Bruce’s nLabs Blog Reader, Release 1 Passed Certification

Bruce's nLabs Blog Reader on the Windows Store

My first Windows Store App, Bruce’s nLabs Blog Reader – Release 1, passed the certification and is now available in the Windows Store. This application retrieves posts from Bruce’s nLabs Blog and Bruce’s favorite sties. The list of subscriptions or feeds, however, is maintained by Bruce and so, it is read-only currently. Its features are summarized as follows:

  • retrieve posts (ATOM feeds) from Bruce’s nLabs Blog
  • share posts with friends
  • localized user interface for English (en-US) and Traditional Chinese (zh-TW)

I got a good start from the MSDN tutorial, Part 6: Create a blog reader (Windows Store apps using JavaScript and HTML) (Windows). If you are interested in developing Windows Store Apps, read and study the materials from Dev Center – Windows Store Apps. It’s informative.

Concerning the app certification process, I was rejected twice before passing the certification because of privacy information, certification language and screenshots:

  • Developers must provide privacy information or policy in the app, usually an About or Privacy page in the settings charm.
  • The strings in an app must be stored in the resource file (say, in the path /strings/en-US/resources.resjson) so that the app can load the right string based on the user’s locality. Android developers take it for granted and feel happy about this because it’s a convention and they are always doing so. (Microsoft should consider including a default language resource file in the project template just like what Android Development Tools in Eclipse does.)
  • Even though your app supports en-US only, you can select all the countries as your markets. en-Us is called certification language that is unrelated to your markets.
  • If your app supports multiple certification languages, you must describe your app in details with each language. These descriptions will be displayed on the Windows Store based on the user’s location and language. A wizard will guide you to complete this.
  • Take screenshots with the Visual Studio 2012 simulator and follow the image format that Microsoft specified. If your app supports multiple languages, provide enough or the maximum of 8 screenshots to prove your app is fully localized.

To sum up, the certification process is quite simple and efficient. Just read the Windows 8 app certification requirements, develop your app based on it, describe your app well and write a good notes for testers so as to communicate your app well and the certification process will be a happy experience.

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