Archive for category Windows 8 Apps

Baby Games App for Android & Windows

Baby Games Animals Sounds Screenshot

Baby Games Animals Sounds

All of us have hobbies, for some it’s rugby for others it’s watching the latest Breaking Bad box set back to back. Me, I have many hobbies. Music, football, reading and building things are the ones that stand out most. Like most I don’t always get to do my hobbies every day of the week. But since I’m not the type interested in sitting down and watching TV, I usually end up building something to keep my brain alive. By building, I mean apps, websites etc etc.

So when my son, who was an inquisitive 1 year old at the time, got hold of my phone and started suggesting apps I download for him to be entertained, I knew I could build a simple app tailored specifically for his age that would keep him entertained and at the same time teach him a thing or two. At the time I was keen to learn how to develop Windows Store apps, so I set myself the task of building an app just for him.

A year has past now since I started the process of creating this app – a year on, the app has been downloaded over 25,000 times from the Windows App Store and has turned into a mini business selling in-app content for those who wish to download the app.

In the past week – I’ve completed the porting of the app to Android and is now available in the Play Store. It’s amazing what you can do in your spare time when you put your mind to it…. and stop watching TV!!! :)

The app is basic, but it achieves what it was set out to do. It’s aimed specifically at Babies / Toddlers aged between 6mths and 3 years old. Your child can engage with the app by clicking the animals and hearing the sound they make. After observing a number of children using the app, it’s clear that they find it fun and they learn at the same time. So go ahead download it today and leave a rating – it would be very much appreciated!

Download Baby Games Animal Sounds from the Play Store

Download Baby Games Animals from the Windows Store

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Windows Store Apps: Adding Google Analytics to Windows 8 Store Apps

So you’ve built your very first Windows 8 Store app, had it approved and it is now available in the Windows App Store. The only thing is, you will have to be patient to see if people are downloading and using your app. Since the Store dashboard only updates your apps download stats once a day, it can be a highly frustrating wait. But the reality is that you don’t need to wait. By implementing Google Analytics within your app, you can see instantly how many people are using your app, track their interaction and find out where they are using your app from.

Using Google Analytics in your Windows Store app is quite straight forward. There are a number of free libraries that allow you to do this in minutes. I tried out a few of such libraries and settled on one – for me, the best was Google Analytics SDK for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Here’s how you can implement this within your Windows 8 or Phone XAML project (for JavaScript solution, for this guide).

1. Create your Google Analytics Account

ga_setup.png

2. Make sure you select “App” and not “Website”

3. In your app manifest, add the “Internet” capability under the “Capabilities” tab.

4. Install the Google Analytics SDK via Nuget

nuget1.png

nuget2.png

5. Modify the analytics.xml file that is automatically added to your project after installing the SDK.

6. You should change the tracking-id, the appName and appVersion values.
Obviously the tracking-id should be that of the account created in Google Analytics.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″ ?>
<analytics xmlns=”http://googleanalyticssdk.codeplex.com/ns/easytracker”>
<!–Replace placeholder ID with your tracking ID–>
<trackingId>UA-XXXX-Y</trackingId>
<!–Replace placeholder name with your app name–>
<appName>TestApp</appName>
<!–Replace placeholder version with your app version–>
<appVersion>1.0.0.0</appVersion>
</analytics>

7. Add the tracking code to your porject…

// track the page view
GoogleAnalytics.EasyTracker.GetTracker().SendView(“main”);

// track a custom event
GoogleAnalytics.EasyTracker.GetTracker().SendEvent(“test”, “userclick”, null, 0);

Once you build and test your app, you should instantly see statistics being tracked in the “Real-Time” section of your Google Analytics.

Happy tracking!

 

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Windows Store Apps: Add a Privacy Policy link to Settings Charm (C# & JavaScript)

In my (little) spare time recently, I’ve been playing around with developing Windows 8 Store apps. I submitted my very first app to the Store this week and unfortunately the app failed the certification process.

The reason for failure was simple… I requested Internet Connection permissions in the app and therefore, based on the Windows Store App certification requirements, I should have included a Privacy Policy link within the app. In fact, I needed to include the Privacy Policy link from the Settings Charm.

Of course, having never done this before I had no idea how to do this. After much searching, I finally figured out how to do this.

So if your app has failed in your quest to be certified, here’s the simple steps required to get a Privacy Policy link included in the Settings Charm for your Windows Store app….

C# Solution

1. Add the following name spaces
using Windows.UI.ApplicationSettings;
using Windows.UI.Popups;

2. Add the event handler to your app initialisation
SettingsPane.GetForCurrentView().CommandsRequested += SettingCharmManager_CommandsRequested;

3. Then add the following methods…
public SettingCharmManager()
{

SettingsPane.GetForCurrentView().CommandsRequested += SettingCharmManager_CommandsRequested;
}
private void SettingCharmManager_CommandsRequested(SettingsPane sender, SettingsPaneCommandsRequestedEventArgs args)
{
args.Request.ApplicationCommands.Add(new SettingsCommand(“privacypolicy”, “Privacy Policy”, PrivacyPolicyLink));
}

private async void PrivacyPolicyLink(IUICommand command)
{
Uri uri = new Uri(“<enter the full URL to your Privacy Policy here>”);
await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(uri);
}

JavaScript Solution

var settingsPane = Windows.UI.ApplicationSettings.SettingsPane.getForCurrentView();
function commandsRequested(eventArgs) {
    var applicationCommands = eventArgs.request.applicationCommands;
    var privacyCommand = new Windows.UI.ApplicationSettings.SettingsCommand('privacy', 'Privacy Policy', function() {
        window.open('<enter your Privacy Policy URL here');
    });
    applicationCommands.append(privacyCommand);
}
settingsPane.addEventListener("commandsrequested", commandsRequested);

 

Assuming your Privacy Policy link is valid, you should not fail for this reason on your next app submission! :)

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