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Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Love it or hate it, Windows 10 is by far the most commonly used operating system for computers, laptops and desktop PCs. Out of all computer operating systems, Windows has over 77% market share as of 2020. This means that over 3 out of 4 computers that are working as of today use some version of Windows. But out of those, over 70% are using Windows 10.
Windows 10 is great, and it has seen a huge adoption rate by users. It is critically acclaimed and seen as one of the best operating systems, if not the best, for desktop PCs and laptops.
Bundled with every version of Windows 10 comes the Microsoft Store. This is Microsoft’s own app store, and is a host to a great variety of applications. These range from games to the most commonly used apps by all types of users. A few examples are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Mail, etc.
Well, think about it like this. Let’s say you want to check your most recent tweets, what do you do? Instead of reaching for your smartphone, or navigating to Twitter.com through your computer’s browser, simply use the Windows app. Just as you would on your smartphone – it’s so much easier and faster!
The cool thing about the store is that it even includes games, lots of them. And what’s great, this store is actually the same store that you have on your Xbox gaming console. This means that if you purchase a game on your Xbox, it will also be available for download on your desktop PC. Yep, you can play Xbox games directly on your Windows 10 machine, how cool is that?
Well, the Microsoft Store has a lot of potential. Ever since its introduction with Windows 8, it has seen some slower adoption from the developers. But it has grown a lot, and missing out on it would be bad for business.
Why, you might ask? Do you remember the statistics that we gave out a couple of minutes ago? Just think about the hundreds of millions of people that are currently using Windows 10 worldwide. Those are all potential users that could download your app!
The store contains a multitude of applications, it’s very quick and responsive, and more importantly, it’s very accessible. All you have to do is click on your Start Menu, and it should be right there! It contains a plethora of apps, games, tools and so much more. More importantly, it feels familiar, because it’s very similar to the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. You just open the store, search for the app, click on Install, and you’re set.
The Microsoft Store is difficult to compare to other app stores because it’s unique. It is a unified vision of both code being shared across form factors by developers and a marketplace for users that includes apps, games, movies, browser extensions, and hardware. There is no other app store that has this combination, but the Microsoft Store still struggles to grab many users’ and developers’ attention.
iOS is considered the most successful app store by many, and when it comes to apps for phones and tablets, the Microsoft Store pales in comparison. Windows 10 Mobile is dead, and tablet mode and the library of tablet apps on Windows 10 is far behind that of Apple’s iPad. The Microsoft Store is also behind Android when it comes to phone apps and to a lesser extent tablet applications. But you can’t just measure the Microsoft Store on mobile use because the vast majority of its users are on PCs.
With Windows 10 reaching 700 million devices, there is a massive potential install base. While a large portion of users will never install something from the app store, developers have taken note of the audience and brought over their apps. Affinity Photo, Slack, and Adobe Photoshop Elements are just a few powerful desktop applications on Windows 10 compared to lighter variants and similar apps on mobile platforms.
Microsoft has repositioned the Microsoft Store as a tool to make it a more viable option for users downloading apps safely from one place. With the exception of Chrome and a few other apps, I think a large number of casual consumers could get their apps from just the Microsoft Store and be fine.
The Microsoft Store has its flaws of course, but the people at Microsoft have made a number of improvements that I think are largely unappreciated by people who only tried the Microsoft Store when Windows 10 first came out.
The store has come a long, long way since then, and it’s actually great. I personally use it quite a lot, and I use apps downloaded from the Store every day. Maybe you didn’t even know the Store was there, so why not give it a try? We’re sure you’ll find some great apps there. And if you have an idea for an app that you want developed and put on the Microsoft Store, feel free let us know.
Saturday, January 18th, 2020
So, you’re just launching your brand new app. Submitting an app to the App Store isn’t as simple as pushing a launch button, but it’s not as complicated as it may seem either.
Assuming that you are already enrolled in the Apple Developer Program, your app follows Apple’s App Review and Human Interface Guidelines, these are the steps that you need to follow. As previously mentioned, even though it seems a bit complicated, it really isn’t.
The development provisioning profile and development certificate that you’ve been using are only for specific devices. Now, in order to distribute your app to beta testers or to users through the App Store, you’ll need a separate distribution provisioning profile and distribution certificate.
Our recommendation and the easiest way to do this is through Xcode. If automatic signing is enabled, Xcode will create and manage certificates, signing identities, and handle device registration for you. In some cases, you might prefer manual signing. Honestly, we would just recommend leaving automatic signing on and Xcode should take care of the rest.
Simple, just sign in with the Apple ID you used to enroll in the Apple Developer Program. Now let’s add a new app to it:
-In the iTunes Connect dashboard, select My Apps.
-Click on the + sign in the upper left-hand corner, then New App.
-To create a new iTunes Connect record, you’ll need these details: platform, app name, default language, bundle ID, and SKU. You can’t really change these details later, so be sure of what you enter.
-Use keywords in your app name to optimize for discovery.
-The bundle ID must be an exact match of the bundle identifier in your Xcode project Info.plist file (in the target’s General > Identity section).
-The SKU is not visible to users and is up to you to set. It can be an identifier you use in your company or something else that is meaningful for you. Acceptable characters include letters, numbers, hyphens, periods, and underscores, and it must begin with a letter or number.
Now, before you can submit your app for review through iTunes Connect, you need to upload the build through Xcode. You can do this by following these steps:
-In Xcode, select Generic iOS Device as the deployment target.
-Choose Product from the top menu and click on Archive.
-The Xcode Organizer will launch, displaying any archives you’ve created in the past.
-Make sure the current build is selected and click on Upload to App Store in the right-hand panel.
-Select your credentials and click Choose.
-In the next window that appears, click on Upload in the bottom right-hand corner.
-A message will appear when the upload has completed. Click Done.
Under the “Features” tab, you can add configurations to any App Store technologies in your app, like Game Center and in-app purchases.
At this stage, your app is marked with a yellow dot and the status “Prepare for Submission” in the left-hand panel under “App Store”. Select the build you want to configure. This is where you will add the information for your product page on the App Store.
-Scroll to the “Build” section in your app’s iTunes Connect record.
-Click on “Select a build before you submit your app.”
-Choose the build that you uploaded through Xcode. Click Done in the bottom right-hand corner, then
-Finally, answer the Export Compliance, Content Rights, and Advertising Identifier questions and click Submit.
In most cases, it should take about 1 to 3 days to receive approval, and it can take up to 24 hours for your app to appear in the App Store after approval. Also, you’ll receive e-mail notifications at each stage.
If your app is rejected, you’ll have to make the necessary fixes before submitting your app for review again. You can use the Resolution Center in iTunes Connect to communicate with Apple if you have any sort of questions. You can also submit an appeal if you think your app was wrongly rejected.
If your app gets approved – Congratulations! You’re now on the App Store. You can view downloads, sales, ratings, and reviews directly in iTunes Connect.