Problems getting paid from the Windows Store, again

I do not make much money on my Windows Phone apps (who does?), but when the payout time comes every couple of months, I expect the money to be delivered. Dealing with Microsoft, I should know better.

Failed payment

Last month I looked into the Dev Center and saw that my scheduled payment failed, telling me to contact the support. So I did. The result was one moth of exchanging email without a solution.

Dealing with support

The Microsoft employee told me that I am in a small group of people with this problem. I do not know if I have such a bad look always be in a problematic supposedly small group, or that the group are not that small. He told me that Microsoft will retry the payment. The payment was supposedly retried on June 24th and succeeded. So they say.

Great news, your June payout was returned due to an internal issue; however, the payout of 5264.17 CZK has been re-attempted and was successfully completed on June 24th. If you have not received the payout then please review this transaction with your bank. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

I never got the money. The employee asked me a few times if I got the money and then resigned, telling me that it is my problem and I should check with my bank. Of course I checked with my bank, they do not have the money. If they had, they would transfer it to my account.

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Implementing Google login in Universal Apps

In a recent project I had to implement Google login to an Universal App. I decided to use the native WebAuthenticationBroker control and the implementation was not as straightforward as I hoped. By implementing Google login I mean getting the authentication token that you can then use with your server API.

WebAuthenticationBroker is a good idea but it is implemented rather poorly. It works differently on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 due to the “AndContinue” pattern that Windows Phone 8.1 forces on you. You can solve this with some ifdefs and platform specific code, as always.

The real problem s that the MSDN sample states it works with Google login but it does not. The sample thinks it gets the authentication token but it does not, it just gets the success code that you have to exchange for the authentication token yourself.

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Removing unused strings from Windows Phone 8 RESX files

Using RESX files is the standard approach to Windows Phone 8 app localization, it is even contained in the standard project templates. When you work on a project for a longer time, you may get to a situation that your RESX files contain strings that you no longer use. This is a problem especially when you want to add a new localization, because it is slower and kind of wasteful localizing unused strings.

To solve this problem I have created a simple command line utility, that is available at Github. This utility assumes that you use the standard localization approach from the templates (AppResources.{lang}.resx and LocalizedStrings.{value} in XAML).

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Customizing the Player Framework UI

In my last article I gave you a tip on how to localize the Player Framework, in this article I will show you have to customize the UI of the actual player.

The first step is to obtain the Generic.xaml file that the Player Framework uses for styling. You can find it in C:\ Program Files (x86)\ Microsoft SDKs\ Windows\ v8.0\ ExtensionSDKs\ Microsoft.PlayerFramework.Xaml\ 2.0.0.0\ Redist\ CommonConfiguration\ neutral\ Microsoft.PlayerFramework\ Themes. Copy it to your projects and rename it to something more telling, like PlayerFramework.xaml.

You can now edit the copied XAML file and customize it any way you want. If you do the styling for a Windows Phone app, keep in mind that the ControlPanel switches to the Compact states and a few transformations are applied by default, that can interfere with your styling.

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The death of the WinRT developer?

As many other Windows Phone / Windows 8 / Universal apps developers (lets just call us WinRT developers) I watched the Build 2015 keynote last night. And I did not like it. I know Microsoft does not know to communicate but the message for me was clear. We, the WinRT developer, are no longer needed.

First, Microsoft announced that WPF apps will be allowed to be submitted to the Windows Store to be used on desktops / tablets. So why would anyone want to develop (or want to have developed) a Windows 8 (WinRT) app, when they can just use WPF and get everything done easier? I do not know.

But allowing WPF apps to the Windows Store is a small news compared to the ability to run Android apps on Windows Phone. The first news talked about porting Android apps to the Windows Phone, but later, statements like this appeared

Android developers will be able to submit versions of their apps, written in Java or C++, to the Windows Store in he form of APKs and have those apps work on Windows Phone 10 devices. Android developers should be able to start submitting apps to the Windows 10 Store some time in the next few months.

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