Windows Phone Dev Center Upgraded for Universal Apps
The redesigned Web site focuses on Windows Phone 8.1 conversions.
Microsoft has updated its Windows Phone Dev Center for the new era of universal Windows apps, since those apps can now cross the Windows Phone boundary and move into the world of Windows 8.1 and Xbox.
The changes to the Dev Center were announced in a blog post by Microsoft's Keith Senzel, who said the rollout of the new Web site has started, and will have updates throughout the week.
The Dev Center has undergone a redesign, to better service developers building new universal Windows apps or converting previous programs to the universal model. New features include:
- Windows Phone 8.1 package submissions. This can be done via Silverlight, updated with new features in the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK, or the Windows Runtime, which allows the app to be used across the multiple Windows platforms.
- Existing Windows Phone apps that are pre-8.1 will be automatically upgraded to the latest edition, without the developer needing to do anything.
- Platform targeting allows apps to be set to the appropriate Windows Phone version; for example, 8.1 apps will only be offered to Windows Phone 8.1 devices.
- Reduced certification times. Microsoft claims that app certification has been chopped from days to hours (in most cases).
The Dev Center is a clearinghouse for Windows Phone development. Its development aids include downloadable tools like the Windows Phone SDK, Windows Phone 8.1 development tools and Windows Phone 8.1 emulators; video instruction and interviews related to Windows Phone app development (which are mostly links to Channel 9 content); code samples; links to the Windows Phone Dev Center app, which analyzes apps and provides feedback; and links to the Windows Phone Preview for Developers, released earlier this week.
Senzel also previewed some upcoming Dev Center features. They include promotional app pricing with specific start and end dates; pre-submission validation checks to smooth the certification process; and the ability to define whether an app requires a touch-enabled device.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.