Last December, I managed to get my app, Done Timesheets, into the Microsoft Store. It was a proud moment for me considering the problems I had had developing it and getting it into the store.
Then there was the Christmas and New Year break. Mandy and I went to London, so I wasn't able to do very much on the app. I did, however, spot a few problems.
Microsoft, like other app store providers, have a website where you can monitor the progress of your app. You can track downloads, usage, and the health of the app. It was here that I noticed there were problems. People had downloaded the app, but this dashboard was telling me it was crashing. No one had emailed me with any problems, so I thought I would try and be pro-active, and fix any bugs.
Some of the bugs listed were specific to the graphics card on the computer which the app was being run on. There's not a lot I can do about that, except to add a few more places where errors are displayed in the hope that something meaningful is reported back to the user. However, other crashes were listed as "Unknown". Basically, the system that was supposed to help me diagnose any problems can't tell me what the problem is!
This is not a great place to be in. I've added yet more ways to capture and display error messages, and I've also been using the app more vigarously in the hope I can catch any problems. I had remove Done from the Microsoft Store until I was confident it was more reliable - I'm not there yet but I intend to re-add the app so that others can install it. I've also added more screens with my email address on, so if people need to contact me they can do.
What about the future? Well, I'm no longer sold on the methods Microsoft have created for apps within Windows 10. There are too many problems with the platform (it's not ready), and the Store submission funcionality isn't that great. For Done, I may add the new features I had intended to (mentioned on the Done website at done-app.com), or I may decided to abandon Windows 10 and make Done web based or for the iPhone. I really don't know. I've updated the app on the Store this evening, and I will monitor what happens over the next few days.
Overall I'm sad and disappointed at how this has turned out. When I released the app in December, I was really pleased and excited that I had finished something. Now I feel like I'm not sure it was worth the effort.
I really feel like Microsoft have abandoned the developers who code for their desktop platforms. They're more interested in the cloud and other platforms than the desktop, even though most people still do access the cloud from a computer as well as their phone (people use both, not one or the other!)
So, this isn't goodbye just yet. The app may behave and I find fulfillment in the Windows 10 ecosystem. I'm not holding my breath though...