Friday, September 21, 2012

Limited Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview

I didn't make it.  So frustrating!  No one knows what the criteria really is.  I have 8 apps with a total of almost 120,000 downloads.  I'm sure there are many people with much higher numbers, but it's something!  I'd say that maybe it's only the high-profile studios, but it seems that MS would reach out to them privately then.  Such a tease!  They need to get people to sign NDA's and get it out there!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Still Frustrated!

I'm still waiting to see if Marketplace Dashboard. I actually left a note for the reviewers -- something I haven't done yet. I begged them to let me know if there were challenges during testing! Since you need to have an active Marketplace account to use it, I imagine it's difficult for their testers. I hope they can find a way to certify it -- especially since they did it somehow with the original version!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Windows Phone 8 SDK

I’m tired of waiting!  According to the Nokia press conference yesterday, developers may be able to get the SDK next week.  It seems that you must have apps in the marketplace already in order to qualify, but I’m not even sure if that’s the only requirement.  Considering the leak from a few months ago (which I never got) it seems like they must be close enough for developers to start working on their apps.  I want as much time as possible to get my apps updates, but also to write apps that use the new features.  Voice to text, text to voice, protocol handlers to invoke other apps, lenses, the Kid’s Corner, more available working memory, full Bluetooth integration, and greater platform access should combine to make an amazing developer experience (not to mention better apps for end-users!).  I really hope that I’ll qualify next week, and that I won’t have to then wait even longer until actually getting the bits!  Sound off if you are also excited, and what features you are most waiting for.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Low memory phone performance

So, the Marketplace Dashboard update almost made it through testing!  The biggest problem turned out to be it's performance on low-memory phones like the Nokia Lumia 610.  I was surprised since I knew that it ran fine, but it ended up being more subtle than that.

First of all, you should know that background agents won't run with 256MB phones.  For that reason I was already hiding the option for that on those devices (and feeling pretty smug about it!).

Lumia 610 (256MB RAM)
Second, with low memory, not as many things can run in parallel.  Due to the way apps are exposed on the Dev Center, I have to make a service call for each one.  On a 512MB device, I can run 10 threads concurrently and it goes pretty nicely.  On the 256MB device, the threads queued up the same way, but with them running in parallel they went so slowly that the timeout value often ended up being hit.  To make it worse, it ran just fast enough in the emulator.  We developers are supposed to keep in mind the difference between the emulator and a real device, but it's not necessarily obvious how to account for it.  Since I don't have a low-memory device, I had to trust the emulator.  Since it worked, I assumed the best!

Bottom line, it's not just peak memory that you need to worry about.  With less memory, things can run slower.  If you are using timeouts, you should probably increase those too.  Unfortunately, that part's going to be hard to test on the emulator.  You can only do your best though!  Being aware of this might save you some frustration later.