Submitting an app to the Windows Store

Because HoloLens is part of the Universal Windows Platform, submitting an app to the Windows Store on HoloLens is just like submitting an app for any other Universal Windows Platform.

If you don't already have a Windows Dev Center account, you can sign up today.

Packaging an app for HoloLens

Prepare image assets included in the appx

There are several image assets required by the appx building tools to build your application into an appx package to submit to the Store. You can learn more about guidelines for tile and icon assets on MSDN.

Required Asset Recommended Scale Image Format Where is this displayed?
Square 71x71 Logo Any PNG N/A
Square 150x150 Logo 150x150 (100% scale)
225x225 (150% scale)
PNG Start pins and All Apps (if 310x310 isn't provided), Store Search Suggestions
Store Listing Page, Store Browse, Store Search
Wide 310x150 Logo Any PNG N/A
Store Logo 75x75 (150% scale) PNG Dev Center, Report App, Write a Review, My Library
Splash Screen 930x450 (150% scale) PNG Pinned App Tile

There are also some recommended assets which HoloLens can take advantage of.

Recommended Assets Recommended Scale Where is this displayed?
Square 310x310 Logo 310x310 (150% scale) Start pins and All Apps

Live Tile requirements

The Start Menu in the HoloLens will use the largest included square tile image.

You may see that some apps published by Microsoft have a 3D interactive Live Tile. This capability is not available to external developers at this time.

Specifying target device families

HoloLens is part of the Universal Windows Platform, so any app package with a target device family of "Windows.Universal" is capable of running on HoloLens.

The target device family can be set in the AppxManifest but it is not visible in the Visual Studio manifest designer that is displayed when you open Package.appxmanifest.

To set this field in Visual Studio, right click on the Package.appxmanifest and select "View Code" then find the TargetDeviceFamily Name field.

<Dependencies>
   <TargetDeviceFamily Name="Windows.Universal" MinVersion="10.0.10240.0" MaxVersionTested="10.0.10586.0" />
</Dependencies>

If you have created an app specifically for HoloLens that is not supported on other platforms, then you can ensure that it only is installed on HoloLens by specifying a target device family of "Windows.Holographic".

<Dependencies>
   <TargetDeviceFamily Name="Windows.Holographic" MinVersion="10.0.10240.0" MaxVersionTested="10.0.10586.0" />
</Dependencies>

Associate app with the Store

From the Project menu in your Visual Studio solution, choose "Store > Associate App with the Store". If you do this, you can test purchase and notification scenarios in your app. When you associate your app with the Store, these values are downloaded to the app manifest file for the current project on your local machine:

  • Package Display Name
  • Package Name
  • Publisher ID
  • Publisher Display Name
  • Version

If you override the default package.appxmanifest file by creating a custom .xml file for the manifest, you can’t associate your app with the Store. If you try to associate a custom manifest file with the Store, you will see an error message.

Creating an upload package

Follow guidelines at Packaging Universal Windows apps for Windows 10.

The final step of creating an upload package is validating the package using the Windows App Certification Kit.

If you'll be adding a package specifically for HoloLens to an existing product that is available on other Windows 10 device families, you will also want to learn about how version numbers may impact which packages are delivered to specific customers, and how packages are distributed to different operating systems.

The general guidance is that the highest version number package that is applicable to a device will be the one distributed by the Store.

If there is a Windows.Universal package and a Windows.Holographic package and the Windows.Universal package has a higher version number, a HoloLens user will download the higher version number Windows.Universal package instead of the Windows.Holographic package. There are several solutions to this problem:

  1. Ensure your platform specific packages such as Windows.Holographic always have a higher version number than your platform agnostic packages such as Windows.Universal
  2. Do not package apps as Windows.Universal if you also have platform specific packages - instead package the Windows.Universal package for the specific platforms you want it available on
    • Note that you can declare a single package to be applicable to multiple target device families
  3. Create a single Windows.Universal package that works across all platforms. Support for this isn't great right now so the above solutions are recommended.

Testing your app

Windows App Certification Kit

When you create app packages to submit to the Windows Dev Center through Visual Studio, the Create App Packages wizard will prompt you to run the Windows App Certification Kit against the packages that get created. In order to have a smooth submission process to the Store, it's best to verify that the Windows App Certification Kit tests pass against your app on your local machine before submitting them to the Store. Running the Windows App Certification Kit on a remote HoloLens is not currently supported.

Run on all targeted device families

The Windows Universal Platform allows you to create a single application that runs across all of the Windows 10 device families. However, it doesn't guarantee that Universal Windows apps will just work on all device families. Before you choose to make your app available on HoloLens or any other Windows 10 target device family, it's important that you test the app on each of those device families to ensure a good experience.

Submitting an app to the Store

If you are submitting an app that is based on a Unity project, please see this video first

In general, submitting an app to be available on HoloLens is just like submitting any UWP app to the Windows Store. You can refer to the general app submission checklist. Take note of the following for HoloLens.

  1. Make your product available on the Holographic Windows 10 device family
  2. Provide screenshots showing what the app looks like when run on a Holographic device

Holographic Windows 10 device family

In the Pricing and Availability section of the app submission, there is a collapsed section titled "Windows 10 device families". Only apps with the "Holographic" checkbox checked will be made available in the Windows Store on HoloLens.

Choosing the Windows 10 device family in the Windows Store submission

Holographic screenshots

Holographic screenshots can be specified on the Description page during the app submission process. Up to 9 Holographic screenshots can be provided.

Screenshots should be 1280x720 resolution PNG's that are less than 2MB per image.

App properties

In addition to the Windows Store age rating, some markets require a market-specific age rating if your app targets those markets. For the HoloLens Development Edition make sure that your app targets the United States market.