This week my second app went live on the WP7 marketplace. It was a very quick process. Submitted Friday afternoon, live on Tuesday. The experience seemed different from the first app. The first app was done as a demonstration on how easy a WP7 app is to create. Last fall at a Microsoft conference, before the phone was released, I was given a handful of WP7 phones to demonstrate. Other than turning it on and a few feature explanations, I was given little training on the WP7 phone. The phone basically demoed itself. During one break in the conference, someone asked me how hard it was to really create a WP7 app. So while everyone was at the next conference session I wrote an app and demonstrated it to the questioner on the next break. It is not the world’s greatest app, but it works and took less than an hour to write.
Of course, getting it to the marketplace was far more involved. Descriptions and screen shots had to be created. The app also needed a bit of polish. One thing I noticed on the second app was that the AppHub seemed to have far more information for the developer. From a previous experience with the AppHub last month, I knew that the AppHub develoeprs were Where’s Waldo fans. You needed to click on the user’s name on the page to reveal a hidden page to be able to unregister your phone and re add it.
So I knew that I had to look for the hidden door when the current submision disappeared. The actual verification and signing appeared to have been done in a few minutes and the app was waiting for certification. The Windows phone page under my dashboard appears quite barren, but there are “button” in the lower right corner of most of the sections, a fragment of orange coloured text. At least with the Notifications and the My Payouts sessions, the fragment starts withh the word View indicating that there is more to come. Clicking on the text on the App Highlights text “Windows Phone 7 apps” brought up a list of the apps that have made certified, including what had appeared to be my missing first app. I had not seen that since the first round and I was able to follow it as it had been downloaded. Now I have to drill down to the my apps page for a list and then drill down further to get the details.
Another good thing that happened this week was that since I had a paying app on the marketplace, I had to finally go through the process of obtaining an ITIN number from the IRS. For years I have dealt with US companies without requiring one, but that was part of the process for getting paid from the Marketplace. This week, that became a thing of the past and non US developers do NOT need an ITIN. 😉
One big issue is that the page gives you an option to edit the marketing material, BUT when you do, it throws your app back in for a full round of certification. There really no reason for that. Changes to the documentation shold be reviewed, but if there are no changes to the XAP, the certification team shuld be allowed to not have to repeat their work. I wonder how many other developers fell in the trap thinking they can do a minor tweak to their marketing and NOT have to have their XAP reevaluated.
One goond thing about the reevaluation is that I found that though the screen shot backgrounds are square, you can not submit landscape images in landscape. They must be submitted in portrait. The square background made me think I should not have originally submitted the landscape screenshoots in portrait. Now I know. Unfortunately, someone on the certification app has to go through my app again.
John Marshall… Visio MVP Visio.MVPs.org