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How to Create Screenshots for Windows Phone 7 Marketplace without a Phone

One of the best and worst features of developing for windows phone 7, as opposed to the iPhone, is that it’s possible to develop and publish a windows phone 7 app without ever laying hands on an actual device that can actually run it. I’m sure this will lead to worse apps in the marketplace, because you should *always* test your apps on an actual device before publishing. But it’s nice that you don’t have to.

While the Windows Phone 7 emulator is great in many ways, I was annoyed by one thing… the ugly performance  status numbers that show up in debugging mode:

 

Yes, I know these are terribly useful when trying to work out bugs in performance and screen refresh issues (still a problem…) but it does make getting screenshots for the Windows Phone 7 marketplace more difficult. Photoshop them out? Take a screenshot on the phone itself and email it to you?

The solution is so simple…

  1. When you’re debugging your app, just click on Stop Debugging (Shift+F5 in VS express for phone). The emulator is still running, with your app installed.
  2. Click the Start button in the emulator
  3. Click the right arrow for the list of apps
  4. Find your app. Run your app. Now without annoying performance counters.
  5. Use built-in snipping tool (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool ) or graphics program of your choice to get screenshot.

 

That’s it! A little cropping or touch-up in Paint.net and you’re ready for the marketplace.