Windows Phone 8 is a pared down version of Windows 8 designed for smartphones. These are resource-constrained devices—they have less memory and processor power than desktop computers, and limited battery life. Windows Phone 8 has the same core operating systems services as Windows 8, including a common file system, security, networking, media and Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) web browser technology. However, Windows Phone 8 has only the features necessary for smartphones, allowing them to run efficiently, minimizing the burden on the device’s resources.
New to this edition of the book, you’ll use Visual C# 2012 to develop your ownWindows Phone 8 apps. Just as the Objective-C programming language has increased in popularity due to iOS app development for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Visual C# 2012 is sure to become even more popular as the demand for Windows Phones increases. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that Windows Phone will have over 19% of the
smartphone market share by 2016, second only to Android and ahead of Apple’s iPhone.6 You’ll learn how to develop Windows Phone apps in Chapter 27.
1.11.1 Selling Your Apps in theWindows Phone Marketplace
You can sell your own Windows Phone apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace (www.windowsphone.com/marketplace), similar to other app commerce platforms such as Apple’s App Store, Google Play (formerly Android Market), Facebook’s App Center and theWindows Store. You can also earn money by making your apps free for download and selling virtual goods (e.g., additional content, game levels, e-gifts and add-on features) using in-app purchase.
1.11.2 Free vs. Paid Apps
A recent study by Gartner found that 89% of all mobile apps are free, and that number is likely to increase to 93% by 2016, at which point in-app purchases will account for over 40% of mobile app revenues. 7 Paid Windows Phone 8 apps range in price from $1.49 (which is higher than the $0.99 starting price for apps in Google Play and Apple’s App Store) to $999.99. The average price for mobile apps is approximately $1.50 to $3, depending on the platform. For Windows Phone apps, Microsoft retains 30% of the purchase price and distributes 70% to you. At the time of this writing, there were over 100,000 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.8
1.11.3 Testing YourWindows Phone Apps
You can test your phone apps on the Windows Phone Emulator that Microsoft provides with the Windows Phone 8 SDK (software development kit). To test your apps on a Windows phone and to sell your apps or distribute your free apps through the Windows Phone Marketplace, you'll need to join the Windows Phone Dev Center. There’s an annual fee of $99; the program is free to DreamSpark students (for more information about DreamSpark, see the Preface) and to MSDN subscribers. The website includes development tools, sample code, tips for selling your apps, design guidelines and more. To join the Windows Phone Dev Center and submit apps, visit dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/downloadsdk.