Heads Or Tails UWP App Update 1.2.2 Released

Just a quick post tonight to spruik 😀 the latest release of this handy little app.  In this release I have added a feature to track lifetime stats for heads and tails, as well as the longest streaks for both options.

As silly as it sounds, it is actually quite intriguing to keep tossing that virtual coin and see how over time the numbers for heads and tails even out as they should.  While at other times you can get really long streaks of just heads or just tails, skewing the total number one way or the other.

I can't post with just useless information though, so I will share one tidbit I recently observed that may be of interest to anyone looking to monetize their apps using the Microsoft Advertising Framework.

Low ad fill rates?  There may be a reason...

When I created the new Lifetime Stats page in the app and added a new ad unit, I accidentally selected a COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) compliance rating that indicated the app was directed at children under 13 years of age.  This of course is not the case - it is for general consumption for young and old.

However, the learning is that the COPPA compliance rating for the one ad actually applies to all ads for the one app.  This then changes the ad serving algorithms that Microsoft applies for the app and all its ad units. In return, my ad fill rate went south...

By way of explanation Microsoft will only serve non-targeted ads to apps that are directed at Children under 13 years of age.

At this point I need to stress that you absolutely must select the appropriate COPPA compliance setting for your app.  At no point should ad fill rate considerations influence your declaration.  Just do the right thing, okay?

What's next for this app?

It was initially just a learning piece for myself as to how the Microsoft Advertising Framework actually works.  See this recent post if you want to read about it a bit more.

But now I'm actually thinking of putting in a feature that will aggregate data from all users across the world, by country, and then display it back in the app as a sort of "World Cup of Coin Toss" ladder.  Why, you ask?  Just for fun really.  And it could be an interesting learning on how to create the web APIs and database backend required for such a feature.

Anyway, feel free to comment if you like the idea.  Not much spare time at the moment but with enough encouragement it might just happen one day 😀

Get it from Microsoft

Hope you enjoyed the post


Heads Or Tails UWP App - Sample For Using Microsoft Advertising AdUnits To Monetize Your Apps

A Quick Sample App For Monetizing Apps With Microsoft Advertising AdUnits

Just a quick post in case anyone is wondering how to monetize their UWP apps using Microsoft's Advertising framework.

The good news? I found it to be very simple and straight forward, although there are a couple of caveats to be aware of.

It's Easy - Let's get started

First, log into your Windows Dev Center account. On the left hand navigation bar click on Monetize - In-app ads.  Then click on the Create ad unit button.  Fill in a handful of self explanatory parameters for your new ad unit, and click the Create ad unit button to save.  Congratulation, you have just created your first live AdUnit.

Download and install the Microsoft Advertising SDK for XAML

Grab the SDK from the Microsoft web site, and run the installer.  Once done, open up your app's project in Visual Studio and add a Reference to the Microsoft Advertising SDK for XAML. To do this right click References - Add Reference - Universal Windows - Extensions.  Tick the box for the SDK and click OK.

Bake your shiny new ad unit into your UWP XAML App

This step is easy.  But don't be tempted to embed your live ad unit while still developing/debugging your app.  It is against Microsoft policy to run live ad units in the debugger and I am pretty sure they would not be pleased - so just don't do it.

Instead, use a test ad unit. Microsoft thankfully provide such a test ad unit with generic IDs.  So the XAML will look something like this:


  <!-- Test AdControl -->

The key pieces here are the using: statement referencing Microsoft.Advertising.WinRT.UI, and the ApplicationId and AdUnitId tags. The values here are the generic test ones which you can use exactly as they are. These will tell the Microsoft Advertising framework to serve up test ads so you can ensure it all works.

For mobile apps, there are a couple of banner sizes that are recommended specifically, as they work best.  I am relatively sure you can use any of the approved sizes, but maybe best stick to the recommended ones for Windows Phone apps.

Voila, you are ready to earn money with your App - Almost, anyway

Pretty close...   A couple of extra steps are required first. Once you are happy with your app and you are ready to submit it to the Microsoft Store, change the XAML for your AdControl to use live ApplicationID and AdUnitId tags.  Where do you get these from you might ask?  Aha, since you paid attention to this post, you know that you can get the live Id tags from your Windows Dev Center, right?

Put the live Id tags into your app, and then follow the standard processes to package and submit the app to the Microsoft Store.  Visual Studio makes this very easy, and there is excellent documentation available from Microsoft on the whole end to end process.

Once your submission is fully approved, your app will be available to customers for download, ready for you to start making money.

Wrapping Up - Grab Heads-Or-Tails app from the Microsoft Store

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Any questions just leave a comment or send me an email.

Oh, and if you feel like it, go grab the app from the Store and use it to help you make those tricky decisions in life - after all, it's a tricky, age old question:   Heads Or Tails?



Further Information

Monetize your App with Ads - Windows Developer Documentation

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