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Two Simple Ways Microsoft Can and Should Improve the App Hub

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?