I wanted to create Page Manager because the native Windows Phone Facebook app did not allow users to manage pages and it was a pain to get things done using IE on the phone.
Don’t believe me? Just go ahead and give it a shot.
As you can see, the need was there.
My Windows Phone development experience was almost nonexistent because my first app was a relatively simple one called “Prayer Request” that allows users to submit prayer requests to one of my Facebook pages. As of now, it is no longer published in the store as I am working on updating/improving it.
How it started
At the start of 2012, I attended a number of workshops and learned as much as I possibly can through the MSDN tutorials and the great resources made available by folks like Jeff Blankenburg.
The motivation came when Nokia and Microsoft announced a Windows Phone workshop (led by Nick Randolph, owner of Built To Roam) and competition challenging developers to publish one app to the store for a chance to win a Nokia Lumia 800. Digging through my email, I found the link to the original post by Dave Glover (Microsoft Developer Evangelist).
I would like to take this time to thank Dave and Nick for the part they played in my journey to becoming a Windows Phone developer. Thanks guys!
I worked long hours and after many tutorials, a number of trials and truckload of errors, Page Manager was successfully published to the Windows Phone Store on April 5, 2012!
My reward? A brand new Nokia Lumia 800, courtesy of Nokia Australia. It is still my primary phone to this day 🙂
If you would like to get an idea of what it looked like, please view this PDF file.
Clearly, I didn’t win an award for the design of the app 🙂
The app worked, but all users could do at this point was update their Facebook page status and view the current status and that was about it. It was very very limited because my experience was very very limited.
But, I still published it as a paid app (99 cents) without a trial option (because at the time, I didn’t know how to enable trial mode).
It wasn’t a runaway success, not that I was expecting it to be one. To gauge the reception for my app, all one has to do is look at the old reviews. It’s not pretty.
Every journey begins with a single step and this was the first step for Page Manager.
The errors users were experiencing and the bad reviews they were leaving ignited a passion and drive in me to go back to the drawing board and turn everything around!
Page Manager 2.0
I work a full time job and it has nothing to do with Windows Phone. Windows Phone development does not pay my bills.
I would work all day and when I got home, I was working long hours into the night on Page Manager.
I had only been married 3 months at this stage and you can imagine that I needed all the love and support from Amanda (my wife) to make it happen. I did receive that and more from her!
I never kept track of the time I put into Page Manager 2, but I reckon it’s around the 80 hour mark (not counting the time I put into V1 and all the recent updates).
I worked very hard and finally, on October 14 2012, I published the beta and made it available in the Windows Phone Store.
This would be the perfect time to express my thanks and gratitude to Kris (Shantek Studios), Garry, Marco, Dale and Vaughan – without whom, Page Manager 2 wouldn’t be where it is today. These guys helped test Page Manager and gave so much feedback and made many valuable suggestions that has shaped Page Manager. Thank you so much for helping me out guys! I appreciate it so much!
I also want to say thank you to Peter (of AUSWINPHONE) who volunteered to test and review Page Manager for me, even before V2 was published in the store! Since then, Peter has been such a huge help to me and I cannot say thank you enough to him for all the ways he has helped me and continues to help me, to this day. So, thank you Peter!
Page Manager Version 2 was finally published to the store and received a much warmer reception than V1.
The app now had a redesigned interface (compared to V1) and allowed users to publish status updates, post pictures to their page and also view insights. I also implemented pin to tile for each of the features and also added a trial mode. All of this, along with great exposure thanks to Peter and Sean (TheWinPhan) and many others, Page Manager now has over 800 downloads. Not too bad for what I believe is an app for a niche market 🙂
The amount of time I spent and the added features led me to raise the price of the app to $1.99. However, the ad enabled trial allows users to manage one page (chosen by the app) perpetually.
The plan is to continue improving Page Manager by fixing bugs and adding more features.
I am continually trying to improve my skills as a developer, so as to improve Page Manager and build better apps in the future.
A Windows Phone 8 specific version of Page Manager is in the pipeline, as is a Windows 8 version.
I do want to make one thing clear. I plan to continue developing and updating the Windows Phone 7 version as well. I have no intention or desire to leave my Windows Phone 7 users high and dry!
Developing Page Manager has been quite a journey and I have learned so much from it and I am a better programmer/developer for it.
For now, the journey continues.
To all who have encouraged and supported me in this journey, thank you.
To all the users who have downloaded the app and used it, thank you. You have challenged me to make the app better, to become a better developer. The app is not perfect, but I will continually strive to make it better.
If you have yet to try Page Manager, please download the trial and give it a shot. If you like it, please don’t hesitate to leave a review.
If you have any comments or suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact me or connect with me on Twitter (@SrikanthNairPro).