Using Microsoft Advertising SDK in Windows Store Apps – Boredom Challenge Day 18

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The main reason for developing software is, of course, earning money. 🙂 For desktop applications, the most common way of monetization is directly purchasing a license – the user pays a specific sum and gets to use the software. In the case of mobile development however, apps need to be very addictive or very useful, and overall need a lot of effort put into them to be successfully sold directly for a price. Another aspect of mobile apps is that paying for applications is usually a new (and alien) concept for many mobile users, and you can guess that they don’t like it much (I’ve seen many cases where a user gives bad ratings to a quite good game priced at a few dollars, just because it wasn’t free).

Click the image and view it in full size. You'll see that nearly all of the top "paid" apps are games, and they require a lot of effort to develop.

Click the image and view it in full size. You’ll see that “paid” apps require a lot of work to be successful (most of them are games, too).

This situation has resulted in alternative monetization techniques for mobile apps. One of them was adding trial versions which gave the users a taste of the app, and told them to buy it if they liked it. Another was to make the app free but to add in-app purchases such as removing limits or adding new items, characters or levels. And the final one was to put ads to gain revenue, either by making the app free and using ads as the main funding source, or making two versions of the app (a free version with (usually annoying) ads and a paid version without them).

In this article, we’ll see how we can go with using ads, and we’ll create an example Windows Store app that uses them. For this purpose, we have Microsoft Advertising SDK (for Windows Phone and Windows 8), that makes it very easy for us to include ads in our apps (with nice features such as using location to show more relevant ads). Now, I haven’t seen anyone who likes ads, but they are actually quite effective if used correctly, especially if your app has a high usage value (that is, if users would not just open your app once and don’t touch it ever again). This way, you can actually have a slow and steady income.

➤ This article has been sponsored by Nescafe and Visual Studio (no, not really)

Using Microsoft Translator in Windows Store Apps

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Microsoft Translator is a translation portal by Microsoft as part of Bing services that can provide a machine-translation of texts or entire web pages in (currently) 40 different languages. Microsoft Translator also provides a set of web service APIs (that can be called via an HTTP REST service, an AJAX callable service, or a SOAP service) for developers who wish to use Microsoft Translator in their applications. In this article we will develop a Windows Store application that uses the SOAP service of Microsoft Translator to translate text between languages, and if supported, speak the translated text.

Microsoft Translator is available on Windows Azure Marketplace and is licensed monthly based on the number of characters sent to the translation service. However, it is free up to 2.000.000 characters each month, so we can just sign up and start using it for free.

We will start by going to Windows Azure Marketplace and signing in with our Live ID. If you don’t have a Windows Azure Marketplace account associated with the Live ID you used to sign in, you will simply create one by entering your name, surname, country (and optionally your organization).

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After your registration is complete, either search for “Microsoft Translator” on Windows Azure Marketplace or click here to go to Microsoft Translator page, and click Sign Up at the bottom offer (2.000.000 characters).

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➤ Let’s see how we can use Microsoft Translator…

Visual Studio Achievements

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Evet, yanlış okumadınız. 😀 Aynı oyunlarda olduğu gibi, artık Visual Studio içerisinde de küçük bir eklenti sayesinde achievementlara sahip olabilirsiniz. Artık kod yazarken çektiğimiz sıkıntıların ve ekran başında harcadığımız saatlerin achievementlar sayesinde az da olsa ortaya çıkmasının yanı sıra, hırs yapıp arkadaşlarımızla yarışmamız, hatta Visual Studio içerisinde varolan bazı bilmediğimiz özellikleri öğrenmemiz bile mümkün. 🙂 Kod yazmayı kesinlikle çok daha eğlenceli hale getiren bu eklenti içerisinde öyle şeyler var ki, gülmemek elde değil. 😀

Öncelikle, tam olarak Visual Studio Achievements‘ın ne olduğundan kısaca bahsedelim. Bu eklentiyi Visual Studio’ya yüklediğimizde, arkaplanda çalışarak hem Visual Studio içerisinde yapabileceğimiz belirli hareketleri ve durumları takip etmeye başlıyor, hem de yazdığımız kodu her derlediğimizde kontrol ediyor. Yaptığı bu takibi ve kontrolü kendi sunucusu ile denetleyerek achievementlar ile ilgili durumumuzu belirliyor.

Eğer bir achievement kazanırsak, bunu ekranda sağ alt köşede gösteriyor.

➤ Devamını okuyun…

SkyDrive ve Office Web Uygulamaları

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Bu yazımda, yakın zamanda kullandıkça ne kadar güçlü ve kullanışlı araçlar olduklarının farkına vardığım SkyDrive ve Office Web Uygulamaları’ndan bahsedeceğim.

Öncelikle, SkyDrive’ın ve Office Web Uygulamaları’nın ne olduklarından bahsetmek istiyorum.

En temel haliyle, SkyDrive Microsoft’un her Windows Live ID’ye ücretsiz sağladığı bulut tabanlı bir dosya depolama alanı. 25 gigabyte’a kadar izin veren bu kullanışı pratik sistem sayesinde dosyalarımıza internet üzerinden her yerden erişebilmenin yanı sıra, bu dosyaları başkaları ile paylaşmamız, düzenlememiz, hatta yeni dosyalar yaratmamız da mümkün.

Office Web Uygulamaları ise, Office programlarını internet üzerinden tarayıcı içerisinde kullanmamızı sağlıyor. SkyDrive içerisinde bulunan Word, Excel, PowerPoint ve OneNote dosyalarımızı, kullandığımız bilgisayarda Office olmasa bile görüntülememize ve düzenlememize imkan veriyor.

➤ Devamını okuyun…