Getting the Current Windows Phone App Version in code.

 

It’s often useful to display the current App version (per your App Manifest) for support purposes.  I came across the following snippet that looks to provide the easiest option that requires no manual updates when you release a new version of your app:

VersionTextBox.Text = XDocument.Load("WMAppManifest.xml").Root.Element("App").Attribute("Version").Value;

I usually use this in my about box similar to this (add a textbox named VersionTextBox to your xaml first):

image

Win – Win with Nokia’s DVLUP World Domination Challenge!

 

I have been a part of Nokia’ developer program for quite a while and thought I would take the time to point out a particular recent challenge in its’ DVLUP program that represents a quick win on three counts:

1.  The Challenge doesn’t require a new version of the App so consequently is very quick to implement.

2. You gain entry to a significant number of new Phone markets (equals increased revenue!) by completing this challenge.

3. It’s maybe one of the easiest ways to get 100 xp points in the DVLUP program!

For details of the DVLUP program and this challenge check out this link:

http://www.dvlup.com/Challenge/97#

When going through my own apps for this challenge I was surprised to find that the majority of them were not already submitted to all potential markets so I consider this challenge to have done me a service!  Thanks DVLUP!

Made in the UK

846x468

imageVery pleased to see that ‘Learn Piano’ is one of the featured apps in the Windows Store ‘Made In The UK’ spotlight section in the Windows Store.

Watch, Rewind, Pause and Play this stunning collection of videos aimed at helping you to learn the piano.
Beginner? Use ‘slow’ mode to play along slowly!

★★★★★ "What a wonderful App!"

★★★★★ "A very enjoyable way to learn"

★★★★★ "I felt good about my playing in no time, thank you!"

NB Learn Piano has consistently been in the top ten free Apps in the Lifestyle section of the Windows Store since it’s launch.

You can download ‘Learn Piano’ for free <here>

App Sales on the Windows Platform

Something strange has been going on with my Windows Phone and App store downloads.

Windows Store App Sales

So not a very inspiring story but this graph shows sales revenue (not ad revenue) for Apps between April and June this year.  The graph shows a regular income from App sales of between £5 and £10 per day up until around 6th May when suddenly not only are there no sales but there are more refunds than is the norm.

image(Click on the graph to enlarge)

And so I put in a request to Microsoft to investigate this strange phenomena.  Some weeks passed and after a series of exchanges I got a message back saying everything is normal (!?)

Windows Phone App Sales

A similar story with my Windows Phone sales (I have an outstanding request to investigate this from that team also).

image

To my mind the chances of this happening through the normal course of events are so small as to be discountable?

And so the purpose of this post   (and I feel a little bad that I have had to resort to this) is to ‘shame’ Microsoft into actually giving me an explanation of what is wrong instead of a series (of which the below is the latest) of emails attempting to persuade me that everything is OK.

image

NB I have replied to the email above with a link to this blog post.

If anyone else has experienced similar phenomena please let me know.

UPDATE – Windows 8 Apps

Here are the raw transactions for the Windows 8 Apps covering this issue:

"Date","App","Transaction type","Offer","Country/region","Currency","Transaction amount","Store fee","App proceeds","App proceeds(GBP)","Settled","Payment date"
"4/1/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/1/2013","Fishing Tips","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/2/2013","Comedy Gold TV","In-app purchase","HiDef","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/2/2013","Comedy Gold TV","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/3/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","KW","KWD","0.390","0.117","0.273","","No","N/A"
"4/3/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","KW","KWD","1.990","0.597","1.393","","No","N/A"
"4/4/2013","Learn Guitar","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/4/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/5/2013","Presenters Assistant","In-app purchase","AddFree","GR","EUR","5.21","1.56","3.65","","No","N/A"
"4/5/2013","Pranks!","Reversal","AddFree","US","USD","-1.49","-0.45","-1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/6/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/6/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/6/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","ABBA Yearbook","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","ABBA Yearbook","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.49","0.75","1.74","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","Learn Piano","Reversal","AddFree","US","USD","-6.99","-2.10","-4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","Speeches","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","4.99","1.50","3.49","","No","N/A"
"4/8/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/8/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/9/2013","Learn Drums","In-app purchase","AddFree","ID","IDR","60,000","18,000","42,000","","No","N/A"
"4/10/2013","Bowie 7885","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","MegaStructures","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Sculpting","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Bowie 7885","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/14/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/14/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","IN","INR","350.00","105.00","245.00","","No","N/A"
"4/15/2013","Live Tile News","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Early Symptoms","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Early Symptoms","In-app purchase","HiDef","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","ZA","ZAR","10.00","3.00","7.00","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Gadgets","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","ZA","ZAR","50.00","15.00","35.00","","No","N/A"
"4/19/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","DE","EUR","1.03","0.31","0.72","","No","N/A"
"4/19/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/19/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/21/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/21/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/21/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/22/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/22/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/23/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/23/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","HiRes","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/23/2013","Sporting Disasters","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/24/2013","Hot Models","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/24/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","AddFree","NZ","NZD","1.99","0.60","1.39","","No","N/A"
"4/25/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/26/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/27/2013","Live Tile Sport","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","2.25","0.67","1.58","","No","N/A"
"4/27/2013","Fishing Tips","In-app purchase","AddFree","DE","EUR","5.21","1.56","3.65","","No","N/A"
"4/27/2013","Bowie 7885","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","Shape Your Body","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","Live Tile Sport","In-store purchase","N/A","TH","THB","110.00","33.00","77.00","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","Shape Your Body","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","3.99","1.20","2.79","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Live Tile News","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Geek Porn","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","3.49","1.05","2.44","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","3.49","1.05","2.44","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Live Tile News","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/30/2013","7 Wonders I","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/30/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/30/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"5/1/2013","Baby Knowledge","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"5/1/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","3.49","1.05","2.44","","No","N/A"
"5/2/2013","Speed Painting","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","1.56","0.47","1.09","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Geek Porn","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Punk !","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","MegaStructures","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","3.99","1.20","2.79","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","Easy DIY","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.99","0.90","2.09","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","NZ","NZD","1.99","0.60","1.39","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Lower Body Workout","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Technology Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CH","CHF","1.30","0.39","0.91","","No","N/A"
"5/10/2013","Country Music Stars","Reversal","HiRes","CA","CAD","-1.49","-0.45","-1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/22/2013","Learn Drums","Reversal","AddFree","ID","IDR","-60,000","-18,000","-42,000","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","1.56","0.47","1.09","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","Trial upgrade","N/A","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/15/2013","Supermarket Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","NZ","NZD","8.99","2.70","6.29","","No","N/A"
"6/16/2013","British Fashion","In-app purchase","HiDef","NL","EUR","1.03","0.31","0.72","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Bowie 9401","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","2.49","0.75","1.74","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/18/2013","Technology Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.99","0.90","2.09","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/20/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","1.56","0.47","1.09","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","Trial upgrade","N/A","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/15/2013","Supermarket Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","NZ","NZD","8.99","2.70","6.29","","No","N/A"
"6/16/2013","British Fashion","In-app purchase","HiDef","NL","EUR","1.03","0.31","0.72","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Bowie 9401","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","2.49","0.75","1.74","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/18/2013","Technology Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.99","0.90","2.09","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/20/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"

No sales between 6th May and 13th June which given the trend before and after points to something being amiss (Note that the transactions between those dates are actually reversals)

UPDATE – Windows Phone Apps

I have a broadly similar issue with Windows Phone Sales – I don’t have the individual transactions to show but the graph below is fairly conclusive:

image

App Sales on the Windows Platform

Something strange has been going on with my Windows Phone and App store downloads.

Windows Store App Sales

So not a very inspiring story but this graph shows sales revenue (not ad revenue) for Apps between April and June this year.  The graph shows a regular income from App sales of between £5 and £10 per day up until around 6th May when suddenly not only are there no sales but there are more refunds than is the norm.

image(Click on the graph to enlarge)

And so I put in a request to Microsoft to investigate this strange phenomena.  Some weeks passed and after a series of exchanges I got a message back saying everything is normal (!?)

Windows Phone App Sales

A similar story with my Windows Phone sales (I have an outstanding request to investigate this from that team also).

image

To my mind the chances of this happening through the normal course of events are so small as to be discountable?

And so the purpose of this post   (and I feel a little bad that I have had to resort to this) is to ‘shame’ Microsoft into actually giving me an explanation of what is wrong instead of a series (of which the below is the latest) of emails attempting to persuade me that everything is OK.

image

NB I have replied to the email above with a link to this blog post.

If anyone else has experienced similar phenomena please let me know.

‘Learn Piano’ is Top Free Lifestyle App!

 

After hovering around the top slot for a good few weeks (and a brief spell as a ‘paid’ app) I was very pleased to see that ‘learn Piano’ has the top spot this week in Lifestyle Apps.

image

Recent updates to the App include support for ‘Play To’, enabling lessons to be streamed to a nearby TV and the ability to download additional lessons via an in app purchase.

screenshot_03022013_032715

The App is currently in its ninth release (wow) with many more enhancements in planning – hopefully will help it to stay near (or on) the top of the heap!


(Download ‘Learn Piano’ for free here)


Windows Store Download Stats.

So after a very flat and uninspiring period after the launch of Windows 8 looking at my own stats today it is clear that things have started to change over the last Month or so – with a steep increase in downloads (which now total in excess of 37,000)

image

Hopefully this increase will continue a pace over the coming year.

Interestingly a similar graph for my Windows Phone Apps shows a much steadier increase over the same period:

image

 

Windows 8 Hardware

At the weekend I had the fortune to visit the ‘gadget show live’ event in Birmingham and was particularly impressed with the variety and quality of the Windows 8 devices that were on display (I particularly liked this Sony device that was equally usable in a tablet and laptop/desktop configuration and powerful enough for almost any scenario)

image

It was nice to be able to get hands on with all these devices in one place.  (It did make me think that our PC retailers are not doing as effective a job as they might).

Programmatically Searching the Windows Store

Although to my knowledge there isn’t a publically available API for the Windows store there is a little known method to invoke the store  from any machine running Windows 8.

The basis for this method is the intrinsic support for  the stores own HTTP protocols on Windows 8.  At the moment this seems to work on al the major browsers (ie, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Example 1: Search for a Publisher

Type the following into your browsers address bar to find all the aps I currently have published in the store:

ms-windows-store:Search?Query=Web Surfaces

Example 2: Search for a Subject

Lets say that I am a sailor and want to learn the rudiments of how to tie various sailing related knots (humour me):

ms-windows-store:Search?Query=Knots

(Who knew?)

Example 3: Bringing up a specific App

Lets say I am a developer and want to bring up the store with my own apps page.  I have already checked the Browser’s user agent to ensure the user is running on Windows 8 (useragent string contains ‘Windows NT 6.2’)

I also know my apps own unique GUID which I can get by logging in to http://appdev.microsoft.com and checking the GUID used in a standard http link:

image

ms-windows-store:PDP?PFN=6e0e338a-00e2-4920-ac0c-a89fc2d80b54

Example 4 Checking the store for updates:

ms-windows-store:UPDATES

Here is a list of the parameters presently supported by this protocol:

image

NB There is also some rudimentary documentation for this protocol from Microsoft here

Using protocols in your own Apps

You can use http protocols in your own apps. For example my own App ‘Presenters Assistant’ uses it to invoke itself after someone shares some text with it.

http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/presenters-assistant/99f7a452-cf2a-4af0-b69b-79aea1efe94e

To try this, download the App, then type the following into your browsers address bar:

scroll://This is an example of some text to scroll

(Watch out for my next blog post about how to do this)