Submitting Apps that Use the Advertising Identifier

When submitting your app for review, you’ll be asked whether your app uses the Advertising Identifier (IDFA) to serve advertisements. If you indicate that your app uses the IDFA, but it does not have ad functionality or does not display ads properly, your app may be rejected. Make sure to test your app on an iOS device to verify that ads work correctly. Similarly, if you indicate that your app does not use the IDFA, but it does, your app will be put into the “Invalid Binary” status. Learn more about the IDFA in the iTunes Connect Developer Guide.

Spotify now free on Windows Phone

Spotify is rolling out an update today that gives you access to millions of songs on your Windows Phone device for free. Spotify lets you discover new music, save, shuffle and share. You’ll be able to listen to playlists you’ve created or playlists from people you follow. You can shuffle through a certain artist’s entire catalog. Looking for the right playlist? Spotify provides all kinds of playlists for you to choose from. If you’re hosting a housewarming party, they’ve got you covered. They’ve even got playlists for different moods. Spotify Premium continues to offer on-demand, ad-free access to your music that you can also take on the go with the offline mode with no Internet connection needed.

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If you don’t already have Spotify installed, you can download it here from the Windows Phone Store.

Powerful New Messaging Features with GCM

By Subir Jhanb, Google Cloud Messaging team

Developers from all segments are increasingly relying on Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) to handle their messaging needs and make sure that their apps stay battery-friendly. GCM has been experiencing incredible momentum, with more than 100,000 apps registered, 700,000 QPS, and 300% QPS growth over the past year.

At Google I/O we announced the general availability of several GCM capabilities, including the GCM Cloud Connection Server, User Notifications, and a new API called Delivery Receipt. This post highlights the new features and how you can use them in your apps. You can watch these and other GCM announcements at our I/O presentation.

Two-way XMPP messaging with Cloud Connection Server

XMPP-based Cloud Connection Server (CCS) provides a persistent, asynchronous, bidirectional connection to Google servers. You can use the connection to send and receive messages between your server and your users’ GCM-connected devices. Apps can now send upstream messages using CCS, without needing to manage network connections. This helps keep battery and data usage to a minimum. You can establish up to 100 XMPP connections and have up to 100 outstanding messages per connection. CCS is available for both Android and Chrome.

User notifications managed across multiple devices

Nowadays users have multiple devices and hence receive notifications multiple times. This can reduce notifications from being a useful feature to being an annoyance. Thankfully, the GCM User Notifications API provides a convenient way to reach all devices for a user and help you synchronise notifications including dismissals – when the user dismisses a notification on one device, the notification disappears automatically from all the other devices. User Notifications is available on both HTTP and XMPP.

Insight into message status through delivery receipts

When sending messages to a device, a common request from developers is to get more insight on the state of the message and to know if it was delivered. This is now available using CCS with the new Delivery Receipt API. A receipt is sent as soon as the message is sent to the endpoint, and you can also use upstream for app level delivery receipt.

How to get started

If you’re already using GCM, you can take advantage of these new features right away. If you haven’t used GCM yet, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to set up — get started today! And remember, GCM is completely free no matter how big your messaging needs are.

To learn more about GCM and its new features — CCS, user notifications, and Delivery Receipt — take a look at the I/O Bytes video below and read our developer documentation.

Coca-Cola Freestyle app lets you share a Coke with a friend

My dad loves Coke. It’s his beverage of choice everywhere we go. He even has an antique Coke vending machine my mom bought him a few years ago that he keeps stocked with glass-bottled Coke. So dad, I am dedicating this blog post to you because it’s about Coke. Or more specifically – it’s about the new Coca-Cola Freestyle app for Windows and Windows Phone.

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With the Coca-Cola Freestyle app, you can locate the nearest location that has a Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain with 100+ choices of flavors for you to mix with some of your favorite beverages from Coke and many other brands. For example you can mix different flavors into Coke like cherry or vanilla or both. The app will show you all the flavors that a Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain has to offer. With the app, you can also save your favorite flavors, create your own mixes of up to three Freestyle flavors, and share your favorite mixes with your friends on Facebook – all while earning badges and prices by checking in at locations that have a Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain and easy integration with MyCoke rewards. You’ll also get great deals from your favorite restaurants, movie theaters and more.

And now through August 31st, you can download the Windows Phone app, scan the QR code on the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine you’re using, enter the email address of a friend or family member and share a Coke! As you’re enjoying your “freestyled” Coca-Cola beverage, your friend will receive an email with a coupon for $1 off the purchase of a 20-ounce Coke.

Download the Coca-Cola Freestyle app for your Windows PC or Tablet here from the Windows Store or for your Windows Phone device here from the Windows Phone Store.

Tentacles: Enter the Mind now available worldwide for Windows and Windows Phone

Copenhagen-based studio Press Play has released the sequel to their award-winning game Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin today. Tentacles: Enter the Mind is now available worldwide for download (free with in-app purchases) from the Windows Store and from the Windows Phone Store.

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Tentacles: Enter the Mind is a full 3D adventure that continues the crazy story of Dr. Phluff and his tentacled mascot, Lemmy. In the game, they embark on a journey inside the mad Professor to take out the creatures that have overtaken Phluff, progressing through the many layers of his mind from Super Ego to Paranoia. The game supports cross-platform cloud save so you can play between Windows PC or Tablet and Windows Phone devices. And Tentacles: Enter the Mind uses Xbox Leaderboards and Xbox Achievements (up to a combined 400 gamerscore points). If you enjoyed Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin then you’ll want to give its sequel a try!

HTC One (M8) for Windows unveiled

Today, HTC has unveiled the HTC One (M8) for Windows which brings together the best of HTC design and signature experiences with the world’s most personal smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. Verizon Wireless is the exclusive launch partner for the HTC One (M8) for Window and will be available starting today at 9am Pacific (12pm Eastern) through Verizon Wireless online and in stores tomorrow. The device is the first to ship in the U.S. with the Windows Phone 8.1 Update and comes with all the latest features such as Cortana, Live Folders, Action Center, and more.

HTC One (M8) for Windows

The HTC One (M8) for Windows is a really beautiful device. Its body is crafted from a single block of aluminum and because of this – there are zero gaps in the body’s construction. The brushed metal frame wraps around the entire body of the phone giving it a zero edge finish and has diamond polished chamfers and micro drilled speaker perforations. It has a stunning 5-inch Super LCD3 1080p HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and comes powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.3GHz processor. So not only does the HTC One (M8) for Windows look great, it’s powerful too. It will come with 32GB of storage (available capacity varies) with expandable storage with up to 128GB with a microSD card for all your stuff. Oh and 15GB of storage online with OneDrive for free too.

The HTC One (M8) for Windows features the premium experiences as on the original HTC One (M8) including:

HTC BlinkFeed: HTC BlinkFeed is an app that provides a customized feed of user-selected news and content from your favorite social networks and lets you filter news by a single source from those social networks as well as other related news sources. HTC BlinkFeed is uniquely integrated into the Start screen with a Live Tile.

HTC BoomSound: The device features dual front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier and DSP that delivers balanced sound that deepens the bass, enhances vocals and fine tunes track details for a rich, immersive listening experience. Your music from Xbox Music will sound amazing on the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

HTC One Duo Camera with UltraPixel Technology: The HTC One Duo Camera has a depth sensor, 1/3” sensor size, f/2.0 aperture, 28mm lens, and a dual LED flash that gives you the ability to take some amazing photos even in really low-light conditions. You can also take advantage of a variety of after-effects (called Duo Effects) to play with for added artistic flair or humor.

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For example, UFocus gives you the ability to choose where to focus after you’ve taken the shot (see above photos). With Foregrounder, you can highlight foregrounds by changing backgrounds. And with Dimension Plus, you can see things from a better perspective by adding dimension to your photos by emphasizing the depth between background/foreground with a 3D-like effect.

5 megapixel front-facing camera: The 5MP front-facing camera has a wide-angle lens that is great for taking personal pictures that capture a full background view.

Video Highlights: The Video Highlights app gives people an easy and entertaining way to view their photos or clips by automatically pulling them all into one short video set to music. These can also be customized and set to personal music tracks for more creative storytelling.*

HTC Dot View Case: This special case has a neat retro style and integrates with Cortana and provides you with instant phone access while the case on the phone is closed. For example, with the HTC Dot View case closed you can ask Cortana to remind you to pick up some steak to grill for dinner or how long the commute home will be. You can answer calls, receive email & text notifications, check weather and check the time and access volume controls. Just double tap on cover to turn off and on. It doesn’t use up any additional battery either.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this device.

You can pick up the HTC One (M8) for Windows through Verizon Wireless in stores and online, with online sales beginning today and in-store tomorrow. Additionally, you can also get the HTC One (M8) for Windows from the Microsoft Store and later today they will have a special promotion on an HTC Dot View case and screen protector for the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

For more information on the HTC One (M8) for Windows – click here.

*Do not reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use copyrighted materials in connection with the Video Highlights feature unless you have secured the copyright owner’s permission first.