Windows Phone 8 : Making Money - Modifying Your Application, Dealing with Failed Submissions, Using Ads in Your Apps

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1. Modifying Your Application

When you finally get your application out to the Store, you might find a bug, decide on a brand-new feature, or just want to change the price of your application. The Dev Center makes this process simple. On the application details page (mentioned earlier), you can click the Update App link to upload a new version of your application. When you do this, you’ll get the Update App page, shown in Figure 1. This process is the same as when you initially submitted your app, although the certification process is somewhat abbreviated from the full submission process of a new app.


FIGURE 1 Application actions

Although you can update the .xap to send a new version of the application to users, you can also edit the App info to simply change pricing, distribution, and other metadata about your app without submitting a new .xap file to the store.

2. Dealing with Failed Submissions

If your application submission fails, Microsoft attempts to give you as much information about the failure as possible so that you can fix it. You can retrieve the failure report from the website, or you can have it sent to the email of record for the Dev Center account.

The process of certifying your application consists of testing the way the application functions (for example, does it run or lock up) and testing it against the Windows Phone Application Certification Requirements.5 These include stability, performance, resource consumption, and content requirements. An application could be rejected for a variety of reasons based on the requirements. If your application is rejected, Microsoft gives you a detailed report of why it failed and to which section of the certification requirements the failure is related. It’s important to read the Application Certification Requirements document because there are a lot of reasons failures occur. It is an actively changing document, but some of the major pain points that seem to bite developers submitting applications include the following:


Stability: Your application can’t crash or hang. (Handling Application.UnhandledException is important.)

Launch: Your application must show its landing page within five seconds. It must be responsive to user input within 20 seconds.

Memory consumption: Your application cannot take more than 90MB of memory at any time (when the phone has a minimum of 256MB of memory). It’s not clear what this limitation is for phones with more memory. You can test this using the DeviceExtendedProperties class.

Running under lock: You can enable your application to run while the phone is locked (if the phone was locked when your application was running). You must have the user opt in to running under lock and have an option to disable this functionality.

Back button: You need to be careful about the navigation pattern and make sure that “Back” always takes you to the previous page and that “Back on the landing page” exits the application.

Using push notifications: If you’re going to use any push notifications, you must tell the user when you first enable this capability and allow the user to disable it in the UI (usually via a Settings or Options page).

Size: The maximum size of a .xap file is 225MB.

Age requirements: If your application enables person-to-person communication (for instance, chat, IM, SMS), you must have a way to verify that the user is more than 13 years old.

Location service: You must allow the user to enable or disable use of location information. You also must have a privacy policy to let the user know how you’re using the location information.

Personal information: If you publish or share any personal information (for instance, photos, phone numbers, contacts, SMS, or browsing history), you must make the user opt in to use the functionality.

Content: You cannot use nudity, sexual content, violence, or hate speech in your applications.

3. Using Ads in Your Apps

Although you’ve read that you can charge for your applications and that this can help you make money, it’s also fairly common to create free applications that contain advertising instead. Several options exist and all have their pros and cons, as shown in Table 2.

TABLE 2 Advertising Vendors for the Phone


The big players in in-app advertising are shown in the table, but there are some details you’ll need to determine before you decide which platform to use. By far, Microsoft’s pubCenter is the most attractive because it pays per impression with bonuses for click-throughs. Also, the SDK is fairly drop-in usable (although there have been reports of crashing problems). Although this is the most profitable of the advertising choices, it only works for U.S. users, so non-U.S. users applications won‘t have advertising.

The other vendors all use a per-click model (which means you get paid only if the user clicks on the ad). This generally means less money, but these vendors do offer ads internationally, and most support paying developers who are outside the United States. So, there is no magical best offering for advertising inside your application.

  •  Windows Phone 8 : Making Money - Submitting Your App (part 3) - After the Submission
  •  Windows Phone 8 : Making Money - Submitting Your App (part 2) - The Submission Process
  •  Windows Phone 8 : Making Money - Submitting Your App (part 1) - Preparing Your Application
  •  Windows Phone 8 : Making Money - What Is the Store?
  •  BlackBerry Push APIs (part 3) - Building an Application that Uses the BlackBerry Push APIs - Checking the Status of a Push Request and Cancelling a Push Request
  •  BlackBerry Push APIs (part 2) - Building an Application that Uses the BlackBerry Push APIs - Unsubscribing From the Push System, Pushing Data to a Subscriber
  •  BlackBerry Push APIs (part 1) - Building an Application that Uses the BlackBerry Push APIs - BlackBerry Push API Domains , Subscriber Registration
  •  Windows Phone 8 : Phone Hardware - Speech Synthesis
  •  Windows Phone 8 : Phone Hardware - Speech Recognition
  •  Windows Phone 8 : Phone Hardware - Voice Commands
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