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Windows Phone Developer App Released in Beta

Windows Phone Developers continue to crank out apps, enriching the ecosystem that's so critical to the success of any mobile device. As of a few days ago, there were more than 130,000 Windows Phone apps available, according to this MSDN blog. About 15,000 of those were written specifically for Windows Phone 8, according to the author, Tareq Ateik.

Whether Windows Phone will begin to make real inroads on Android and iPhone is still an open question, but Microsoft continues to do everything it can to lure developers to try out the new platform. Its latest effort is the Dev Center app, just released in a preview version.

The app, available for the moment only in English, provides a host of functions. Included are total number of downloads, crash trends (and multiple time periods for those trends, starting at five days and up to one year), user reviews (translatable into different languages), payment information and link-sharing to your apps.

One of the coolest features for my money is that you can be updated in real time about downloads and crashes via Live Tiles. Having that information pushed to you can be incredibly valuable for troubleshooting and download trends. Imagine pushing out an update that's flawed. Using the app, you'll get instant feedback that there's a problem. Similarly, if you add a new feature that users love, you'll know about that immediately. In either event, it's timely information you can use to tune your app (or apps).

Microsoft warns that you need a Windows Phone Dev Center account to use the app. That sort of falls into the “duh” category for me. Note also that this is a preview version, so only download it if you don't mind doing some beta testing for Redmond.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/01/2013

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