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Universal Apps In Windows Phone 8.1: New icon = New questions

| April 14, 2014 | 4 Replies

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Dear MNB Readers!

The slide pictured above is from build 2014 and it showcases how developers will be able to create universal apps that can run on Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 (and Xbox One in the future). Well, to my surprise, the same icon has already started to show up in the new Windows Phone 8.1 Store! I’ve made the pictures huge so you can see the icon clearly next to the price.

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For now, it appears that mostly Microsoft developed applications have been given the universal app icon. Apps that are available on both Windows Phone and Windows do not necessarily have the universal app icon, for example, Asphalt 8:

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SPECULATION ALERT!!!

Since there are plenty of apps that are already available for Windows Phone AND Windows, I am led to believe the new icon isn’t just for showing that an app is available for phone and desktop/laptop/tablet but that the app has been developed/recoded to be an actual universal app.

Here are a few questions from a consumer standpoint:

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1. When I buy an app with the universal app icon, is it really the same app on the other version of Windows OR is my Microsoft Account simply flagged showing that I paid for the app so when I download it on a different version of Windows, I get that one for “free” giving the allusion that the app is universal? (This is asked due to the lack of a change log stating that the app has actually been recoded/updated to be universal.)

2. Is my progress universally backed up and transferred automatically with the universal apps? (OneDrive will now back up app data)

3. I have bought Halo: Spartan Assault twice already, once for WP and another for Windows. Since the app has the universal icon now, can my saves be synced now?

4. Here is a question I hear often: What about a refund for my double purchase now that there is only one version of the app?

There are plenty of questions that consumers have. I fully understand the coding effort and new simplicity with making NEW universal apps but what about all of the apps that are currently in both stores, a separate app as far as purchasing goes? I would LOVE for #1 to be true, that Microsoft and it’s partners would agree to “tag” all previous apps as universal just for PURCHASING sake. Sure, those older apps would not technically be universal apps but that would instantly fix the issue of previous apps not being universal apps and alleviate any concerns about buying an app twice.

The other side to this is the issue of money for developers. If Microsoft does flip a switch that allows apps to APPEAR (not based on apps being coded universally) to be universal this could cause a financial concern for those developers. Developers could potentially lose money on apps that were created prior to the new 8.1 APIs. Those apps would have been coded as a separate app within a budget and would now be free on either platform. Example, if I buy “Tennis In The Face” for Windows, I get it for WP free, even though the WP version may be an entirely separate development project. Will developers be willing to take a revenue loss for the sake of the growth of the platform and consumer satisfaction?

There are a lot of variables here and a lot of un-answered questions. What do you think? Should the new universal app initiative be limited to apps that are actually coded to be universal or should there be a “tag” on our Microsoft Accounts showing we purchase an app on one OS thus making it free on another? None of this lessens the benefits of the new APIs that are becoming available in Windows/Phone 8.1 as that is key to the future Windows ecosystem. My question is, what would you like to see happen now? How about the 4 questions asked earlier, any answers? Any developers visiting MNB that would like to share your thoughts?

Who knows, that icon could just signify a UNIVERSAL PRICE and nothing more. 🙂

I have never been more ready for the weekend to be over…COME ON WP 8.1 DEVELOPER PREVIEW!!!

As always, thank you for choosing MyNokiaBlog!

Demitrius Harris

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Category: Applications, Windows, Windows Phone, XboxLive

About the Author ()

Good day everyone! My name is Demitrius Harris and I am a fan of all things true. I currently hold a position in the IT Department at a college and I teach various classes when the opportunity presents itself. In the past, I was a Special Education Teacher and a Technology Education teacher at an elementary school and have held titles in the Financial industry. What does that mean for you, our dear readers? It means that I love to write and communicate as accurately as possible! It is my hope, that I will always be able to provide factual information concerning all things related to Nokia (even when the Nokia brand isn't printed) and anything else in the scope of technology that fits within the purpose of MyNokiaBlog. I humbly thank you all for reading my posts (and the MNB Team) that sometimes contain THOUSANDS of words. You all are the best and most respectful blog supporters in the world! Thank you for choosing MyNokiaBlog.com! Sincerely, Demitrius Harris. Favorite phone of all time: Nokia N82 - Black