Tag Archives: Yalla Apps

Yalla Apps Experience – Account Activation and Phone Unlock

In my post Yalla Apps Experience – Registration I have explained why I have chosen Yalla Apps publishing service for my Windows Phone Apps and covered the registration process.

This time I want to go through the activation of your account (which includes payment for the first year of the service) and the unlocking of your developer device. Next time, in the last installment of this mini-series, I will cover the Application Submission.

As you can see it the right panel of this blog, I already have the first app in the Marketplace – Agile Metronome Beta. So chances are you won’t wait for long. 🙂 But Metronome is online for less than 48 hours now and no download statistics of it found their way into Yalla Apps dashboard yet, so I’m going to wait a bit with this third and closing part, because I want to include a stats screenshot in it.

Let’s go!

That’s it! 🙂

Just a couple of notes:

  1. The first device registration (unlock) is for 0 Credits. Registration of the second or more devices cost 50 Credits, while subsequent re-unlocks of a previously unlocked device (when you reset it to the factory state) cost 25 Credits. Consult Yalla Apps web site, because these prices are perhaps time limited. When you spend your initial 100 Credits, you can buy another 100 for 80 USD.
  2. When you choose your online appointment time for the unlock, don’t forget you need to set it in Dubai time (GST = Gulf Standard Time = UTC/GMT + 4 hours). Free WP7 application World Clock will help.
  3. You will receive an email one hour before the appointment. When the time comes, you must be connected to the internet with your Windows 7 development computer, have free development tools installed, have your phone connected and be ready for the assistance. A person from Yalla Apps will connect to your PC via Copilot and proceed with the unlock. It should take less than 10 minutes.
Recommended reading on Ailon’s blog:

The State of Worldwide WP7 Publishing after MIX11
Windows Phone App Publishing through Yalla Apps

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Filed under Windows Phone Marketplace

Yalla Apps Experience – Registration

If you happen to live in one of the white countries, behind the Windows Phone Marketplace Iron Curtain, and still want to develop and publish your Windows Phone apps, you have several options:

  1. Move to a green country.
  2. Establish a foreign company.
  3. Ask a developer living in a green country.
  4. Ask some other non-developer friend living in a green country.
  5. Use unofficial unlocking tool ChevronWP7 (available here) and distribute your apps by your own means outside the Marketplace.
  6. Use services of a Marketplace Publisher.

I have seriously considered all these options. For example number 1: It is quite easy for an European Union citizen to move to another EU country for several days, register with marketplace and then move back. By the way, I live 60 km (37 miles) from Austria, which is green. But the marketplace identity verification process is repeated every year, so you have to repeat this nonsense every year. Once your verification fail, your MP account is blocked and all your apps are removed from the phones of all your customers. (At least this was the case the last time I checked the MP policy several months ago, they could have changed it since then.)

Or the option 2 – a foreign company. I could quite easily establish a Ltd in the UK. Sure, it’s more expensive than a yearly marketplace fee $99, but still affordadble. But it is almost impossible for a non-UK resident with no business history to get a British bank account. I could easily get an Austrian bank account, but I wasn’t able to discover if both the company and its bank account must be in the some country or not. I haven’t found the answer on Microsoft web pages, asked several wise people including Microsoft employees, but nobody knew the answer. It would be stupid to try it blindly. By the way, you can pay for WP7 apps by the MoneyBookers British MasterCard from a lot of countries, but MB account cannot be used for receiving money.

The options 3 and 4 in short: It is a lot of work to maintain your apps in the marketplace. 5 – good for a lot of things, but not for making real money.

So the only viable option is a publisher. We know Marketplace is coming to Czech Republic with a Windows Phone Mango update soon. Mango is coming this fall, although considering the NoDo update execution the fall 2012 is a better bet. Just kidding. Microsoft Czech Rep. says devs could expect the Marketplace access this summer. In short: The best case is July 2011, the worst some time next year.

The selection of the publisher is a key decision. Once you publish your app with it and somebody installs it, your client is locked to your publisher forever. Thus, although there are several publishers now, for example Kinabalu Innovation or Appa Mundi, I decided to go with Yalla Apps, the only publisher officially supported by Microsoft. (And, by the way, the cheapest one too.)

In the best case I am going to need my publisher for just two months – May and June – but I am going to pay him the yearly MP fee for years ahead. So the simple question is:  Will my apps, published in the next two months, generate at least $99 yearly? I hope the answer is yes, so let’s go ahead! (By the way, the  arabian word yalla means go ahead or hurry up.)

Procedure

  1. Choose your publisher Nickname.
  2. Register as a new user.
  3. Activate your account by paying $99 for the first year. You get 100 credits in exchange.
  4. Order the unlocking of your phone.
  5. Publish your apps.
  6. Buy credits as needed.

I would stress the importance of the step 1. The product description of your application in the Martketplace will include the following sentence: “Developed by [Nickname]“. When I registered several weeks ago I choose a nice Nickname, but I realized the Nickname.com domain is taken later. And guess what? The Nickname cannot be changed. I hadn’t activate the original account, so I registered again, under a different Nickname. But you cannot have two accounts with the same email and cannot change the email too, so I was forced to use a different email for the second registration. But the first email was the email associated with my PayPal account, which is required if you want to get paid. 🙂 So I have to change my PayPal email now. (I have never did it before, so I hope it’s possible.)

I’ve asked Yalla to delete my first account and change the email address on the second one. So let’s see the outcome. 🙂

The first gallery covers the user registration process step by step.

After the registration, this is your user dashboard. Notice which fields you can and cannot edit.

Yalla Apps Dashboard

The next step is to activate your account and unlock your developer phone.

To be continued…

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Filed under Windows Phone Marketplace

New countries supported by Mango Windows Phone Update

MIX 2011 Day 2 Keynote presented by Joe Belfiore and others was full of information about the upcoming Windows Phone update, codenamed Mango. For me, the most important piece of information was the list of the new countries supported by this much anticipated release, planned for autumn 2011. Or, to be precise, not the list, but map… in fact several maps… shown for a few short seconds.

I haven’t found the complete list anywhere, so I’ve decided to put together my own from the keynote screenshots. I think it is going to be useful for a lot of us, underprivileged people from the rest of the world. 🙂

You can click on screenshots to see their fullscreen versions.

New languages

This asian calligraphy is so beautiful, isn’t it?

Asian Windows Phone

New languages come here – sorry, I won’t try to identify all the languages, but you can try to find your own. I was happy – there is a Czech “Hello World” – “Ahoj světe”. The interesting point is that the slide shows 14 languages, but claims 16 in the title, so there are two missing. The rest of the world can still hope!

New Mango Languages

You can also see the time when this keynote section begins – at cca 17:30.

Coutries able to sell their apps

One not widely known fact about WP7 is that there are two marketplace countries lists – for selling and buying. They are very different today and the number of countries able to sell apps is much higher than the number of countries able to buy apps. This will somewhat change with Mango and the buying list will grow more, so the difference between the two lists will diminish.

One more important thing to note is that we are talking about buying and selling apps only. Music and other content availability is and will remain much more limited, because of the distribution rights.

This map shows the countries where developers can register in the Marketplace. The current countries are green, the new are yellow.

Mango Marketplace Selling Countries

The list will grow from 30 to 38, which is quite small improvement to be honest, and surely a disappointment.

Let’s try to name new countries:

  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • India
  • South Africa
  • South Korea

Please correct my mistakes if you find any.

It is expected that the marketplace registration in these yellow countries will be opened during summer 2011. Developers from the white countries must use services of publishers. There are several publishers now, but as far as I know the only one officially supported by Microsoft is Dubai-based Yalla Apps. (I plan to write a little bit about them later.)

Countries able to buy apps

This list grew much more, from 16 to 35. Joe Belfiore showed two maps – before and after the Mango launch – both in green.

Before:

Countries able to buy apps today.

After:

Countries able to buy apps after the Mango launch.

The happy countries:

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan

The interesting thing is that I have found 20 new green countries on the second map, not 19, as the slide title says, so take this with a grain of salt. Or are you able to find a mistake in my list?

For developers this is good news – a great expansion of the market for their apps, although China is strangely missing. Still, India, Brazil, Russia, Japan etc. are welcome additions.

We Love Windows Phone

Nice video made by Brandon Foy:

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Filed under Windows Phone future

NoDo update is available – so let’s wait for a while

My Zune welcomed me by this wonderful screen today:

Zune: NoDo Available

Yes, this is the famous NoDo update! In fact, it’s available for all unbranded phones since yesterday. But I’m going to wait for a while – for two reasons:

  1. My unpleasant experience with the Pre-NoDo update. I guess it would be better not to hurry up and let others to be early adopters.
  2. NoDo blocks ChevronWP7 phone unlocker, which I use for my spare time development, as I live outside of the official developer countries walled garden. After NoDo, I will go to Yalla Apps as they are able to officially unlock phones in the outside world. It will cost something (no problem) and probably take a while (which is a small problem).

You can read interesting Rafael Rivera’s notes about the update proces.

George Harrison: Got my mind set on you:

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