In two blog posts, Microsoft has detailed Windows Phone 8.1 apps, apps submission and apps store related improvements. The improvements include enhanced Store experiences designed to increase app discover-ability and engagement.
- With Windows Phone 8.1, the Store will now deliver app updates automatically (enabled on by default), a popular feature for Windows and the best way to ensure your users always have the latest version of your app.
- App notification history will appear in the new Action Center so users can see notifications from your apps – pinned or not.
- Remodeled Store UI increases content density and has fewer and flatter UI navigation layers to make it easier for users to find your apps and learn more about them (check out the new details page pictured below).
- Featured and recommended apps more personal, by intelligently filtering out apps users already own.
- Apps can also now be installed on SD cards, giving users with devices with SD cards the opportunity to download and store even more apps.
- Reducing app certification and publishing times from an average of 2.5 days to 2-4 hours for both new and updated apps.
- Replacing vetting process with a new more convenient process for new developers that will reduce vetting time from 10 days to 2 days in most cases.
- Merged Store developer agreements, creating a single, consistent, and unified agreement that encompasses phone, tablet and PC app submissions. In addition, we’ve separated the application license terms into a separate document to reduce the number of updates we release to you.
- Microsoft will soon be piloting a program through which developers can directly respond to app reviews to address potential confusion or other issues that may be hurting their ratings.