Windows Phone is getting more and more popularity lately, especially among the users who love Microsoft and Windows 7. The Marketplace is also becoming very profitable for the developers. We have compiled an easy-to-follow guide on Windows Phone App Development where we have provided interface building, design and programming tips together with suggestions on using various GUI elements.
Just like iPhone and Android platforms, Windows Phone users love playing games. This is followed by news, utilities and functional tools. You should gather information about apps and the targeted customers.
Define the age group: What is the age group of the targeted people and what do they have in common. How can you solve their issue and save their time?
Analyze: You should analyze the top selling apps in the market. Read their reviews and try to understand their likings and complains about their software. Then, see what value can you add.
Know Windows Phone abilities: It is very important for you to understand the development environment to take full advantage of your skills and creativity. All the Windows Phone devices come with a big enough display (minimum 3.5 inch WVGA – 800 x 480 to showcase the content.
Metro View: Unlike Windows Phone competitors, you can use the metro view that allows users to jump between various pages of an app by swiping left or right. This has replaced tabs, and boring buttons that were earlier there in the Windows Mobile.
Pop Up Menu: This works like a dialog box or a drop down menu and is an amazing way to show options that are not present in the standard menu. Make careful use of it.
Complex Text processing: You can build enhanced text creating and editing apps with improved font management and selection based modifications.
Guidelines To Keep In Mind
Minimalism: Show only required content at a time and hide all unnecessary options. Complex interface only leads to confusion, nothing else. Microsoft Office app on the Windows Phone is a great example of it. It shows Word documents only when you are in the documents windows.
Orientations: When designing the app, make sure that it can function nicely in both portrait and landscape mode. This is a common mistake done by myriad developers. They code a Windows Phone app to work only in portrait resolution but disregard the fact that there are Windows Phones with slide QWERTY keyboards that fail to take advantage of such apps.
Speed: Loading times can make or break the potential of your app. You can reduce the load times by reducing the number of initial calls and light code. A good example of this is Fox News app. It loads very quickly and thus the user is lot likely to load it than a news app that is slow to load. Same goes for games. Nobody wants to wait for 15 seconds for a game to load.
Detail: You should structure your app very wisely and make use of Metro UI if you have multiple windows. Do not just see its working on the emulator – get a real hardware and deploy it on it to see how it works in the real world. Ask yourself, what you can do improve it.
You start programming by joining Windows Phone developer program (link). You will be asked to pay an annual subscription of 99 dollars for 1 year.
- You can submit up to 100 free apps. After that you will have to pay $19.99 per app
- You can submit unlimited number of paid apps
- There is no word on in app purchases.
- You can offer trial versions for non-free apps
A nicely and elegant looking app can attract users to download or purchase the app. There should be two icons – one Application icon of size 62 x 62 and second Tile image with 173 x 173 size. Both should be in PNG (portable network graphics) format. You will also be asked to submit a bigger 200 x 200 icon for Marketplace catalog. You can use Microsoft Expression Design 4 (link to 60 day free trial) to design it. Make sure to use this template file.
ROUND 1: At least one month before the launch, start building buzz and anticipation of your app. You should start posting on relevant forums like xda-developers’ to give your app proper exposure. Also, start a blog (use wordpress.com to save money) and build relationships with popular Windows Phone sites to help promote your app. This will raise curiosity and people will wait for you to release the app so that they can buy it.
You must generate more buzz by offering discounts to the early birds for few days after launch and make the related websites know about it. For example: you can give 70 percent discount for the first 10 days of launch.
Make some YouTube videos to show the functionality and capability of your app or game. Submit press releases to sites that accept free PRs (prlog.org).
After you have released the app, communicate with the ones that have written critical reviews and try to improve on it. Promise the people that you are soon going to release an improved version. This will create trust and will further increase the sales. Good luck.
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