When a 'z' just doesn't cut it... (Oren Nachman's random notes from Microsoft)

January, 2011

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    WP7 Marketplace Tip: Submitted a support request and never heard back?


    If you submitted a request via AppHub, to either the "Device Unlock" or "Account Management" categories and never heard back then your request has most likely gotten stuck somewhere.

    So What Do I Do?

    The problem has been found and will be fixed by Friday - so resubmit your request any time after Friday and you should hear back from the team within approximately 24 hours.

    Do I need to resubmit, or will my old, unanswered, requests suddenly be answered?

    You will need to resubmit - existing, unanswered, requests (only in those two categories) will not be processed.

    Good Luck!

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    WP Marketplace FAQ: What happens to my apps if I don't renew my subscription


    The Question

    I've signed up for the Windows Phone marketplace and submitted my apps. They're selling well - but I'm not actually planning on doing any more development, so I don't think I need to renew my subscription. What happens if I don't pay the Marketplace renewal fee at the end of the year?

    The Answer

    You'll get a couple of warning emails at the end of the year, but after those if you choose not to renew your subscription your apps will be removed from the Marketplace.

    Will people still be able to use my apps?

    Sure. Microsoft won't revoke the apps from people's phones, but they will remove it from the Marketplace - so no one new will be able to purchase the app (and, obviously, no more revenue for you if it was a paid app).

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    WP7 Marketplace FAQ: Do my free app submissions reset every year?





    Yup, you get 5 free submission credits a year, so every year you could potentially submit another 5 free applications to the marketplace (not to mention the unlimited free updates to existing free applications).

    Can I see how many submission credits I have left?

    Not at this point, though I hope to see this soon. For now, if you can't remember where you're up to, submit a support request and the team will get back to you asap (usually within 24 hours) with an answer.

    Is your head spinning with all the free yet?

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    SL WP7 Toolkit Pro Tip: Set a background on your LongListSelector so that it scrolls correctly


    Got a LongListSelector in your project? Notice that if you try to scroll in blank areas (where the background shows through) it won't react?


    Background="{StaticResource PhoneBackgroundBrush}"

    or to whatever colour you prefer and all your problems should go away.


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    WP7 Marketplace Tip #4: Include Contact info in your next app update



    Make sure that you include the app name, version and technical support contact info within your app (or your next update)

    The Fine Print

    Section 5.6 says:

    An application must include the application name, version information, and technical support contact information that are easily discoverable. 

    But my app was improved without this?

    This was a late introduction into the certification guide (a couple of weeks before launch) so it hasn't been enforced up till now. That said, it's now been long enough since release for everyone to be able to have time to add the information so expect to see apps failing if you forget to include this information.

    How do I do this?

    Well, that's the easy part, simply include an About page or Contact Us page. For contact you can send them to a forum link:

    WebBrowserTask browser = new WebBrowserTask();
    browser.URL = "http://somepublisher/forum";

    Or an email address:

    EmailComposeTask emailComposeTask = new EmailComposeTask();
    emailComposeTask.To = "Publisher <feedback@publisher.com>";
    emailComposeTask.Subject = "Feedback About [Some App]";
    emailComposeTask.Body = "";

    When using tasks don't forget to wrap it in a try/catch statement.

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    WP7 Silverlight Gotcha: Using the ListPicker from the Toolkit may cause you to fail certification


    Applies To: Anyone using the current iteration of the Silverlight Tookit from Nov 2010

    Toolkit Link: http://silverlight.codeplex.com/releases

    Quick Bits

    A Toolkit ListPicker control that has less than 5 items in it will display inline (expands) but will not collapse when you press the back button (like the native control does). This can cause you to fail certification due to an erroneous interpretation of the certification guide.

    The Fine Print

    According to section 5.2.4c the following applies to the use of the Back Button:

    If the current page displays a context menu or a dialog, the pressing of the Back button must close the menu or dialog and cancel the backward navigation to the previous page. 

    The Setup

    You have a ListPicker with less than 5 items in it, using the standard Silverlight Toolkit library.

    The Sting

    The Toolkit ListPicker doesn't listen for the back button when the ListPicker is in mini mode (i.e. it doesn't pop up the full screen list picker), so when you press back normal navigation occurs.

    The Solution

    There will be an update to the Toolkit coming out sometime this month that will address the issue, but if you want a fix now you basically need to either fix the Toolkit or listen in on the navigation event (and then check if a ListPicker is expanded and if so collapse it). I prefer the first option, since it's easy and you don't need to write redundant code if you have heaps of ListPickers.

    To this end, you can download a patched ListPicker.cs file (replace this within your Toolkit Source project), or a built Toolkit DLL (unzip and replace your Toolkit installation under C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v7.0\Toolkit\Nov10\Bin), with one change - the ListPicker will now respect the back button.

    Does It Really Matter for Certification?

    Actually, no. My reading of the certification guide doesn't indicate in any way that this is the expected behaviour, not to mention that I (and a bunch of other people) have other apps that were approved with the same control!

    So, I fought the good fight, and lodged a support request (complaint) and got the following response:

    Dear Oren,

    I am sorry for the inconveniences you experienced!  It seems that there was a little misunderstanding during certification testing.  Dropdown list or list control does not need to be collapsed at Back button press and instead its previous screen can come up or if the back button was pressed from the application's first page, it can exit the application.   Please add a short tester note while submitting it explaining that the list control is not dialog and does not need to be closed.

    We will also instruct our test team to correctly apply different expectations for list controls.


    Windows Phone Marketplace Certification

    I was impressed (I don't think they even knew I was from within Microsoft)!


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    WP7 Marketplace Tip #3: Free app updates are free, even if they fail!


    This has finally been clarified by the Marketplace team as the most current, up to date, lore on the subject of free app updates - they're free, they don't count towards your 5 free submissions, even if they fail. Here's the word for word story straight from a Marketplace PM:


    Paid Developer (USD$99):

    1.     Unlimited number of paid applications.   You cannot change the price on a paid app to be free.

    2.     Updates to paid apps that have been published are no charge.

    3.     5 submission credits for free apps

    4.     Updates to free apps that have been published are no charge.


    DreamSpark (free):

    1.     Unlimited number of paid applications.   You cannot change the price on a paid app to be free.

    2.     Updates to paid apps that have been published are no charge.

    3.     5 submission credits for free apps

    4.     Updates to free apps that have been published are no charge.


    * the failed updates for free apps are not  accounted against the developer quota


    What do I do if I get charged for an update to a free app?

    Submit a support request via the portal and you should get a response within 24 hours. Feel free to reference this blog post if needed.

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    WP7 Marketplace Reporting Outage


    Hot on the heels of the previous post (but, unfortunately, not related) the Marketplace team have sent out a notice that there will be a reporting outage affecting Trial and Free download numbers for the next couple of days: 


    • Starting tomorrow (1/6), developers will see a drop in the 12/31 download numbers for their apps – (remember there is a 6-day delay in reporting)
    • This only affects Trial and Free download numbers – no impact to Paid downloads
    • All download numbers prior to 12/31 will continue to be accurate


  • Randomisation

    New Year, New WP7 Marketplace Clarifications


    Check out the final word: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oren/archive/2011/01/09/marketplace-tip-3-free-app-updates-are-free-even-if-they-fail.aspx

    I'm starting the year off a couple of days late so there's plenty to catch up on...

    We've got some new policy clarifications incoming from the Windows Phone Marketplace team - though as usual there is still some confusion around free apps. For now this is what I have:

    Paid Developer (USD$99):

    • Unlimited number of paid applications.  
      • You cannot change the price on a paid app to be free.
      • Updates to paid apps that have been published are no charge.
    • 5 submission credits for free apps
      • Updates to free apps that have been published are no charge. (see below)
      • USD$20 for each additional submission
      • Failed app submissions will count against your credits

    The same seems to be mirrored for Dreamspark accounts (students with free accounts).

    The big "but"


    Unfortunately it seems that we're still ironing out the kinks - In reality I am seeing updates to accepted free apps counting towards the 5 credits and then (once you run out of credits) being charged the $20 fee, even for already accepted apps. I'm still trying to get final word on this, but it seems to be the current policy...


    Got any good Marketplace stories to share?

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