Windows Phone Developers App Hub Updates, Mango App Submission Just A Month Away

Windows Phone Developers App Hub has now been update, announced Todd Brix at Windows Phone developers blog.The new App Hub developer portal received some key new functionality, multiple enhancements and support for several new markets. "For those of you who are new to Windows Phone, App Hub is where you manage your account, change settings, […]

Windows Phone Developers App Hub has now been update, announced Todd Brix at Windows Phone developers blog.

The new App Hub developer portal received some key new functionality, multiple enhancements and support for several new markets. "For those of you who are new to Windows Phone, App Hub is where you manage your account, change settings, submit applications and stay up to date on Windows Phone."

Developers can now register in App Hub and submit apps from Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, South Africa, and South Korea, with China being added in early fall, 2011 (just a few months away).

In addition, 19 new consumer markets have been added to the 16 already supported markets.

Also included in the App Hub refresh are some new distribution models: Beta Distribution (you can test your mobile app with up to 100 beta testers for 90 days before publishing your app to the Marketplace), and Targeted Distribution, where your app does not appear in the Marketplace and is only accessible via a deep link.

Many more enhancements have been added as well, including an enhanced developer dashboard, a new "crash count" report, a streamlined app submission process, and new app categories. In addition, the blog post announces that once the Windows Phone Release Candidate tools are made available in August, developers will be able to start submitting their Mango apps.

Here's the Brix's complete announcement:

New App Hub functionality and geographic expansion:

1. Geographic expansion:

  • 19 new consumer markets. Starting today developers can publish their apps to consumers in 19 new countries, in addition to the 16 that Marketplace already supports.
  • 7 new developer markets: Also starting today developers from 7 new markets (Welcome!) can register in App Hub and submit apps. The 7 new developer markets enabled include: Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, South Africa and South Korea.
  • In a couple of months (early fall 2011), developers will also be able to register from China. We'll also expand the registration support already available in India.
  • App Hub localization: App Hub is now localized for Korean and Simplified Chinese in addition to English and Japanese.
  • Updated price tiers: Periodically (such as with the addition of new markets) we modify price tiers on a country-by-country basis to adjust for fluctuations in global currency exchange rates. The goal is to maintain consistent application pricing (net of applicable taxes) across markets. During the nine months since our initial launch, some currencies have gained and some have lost strength relative to one another. The changes made this week bring global prices more closely in line with the values established 9 months ago. We've also added more pricing tier options below (US) $5 to give you more flexibility in pricing.
  • Upcoming mobile in-app advertising market expansion: The international availability of Microsoft pubCenter remains a priority so developers can receive mobile in-app advertising revenue in their local currency. To this end, Microsoft Advertising pubCenter will support Windows Phone 7 app developers in the following 18 countries by the end of 2011: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

2. New private distribution options:

  • Beta Distribution: Enables developers to distribute pre-certified applications to a group of up to 100 access controlled beta testers for up to 90 days. This distribution method gives you the opportunity to test apps with a hand-picked set of beta testers more quickly and build high-quality apps before publishing them in Marketplace.
  • Targeted Distribution: Enables you to distribute applications through Marketplace in a hidden state, where they are not discoverable via browsing or searching Marketplace. To enable targeted users to access your hidden app you simply share the deep-link to the app with the users you want to have access via e-mail, text or other mechanism. Unlike beta distribution, you may distribute your app to as many users as desired and publish publicly in Marketplace at any time.

3. Enhanced application management:

  • Better application management: By selecting 'Edit catalog details' on the app 'Lifecycle' tab you can now change the app metadata without submitting your app for re-certification, thus reducing the time to update and publish new information.
  • Enhanced developer dashboard: Now from a single location, when you sign-in you can quickly see all top app performance metrics, payout status, distribution reporting and all available ratings & reviews on your app(s) on a per language basis.
  • More detailed reporting:You are now able to select between 'Summary' and 'Detail' views of all reports and export them in an Excel-compatible format for offline data handling and analysis.
  • New 'Crash Count' report: App Hub now enables you to retrieve data on crash counts and stack traces for each of your apps to use in debugging publisher updates faster.
  • Streamlined application submission process:Developers no longer need to upload artwork files one-by-one. By clicking the 'Browse' button, developers can bulk select upload multiple artwork files all at once during the app submission process. The App Hub will automatically detect the image sizes of all artwork and place them in the correct artwork locations for developers to edit or delete before final app submission.
  • New App Categories: To make discoverability of apps easier we have added 3 new top level categories (education, kids & family and government & politics) and several new sub categories. In addition, during the app submission process, developers can now select categories and sub-categories for all languages.

[Source: Windows Phone Developers blog]