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Windows Store – App Certification Tips

Windows Store – App Certification Tips

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Windows 8 launches globally on October 26th, as we move closer and closer, we’re supporting many Belgian developers go through the process of certifying their apps. To help other developers we might not be in touch with, I’m sharing an aggregation of tips and resources we use. It’s worthwhile browsing through this post before you submit so that you increase the chance of passing certification from the first time.

The tips are based on what we have been working on, many times it’s small things that you can have fixed before you submit, such as forgetting a support contact or privacy policy. We’ll be updating this post as we move along.

Before going into the details, keep the following resources handy when certifying apps on Windows Store.

Most recurring omissions

From our experience, this is what I ask developers before they submit:

  1. Have you created a Privacy policy settings entry in the Settings charm?
    clip_image002
  2. Have you added a Privacy URL info in the Additional details of the Store Portal dashboard? See below.
  3. Have you set your Default language correctly in the App Manifest? See below.
  4. Are your Capabilities correct? Remember capabilities also influence requirements around age rating and privacy. If you do not need Internet access, make sure to uncheck the capability as it is checked by default.
    image

 

Store Portal: Description Page

In the description page of the Store portal, after you submit your package, you will be able to enter the details for the Windows Store app listing. For a complete overview of the content needed to complete this page, please see the Dev Center Checklist for submitting an app. This is a great resource to send to your business team as they will provide visuals, description, features and category information in each language the app supports.

Support contact

Failing to fill in the Support contact URL or e-mail address will have your app rejected. Double-check the content you are entering here.

Add a Privacy URL

We also recommend you add the same privacy URL as an entry in the app settings pane.

Choosing the right Age Rating

Review the guidance: Pick a suitable Windows Store age rating and Give your app an age rating.

Linked to the Age rating, make sure the screenshots you upload for your app listing (metadata) are viewable by 12+ if your app requires higher age rating.

 

Before submission

Language of the package, default language and multiple languages

Windows Store allows for global distribution. This is a huge potential you should take advantage of, and which will be even more successful if you offer the app in several languages.

When uploading the app package to the Store, detection of the supported languages is done through the AppManifest resources. Make sure you entered your default language correctly (default might go to en-US depending on your version of Visual Studio).
Open the AppManifest file in the XML editor.

Case 1: single language (US English)

For English, you can either leave the default setting (x-generate) if you are using an English version of Visual Studio or adapt manually:

<Resources>     
     <Resource Language="en-us"/>
</Resources>

Case 2: single language (only Dutch for both Belgium and Netherlands)

<Resources>
    <Resource Language="nl" />   
</Resources>

Case 3: several languages (English, French and Dutch as example)

The first language in the list is the default language. We are using the country code to make it more specific. You can choose to omit it.

<Resources>
   <Resource Language="en-us" />
   <Resource Language="fr-be" />
   <Resource Language="nl-be" />
< /Resources>

Privacy policy in settings pane (charm)

Many applications use the Internet capability, for which a privacy policy URL is required in the Store portal. Note that this is a very important one and also linked to activating a number of capabilities such as:

  • SMS
  • Text messages
  • Location
  • Microphone
  • Webcam
  • Documents Library

See full details: 4. Windows Store apps put the customer in control on the Resolving certification errors documentation.

 

Disclaimer and About

Depending on the content you use, information you share, a disclaimer and about sections in the Settings pane are also recommended.

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I wish you a lot of success with your app. Don’t forget our local events and support options through App Clinics.

  • What is the guideline regarding getting your app to show in the store search results?

    My application does not show unless the users deselect the "Help me find localized apps" option in the Windows Store settings. And the funny thing is, that no search results are presented.

  • It depends on the language(s) your app supports, I can look into it if you can let me know the name of your app.

  • Hi - that would be great. My app is called PicasApp

    apps.microsoft.com/.../8c0d91dc-c912-434c-8927-6a5b35566962

  • Hi Kim,

    Your app has been set to English (United States), so if your user has the location set to Belgium, and default language to Dutch or French they will not automatically find it. Note I do realize you might not live in Belgium but apply the same concept to your country/language.

    Solutions:

    - support more languages in your app (note you can use "en" to support English, without having to use full "en-US" for United States specifically). See above how to support more than one language.

    - have the user add English via Control panel > Language > add English

    Hope that helps,

    Katrien

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