Following last week's, Microsoft scheduled weekend maintenance of the Windows Phone developer portal, App Hub -- the company today deubuted a new online home for Windows Phone developers dubbed "Windows Phone Dev Center."
The new Dev Center site, is an evolution of retired App Hub developer portal, and was redesigned from the ground up to provide "everything you need to build, publish, and manage apps for Windows Phones around the world," Microsoft stated.
Some prominent new features include "PayPal support, expanded markets, pubCenter integration, support for in-app purchases, and better analytics and reporting."
The first thing you'll notice about the Windows Phone Dev Center is its cleaner look and streamlined set of menu options and quick links: Submit App, Get SDK, and View Samples--all aimed at providing faster access to common tasks.
The Dev Center brings more markets -- "developers can soon register in four times as many countries or regions, and get paid in three times as many as what's possible today," Microsoft stated.
Microsoft plans to nearly "tripling the number of consumer storefronts around the world to sell your apps."
The Dev Center now lets you enter a unique price in each country or region. Also, you can now see ratings and reviews for each market in a single glance.
Microsoft says, that "coming up in our next release is in-app purchasing." Adding, "The Dev Center will support this important new revenue-generating mechanism in multiple ways, making it easy to do things like add and manage in-app merchandise and track sales," Microsoft said.
Also, the Dev Center now support important new revenue-generating mechanism in multiple ways, making it easy to do things like add and manage in-app merchandise and track sales.
Finally, the Windows Phone Dev Center now supports thousands of beta testers -- as opposed to previously App Hub's 100-tester limit.
Another improvement introduces the new flexible sign-up and submission to the Windows Phone Dev Center. "To that end, it's now easier to edit and update your account--everything from basics such as your name and address to your tax profile," said Microsoft.
Also, the Dev Center is now "more integrated with Microsoft Advertising's pubCenter," so it's possible to create a pubCenter account and ad units from the same place you manage your apps. (You'll still need pub Center to handle some aspects of your ad account.)
The Dev Center also introduces new analytic tools for tracking app downloads and performance. For example, "you can now see downloads by purchase type--Free, Paid, Trial, and Beta. Paid downloads are now broken down by "without trial" and "after trial," providing more useful insights into how customers are acquiring your apps. And the new My Money report shows monthly payouts--and will soon include exchange rate info," Microsoft explained.
Also, the Dev Center now has all the important educational resources in one place. "The new portal is integrated more deeply with MSDN, so you no longer need to leave it to browse Windows Phone-related forums and SDK info," adds Microsoft.
The new Windows Phone Dev Center is now available for user to start using for Windows Phone 7.5 (or earlier) apps.
Below is a summary of some of the improvements in the new Dev Center:
Fresh, new experience
Dev Center is dedicated to Windows Phone developers. You'll notice:
- A new name, an intuitive URL, and a brand-new user experience.
- A clean, new interface that provides quick access to your Dashboard, content, SDK tools, and common tasks such as app submission.
- A homepage that keeps you up to date with the latest news and events in the Windows Phone community.
- Deep integration with MSDN, giving you direct access to the SDK library, forums, and code samples.
- Forum profiles and settings are shared with Windows 8, so your responses in either forum add to your points in the MSDN recognition system.
Expanded registration and payout
Developer registration is now supported in over 178 markets. You can submit paid apps in 115 of those markets, and you can publish your apps in over 191 countries/regions. Dev Center improves your registration and payout experience in many ways. Now you can:
- Change account info such as name, address, phone, email, publisher name, and approver contact info in Dev Center.
- Submit digital tax forms for paid apps.
- Create a pubCenter account and ad units for your ad-funded apps right in Dev Center.
- Use PayPal for registration and payout in certain markets.
- Share account info and vetting status with Windows 8.
New app and in-app submission workflows
Note: You can only add in-app products to Windows Phone 8 apps.
We've streamlined the app submission experience. Now you can:
- Manage and submit your in-app products from Dev Center.
- Submit apps using smart defaults, which allow you to publish apps in all countries/regions except the ones that have additional content requirements.
- View ratings and reviews for all locales.
- See quick stats for your apps and in-app products.
- Submit multiple XAPs if needed and target multiple resolutions.
- Customize pricing on a per-country/region basis.
- Support thousands of users for beta testing your app.
- Provide descriptions of your app in all supported languages.
Dev Center reporting has many benefits:
- View your app downloads report by purchase type--Free, Paid, Trial, and Beta.
- See reporting for in-app products.
- Get currency exchange rate info for your payout report.
Dev Center brings together the content you need for creating and submitting apps for Windows Phone. We'll continue to publish new content to keep info fresh and relevant to your needs. You'll see:
- SDK and API reference content.
- Design guidance.
- Tips and best practices for marketing and selling your app.
- Helpful guidance about the submission process, app certification, reporting, and much more.