Understanding the Required Artwork for your Windows Phone App

January 26th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Recently, I contributed an article on the Marketplace Test Kit to Jeff Blankenburg’s 31-days of Mango. The Marketplace Test Kit should be used by all Windows Phone developers to perform a check-point on their app, and it’s requirements, prior to submitting it to the Marketplace. If your app doesn’t pass the test kit, it will certainly fail certification in the Marketplace submission process.

One of the Automated Tests within the test kit is to verify you have the correct sized images and file type requirements for your Marketplace artwork.

TestKit1

These are the required artwork items to showcase your app within the various sections of the Marketplace:

Artwork

Size (pixels)

File Type

Where used

Small mobile app tile artwork

99 x 99

PNG

The Marketplace catalog on the phone; app list
Large mobile app tile artwork

173 x 173

PNG

The marketplace catalog on the phone; app detail page
Large PC app tile artwork

200 x 200

PNG

The Marketplace catalog on the PC

One of the attendees from our recent Windows Phone Accelerator labs pinged me the other day for an issue she was having with her images and the Marketplace Test Kit. The Test Kit was reporting an error that stated she had an invalid image size where it was expecting an image size of 62×62.

62TestError

If you look at the Test Kit, it isn’t asking for an image of 62×62. However… there is a requirement for a 62×62 image, it’s just not listed in the Marketplace Test Kit. The requirement is for the actual application’s icon. This is the icon that is displayed the in application list of the phone once a user downloads your app. There’s also another image that is required at a size of 173×173 (same as the Large Marketplace image) that is your application’s tile for when someone pins your app to their start screen.

So in all, the Marketplace Test Kit is testing image requirements for 5 different tile images. The 3 images required for the Marketplace and the 2 images required for your application on the phone:

File

Size (pixels)

File Type

Where used

Small app icon

62 x 62

PNG

The list of installed applications on the phone
Large app icon

173 x 173

PNG

The Start screen on the phone when the user pins the application.

You set your small and large app icon’s within your projects Property Page. These are than defined within the WPAppManfest.xml file. It might look confusing, but the Background image property is your application’s Start Screen tile.

PropertyPage

Truth be told, the Test Kit validates additional images as it is required that you have at least one screen shot of your app with a size of 800×480 pixels. So don’t forget those images as well. Thankfully, we now have the Screen Capture tool in the Windows Phone Emulator.

You can find all of the requirements for your applications artwork in the Windows Phone Marketplace Documentation.

Categories: Windows Phone
  • PHenry

    I like the Marketplace test kit, BUT I think MS should/needs to go the next step, and submit that file with the applicaiton/xap so you don’t have to RE-ENTER the exact same information onto the marketplace submission website. It’s not impossible to do on the website, just tedious IMHO. Especially since the information is alredy there. Nice article, thank you!

  • davebost

    @PHenry that’s a great suggestion. That would be a good one to submit at http://wpdev.uservoice.com.

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