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Lessons I learned with miFlashlight passing WP7 certification today! (YAHOO!)

Oct 25

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Monday, October 25, 2010 9:25 PM  RssIcon

miFlashlight as seen on ZuneYYYYYAAAAAAHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!  miFlashlight passed WP7 certification testing today!  YAHOO!  Read on for the process, how I found out and a couple of lessons I learned for the next time which I hope you can use too!

miFlashlight as seen on Zune

Today I got a FANTASTIC email!  Check out the email MS sends out when your app passes certification!

Acceptance email

COOL!  But could it REALLY be true?  Off to the WP7 APP HUB I went to go look!  OH SWEET!  IT IS TRUE!

Marketplace acceptance

When you click on the View Details, here are the options you should see now.  Notice, I can tweak the price and submit an update (which I will do once I get the Trial version stuff implemented).

View Details actions

Next, I wanted to look further down at the artwork submissions.

 View Details artwork

Notice how the background LOOKS like it's bright and should be ok as a background in the Zune Marketplace?  Ya, I thought so too but it's not (just one of the lessons I learned down below).  Speaking of Zune, let's check out what miFlashlight looks like in it.  Top right of this blog is what you see when you first come in, and below is what you'll see when you click on one of the screen shots.  Notice the background is quite washed out.

miFlashlight in Zune

 Lessons Learned.  

These are just a few things I learned since my first submission.  I hope you can benefit from this.

  • You CANNOT and WILL NOT use the WP7 logo.  NO HOW, NO WAY!  Though shall not use your platform logo at all.  Thanks to a buddy of mine for spotting this and helping me submit my second version ahead of time!  Thanks Colin!
  • Directory setupKeeping track of certification submission "packages" is trickier than I thought.  I manage my setup for Submissions with a folder tracking my image assets and XAP file.  This ensures I always have a copy to refer back to (which I had to do a few times already).  Yes, I COULD put those images into my solution folder, BUT most of these are explicitly for the purpose of the Marketplace/Zune's benefit and I wanted to keep everything in it's place and organized.  Also, VS doesn't allow you to "add files as links" into the same project.  So you cannot take your root level ApplicationIcon.png (which has to be in the root) and add it as a link into the Assets folder to be used everywhere.  You can add links to files into other projects, but not within.

 

  • You might also notice, I'm trying out a naming convention for the "special images" the Marketplace requires (e.g. 200 X 200 pixels = MarketplaceCatalogSmall.200.png).  It's not perfect but it helps with identifying which file to pick when I'm looking at the list while entering the Marketplace asset information.
  • When entering in your artwork, use Copy'n'Paste on your first image cause the dialog that comes up defaults to some high level folder, not the last one you used.  CTRL+V is your friend/shortcut here.
  • The BackgroundArt I picked is just not vibrant enough to show up nicely in the Zune interface.  Need up update with BRIGHTER/LOUDER/BOLDER art.
  • CompetitionLook at the "competition" to see what other's are doing.  So far (without mine added yet) there are 11 other flashligt apps out there.
  • I learned from the "competition" to make sure to include screen shots in your submission, you're allowed up to eight.  Want people to appreciate your hard work AND make them pay for it?  Give them a Trial (I hope to do that soon) and let them see what they're getting (well, as much as you can).

Competition

  • There are TWO versions you have/should keep track of.  One is your assembly version/information and the other is the version you put into the Marketplace.  The Marketplace one is the one you HAVE to increment when you submit an update.  You don't, you fail.  Simple.  The assembly one just makes sense to update that one but you have to do that manually.

 

Configuration Manager

  • Make sure to remember to submit a Release Build (not a debug build).  No Release, no pass.
  • One benefit with resubmitting my app was it gave me a chance to change my original Category from Productivity to Tools (where the other flashlights are).

I would like to thank the Academ.....DOH!  Sorry....let the moment get away from me. hahah  But seriously, I would like to thank everyone for supporting me on this.  This is of course a learning adventure, but in the past three weeks, I've had quite a few people reply to me with word of support and encouragement.  Even iPhone/iPad and Android people.  Thank you very much!  NOW!!!!!!!!!  I just need a phone to put it on!  That's coming Nov 8th!

I hope you can pick up a few tricks from my certification process (failed and now pass LOL). Right now it's time to grab a coffee and get coding!

 

Resources

PCHenry.com: Failed first attempt at WP7 application submission (updated with reasons)

miFlashlight website

PCHenry.com: Four Cool WP7 phones coming to Canada!

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4 comment(s) so far...


Re: Lessons I learned with miFlashlight passing WP7 certification today! (YAHOO!)

Congrats Pete.

By Jim Cloughley on   Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:05 PM

Re: Lessons I learned with miFlashlight passing WP7 certification today! (YAHOO!)

Thank you very much Jim! :> Now, I just need to add Trials, a Bing map as a background, count down timer, clapping to turn off, UI feedback for sliding/dimming, and a few other tricks up my sleeve. Thanks for commenting!

By phenry on   Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:06 PM

Re: Lessons I learned with miFlashlight passing WP7 certification today! (YAHOO!)

That's awesome, Congratulations and all the best with future enhancements.

By Kamran on   Thursday, October 28, 2010 3:09 PM

Re: Lessons I learned with miFlashlight passing WP7 certification today! (YAHOO!)

Thank you Kamran! But I still have quite a bit of "features" I want to implement on it and show how to do, so I hope people will keep coming back to check things out! Thanks for leaving a comment.

By phenry on   Thursday, October 28, 2010 3:10 PM

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