apphjubpngHaving played around with developing for Microsoft’s platform, I found it to be a mostly pleasant experience. I did however, come across a few issues that, if remedied, could vastly improve upon the already good developer experience.

1. Option to Cancel App Submission

Being new to the whole developer world, I make my share of mistakes. This is true when uploading files for distribution in the Marketplace. As those who downloaded the first version of our Windows Phone app know, I mistakenly submitted the wrong file to be certified. After I discovered the mistake I attempted to cancel my submission so that the correct version could be submitted instead. For some reason Microsoft does not allow developers to delete a submission once it has been queued for testing. While I have no problem waiting 2-5 days for my app or update to pass certification, It’s a really big pain when I have to wait double that amount of time to correct a silly mistake. On top of this, anyone who chose to update the app was stuck with the bad version until the correct one passed certification. I’m not sure why Microsoft chose to forbid devs from canceling submissions, but this would be a very welcomed feature for me.

2. Currently Installed/Uninstall Numbers

Microsoft currently displays daily download details for apps. Data is delayed about a week. As it stands now, you can see how many downloads per day, cumulative downloads per day, and a regional breakdown of downloads. This data is definitely helpful, but I would like to know the retention rate. For free apps, I don’t care about sheer download numbers as much as people who kept the app on their phone. If a user downloads and app and immediately uninstalls it I get zero feedback as a developer. Microsoft can see which apps are on each phone, so why not use that data to help devs know which apps users want to keep and which ones they don’t?

Any devs out there? I there anything you guys would like to see added/changed in the AppHub to make life easier?


  1. Don’t get me started! Plenty of things to do on the app hub!
    OK some of them;
    – Update process is cumbersome. Wehn I submit an app update, i don’t want to submit agai and again the same full details including the screen shots. I want to be able to submit just a Xap file and eventually the version number.
    – Live description. Because of the stupid update process, I can make mistakes in the description or the category dropdown choice. i want to update some of the information live and now without waiting for another 2 to 5 days approval.
    – Reports are useless. We need live updates like admob or other ads centers. A week too late for me.
    – A way to change the price of an app on demand. At the momnet it’s impossible to transform a paid app to a free app. I want talso to have discounts for a period of time for instance.
    – Some way to separate the same app in two versions paid and trial so that I can update the version I like to update.

    Well this is just a beginnig I am sure I can go on like that for ages.

  2. @Peter: About your last point, why would you want to have the availability to only update the paid/trial version of something when the process to get the full version of a trial app is just a few lines of code saying that the software has been paid for? That seems off to me.

  3. @Peter: I completely agree with your 1st two points(I wasn’t sure if not setting those details again in the update would result in it using the old stuff or having a blank description as I never risked it) I would disagree with reports as MS PubCenter has nearly live updates(only about 2hrs behind for ad impressions). I didn’t include that here but this was mainly about App Hub not general MS Dev Tools. I’m also confused about your last point. Why would you want 2 versions of the same app when you can just make a free version? Having them under the same name will mean major changes to the marketplace interface for the phone. On top of that, I don’t see an overall benefit. You would have to submit two different xaps every time you updated anyway since one has code for an ad banner and the other wouldn’t.

    @John: These are my major gripes. The system isn’t perfect, but I can live with the others. I don’t mind copy/pasting my old info for each update nearly as much as being forced to wait through an entire certification process before I can correct a submission mistake.

  4. Here is my list:

    The fact that users can’t update trial apps down right pisses me off as a developer. People think that my update crashed their phone and uninstalls it because this is the only
    way to remove it from their market place queue.

    Waiting 5 days for the DL info is ridiculous.

    The reporting to horrible, I need to scan through 5 pages of data and manually tally all of my paid downloads.

    The payout limit should be reduced to $50 or $100, $200 is way too high.

    Ads are only shown in US.

    Keywords are exact match and search doesn’t search description.

    Marketplace search returns music and only god know what else, apps are too hard to find.

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