New Year, New Mobile App

By Daniel @Tuesday, January 7, 2014 6:17 PM

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.

Download for Windows Phone

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