New Year, New Mobile App
It was a week into December, when my wife challenged me to build an app by the end of the year. Amid all the other stuff going on at this time, I figured she was joking. She wasn’t. Finishing by the end of the month allowed us to enter a contest for new apps as well as get some free marketing – it was well worth the rush.
Knowing that I had to get the app approved through the Windows Phone certification process which requires up to 5 business days and to get a little wiggle room, I figured I had to have it done in 10 days (submitted by Dec 20th).
I spent the first day planning out what would be included in the first version and how it would work. I spent the next few days building the infrastructure to make it work. And finally, I got to the point of actually writing the app. While I ran into some obstacles, they were quite quick to resolve. Surprisingly, after 9 days, I was done. I submitted the application and waited.
Five long days later, I got a response first thing in the morning. It had been rejected. I had completely forgotten to account for when the user does not have a data connection (like turning on airplane mode). DOH! Within a half hour I had that fixed and resubmitted.
Unfortunately, I now had a new problem, the end of the month was a mere four business days away, and the certification process took up to 5 days. The next few days crept by as I impatiently checked my email constantly. New Year’s Eve came and so did 5PM. No email. Bummed, we left for dinner that evening. I had a hard time not thinking about how I missed the mark (but finishing our girls’ Dirt in a Jar dessert at ATR certainly helped). We came home and I checked my email for the heck of it one last time. There it was – and it passed. The timestamp on the email showed 3 minutes to spare before 5pm Pacific time – thank you random Microsoft employee for not leaving early and making our app the last one your probably certified for the day.
You may be asking why I chose Windows Phone over the other more popular platforms. Well, I am only familiar with Android and Windows Phone development, so iOS was immediately out of the running. While my Android experience is limited, I found it extremely frustrating and really did not want to be stressed by it over the holidays. Okay okay, so while this is all true, it’s not the real reason I chose Windows Phone – the real reason is that I love Microsoft products. Ever since they released .NET, I went from a staunch opponent of all things Microsoft to huge fan (to which my colleagues roll their eyes when I suggest a Microsoft product for most anything). That being said, an app for the other platforms is planned in the future, but for now. We are Windows Phone only.