Tour of the Music and Video Hub in Mango

The Windows Phone Blog has released some details on what changes can be expected in the Music and Video hubs when the Mango update hits our phones. It provides information on Podcasts, Smart DJ and improved Marketplace experience as well as new features such as the ability to set your lock screen wallpaper to be that of the currently playing music artist. Check it out here.



Cut Down on ‘Bulk’ Published Apps

If you’ve browsed the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, you’ve most likely witness bulk publishing. This is when a publisher releases a large number of, usually similar, apps in a short amount of time. Often these apps are exactly the same with only a slight change in content (such a “tour guide” app in which the publisher released a new app for each location). The problem with this is that that ‘New Apps’ section of the Marketplace is flooded with the same app and any non-spam apps get drowned out. It’s often been complained about and Microsoft have done something about it.

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‘Free Apps’ Submission Limit Increased

Good news for developers, and consumers, as Microsoft has increased the ‘free app’ limit from 5 to 100. Under the old system, developers could release 5 free apps and would then have to pay just under $20 for future free apps. This meant that a lot of developers charged for apps just so that they didn’t incur the $20 fee. However, MS has listened to their community and increased the limit from 5 to 100, meaning that there will most likely be more free apps for users to download!


Creating Emulator Screenshots the VERY Easy Way!

Often, developers want to take screenshots of their emulator so that they can submit them to the marketplace. There are various ways of doing this such as print screen, dedicated WP7 emulator screenshot application etc.. My personal favourite, and arguably the easiest, is to use the Snipping Tool built into Windows 7. This isn’t anything new, and many people use this. However, it seems I was using it in an inefficient way (maybe I’m the only one :neutral:). Anywho, if you load the snipping tool (Start…type in ‘snip’ in the search box), the default value is Rectangular Snip, as shown below.

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CryoDefense Game for WP7 Now Available

You may remember seeing the preview of CryoDefence when the game was first announced. It’s now available in the Marketplace along with the trial version for you to try out. CryoDefense is a futuristic take on the Tower Defense style games and features three distinct levels, five different types of towers with individual attack types and seven difficulty levels to really test your skills.

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WP7 Marketplace App Categories

It seems that there will be 41 categories and sub-categories that developers can choose to place their app in. Of course, users will then be able to narrow down their search quickly via these categories. An app can only be placed in one category, so developers should choose wisely :). Below is the list of categories and thanks to Chris G. Williams (Twitter: @chrisgwilliams) for the heads up.

  • Books & Reference
– eReader
– Fiction
– Non-fiction
– Reference
  • Business

What’s up with the Marketplace?

Well, there have been some questions regarding ‘Windows Marketplace’. I’ll sum up information I’ve found regarding this.

So you’ve developed your app and you want to sell it. In order to do so, you have to put your app on Windows Marketplace (think App Store for WP7). Firstly, you have to register. The questions asked are usually about costs. At the time of this writing, it costs $99 per year to register on Marketplace. This entitles you to upload as many paid apps (i.e. those that you charge for) as you like. However, you can only upload 5 free apps. Any extra free apps will incur a fee of just under $20 per free app. Those are the main costs of Marketplace. If you’re a student, the $99 fee is waived – check out  the DreamSpark site for more info. Read more of this post