I have spent some time porting libs and code to get Wordastic working on Windows 8. Having missed App Excellence lab due to date confusion, I had to reschedule it and did a remote App Excellence Lab session. Here are the things I found out.
What does App Excellence Lab do ?
App Excellence Lab sessions are carried out by Microsoft Netherlands. The idea is to ensure that pre-release apps are worthy of being on pre-release marketplace. If the app passes all the requirements, the developer is given a token that allows access to Marketplace store.
I already have a token, why isn’t my app available ?
Having a token and passing requirements is not a guarantee of app publication. Apps are further filtered out to ensure those that stand out and provide an example to other app devs.
I encountered issues with my AEL, do I need to schedule another one ?
That depends upon the extent of changes / failures. I had a few changes to deal with and I was told that I need to email my sponsor and send them the correct package. This will then be tested against the points noted in the AEL and there is no need for Second AEL session.
Unique app naming
Each app in marketplace needs to have unique name. I have a game called wordastic on Windows Phone but I can’t have that in Windows 8 as someone published an app with same name.
I could abuse the system by say calling it “Play wordastic” or anything as long as it is unique by itself.
Access to store gives you ability to reserve a name and you have 1 year to publish app with that name.
Try to not use Title style else where – consume the other styles available for controls and try not to use fixed widths etc as the app needs to support multiple resolutions without looking crap
Do I need an app bar ?
No app bars are not mandatory and if you provide buttons for users within the app, ensure that user doesn’t have to move their hand a great distance. At the bottom of screen like app bar isn’t the best unless you have a very good reason. Keep it closer to where user already is. If its a game, keep them closer to game components.
Ensure that you don’t use / fix rows and columns for Gridview. This allows the items to be wrapped / rearranged when app is used at higher resolution or the orientation is changed