Sharing Links to your Windows Phone App

There’s a chicken and egg problem out there, and I think I can help.

It’s nice in a Windows Phone app to be able to share links to things – after all, that’s what the ShareLinkTask is for in the API.

It’s even better if you can let users share a link to your app from within your app. It removes the burden from them, and lets them get all social when they first experience that giddy moment of glee they get from using your absolutely awesome creation.

However, there’s a problem here. To share a link to your app (and have it instantly installable!) they’re going to need a link to the marketplace for your app. Unfortunately that link only gets assigned once your app is published.

So how the heck do you do that?


I got some feedback from Jarek Kowalski on the Windows Phone Certification team about this (thanks Jarek!). Apparently you can upload your XAP file to the marketplace, but not submit it, and this will give you the direct link you’re seeking. It just won’t go live until you publish, but the app-ID will be fixed from that point on, and you can just slip it into your URL.

There are some benefits to have a fixed location on the web that you can point at though, so I’m going to keep the rest of the article up as-is.


Well, you could publish it twice, but that’s slow and messy. Here’s another solution.

MS Tags To The Rescue!

A Microsoft Tag is a cute little thing kind of like a QR tag, but more colorful. In fact, they can look like this:

features_list_item_img

Now, I’m not going to suggest you go to that degree of effort… but it’s cool that you can. (And what’s cooler is that Bing Search on Windows Phone Mango has that cute little “visual search” button that you can hit, and it’ll recognize these tags automatically).

And we’ll probably need one of these things anyway, so you can advertise your app on bulletin boards at your workplace and start driving grass roots support.

So head on over here, and create one: http://tag.microsoft.com/my-tags/getting-started.aspx

What This Buys You

Ok, so a tag is cool, but what does it buy you in this scenario?

It gives you a fixed endpoint for a Uri, which you can dynamically change later.

This is actually quite a big and useful deal, and it’s just a side-effect of how the Tag service works, but we can use it to our advantage.

So you can use the link that the tag represents as the link your app shares out. And later on, once it’s published, you just replace the link with something else.

What’s even cooler is that it’ll let you redirect users of other mobile OSes to different locations if you want to (or if you have a version of your app for that other OS).

image

Killing several birds with one stone. Gotta love it. Here’s the final result:

Microsoft_at_GDC_2012221122157

And… if you really want to, you can create a QR code as well from the same place. All the more reason to use the tag service! Smile

Microsoft_at_GDC_201222112216

But this isn’t the part you want for your app. For your app, Download the resulting tag, and download it as a URL (it’s one of the download formats). Take that URL, and put that in your app. For example, the one I generated is: http://tagr.com/t/V3lDMz

Hey presto. Redirect that puppy anywhere you want by editing your tag later. For now, my tags and that URL redirect you to a page saying “Your mobile device does not support this content”. It’ll go live some time in the next couple of weeks… until then, enjoy!

(more...)

Susan G. Komen Foundation Drops Funding for Planned Parenthood

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is no longer helping to fund breast screenings for women who need them at Planned Parenthood. This is quite insane (after all, they’re a breast cancer charity), horrible, and apparently incredibly politically motivated - their new VP is Karen Handel, a vociferous anti-Choice, anti-Planned Parenthood Conservative activist. What’s sad is that of all of Planned Parenthood’s services, only 3% are abortion related. The rest? Oh, little things like breast-cancer screenings for low-income women. Nothing important, or anything that the Susan G. Komen foundation might want to … you know… support. (more...)

#Health, #idiocy, #fund raising, #corruption, #planned parenthood, #charity
This entry was posted under Politics, Medicine. Bookmark the permalink.

$10,000 Is The Magic Number

Hi there, #AltDevBlogADay denizens! I’m Simon Cooke, and this post is all about how to budget your game in preparation for pitching to a studio. How do I know anything about this? Well… Back in 2008 I was incredibly lucky to join X-Ray Kid Studios (a group of very talented people involved in the creation of Google Lively, and with a  history in comic books, animation and video games going back decades) as their Director of Engineering. As time went on, I also shifted sideways into the role of Business Development Manager, where I helped take us from concept to pitching a number of game titles to several publishers. Unfortunately we ran out of steam before we could sign a deal, but I learned a lot along the way. (X-Ray Kid is still around though – it just morphed). (more...)

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