Based on my latest Wikipedia wisdom, mango is the the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. With a little ambitious creativity, the phrase “cultivated” can be interpreted in two ways: The fruit is grown and produced or mangos are sophisticated, refined and well-educated. Yet to support the latter, we need a few facts.
Mango, as a fruit, has long been a symbol of summer, but this fall it embraced a new role to embody sophistication as the latest Windows Phone Update! Custom ringtones, new speech commands, visual voicemails, linked inboxes, groups, enhanced social network integration, multitasking, even better live tiles, improved search + maps features and the list goes on and on. If you check out the videos on the update feature list page, you will soon discover, that there is sufficient evidence to state, that this fall the term “cultivated” simply translates to “sophisticated/refined” for the mango we are talking about!
Certainly this attempt of literary explanation may sound like a far reach for some of you. So let’s shift our focus to the excitement Mango has in store for Windows Phone developers. As I shared in my previous blog entry, there are numerous Windows Phone Camps taking place allover the country. Participants get a full day of free training plus a chance to win a Windows Phone 7. But this is just the beginning; the surprises don’t stop here!
Windows Phone – Go Mango App Contest
Just recently, a new US-based contest has been announced: Go Mango! The contest will run from October 15th and December 31st. The APPortunities for Windows Phone developers are two-fold:
- Every new Mango app you publish within the contest timeline will be entered to win 1 of 5 Samsung Series 7 slates.
- When you publish 5 new apps, you will earn 1 entry to win free advertising for one app of your choice.
The free advertising will run on the Windows Phone Application Network for about 60 days and include 25K impressions.
Windows Phone Ad Campaign
Another great offering for Windows Phone developers is the Windows Phone Advertising Campaign – “Your app here” . The campaigns run from December 2011 to February 2012. The application submission deadline for the December campaign ended yesterday, October 25th; however there are still two more months, if you plan to submit your Windows Phone application.
Each month from December through February, up to seven apps will be selected and promoted in campaigns created and funded by Windows Phone. Selected apps will get an online banner and their ads will run across the MSN Network of sites. This campaign will deliver one million ad impressions for each app selected. To participate, your Windows Phone App
- must be submitted in the Windows Phone Marketplace
- must target Windows Phone
- include Fast App Switching (FAS)
- utilize live tiles with an innovative twist
Besides these participation terms, your app should certainly be user-friendly and engaging, stick to Metro design principles and provide integration of App Connect if relevant.
You can explore great Metro tutorials on the .toolbox site. You may also want to check out the User Experience Design Guidelines for Windows Phone on MSDN. The Mango Jump Start Series on Channel 9 by Rob Miles and Andy Wigley are also quite informative, if you need a fast-paced deep-dive into Windows Phone Mango.
Fast Track to the Mobile App – Design Contest
This is a Windows Phone Design Contest organized by Core77 and Microsoft. The contest challenges participants to rethink “work everywhere” capabilities of smartphones. Participants are expected to create designs with maximized usability, productivity and integration features by utilizing the benefits and features of the Windows Phone Platform. The contest does not require any coding; a contest entry can consist of a Sketchflow mockup, images of the sketches and an optional video and/or presentation. The contest ends November 18th.
One of the contest taglines summarizes the constantly connected, mobilized life-style of today: “We’re looking for design that understands, your computer is no longer on your desk, it’s in your pocket.“
Telerik Special Prize for Windows Phone Unleashed Apps
Though this may not be directly Mango news; it is still a great Windows Phone related activity. It may also motivate you to attend one of the Windows Phone Camps; there could always be new surprises for these latest round of developer events. Telerik has announced a Grand Prize for applications submitted by participants of the Windows Phone 7 Unleashed events. These events were organized by Microsoft and local developer communities. The Grand Prize winner will be announced Friday, October 28th.
There will also be a special prize for a WP7 community app and you too can support fellow Windows Phone developers. Just click the tweet button placed under your favorite app until Thursday, October 27th; the tweet must include #telerikwp7prize in order to qualify.
Idea of the Week – Student Contest
Microsoft kicked off a new contest called “Idea of Week” for students on October 17th. The goal is to inspire students to come up with unique and original app ideas. You can find out more about the contest on the Windows Phone Developer blog; official rules are listed here. Submitted ideas can be tracked on twitter with the hashtag #wpappitup.
I Unlock Joy – Student Contest
A few months ago, Microsoft India launched the “I Unlock Joy” developer contest for students in India. The contest runs until December 18th.
Students, who get four of their submitted applications certified in AppHub, are eligibile to apply for a Windows Phone Developer Device. Detailed terms and conditions can be found here.
Icing on the Cake
What could top all these developer opportunities such as the free training at Windows Phone Camps, various contests to win cool prizes and free ad campaigns just for building Windows Phone apps, a Windows Phone design contest etc.? Probably a sign, that would provide further assurance, that developing for Windows Phone has a bright future?
Wait no longer; the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone has arrived. Just today, Nokia introduced Lumia, its first device build on the Windows Phone platform, at Nokia World 2011. They are launching an impressive marketing campaign, with the catchy tagline “The Amazing Everyday“.
My first phone was a Nokia, easy to use and sturdy as a brick. Over the years, I used various mobile phones, most of them Nokia devices. Aside my nostalgic bond, I believe, Lumia brings Nokia’s outstanding industrial design and Windows Phone’s elegant UI together. This is truly a stunning collaboration, which I wish to become highly successful. The attractive pricing strategy, prices ranging from 270 to 420 Euros, will also play a key role in the adoption of Nokia’s first Windows Phone in the consumer market.
Nokia does not shy away from futuristic research, fast forward and your Windows Phone experience may get you the flexible and twisted interface of the prototype Nokia Kinetic device:
This “fast forward” may have been too fast; but you get the idea. The future is exciting and bright. You can contribute to shape and enrich this future by building Windows Phone applications, which delight and fascinate the user.