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Jun 21

I am now happy with the functionality in the PinCodeKeeper app and the time has come to test it on a real device. To be able to deploy you app (.xap file) to a real device for testing you must register a developer account at App Hub. In this article I will go through the steps of registering to App Hub, testing the app on a real device and to prepare the app for submission.

Register to App Hub (Windows Phone Marketplace)

The registration process is pretty straight forward and cost 99$.

  • Go to http://create.msdn.com/
  • Sign in with the Windows Live ID you want to register the account for (or create one if you don’t have any)
  • Follow the 5 steps for account creation (I registered as a Company)
  • Before the account will be activated you need to take a few actions

    • You need to approve the e-mail address (mail with link is sent to the main e-mail address you entered)
    • The approver e-mail address will get a mail with a link to approve the request
    • Wait for GeoTrust to verify and activate your account

That should be all you have to do to get your App Hub account.

When I registered I got a phone call (30 minutes after I registered) from a very polite lady at GeoTrust asking me if I approved the e-mail address or if I wanted to change it. This was because the e-mail address I used is not owned by the company I registered. Then the next morning I got an e-mail telling me that my Windows Phone Marketplace account was activated and ready to use.

Before this I had a issue because I’m located in Norway and Windows Phone Marketplace is not officially launched here yet. When I used my old Windows Live ID and followed the steps for registering account and came to the Billing Information step, the country was set to United States and I could not change it. I talked with some other Norwegian developers and they had experienced the same problem. The solution to this was to create a new Live ID with region Norway and only use this Live ID for the Windows Phone Marketplace. The old Live ID I used had also region Norway but I think that when I hooked the address up to my Windows Phone 7 and connected it to XBox live account the region was changed somewhere…

If you are a Norwegian developer you can have a look at what Ronny Gydar did when he registered. You will also find information there about what schemas you need to fill in (with examples) to be eligible for payment from Windows Phone Marketplace.

Register developer device

To register you WP7 device as a developer device (you must do this to be able to deploy the app from your computer and to the device) connect your device to the computer and open the Windows Phone Developer Registration tool. Enter the Windows Live ID address and password that your markedplace account is registered to and register. Your phone is now registered as a developer device.

Windows Phone Developer Registration tool (as you can see my phone is already registered)

If you sign in to App Hub you can see and manage your registered developer devices under my account –> devices.

 

Registered devices in App Hub

Deploy app to device

When your phone is registered as a developer device you can easily deploy the application from your computer and to your device. First you must build your app in Visual Studio and then open the Application Deployment tool. Then it’s just to browse to the .xap file you want to deploy and select deploy. The application is now deployed/installed on your device.

Application Deployment

You should spend quite an effort testing your application before you submit it to marketplace. Try to see if you can provoke any errors and test all the functionality you have in your app. If possible you should also try to have your app tested on as many different devices as possible.

Prepare for submission

The application is now almost ready for marketplace submission but before you do this you might want to add some icons for your application.

For the PinCodeKeeper app I have added Application icon and Tile icon.

The Application icon is the icon that will be displayed in the list of applications on the device.  The Application icon must be a 62×62 PNG image. The Tile icon is the icon that will be displayed if the user select “pin to start” for your app. The Tile icon must be a 173×173 PNG image.

The icon I have made for PinCodeKeeper

When you have created these icons add them to your project by selecting Add –> Existing item from the Solution Explorer. When the icons are added make sure that the property for the icons is set to Content and Copy if newer. Then right click on your project in the Solution Explorer and select properties. Under Deployment options you select your application icon (Icon) and under Tile options you select your Tile icon (Background image).

PinCodeKeeper with the application icon in the application list

When the app is pinned to start the Title under Tile options will be displayed on top of your tile icon (at the bottom). If you don’t want any title to be displayed you can not remove it from this property page (you will get an error). If you don’t want a title to be displayed on top of your tile icon open WMAppManifest.xml. Under the Tokens element you will find the Title element, just add a whitespace as Title value and the problem is solved.

The next step now is to test and improve the app before submission to marketplace.

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