App development hasn’t been this easy what with the enormous number of tools available. But we often tend to forget some basic requirements, which might lead to the app being rejected.  So, here are a few guidelines to remember before you look to get your windows phone app published on the Windows Phone Store.

1. Enter the title of your application and set both the application and tile icons in the application project properties. The application icon must be a PNG image of size 62×62 pixels for WP7 and 99×99 for WP8, and the tile icon also a PNG image of size 173×173 pixels for WP7. You will also require a 300×300 PNG image for the Windows Store, which will be collected at the time of submission of the app.

2. Handle exceptions in such a way that the app still remains responsive to the user. You could present a relevant user-friendly error message when handling exceptions.

3. A back button press on the start page must close the app. A back button press on any other page must navigate to a previous page on the application back stack. If a dialog or menu is opened from a page, a back button press must close the dialog or menu, and return to that page from where the dialog or menu was opened.

4. The application contents must be visible and legible to the user regardless of the phone theme. One way of doing this is to manually set the background and foreground colors of the controls and texts to the colors you want.

5. The application must launch and remain responsive when activated after deactivation. Deactivate the app at each application page, and check to see if it launches normally and is responsive to the user.

6. If your app is location aware, then it must remain responsive when the user turns off location services in the device settings, by providing a user-friendly message to indicate that location data is not available. Location based apps must also provide a privacy policy that must be accessible at all times, indicating how the location data is being used by the app, and also provide the user an option to enable and disable the apps access to and use of Location Service API.

7. If your app uses Microsoft Push Notification Service(MPNS), then the app must ask the user for permission to receive notifications, and also provide the user an option to enable and disable the receipt of push notifications on the app settings page.

8. Run your app through the Windows Marketplace Test Kit provided in Visual Studio. Right Click on your project and click on the Open Marketplace Test Kit option. The first test among these is the Application Details and this is to collect your applications icons and screenshots. Then follow the Automated Tests to check the validity of the Application Icons and Screenshots.This test also checks the XAP Package Requirements and application capability. Then run your application through the Monitored Tests to check if the application complies with the required launch time of 5 secs, peak memory consumption of less than 90MB, validations of exceptions being handled and no unexpected closure, and the proper use of the back button. Also run through each of the manual test cases to check if the app complies with the certification requirements.

According to a recent statistic only 60% of the apps submitted to the Windows Phone Store go through the certification process successfully in the first attempt. From my experience, applications usually take about 4-5 days to complete the certification process each time. It would help, if you plan your timelines accordingly.