App Stores – Difficulties

Android:

As far as I can remember everything was straight forward for Android and documentation was very helpful. Android studio is rich in terms of features but still not completely evolved, often reports bugs, freezes. One major problem(Android not to be blamed here though, just the file structure) that I struggled with was getting the .gitignore file right. Its a common practice to use git(Version control) for all projects.  Click here to checkout my other post about .gitignore file for android studio project.

To sign the apps, you need to create a keystore file and then use the password. There is an option in Android Studio – “Generate Signed APK” under build menu item to sign the apps. Generated Release Apk  file will be at this location –  ProjectRoot/app/app-release.apk . As soon as you upload your app, it gets validated and goes live in a day.

There is a scope to improve the supported devices functionality. Right now when you upload your app, it shows a list of devices supported by your app (excluded devices too). It would be great if we can know exactly which permission in Android Manifest is making the devices unsupported. We need to compile multiple times and check to support maximum devices.

IOS:

Register for Developer Program, add the credentials to Xcode. Best thing was, we can run app validation tests locally and then upload App file to App store with just a button click. You need to fill in the App details and submit for review in Itunesconnect App Store.

Everything was smooth with IOS too. Only problem was the time taken to verify apps. I read in other blogs that avg. time is around 8 working days. There is a provision to speed up this process to 2 working days, called as Expedited reviews. As one can expect, it is like a lifeline, granted to people only upon checking reasons and that too only once in a while.

Windows:

I really can’t describe the trouble I’ve been through just to complete the payment process. And yeah, till date i’ve tried around 15-20 times to pay using 7-8 different cards and 2 different live accounts but still could not get through. All I see is an error message which does not even indicate exact problem. There is a “contact us” link along with error message which is broken. I can only say that this is an epic failure of Microsoft. They are not in a state to receive money when people are ready to pay (for Developer Account).

UPDATE:  After several desperate days.. one day I got an email from Microsoft team with a coupon.  They have smoothened my pain a bit with that free coupon for developer account. It was easy to upload app and submit from there on. Only other problem was, compiling for different versions of windows 😐

I’ve initially compiled my app into .xap format for windows 8 devices. Later I realized that to support windows phone 8.1+ devices, I need to compile into .appx format and for this I need a windows 8.1+ device (I was like, holy ****).

Blackberry:

Signing the app is not so easy but with some attention, we can get it done. You need to request signing keys and place it in specific location as described in documentation. “authout.p12, bbidtoken.csk” are the two file you would be needing to sign the application.

Real mess started only after this step. When I tried to fill up the details in vendor portal, I realized that, it is one of the lame portals I’ve ever seen. Content Rating popup is not working, there are 4/5 form submission need to be made which are always resulting in errors. Event the error messages are not understandable sometimes. I’ve been struggling to get it done.

Conclusion:

No wonder why some companies are not even building windows and blackberry applications. Applications are like pillars to every operating system. If the process is so tough, how long can they sustain.

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