Windows Dev Center

Market appeal

Important noteImportant Note:

This topic applies to the earlier Windows Phone Dev Center dashboard and not the new unified Dev Center dashboard. Since we are still in the process of migrating all developer accounts, the info here may not apply if your account has already been migrated to the new dashboard. For more info, see Using the unified Dev Center dashboard.

As you anticipate taking your app live to the Windows Phone Store, it's important to consider how customers will perceive it. Here are a few tips and resources to help give your app the market appeal it deserves.

If you publish a Windows Phone version and a Windows version of your app, you can share a single identity between the two versions of your app in the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. This means that a customer who has purchased the app in either Store can download the app from the other Store without paying for it again, and your app can roam data between the Windows Phone and Windows versions of your app. Check out the See Also links at the end of this topic to learn more.

Associating your Windows Phone app and Windows Store app is usually all you need to do to display the icon that indicates your app is shared on both Windows Phone and Windows. However, there are a couple of other factors that can influence when it is displayed. To see what markets the icon is currently displaying in, go to the Pricing page of your app. If you have linked your apps and it is still not showing, make sure that your app also meets the following requirements for associating.

  • The app is currently published.

  • The app is not a beta version.

  • The app is not hidden.

Additionally, the icon will display only in the markets in which your Windows Phone app and Windows Store app are both published. If you published your Windows Phone app in a subset of the markets that you published your Windows Store app, the icon will display only in the markets where both are available.

Important noteImportant Note:

Regardless of whether the icon appears in the Store, just by associating your Windows Phone and Windows Store apps all your customers will enjoy the shared feature through which they can buy your app once and also use it on their other device.

Before you put your app on the Store, think about the text and images you’ll use to tell users what it’s about and distinguish it from other apps.

Give your app a title that fits

Is your app title catchy? Does it stand out from similar titles? Does it accurately reflect your app's function? These are the things you need to keep in mind when naming your app for the Store.


Be sure your title doesn’t infringe on protected trademarks or copyrights. For more info, see Trademark and copyright protection.

Write an effective description

When you write your Store description, think about what makes your app unique. Write your description as if you're telling a friend about your app. Always start with the most important details. If you’ve updated your app, it’s a good idea to include any important update details in the Store description. Bullet points are great, but keep them to a minimum. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. If you don't feel confident in your writing abilities, ask someone you trust to help you touch up your description. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

Make your artwork stand out

It’s a fact – great visuals grab the customer’s attention. Include screenshots that show your app in action. If your app has unique Tile behavior or supports different Tile sizes (small, medium, and wide), show your customers what your app looks like on the Start screen. To learn more about visuals, see Essential graphics, visual indicators, and notifications for Windows Phone.

Help users find your app on the Store by providing the right information when you submit it.

Include relevant keywords

Search within Windows Phone uses several criteria to help connect customers with the most appropriate apps. One of these criteria is keywords. If you decide to provide keywords for your app, use the words that best characterize your app’s purpose.

Select the right app category

Picking the right category for your app may seem obvious, but it shouldn't be overlooked. Categories are one way that customers browse for apps, so it’s important to think like a customer and decide which category you would expect to see your app in. If you’re new to app development or are unfamiliar with the Store categories, see the Category table.

Let users try your app for free. This is a practice we highly encourage. If you want to put a trial app on Windows Phone Dev Center, you’ll need to use the Trial API and select the “Offer free trials” option during app submission. To learn more about trials, see Creating trial apps for Windows Phone 8.

You can go the traditional route of selling your app, but here are some other ways to make money:

  • If your app is likely to be used frequently (like a news or stock app), consider making it free and ad-supported.

  • For games, consider making the price low or free. Try making money through in-app products. For more info, see In-app product properties.

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