Bitesized tidbits for building Modern (Metro) apps.
The AppHub and Marketplace support private betas which as a developer is great, you get to give it to real people who might not necessarily have a developer unlocked (or ChevronWP7 unlocked) device. This is done by you submitting an app to the AppHub in the same way as you would with a normal app, but with one difference, in the first page, you change this option:
Once this goes through, you can then give your beta testers a zune link and they can access the app through their phone’s MarketPlace hub. Part of the process of submitting a beta app is providing a list of Windows Live IDs, and these WLIDs are the only ones that have access to the beta.
The acceptance on beta apps is a lot quicker than a normal app as there aren’t as many checks done so you should receive a confirmation within a few hours to say it’s approved and will give you your zune link. Now, here’s the problem: there’s no way of knowing exactly how long it will then take from approval to visibility, especially with how slow the marketplace is at the moment for displaying new apps. There’s no real way of seeing when your app is available in the marketplace to your testers. Or is there?
Very short, very simple: add your own WLID to your list of beta testers. This should be the one you use on an actual device (if it’s different from your AppHub address). What this allows you to then do is check that zune link yourself, you can then hold off on sending it to your testers until you know your beta app has marketplace visibility, and in turn, your testers won’t be left frustrated that “it’s not working” at the very first stage.