Happy New Year! With 2012 upon us and a fresh outlook on what a new year can bring, you might have a few ideas up your sleeve for apps/games that you’ve always wanted to build. Windows Phone should definitely be one of the platforms you target for your upcoming masterpieces; given the momentum the app ecosystem for the platform is seeing now is the time to seize the moment and publish. In this post I’ll give you a glimpse of what we will be providing on this blog to help you get to your goal.
2011 was an exciting year for Microsoft with a number of new and updated platforms announced and introduced. One of these platforms getting a lot of coverage not only from Microsoft but also in the press is Windows Phone 7.5. With the major update that was launched in the second half of the year (version 7.5, also commonly referred to by it’s former code name “Mango”), the platform reached a level of maturity and capability that puts it on par and even ahead of its staunchest competitors like iOS and Android. This update provided developers with a way to build truly innovative experiences that users will not only love, but come back to again and again.
If you’ve been interested in targeting Windows Phone for your apps and games this year, now is the time to take the plunge. The tools are free, we have lots of guidance and get started material for you to learn and get going quickly, great incentives for Canadian developers like The Developer Movement and a platform that literally is fun to build on.
Even with all that, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and not know where to start. To help you with that, the rest of this post will give you an idea of what we will be doing to help you in 2012 get to where you want to be. The information below will provide you with overviews of some of the things we will be providing you online (primarily on the Canadian Mobile Connection blog, but also on this blog that you are reading).
You can expect to find a wide variety of “snack-sized” (i.e.: short and to-the-point) video tutorials on how to take advantage of the Windows Phone platform. The intent of these videos is to provide you with information that you can take immediate action on in your apps. We won’t be building full apps in these videos; rather you can expect us to focus on features of the platform you can take advantage of in your apps.
It’s all well and good to read posts or watch videos from Microsoft employees to give you guidance on how to build your Windows Phone apps and games. Getting the information straight from the company is the only way to get official product information. That said, there are developers just like you that have real world experience developing for the platform. The good, the bad and the tricky. We will be providing guest posts from community members that are building apps/games on Windows Phone (whether they are new to the platform or veterans with lots of apps under their belts). These posts will be authored by people that have built or are building apps for Windows Phone, have built apps for other mobile platforms (like iOS, Android and the web) and have hard-earned guidance that they can share with you so you don’t fall into traps that can make you spin your wheels.
In addition to guest posts and video tutorials, we’ll be conducting interviews (video, podcast or text-based) with some of the leading Windows Phone developers in Canada (and believe me, some of these people are the best Windows Phone developers on the planet – Canada is well-represented in the Windows Phone developer community). In these interviews we’ll be talking about their experiences targeting Windows Phone, their experiences porting apps from other platforms to Windows Phone and their ideas of the mobile app industry in general.
We’ll be providing you with details about specific Windows Phone apps and games that were built by Canadian developers to give you an idea of how they achieved the success they did. In addition to that, we’ll be providing information on some of the choices they made from a technical, business and marketing perspective, and more importantly, why they made those choices (and whether they were the right choices – nobody is perfect and it’s usually the wrong choices that make for the best learnings).
So, does this sound interesting and valuable to you? We have a few tricks up our sleeves that we’re working on as well, but hopefully this piqued your interest! If you have other ideas we’re also listening, so if you suggest something that’s doable, we’ll take you up on it.
Can we get some numbers on actual installed handsets in Canada?
Microsoft has a long-standing policy of not publicizing statistics like market penetration, so there is nothing I can share with you at this point.
Can we get some new handsets released in Canada so there will actually be a market here? Canada has been all but ignored by Microsoft since the original launch in late 2010.
We are working diligently with our partners to bring more Windows Phone options to Canada, but at this time there is no information we can give you.