For some time, I've been meaning to put something through the Marketplace and make the source code available once it passes in the hopes that it will be of value to someone that would otherwise be reluctant about publishing to the Marketplace. This would be a "Hello World" of types, only for the Marketplace. I've finally gotten around to doing this.
I wanted to use a program with minimal functionality. Making something with too much functionality would lead to a larger amount of code. My goal in doing this is not to highlight the workings of a lot of functional code. It is only to highlight what is necessary to get something into the Marketplace. So a Flashlight application would be the perfect application for something like this. But there are enough of those in the Marketplace, so I've made something marginally more functional. A speedometer. The application does nothing more than display your speed in miles or kilometers. It also allows you to select from one of two colour schemes (day colours and night colours). The application is named
SpeedTracker (as you may have inferred from the title I eventually plan to have this do more than just tell you your current speed, but for my immediate purposes, this will do). The application was written in the .NET 3.5 Framework.
I decided to upload the application to two online stores. One is the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The other one is the Samsung App Store. I uploaded the applications to both marketplaces last Saturday (2 January 2009) and have been counting the business days from the time of upload to the time of certification approval or failure.
Status in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile
Over the past week, not too much has happened on the status of the application. In the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, after uploading the application, a status of "Pending Certification" displayed for it. The Pending Certification label has a date next to it. I don't yet completely understand the purpose of this date as it seems to update even though the certification status hasn't. Right now, the only thing I can tell from looking at the date is what the current (GMT) date is. If any one can give me some insight to the purpose of this field, please let me know. Despite the simplicity of this application, I think it is going to fail certification. When I uploaded the application, I specified that it would be available for all device resolutions. But I may not have met the icon requirements for all of the devices. I didn't think about this until after I uploaded the application (I left the icon resolution check off of my checklist of things to look at before uploading). If/when the application fails certification, I'll be sure to share the details here.
Status in the Samsung App Store
Like the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, there hasn't been many changes in the applications status since it was uploaded. Unlike the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, the rules for getting published into the Samsung App Store are far more relaxed. For example, for the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, there's a requirement that a PNG icon be included with your application and that your application install make appropriate entries into the registry to make that icon used by the Windows Mobile 6.5 start menu. No such requirement exists for the Samsung App Store.
For the Samsung App Store, the stages for application approval are easily discovered. There's a graph that displays showing the four stages of approval. By completion of the first business day after uploading the application, its status had progressed from Pre-test to Content Review. It has been in the Content Review state ever since then.
I'm not trying to make any money off of this application (if I were, then it would probably be a bad move to make the source code available after I get through all of this approval). Once approved, you'll be able to find the application for free in the Samsung App Store. The price is likely to vary from free to 1.99 USD in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile depending on what I am doing with it at the time (I may use this application's entry for demonstration purposes and thus change the price from time to time).
BTW: A few things to note. The Samsung App Store is only available in a few nations right now. This is especially relevant for me now since I live in one of the nations in which it is not available (USA). Also the registration process for the Samsung App Store is different than the Windows Mobile registration in that there's a section set of instructions, you only need to follow if you intend to sell apps for a price in the Samsung store. If you are only giving them away for free, then these steps are not necessary. For the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, the process is the same regardless of whether or not you intend to put a price on your apps. I'll discuss other differences between the two stores in a later post.
Someone else in the Samsung Mobile Innovator Forums told me that the Samsung App Store may have a higher than usual volume of apps to certify due to a contest from last month. Also interesting was something said about the possibility of the Samsung App Store hosting more than just Mobile applications.