In this article I will focus on Windows 8 Metro app publishing to Windows Store. At the end of the article you’ll find a screencast of whole publishing process.
Before we can start there are several things that you must already have:
- Windows Store developer license;
- Fully developed and tested app;
- Additionally test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit;
- Test your app if looks alright in the snapped and fill view states. You can’t disable or turn off snapped view for your app. The fastest workaround is to show some static image or logo when your app is snapped;
- Go one more time through Windows 8 app certification requirements and check if your app meets requirements.
One more important thing: make sure that your app is developed at least on Windows 8 RTM version. You won’t be able to upload a package if you developed it on previous Windows versions like Release Preview. You’ll get a validation error:
“This package wasn’t built for the current version of Windows. Install the current version of Windows and build the package again.”
There are quite a few things to be considered.
Be careful and think twice. This is the first step in app submission and one of the most important things overall. Microsoft provides comprehensive article on how to name your app and all aspects of it.
My suggestion: app name should include the most important keyword of your app. If your app is a recipe app, than you should consider having “cooking” or “recipes” keyword in your app name, if your app is a photo editing or photo portfolio app, than definitely it should contain “photo” keyword in it. It is a long term investment. All marketplaces rank apps by keywords when searching and if keyword is in the name your app will be at the top of the search results. In our case we named our app “Filmai by cinema.lt”. “Filmai” means “Movies” in Lithuanian language and that’s the main keyword we are targeting in Lithuanian market.
Windows Store has two important features which might be handy in certain cases.
First, you can reserve your app name for 12 months. If you are developing an app at the moment – go to Windows Store dashboard now and reserve your app name, because tomorrow it might be reserved by other developer!
Second, you can specify app name for each market. In our case we named our app “Filmai by cinema.lt” for Lithuanian market and “Movies by cinema.lt” for other markets. You might ask, why publish to other markets when the app is specifically designed for your country? Well, we have lots of emigrants in other European countries like Spain, England and Scandinavia, who come home for weekends and holidays and they might be interested what’s on Lithuanian cinemas at that moment. Right?
Frequent question is
“can I change Windows 8 app name later?”
Yes you can, but if your app state is “In market” then you’ll have to make a new release and pass certification, which takes several days. Find out more details about changing app’s name.
Markets and languages
Decide which markets you are targeting. You can publish to your local market at first submission, later you can extend it to other markets too.
Check the list of possible certification languages to find out if Microsoft supports your UI language. For example if your app supports only Norwegian, Belarusian or Macedonian languages you won’t pass certification, because testers don’t understand these languages in Microsoft. Actually, I was surprised that Lithuanian is among certification languages, while Norwegian is not (consider this post’s publishing date; I hope it’ll change in future).
Prepare promotional images even if they are optional. Promotional images are used to feature your app in Windows Store. It will be a big boost in downloads if your app gets featured someday. If you don’t provide promotional images – you won’t even have a chance to be featured. On the other hand:
“promotional images for your app don’t guarantee that your app will be featured“.
So, don’t be lazy and prepare 4 promotional images in sizes: 414x180px, 414x468px, 558x756px and 846x468px.
“Your app doesn’t meet requirement 4.1.”
I hope that you won’t have big issues with publishing an app to Windows Store. If things are not going smoothly, don’t hesitate to write your questions in comments.
Here is the screencast that I promised at the beginning of the post:
And here is our app on Windows Store: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/lt-lt/app/filmai-by-cinema-lt/3ee18dd8-72ce-4c75-b759-921d82aede27
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