We’re just going through the apps that are in the Windows Store and Windows Phone store. Most store apps are fine but Microsoft changed the rules on phone apps (some time ago, yes, I’m that lazy) where it simply pulled the apps from the store because they changed the age ratings settings and you needed to fill it out.
I’ve just completed the last of the Store apps so those will be available and trying to get the phone apps updated. One of the problems is that the phone apps need the original (or updated) package uploaded again, whereas the Store apps don’t. This was part of the merging of the two separate stores together that Microsoft did. The merge is done but Phone apps sort of got left by the wayside as far as the process is concerned (much like Windows Phone apps in general, yet I still keep making them). In any case, either I have to get the original packages to update them again or hunker down and rewrite everything to the UWP platform (Universal Windows Platform).
So about that. UWP is the new version of these apps (or should be) and basically mean you write one app and it runs on both Windows Phone and Windows Desktop/Tablet. However moving from the old system (where I wrote two separate versions of each app) it means a total rewrite of the applications. There is no “upgrade this to UWP” option. On top of that, this little thing called Xamarin came out of nowhere, was acquired by Microsoft, and is now the go-to platform if you’re looking to make cross-platform apps. Xamarin let’s you build form based apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone/Tablet with a single codebase (okay, not totally one codebase but if you’re a smart cookie you can reuse about 90% of your app).
Rather than porting my Windows Phone/Windows Store apps to UWP the option to move to Xamarin is far more appealing. It only costs $25 for the Google Play store registration and $100 for Apple, and the number of users is *huge* compared to the few thousand acquisitions I have now on the Windows platform. Of course, moving to Xamarin is also a rewrite but frankly, a rewrite for Xamarin vs. a rewrite for UWP. Hands down Xamarin wins here.
It’s just a matter of time to move everything over now. In the interim the Windows Store stuff is there and works and I’ll be moving everything to Xamarin Forms and also offering up most (if not all) of the apps on both Google Play stores for your Android devices and the Apple Store for your iOS devices. Games will continue using Unity and MonoGame as a basis (I’m just a C# guy after all, my C++ and Java days are long behind me) so they’ll go out on those supporting platforms. The plan is by the end of the year to have all apps and games (about 40 titles) on all available platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, and possibly XBox One/PS4).
It’s a tall order and as much as I talk about “us”, “we”, and “the team” I’m just one guy who loves writing code. Just hang in there. It’ll be fun.