7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers: Wrath
This is the fourth post in the article series “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.
What is Wrath ?
Wrath is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury.
Why: You’re wired for it. Also, the people around you are pretty damn irritating.
How does Wrath relate to Windows Phone development ?
– uncontrolled rage as developer ..
So, you have decided to spend one of your precious free weekends to code up your dream Windows Phone app. You start, but soon find yourself needing fancy controls, animations or some peculiar tweak. Result – anger. To rub it in, you heard a buddy just made a similar app on a competing platform & is now making buckets of money. *&!@#$%^^& .. right? Well, let’s chill. There are plenty of ways we can help ourselves by taking a look around & not reinventing the wheel. So, let’s see how you, a Windows Phone developer, can avoid Wrath.
- Toolkits: Think you need a special control for your Windows Phone app? Some custom animation for your pages? STOP & look around! There is plenty of help to prevent you from reinventing the wheel. Some awesome toolkits to choose from for your developer arsenal are the Windows Phone Silverlight Toolkit, Coding4Fun Windows Phone Toolkit, Sterling DB, GZipWebClient & many others.
- 3rd Party Tooling: Quite a few MSFT partners are making the Windows Phone ecosystem richer by adding a lot of love for developers. These are mostly in the form of custom controls/animations/frames which really make your life a lot easier. Check out Windows Phone specific offerings from Telerik, ComponentOne & Infragistics.
- Trials & Pricing: Price your work sensibly. If you have spent a lot of effort & think you have a genuinely good app, you absolutely should not give it away for free. Trial mode is a great way to give users a taste of what’s to come & hold back a few features when they actually buy your app. Read both sides of the story here and here .. bottom-line, do what makes sense for your app.
- Monetization: Along the same lines, if you want to make a free app, there absolutely nothing wrong in putting a few advertisements to earn you a few bucks. Yes, ads are annoying; but users will easily overlook the ads if your content stands out. MSFT’s PubCenter Ad Control is a part of the Windows Phone Mango SDK .. adding it to your apps is as easy as dragging a control & registering your app for ad categories. Another great option is AdDuplex - an ad exchange network where you promote other apps & help fellow Windows Phone developers. If you are picky about Ad revenues & low eCPMs, specially in newer Markets, consider using the Windows Phone AdRotator – a single control that fetches Ads from multiple providers for better utilization of your Ad space.
- Stay Tuned-in: Mad at yourself for missing out on some latest marketing offer or Windows Phone developer sweepstake? This is a very happening ecosystem & it helps being as plugged-in as possible. Can you spare an hour every week? Do yourself a favor & listen to Windows Phone Dev Podcast for all that’s latest & greatest for Windows Phone users/developers.
- Just Ask: Stuck late into the night with a roadblock while coding your Windows Phone app? If you have exhausted your own resources, simply ask. Chances are someone else also faced the same quirky problem and there is a way around or there is an awesome open source project to help you out. And the Windows Phone developer community is among the very best you shall get .. we help each other out. So, hit up your fellow Windows Phone devs on StackOverflow or Twitter or some other forum. You’ll be surprised by how far collaboration can get us.
So, next time we get mad, let’s take a step back & evaluate our options. The koolaid isn’t all that bad . Pick up some fancy controls & make your dream app .. and then make some money! Hopefully, you come back tomorrow for the Day #5 article in this series of “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.