All posts in Windows Phone

I’ve been talking to a great number of partners the past years on the topic of the Windows Store functionalities. The store isn’t just about publishing apps, but also about maintaining apps. Beta-testing is also an important part of delivering software these days, especially with the agile approach to development. Apps published in multiple languages can be cumbersome to publish – you have to enter descriptions and pictures for all those languages … by hand. Then there are partners working on multiple apps for customers. And some even produce lots of apps for others where the process up ’till now required to publish them all by hand.

During the recent //build a number of developments in the Windows Store were presented that solve a lot of these problems. Let’s have a look at a few of them. Read more

Designing UWP apps

When the Microsoft design language was introduced with Windows 8, we tried to help out with an extensive set of guidelines around design and User Experience. These guidelines were in the beginning very restrictive, which resulted in lots of apps with squares. With Windows 8.1 we explained that guidelines means guidelines, not “the law”. And although the app certification team looks at the usefulness of an app, they never disqualify an app because “it’s ugly”.

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Last October Microsoft released the Microsoft Band – a wareable with a bunch of sensors and some apps. You can track your excercises, health, sleep and more. You can also see/feel notifications of incoming calls, mails, etceteras. Of course people want to extend this experience or use the data in their own app or website.

microsoft-band

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YouTube is a very popular video website. While this may be a good solution for public videos, it’s probably not a good solution for publishing more ‘trusted’ videos – e.g. in an business/enterprise scenario. Part of Office is Office 365 Video. This is a solution where Sharepoint is the means to store, manage and publish you company videos and Azure Media Services is the incorporated solution to make sure the videos can be played on any device in the best quality.

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AppMachine has a solution whith a webinterface to create good looking apps with lots of functionality, and then publish it in an automated way. They started with support for iOS and Android. But now they also support Windows Phone. That means that you can define your app and publish it easily on all three platforms without extra costs. They have attractive pricing models to make publishing these apps affordable.

AppMachine added support for Windows Phone

AppMachine added support for Windows Phone

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Maybe you have a problem publishing your app. Or you have a problem with payments. Or someone uses your trademarked name. Or you have other questions concerning your own or another app. Here are some useful links to address those issues.

Windows Phone

Developer support (problems with your developer account, publish an app, payments, …)
http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-US/featured/Support

Complaints about an app (content, technical issues, …)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/help/jj215906(v=vs.105).aspx

Trademark en copyright protection
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/help/jj215905(v=vs.105).aspx
Reporting infringement form
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=273879

Windows

All support (forums, e-mail, chat)
http://aka.ms/StoreSupport

Reporting infringement form
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=273879

Providing all the different formats for logos for a Windows (Phone) App is not always that easy. Various sizes, even various resolutions if you want to do it right. My colleague Shinobu Takahashi created a very handy desktop tool to generate all these logos from one selected image. So you only have to make/find your artwork once and then use the tool to generate the logos and include them in your project.

image_0A07068E

Just start the tool, use Open Image to select an image from your disk. Select with the icon after the title if you want to generate for Phone or for Windows 8. Then click the square tile or wide tile on the right so you can draw a rectangle on the actual image to determine the content of that logo.

 

Download the tool

Most of the times the default templates used for apps have very basic color themes: black and white (okay, and some gray). Your app will come more to life if you use a good color theme, matching your content. Question is: which colors are best to use?

Select a color theme

Something I found very handy is the website http://kuler.adobe.com. This website offers a large collection of color themes, where each theme has 5 colors. You can search for a topic to find interesting themes, e.g. ‘vacation’, ‘beach’, etcetera. This is an example of one of the themes: Read more