Windows Phone SDK

Where can I download the Windows Phone SDK?

Even if you don’t have a DreamSpark or MSDN account, you can download the SDK for free by going to Windows Phone Dev Center:  If you don’t have Visual Studio installed, the SDK will automatically install a Visual Studio Express Edition.  Emulators are also installed as well, versions of which are dependent on the SDK and updates you have installed.

Which SDK should I install: SDK 7.1 or SDK 8.0?

One of the things to consider is your hardware.  If your hardware supports SDK 8.0 , download it instead as it will also install the SDK 7.1.  Another thing to consider is the app you are developing.  If your app needs the newer features of Windows Phone such as offline maps, NFC and Bluetooth, and access to lock screen, it requires SDK 8.0.  Otherwise, it’s wiser to develop apps in SDK 7.1 so that Windows Phone 7.x users can also download your app.

What is the SDK 7.1.1 update for?

Originally, the minimum requirement for Windows Phone was at least 512 MB of RAM.  With the introduction of 256 MB RAM devices such as the Nokia Lumia 610, it was necessary to add a new emulator test apps for such devices.  One of the known limitations is that 256 MB RAM devices can not run Background Agents.

What is the SDK 7.8 update for?

When Windows Phone 8 was announced, one of the new features brought to Windows Phone 7.8 is the new Start screen.  With the new Start screen, it now supports three tile sizes: Small, Medium, and Wide.  The update will install an emulator for Windows Phone 7.8.

What is the SDK 8.0.10322 update for?

As of this moment, there has been no documentation yet but it is assumed that these are for Windows Phone 8 devices that has been updated to GDR2.  This will add four new Windows Phone 8.0.10322 emulators.

Why are there so many emulators?  Which one should I choose to test my app?

The choices for emulators will depend on (1) SDK and updates installed, and (2) the version of app you are testing.  For the difference between the 7.x emulators, please see the previous questions.  For Windows Phone 8, their main difference is the screen resolutions. Example of devices that correspond to the emulators are:

  • WVGA 512 MB RAM: Nokia Lumia 720
  • WVGA: Nokia Lumia 820
  • WXGA: Nokia Lumia 920
  • 720p: HTC 8X

An error message says “The Windows Phone Emulator requires Hyper-V.”  What should I do?

First, check if virtualization is enabled in your BIOS.  Next, make sure that Hyper-V is turned on.  To turn it on, Go to Start, search “Turn Windows features on or off.”  Tick the checkbox on “Hyper-V” to enable it.

An error message says “The emulator couldn’t determine the host IP address, which is used to communicate with the virtual guest machine”  What should I do?

Go to Start, search “Hyper-V Manager.”  On the right panel, select “Virtual Switch Manager…”  Look for all instances of “Windows Phone Emulator Internal Switch,” select them and click the “Remove” button.  Deploying the app to the emulator should regenerate this settings and your emulator is good to go.

I want to test my app on my Windows Phone.  How do I dev unlock it?

Once you have a developer account already, connect your phone to your PC.  Go to Start, search “Windows Phone Developer Registration.”

How do I get a developer account?

Go to Windows Phone Dev Center and register for an account.  An account is renewed annually for a fee, but if you have a DreamSpark or MSDN account, you can get a developer account for free.

What are the do’s and don’ts for Windows Phone apps?

Before you submit your app, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements.  These requirements ensure that the apps found in the Windows Phone Store are of quality and won’t compromise the user’s experience.  A full list can be found here:

Great!  My app has complied with the requirements.  What are things that I need to prepare when I submit my app?

Aside from the .xap of your app, make sure that you already have the following:

  • App name, version, description and 5 search keywords.
  • A 300 x 300 px PNG image of your app tile.
  • At least one and up to eight screenshots of your app.  Make sure to not include the emulator chrome or frame rate counters.
  • Optional: 1000 x 800 px PNG image to be use as a background in case your app gets feature in the Store.

How do I capture screenshots?

On the emulator, you can either use the built-in emulator screenshot tool, or use Windows Snipping Tool.  On your Windows Phone 8 device, press the Start and power button at the same time.  The screenshots will be saved in to a “Screenshots” album, which can be accessed via Photos hub.

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