Microsoft Pubcenter not showing ads in your windows phone 7 app?

The free apps I had in the marketplace were running Google’s Admob as adprovider because when I wrote the apps Microsoft Pubcenter wasn’t available in the Netherlands yet. When I was upgrading my Apps to Mango I found out that version 4.0.4 that is currently the latest release of the Windows Phone Admob SDK is broken will always give you exceptions when you include this control. Seeing Google wasn’t to keen on fixing this since it was mentioned a lot in admob sdk Google groups I decided to switch to Microsoft Pubcenter because it came available for Dutch people.

Implementing the control is easy by just installing the SDK, create an account, adding the control to your page and filling in the applicationid and the adunitid. if you still need a guide this one explains all the details:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/urmila/archive/2011/03/10/displaying-ads-on-windows-phone-7-apps-the-basics.aspx

So the control is added to the page and you’re ready to go. If you followed all the instructions the ads should show up fine. Not for you?

I had the same problem when I was testing my application. I did most of my testing in the emulator and the ads would show up fine right there. When I started testing on my phone I noticed that only the ad placeholder was shown for really short time and after that the ad was hidden. Trying to find out what the differences could be between my phone and the emulator my first thoughts were the Culture of the phone since my phone is running in Dutch Culture nl-NL and the emulator is running en-US by default. When I switched the culture on the emulator to being Dutch the ads also stop showing there.

So what is the problem and how did I fix it?

The Pubcenter Adcontrol has a nice event called “ErrorOccured” and you can subscribe to this event to see what is happening. (or just attach the debugger and set it to break on exceptions)

   1: public MainPage()

   2: {

   3:     InitializeComponent();

   4:     adcontrol.ErrorOccurred += new EventHandler<Microsoft.Advertising.AdErrorEventArgs>(adcontrol_ErrorOccurred);

   5: }

   6:  

   7: void adcontrol_ErrorOccurred(object sender, Microsoft.Advertising.AdErrorEventArgs e)

   8: {

   9: }

In the adcontrol_ErrorOccurred eventhandler you can log your error the adcontrol is throwing or handle it the way you want to. The error I kept getting when using the Dutch Culture was:

Microsoft.Advertising.Mobile.Shared.AdException – No ad available.

My guess was that this was happening because there aren’t any Dutch ads yet so I tried to change the settings of the adcontrol by changing the CountryOrRegion, Language and even the Latitude and Longitude attributes to somewhere in the United States but this doesn’t help. I made a ticket at the Pubcenter helpdesk and they told me a new algorithm just went live and it can be that there aren’t to many ads yet so it’s possible to get a disappearing ad control once in a while when you’re running less common cultures. Trying to change the country or culture DOES NOT WORK so you’ll just have to wait (It’s not like Admob is a better alternative since that one isn’t working at all)

I would encourage everyone to just leave the ad in and the requests to the Pubcenter servers will show that there is a lot of space for ads to be sold so advertisers will jump in and use this space.

Nokia seems the first to jump in because the last few days I seem to receive Nokia Lumia ads when using a Dutch culture :)

Oh btw this method also works when you’re having other issues with your ad control ofcourse. just check the exception to see what’s going on. The one thing I keep forgetting every time I add the AdControl are the capabilities in the WMAppManifest.xml. when you do this you’ll get another AdException:

Microsoft.Advertising.Mobile.Shared.AdException – Required capabilities are missing from manifest (WMAppManifest.xml): ID_CAP_NETWORKING, ID_CAP_PHONEDIALER, ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER, ID_CAP_MEDIALIB, ID_CAP_WEBBROWSERCOMPONENT.

Geert van der Cruijsen

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Introducing: PinPin for Windows Phone 7

I’m proud to announce my 2nd Windows Phone 7 application available in the marketplace. The new app is called PinPin and is an app to locate an ATM near your location. The app is really simple at this first release, just open the app and the app will retrieve ATM location information near your GPS location.

At this moment PinPin only works if you are located in the Netherlands because there is no worldwide ATM location data available. I’m still looking for this data so if someone knows where to get this please let me know.

PinPin Logo

Below are some screenshots of the application:

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8

PinPin is available for FREE in the Windows Phone marketplace. download it by clicking the button below:

Download PinPin for WP7

Special Thanks to Christiaan Veeningen for telling me to build this app :)

If like or dislike the app please let me know by rating the app or by submitting a review. You can also contact me through twitter @geertvdc or leave a comment here on my blog.

This is currently the first release of PinPin. I have more plans for the app in the future, here is a roadmap of what to come:

  • Add Dutch language
  • Get Directions (Will have to wait for Mango)
  • Add more Bank logo’s
  • Add more countries
  • Review Comments I get from you!

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this new app!

Geert van der Cruijsen

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My Windows Phone 7 Mango Beta review

The beta of Windows Phone 7.1 codename “Mango” was released last week and in this post I’ll write down my experiences with Mango that I had using it since the launch of the beta.

I’ll try to update this post when I bump into stuff I didn’t write about yet.This post isn’t about describing all new stuff since there are already dozens of other great blog posts about that but I’ll try to write my opinions about how these features are working out or what I am still really missing in Mango.

WP7-Mango

 

Lots of small features that make your life easier:

One of the things I enjoy the most about Mango are the small things that really annoyed me with the 7.0 release of Windows Phone 7, for example the shutdown button that automatically turned of your phone even when the phone is locked. Now in Mango you have to slide down after pressing the power button so no more turning off your phone by accident. Also there is an option to set the pin timeout a bit longer so you don’t have to type in your pin every time you want to use your phone (15 minutes is max when you have policies applied).

One small feature I didn’t read about but seems missing is setting up the mail sync times. On my old phone I used to sync mail automatically with push mail between 7:00 and 23:00 so my phone wouldn’t make so much noise when it’s next to my bed when I’m sleeping. I haven’t found this feature so I think this is a big miss for the Mango release.

 

More Social:

Facebook integration was already great in 7.0 but it just got even better. The threading functionality sounds great but for some reason with US/English and Dutch live accounts something doesn’t seem to work. I really can’t wait for this to start working because seeing this in the movies is so nice!

The “Me” live tile became a lot more useful in Mango because you can get messages in the tile about new updates you have on Facebook. also when clicking on the tile you can use Facebook check in with only a few finger presses.

The use of groups is also added in Mango but I haven’t used this yet. I can keep up with my social updates but maybe this will change when twitter will start working in the retail version of Windows Phone 7.1 (In the Mango Beta twitter integration is not yet available).

Other integration will also be available like LinkedIn but this doesn’t seem to work for me in the Beta either.

 

Dutch Language:

Up until now I only had the English language available which is ok if you only type in English. Since 50% of my communication is in Dutch I really enjoy the added Dutch dictionary added in Mango!

 

Bing!

Before Mango I can’t say I actually used the Bing button other then pressing it by accident. but now 4 new cool features are added that seem to work really good. One of the features that I was really looking forward to is “Bing Vision”. With Bing Vision you can scan barcodes, qr codes, text but also books, cd’s and dvd’s. When you can a book you can automatically open apps like amazon to order this book or get more info about the book. Really great!

 

Besides Bing Vision there is also a button to listen to music like Shazam did in 7.0. Now this feature is build in and is working pretty good. There is also a “Nearby” feature added to Bing to get nearby restaurants, things to see, hotspots etc but there is no Dutch content yet so I only get the nearest locations in Germany….

The last option that is added to Bing is the voice to text search. but I don’t really see the big use of this. when I tested it it made a lot of mistakes and in the same time I could write it.

 

IE9:

What can I say… the old browser in wp7 was a disaster. All other mobile browsers were far superior but now IE9 mobile uses the exact same rendering engine as the desktop version so it is a great improvement. It can render HTML5. has more screen space because the address bar is moved to the bottom (Would hope there would be an option to hide it though to get even more space when reading for example). also when browsing in landscape mode you can now use the address bar which wasn’t possible in 7.0.  You can now also pin websites to your homescreen for fast access to certain websites you use often.

 

7.1 apps:

I have seen a lot of movies and demo’s about cool apps using Mango features but there is no possibility to test those myself except for writing your own apps of course (which I will do!) I do have really high expectations about these apps and all the new features

 

To do:

One major issue a lot of people were missing are tasks but now this is added to your calendar hub and can be synced with exchange.

 

Games hub:

I’ve read a lot about new features in the games hub and the integration with Xbox live but since my Xbox Gamer tag live id is Dutch it’s not possible to use this yet. The list of games is cleaned up though and is looking a lot better than it did in 7.0

 

What is not in but needs to be in?

The one super major thing I really need is Tethering. I can understand not all providers can appreciate this feature but I used it on windows mobile 6.5 and now with the same provider I can’t use it anymore. that’s a bit shame!

the other thing I already mentioned and that is setting up times to sync your stuff and times it shouldn’t but it seems I’m the only one wanting this feature :(

Loads more is in!

Steve Balmer promised us 500 new features so I only touched on this a little but but I hope you enjoyed reading my first opinions about Mango and the Beta. I see a bright feature for WP7

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