WPbeta.me’s new partner myAppFree will help you promote your apps

[If you don’t know what WPbeta.me is, read this blog post first. In a nutshell – it’s a free service that helps you manage your Windows Phone beta testing.]

wp_ss_20141126_0001People love discounts and free apps. Our new partner, myAppFree knows that. If you have an awesome paid app and want to be promoted inside their popular app, all you have to do is contact myAppFree and set your app price to free for a duration of promotion. That will not get you a lot of money, but you’ll get a lot of users. And that’s sometimes even more important.

There is another way to benefit from myAppFree growing popularity. If you’re a developer that uses WPbeta.me to beta test your app (and have more than ten active beta testers), you can get a free 1.500-clicks-coupon that will promote your released (not beta) app, free or paid. That means that you’ll get 1.500 people to be just a click away from installing your app. Will they install, that’s up to you – your screenshots, descriptions, ratings etc. Work on those, make them shine.

I always try out our partners, so I have tried out myAppFree with my Analog Clock Tile app. It works really great, I got a really huge click-through-rate! People use myAppFree app to discover new apps + you’re not limited by number of impressions, but clicks. That means you’re app will be featured there as long as you don’t reach 1.500 clicks.

Since myAppFree promotes only high quality apps, your app must fit a quality criteria: 4+ star rating with minimum of 15 reviews. If you’re working on a brand new app, that means you’ll have to wait a bit to use this coupon, but don’t worry – coupons are valid until the end of year 2015.

But, that’s not all – our AdDuplex 50$ coupon promotion is still active, so once you reach ten active beta testers, you’ll get both coupons, for free!

If you’re a Windows Phone developer, I don’t think you have a choice. Start using WPbeta.me now – beta testing helps you make a better app, and beta testing with WPbeta.me helps you promote it, too!

If you are already using WPbeta.me and have more than ten active beta testers, you can grab your coupons right away, just go to your apps and open the app page!

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WPbeta.me has some really cool new features

Untitled-3This two months, since WPbeta.me was launched, were great! A lot of developers are using this beta testing service, and – what’s more important – they give an awesome feedback. It’s really great to work on a product that targets developers – if anybody knows how to give good feedback, it’s them. Developers, we rock!

Of course, for a feedback to be useful, you have to act upon it! So I did. Here is a list of new features that will help WPbeta.me developers to make their beta testing better and easier:

  • Send a note. Once a week you as a developer can send a note to all your beta testers. You can use it to ask testers to test a specific feature, to remind them to try new beta version or just to say thanks at the end.
  • Submission feedback. When you forward your submission e-mail message to our system, now it will get back to you immediately to confirm the receipt of the message (the links are send out two hours later, so the Store can propagate changes). This seemed useless to me before, but I got a lot of feedback from confused developers.
  • Auto updating. You don’t have to log in to WPbeta.me to get your apps updated – now it’s done automatically every 36 hours. So, if you upload a new version to the Store, it will automatically be retrieved in less than 36 hours.
  • Testing status. Each app can have one of three statuses – testing planned, testing in progress and testing finished. That way testers will know when to expect app updates, and WPbeta.me will bother you much less frequent with new testers notifications if your app is in “testing planned” or “testing finished” state.
  • Support e-mail and production App ID. You can (optionally) enter support e-mail address for your app (that will be visible), as well as App ID of public version, so beta testers can compare and use the public version as well.
  • Apps list sorting. The public list of beta apps now can be sorted – you can see a list of freshly updated apps, new apps and the most popular apps in the system.

Hope you like this upgrades and – please – keep your valuable feedback coming.

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Analog Clock Tile, second version

promotional-imageI’ve just released a major update to my most popular app called Analog Clock Tile. This app does one thing, and it does it great – it shows a clock (analog, digital, binary…) on a tile and updates it every minute. And that actually works. Maybe it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’ve seen many apps trying to do the same thing, without lasting success. I’ve invested a lot of time in optimizing background task that does the job – to be precise, I’ve developed and tested four different approaches, and implemented the best one.

So, what’s new in version number two?

* Support for wide tiles
* Support for extra text on a tile
* One clock face included out of the box
* Added logging
* New UI for selecting clock faces + new clock faces
* You can now change clock face while offline (if already downloaded)
* Activation of already downloaded clock face is now really, really fast
* A bit faster download and first time activation

Download Analog Clock Tile here – it’s 100% free!

That’s all for now, but more features are on their way. If you want to be the first one to try them, apply for a beta test on this awesome Windows Phone beta testing service.

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WPbeta.me partners with AdDuplex – free coupons for all!

We have given away ten AdDuplex coupons this month to randomly chosen developers that have submitted their apps to WPbeta.me, a free service that connects Windows Phone developers with beta testers and helps them manage beta testing.

From today, we’re taking this to the next level! AdDuplex and WPbeta.me will award every beta app, public or private, that has more than ten (10) active beta testers* with a 50 US$ coupon! That will come in handy when you publish your app, so you can promote it on the largest advertising network for Windows Phone.

sScreenshotAll you have to do is have ten active testers and click “Get coupon” on your app properties page on WPbeta.me site and you’ll get the code, as well as instructions how to redeem it.

If you don’t use WPbeta.me, as a developer or a beta tester, what do you wait? Start now – it’s simple, useful and free!

*active beta testers = enrolled via WPbeta.me and added as beta testers in Dev Center

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Microsoft AppStart Competition for Balkans, Baltic and a few other countries

Good news! There is a competition going on and it’s targeting a lot of countries that usually cannot participate in these kind of stuff. Yes, I’m talking about Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia – and the prizes (Lumias 1320) are per country!

All you have to do is develop a new Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 app OR add features and upgrade existing application to 8.1 – and you can win one of four Lumia 1320 in your country. Everyone can participate – developers, students and startups, and the contests runs for a year, in four rounds!

See all the details here. And good luck!

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WPbeta.me giveaway winners are…

Howdy, ho! As I promised, I’m giving away ten AdDuplex 50 US$ coupons. WPbeta.me service is awesome, AdDuplex is awesome, your apps are awesome and SQL’s NEWID() functions has chosen the winners:

- Tile-Generator Beta
- Project Log BETA
- S* t* S* beta
- Fake Post
- MyM*
- L*S*A*
- FB Pages Manager Beta
- Sapphire BETA
- We* Beta
- Money Lover

*Apps with stars are added as private, so I’m keeping their names private.

By the way, I’m more than happy to see my new service is used and loved by both developers and beta testers. Thank you for your support, for bug reports, feature suggestions and shares on social network. That really means a lot!

And a few numbers for the end: currently, there are 53 active apps (beta and public) and 1038 user accounts created. The most popular app has 153 beta testers, and average number of beta testers is almost 41 (40.8).

Keep those betas coming!

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WPbeta.me: a brand new service that helps you manage Windows Phone beta testers + giveaway

logoHave you ever submitted a beta app on Windows Phone Store? Well, you should have. (If you’re a Windows Phone developer, that is. If you’re just a user – jump to the end of this post – I have something for you, too.) Beta testing is really important part of app development and it’s your last chance to fine tune the application and be ready for the big day – the launch.

You can do it privately, with the help of your friends, colleagues, or a client. Or you can do it publicly – sharing a word on social networks and asking people to try out your app.

No matter what path you choose, the beta submission has the same requirement – you have to collect tester’s e-mail addresses, the ones they use as Microsoft Accounts on their phone. Otherwise they will not be able to download and install the app.

This sounds complicated. And it is. (Well, it was before WPbeta.me, but let me get to the point a bit later.) But, you get a huge benefit – you don’t have to pass or wait for the certification. Your beta app is published almost immediately – you’ll just have to wait for about two hours for it to propagate to servers around the globe.

WPbeta.me is here to make this easier. Just submit your AppID to our system, we’ll retrieve your app metadata and create a landing page for your beta with an URL of your choice (e.g. wpbeta.me/clock or wpbeta.me/topsecretXYZ). You can share that link to your closed group of testers, or publicly. The only thing testers have to do is click on a button, login with their Microsoft Account (that’s how we make sure that they give you a valid e-mail address) and you’ll have them on the list. You occasionally have to copy the list of beta testers from our site to your Dev Center account – and they’ll get an e-mail with the direct download link. You can even track who has clicked on the link and when.

Have I mentioned that it’s free? Well, it is. But not only that – to celebrate the launch of the service, I’ll be giving away 10 awesome AdDuplex coupons worth US$ 50 each that you can spend on promoting your app when it goes live. I will randomly choose ten apps from the database on August 15th, private or public. So make sure you submit your beta app (and don’t delete it before that date – when you delete your app, we delete it as well, so we don’t have any record that it has existed. That’s what I call the privacy policy!)

I’m no developer, but I wanna test new apps!

We have something for you, too! Go to http://wpbeta.me/tester and find an app or two you like and join the beta testing. Ok, the list is rather short since we’re just launching, but it will grow.

This is the first version of WPbeta.me and it’s in beta. There are a lot of ideas on the to-do list, and this service will improve and grow in features. I will be very grateful for all your feedback, bug reports and feature suggestions. You can use the contact page.

I can’t believe you’ve read the whole post! Thanks! Now take a look at WPbeta.me!

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Wall Of Silver joined the TweetBeam Twitter wall family

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As you may already know, I like to turn little ideas into small side projects. One of that project was Wall Of Silver – a simple Twitter wall solution written in Silverlight. It started as an entry in a contest that was part of MIX conference in Las Vegas back in 2010. (For more info, check out my old blog post.)

Today, more than four years later, Wall Of Silver is no longer mine. It has joined the TweetBeam Twitter Wall Family and it’s completely rewritten in HTML5. I haven’t worked on my Wall for years, and Yousef from TweetBeam made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Interestingly, Yousef had participated in the same Mix10k contest with almost the same idea. His TweetArt (don’t click, doesn’t work any more) has grown into TweetBeam (working with many events world-wide), my Wall Of Silver entry (again, don’t click) got his own domain, and now, four years later – they’re together, ready to conquer the world of Twitter walls!

I’m glad that Wall Of Silver is reborn and that TweetBeam is taking good care of it! Good luck to you both!

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Giveaway: Dear, @dvlup, please #expandDvlup to more countries!

DVLUP, a great Microsoft/Nokia’s awards program for Windows Phone developers, is available in 55 countries, but not all around the world. One of them is Croatia, where I’m from. I would like this to change, not only for Croatia, but for other countries as well (Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia… just to name a few in my neighborhood). Developers in all those unsupported countries would really appreciate this!

Will you help us?

I happen to have three (3) eighteen (18)* codes for 100 XP (DVLUP points) and I’ll randomly give them away to three lucky people that tweet anything that contains hashtag #expandDvlup and mentions official @dvlup Twitter account. You can tweet as much you like, or just retweet the existing tweets to enter. 100 XP are waiting for you. Tweet, share, help!

Do it now – the codes are expiring in a few days, so this giveaway is open for 48 hours only – until midnight (GMT), June 14th 2014.

Winners will be listed on June 15th here on the blog, as well on my Twitter account.

(Unfortunately, only people from DVLUP supported countries can redeem codes – that’s what this is all about. We want to collect points, too!)

Thanks!

Update: my friends Igor, Toni and Filip offered their codes as well, so we have 18 x 100 XP to give away! Yay!

Update 2: First of all, thank you all for supporting this small initiative. We had a bunch of retweets and tweets, but mostly from the countries that do not have DVLUP available (yet! :-)). So, we ended up with more prizes than eligible winners, so some of them got two codes and 200 XP in total. Some of them got “only” 100 XP (blame Excel’s RANDOM() function). The winners are: @skendrot, @chief7, @guy_tarded, @bbakermai, @MoaskeFoto, @giacomocusi , @Utebolatas, @rgunawans, @tomverhoeff , @kunal2383 , @JosueYeray

Update 3 (July 2nd): DVLUP is available in 192 countries worldwide, including mine and neighbouring. Woohoo!  Furthermore, according to a DVLUP blog post, “the most new people have come to us from the wider Balkans area, which we think is pretty cool.”. I don’t think that my little “action” caused this, but it proves that countries in my area have really missed DVLUP. Achievement unlocked! :-)

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Windows Phone app update error c101a006

wp_ss_20140513_0001My Analog Clock Tile app is doing great, thanks for downloading it so much. I was pushing updates like crazy last few weeks, and I just may have overdone it.

Windows Phone certification is extremely fast these days, it usually takes less than a couple of hours for the app to be certified. Then you have to wait two hours more for the app to be downloadable from the Store and available to your users.

One day, I’ve pushed two updates in a row. The second one was submitted just after the first one had passed certification, so I haven’t waited two hours for the app to propagate through Store servers – I’ve pushed another update right away.

That was a mistake.

Next few days nobody could install the update of the app or even do a reinstall – error c101a006 was popping up all the time.

The solution is simple – wait a couple of hours and push another update.

So, from now on, I’ll do one update per day. Not only you don’t get the inquiring error, you get more sleep!

This happens with beta submissions as well. I’ve learned that, the hard way, as well.

I hope this will help somebody, although this is not the only cause of this beautifully-named easy-to-google error.

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