Windows Phone Marketplace Developer Newsletter: August 2010 – Plenty of interesting Ifo

August 30, 2010
Final Windows Phone Developer Tools Available September 16
The Beta developer tools for Windows Phone 7 have been available here since July 13 and are a great way to get started building apps for Windows Phone 7. The final toolset will be released via the Marketplace developer portal on September 16. Please note that you will need to recompile your app with the final toolset before submitting it to the Marketplace. Plan to submit your app to Marketplace in early October to ensure that it will be available to the first users of Windows Phone 7 devices. We will provide more specific guidance on timing as we get closer to the opening of Marketplace ingestion.

Make sure you take the following steps to get your games and apps prepped for launch:

  • Build your application or game using the Beta tools
  • Download the final Windows Phone Developer Tools from the portal when they are released on September 16.
  • Recompile your app or game using the final tools
  • Have your XAP ready for ingestion into the Marketplace when it opens in early October

With more than 300,000 downloads of the Windows Phone Developer Tools, we know we’ll see amazing games and apps for customers this holiday season. Will yours be ready?

Windows Phone 7 Design Guidelines Now Available
Windows Phone 7 is based on a new smart design system that focuses on what is most important to the user. Although you can create your own design, many developers have asked for guidance, tools and controls to help build integrated app experiences that closely resemble the Windows Phone 7 phone design system. The UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7, version 2.0 now offers detailed information about UI elements and controls, UI system behaviors, and the interaction model for the touch interface. The new Design Templates for Windows Phone 7 provides a collection of 28 layered Photoshop template files and the Segoe WP font family for use in application layouts and UI development, or for pitching an idea. Check out these tools for help in creating an app that is well- integrated with the Windows Phone 7 experience.

Updated Windows Phone 7 Policies Now Available
The Windows Phone 7 application, content, and certification policies have been updated to provide greater clarity on the requirements for games, use of the Microsoft location service API, and a variety of application certification requirements. Download the new requirements here, and be sure your app meets all the requirements before you submit it to Marketplace in early October.

Windows Phone 7 Jump-Start: Born to Learn
Missed the July training courses or misplaced your course materials? Visit the Born to Learn community area to find additional resources for developing apps for Windows Phone 7. Course materials for all four sessions are available in Microsoft OneNote 2010 notebooks.

Get Your App Ideas Here
You can find great ideas for new Windows Phone 7 apps at Mobile App Match, where we connect developers with ideas submitted and ranked by real users. You can also get an early peek at the projects from other Windows Phone 7 developers and see how-to videos and Q&A from the Windows Phone team by entering the search term WP7dev# at YouTube.

Windows Phone 7 App Categories Finalized
App categories are our way of organizing applications so that users can more easily find what they are looking for. For Windows Phone 7, we have 41 categories and sub-categories to help organize applications for users. When you submit your app to Marketplace you can choose from one of the categories below to help users find your app. Apps can only be placed in one category.

1. Books & Reference
– eReader
– Fiction
– Non-fiction
– Reference
2. Business
3. Entertainment
4. Finance
5. Games
– Action & Adventure
– Board & Classic
– Card & Casino
– Family
– Music
– Puzzle & Trivia
– Shooter
– Sports & Racing
– Strategy
– Xbox Companion
6. Health & Fitness
– Diet & Nutrition
– Fitness
– Health

7. Lifestyle
– Community
– Food & Dining
– Out & About
– Shopping
8. Music & Video
9. Navigation
10. News & Weather
11. Photo
12. Productivity
13. Social
14. Sports
15. Tools
16. Travel
– City Guides
– Language
– Planning
– Travel Tools

Windows Phone 7 at PDC 2010, October 28 and 29
Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference, PDC 2010, will include sessions on building and selling apps for Windows Phone 7. PDC 2010 has already sold out but you can join the event live on October 28 and 29 at the PDC site. You can also join the PDC email list to get a preview of what’s planned for PDC, as well as stay abreast of local PDC events.

Xbox LIVE Games for Windows Phone 7 Announced at Gamescom
Earlier this month at Gamescom, Xbox announced a number of Xbox LIVE games that will launch with Windows Phone 7 later this year. This announcement signals an excellent opportunity for app developers because these aren’t just big game studio games; they also include smaller, independent developer studios. Read more about the games at the blog, get the tools that are already available to you, and find support at the XNA Game Studio site.

Updates on Understanding the Windows Phone Application Execution Model
Last month on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, you read about the various app life-cycle events and how they differ from one another. The third installment of the series discusses saving the transient state and navigating to the right page, and the post closes out with a full understanding of how to launch, deactivate, activate, and close your application. Next up for discussion: choosers and launchers.

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