A quick update on my new Windows 10 app, which I have provisionally named Grabpix. This is the app I announced some time ago, that I created to download pictures either embedded or attached to messages in my Outlook.com inbox.
Submission to the App Store
I finally submitted the app’s first version to the Microsoft app store. Here’s a screenshot of the version I submitted.
The store has failed the submission several times, so I have been going through a cycle of fixes and re-submissions. The main causes were not providing an email account the store could use to test the app, and the app not requesting the right permissions from the user so it can connect to their Outlook.com inbox. It turns out I was only requesting permission to read the inbox and I was missing the permission to read the user’s profile. The app worked when I tested with my own personal account without the second permission. It failed when testing with the test account I provided to the store.
The test account requirement is trickier than I thought because it involves providing a second account to receive the verification code sent from the test account when the tester logs in for the first time. Make a note of this if you haven’t gone through this process yet.
Visual Assets for the Application
I spent a lot of time creating image resources for GrabPix. At the time of this writing, I count 47 images that you need to provide for the app through the Visual Studio IDE I’m using for development. Too many if you ask me. Not all are required, but if you want to go by the book, it’s that many. You can find more details in the Guidelines for tile and icon assets.
No wonder you see so many not so great looking application icons when browsing through the app store.
I started by using Photoshop to create the different images. After hours of work, I settled for a semi-generic image I found on Icons8. Thanks, Icons8!
I will revisit the image topic later. I will probably want to have a custom-made icon and logo in future versions.
I just added the ability for the user to log off after being connected to an Outlook.com account. This will let them to connect to different accounts during the same session with the app.
Now I’m planning to add a dropdown that will let users to pick how many messages in the selected mail folder they want the app to review and download pictures from. Right now I have this value hard-coded to 150 messages, which I thought is a good compromise for the first version of the app.
The number of messages to review is important not only because it impacts the number of pictures downloaded, it also affects the time it takes the app to go through all the messages and download all the pictures. A large number might affect the app’s usability, it might take a long time to process so many messages and download all the images and people might get frustrated waiting for this process to finish.