Developing for Windows Phone: the sunny side

By | October 19, 2012

Developers just want to have funLast week Petar told the story of our rocky experience with publishing on the Windows Phone Store. While it is still unclear how exactly Microsoft manifest their alleged effort to attract developers towards their mobile platform, we are pretty clear about why we are doing it. And this post is devoted to the sunny side of being a Windows Phone developer. Just so you know we are not some downright moronic masochists who willingly enter the Twilight Zone and then complain about the lighting.

Just today Petar went on a morale-boosting ego trip into the Windows Phone Store and sent the team a compilation of positive reviews for our Smartboard Calculator. The Calc’s free fully functional version, by the way, just became available on the Store, thanks to the inclusion of some unobtrusive and hopefully useful ads. Feel free to grab one, it is a pretty sweet app. Just check some of our favorite reviews of Smartboard Calculator, and you’ll begin to understand some of the rewards of developing for a stubbornly stuck-up and inflexible platform-owner such as Microsoft:

“Brilliant! Truly awesome idea and beautifully designed.“
“Best calculator app, especially if you are doing calculations for your math homework because it’s like doing math on paper, you see the calculations. Beautifully different design. Works very well.“
“This is the coolest and most intuitive calculator available on the market. Definitely will purchase the full version!“
“I punched in the craziest longest formula and it worked! Very nice :] “

The definite number one reason why we persist in making Windows Phone apps, or any apps for that matter, is customer appreciation. Not that we are so vein, but in a world where on some days your only pals are the keyboard and monitor, it means a lot to know that there are real people out there who feel good because of what we do.

Receiving acclaim from within the industry comes a close second. This summer, above-mentioned Smartboard Calculator was nominated for the World Summit Award as the best m-Content example in m-Learning&Education from Bulgaria, which was pretty sweet. We are also running for the Webby Awards this year, and, boy, are we enjoying entering together with all these other great pieces of software and looking forward to finding out who the winner is. Keep your fingers crossed!

On top of being occasionally rewarding (morally and otherwise), developing for Windows Phone is also plain exciting, in terms of riding the latest wave in technology and being among the first ones to explore it, play with it, read the latest scoop and get excited about it all over again. The Lumia 920 – can’t wait to see it! Windows 8 on smartphones and tablets? Talk about user experience to drool over! Microsoft’s next big purchase? We don’t know what it will be, but their ecosystem’s evolution is so interesting to observe (and be part of). And so on – you get us.

Ok, don’t put that skeptical grin on – we are also considering the promise of a decent revenue stream when deciding what apps to build. However, the difference between money generated and money invested (time, resources, paid campaigns) into our Windows Phone apps puts us so deep in the red that most often we prefer not to think about this at all. Meanwhile, our CEO has nightmares about it, but this is a whole other blog post. We do hope that with time, WP will make financial sense, though. Hopefully soon. It’d better be soon.

Meanwhile, keep those positive vibes coming our way. Even the not-so-positive ones are welcome. We enjoy what we do mostly because there is you on the other end. Otherwise, it would be like talking on the phone with a busy tone. Or, indeed, like developing for Microsoft.

Just kidding, they are trying, those good folks. And by the way, Hotel Finder’s Microsoft-delayed update that Petar was talking about last time is now live too. So far, so good.

-Nora

One thought on “Developing for Windows Phone: the sunny side

  1. Andrew Louwrens

    I am going to continue to ask for the Call & SMS Filter for WP, nokia lumia 900, until I get it. I know so many people that use it on Symbian phones, doctors etc, not to mention myself. I am lost without it!!!

    Reply

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