. The app review you submitted don't just appear immediately. Instead, there is someone (or some bot) at Microsoft having a quick look at it first, and have it published if nothing particularly naught is found. You guys should have been used to it already, after so long time.

However, according to Chinese site WPDang, online etiquette does not exist in the Chinese Windows Phone Store, which is causing a growing problem for user experience.

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Microsoft has released a new batch of badges for Windows Phone developers to use. While you can easily create your own in one of many available graphic programs, it's good to know that some effective images are ready to use immediately with a standard size and design. If you have your own website and would like to showcase your shiny new Windows Phone app, then these are definitely worth checking out.

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Today during one of the many Build 2013 sessions going on, Microsoft also publicized some Windows Phone Store numbers since Windows Phone 8 was launched.

By now, many of our readers have probably figured that Windows Phone 8 has quickly become the more popular OS (over 7.x) partially due to the new and exciting hardware and also because of it being more powerful.

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Earlier today, we reported on a Windows Phone Store weakness allowing savvy users to download Nokia-exclusive applications onto non-Nokia hardware (well, try to at least, as often those apps are API dependent). But we did a little more digging and discovered the weakness doesn't just cover Nokia apps. You can manipulate the Store into providing any device or operator-exclusive app for your device.

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