Windows Phone 7 Marketplace App Categories

App categories are Microsoft’s way of organizing applications so that users can more easily find what they are looking for. For Windows Phone 7, there are 41 categories and sub-categories to help organize applications for users. When you submit your app to Marketplace you can choose from one of the categories below to help users find your app. Apps can only be placed in one category.

1.Books & Reference
– eReader
– Fiction
– Non-fiction
– Reference
– Action & Adventure       NUKE YOUR OFFICE
– Board & Classic            SHOVE HALFPENNY
– Card & Casino
– Family
– Music                           METRO DRUMMER, SONGSTER, JAMSTER
– Puzzle & Trivia              PUZZLEGRAM, SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
– Shooter
– Sports & Racing
– Strategy
– Xbox Companion
6.Health & Fitness
– Diet & Nutrition
– Fitness
– Health
7.Lifestyle                        uF
– Community
– Food & Dining               E.T.
– Out & About
– Shopping
8.Music & Video                METRO DRUMMER
10.News & Weather
– City Guides
– Language
– Planning
– Travel Tools

It’s easy to write Silverlight Applications

As anyone who reads this blog (anyone?) will know I have been on a journey over the last 18 months that began  shortly after I decided to take some time to learn Silverlight. (see here for the full story) The announcement of Silverlight support in the forthcoming ‘Windows Phone 7 Series’ phone (as it was know then) proved to be a catalyst for me to really take the challenge I had given myself.  My first Silverlight project (still up but desperate for a code update!) was a great place to start.  A year on and I almost dread the thought of reviewing that code (though I am committed to do so)  I have learned a lot over the last year:


Of course that’s not the whole story.  MS has been very smart in not allowing multitasking in the first iteration of WP7 and this single fact is probably going to save the souls of a lot of developers.  Why?  You might argue that if an app does it’s job then why should you care about the underlying code (actually I don’t know any developer who would take this view, but these phones are not targeted at developers!).  The simple fact is that as a result of Microsofts’ decision, poorly coded apps are not going to get the opportunity of impacting other apps (and perhaps more importantly the phone experience itself).  That said, the average user is going to think they do have multi-tasking as a result of the “tombstoning” process that goes on when a user switches away from any App (either by answering a call or just navigating away from the app, EG to take a picture. Having said that in order for this trick to work seamlessly the developer has to have coded the app correctly.

So where am I going with this?  The simple fact of the matter is that while the tools for developing Silverlight (and XNA) apps on the phone are easy to pick up, you cannot get away from the fundamentals of quality & performance, understanding the impact of ensuring that code runs on a particular thread for instance, is going to be crucial to getting the best performance.  (I’m not going to dwell on the intricacies of this but direct you to a great resource from Microsoft: ‘Creating High Performance Silverlight Applications for Windows Phone)’.  (The graphic comes from this article)


Which brings me to my latest application for Windows Phone ‘Metro Drummer’.  Having spent my formative years in a band programming drum machines (ranging from the Roland TR606 and 909 through to Linn Drums) the thought of developing a drum machine for the phone was quite attractive.  That said, I knew from the start that performance was going to be critical to success! (Nobody wants to hit the drum and hear the sound ‘some time later’ for instance).  I’m still in the process of optimising ‘Metro Drummer’, which has already involved an almost complete rewrite!  The learning process itself is great, and integral to the preparation for becoming a JEDI warrior.

At the end of the day ‘Metro Drummer’ will be as fully optimised as I am able to make it.  Will it see the light of day come October?  Let’s see, Its going to be an interesting journey. 


Metro 1

Metro 3Metro 4


Metro 2







Hope you enjoyed reading this post , as if on queue the AA van is just pulling up behind me – I’m stuck on the hard shoulder of the M4 while writing this, isn’t technology wonderful? (except maybe my car.)

(So I guess that’s it then, I really do need to get myself a proper job & start earning some money again!)

Guathon, London

Another 4am start to the day, this time for my second ‘Guathon’ which was held in London at the Odeon, Shaftsbury Avenue.  

On arriving at Victoria station at 7am I decided that I had enough time to completely avoid the Tube and walk to the venue (if you have ever used the tube during the morning rush hours you will understand why).  Victoria to Shaftsbury Avenue can actually be quite a pleasant walk if you take the right route.  This time I decided on a small detour to see one of my favourite spots in London, Hyde Park Corner (The gates here are a favourite of mine after photographing them for ‘’ last year).  London,Kensington,Hyde Park Corner 1900s ThenFrom there its a short walk through Green Park and down Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus.  It was at this end of Shaftsbury Avenue that I bumped into Mike Ormond, who was also giving part of the talk today  (next time I see him I will apologise for not introducing myself properly – I seem to recall that I started off the conversation with something like ‘OK, do you know where it is then!?).

The Guathon was broken into sections  (I’m not going to attempt to cover this in detail, safe to say that there was definitely ‘something for everyone’ and plenty of opportunity for Q&A):

VS2010 and ASP.Net.4 (An overview from Scott which focussed on lesser know features of VS2010 as well as a demoing some of the great new features in ASP.Net 4.

ASP.Net & MVC (I bowed out of this session as I had arranged to meet an old friend)

Windows Phone 7 An excellent session from Mike Ormond who covered the basics of how to get started on this platform.  Especially welcome was a great overview/starter for XNA development in which Mike built an App to help us look for his lunch (!)

Web Futures  Another great session from Scott that covered some of the new technologies that have been announced over the last few weeks including the new “Razor” template syntax, “Code-First” EF4, IIS Express and SQL CE (the latter of which Scott suggested may well find its way onto WP7 at some point in the future).

In all a great day, thanks to the “DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper” team for organising it, Microsoft for sponsoring it, and to Scott and Mike for their excellent presentations.