Get Advertisement on Your Windows Phone App with Ad Rotator

Displaying advertisement in free app to generate some extra revenue is a very common approach use by many developers in many different platform. If you are living in the country where  Microsoft Advertising pubCenter is supported, then good for you because you will have a much easier life. But if you are not, or would like to show not only ad from Microsoft provider, then this post if for you.

I had personally tried Google AdMob and Smaato ad provider for Windows Phone before. They don’t work out nicely for me. Google AdMob SDK crash randomly when request ad from server (post). While Smatoo didn’t show any ad in the app some time when use in my home country (post). Microsoft Advertising pubCenter  is not an option for me since it is not available in Malaysia.

Then I come across Windows Phone 7 Ad Rotator, which can show ads from different providers. It support both Google AdMob and Smaato, so I decided to give it a try. End up it work perfectly in my app. The Ad Rotator solve the crash problem in Google AdMob native SDK (now I can use back AdMob) and it also help to display ad from different providers when the other provider fail to show any ad. For example, I set both Smaato and AdMob in Ad Rotator, when AdMob fail to show any ad,  Smaato will take over and show the ad instead. This help to maximize the revenue of your free app in many different countries.

Currently Ad Rotator is in version 1.0 which support Microsoft PubCenter, AdDuplex, Google AdMob, Inner-Active, MobFox, Smaato and Default House Ad. It also support both Silverlight and XNA app in Windows Phone. You can find a very easy tutorial here. It is very easy to integrate in your Windows Phone app. I will recommend any developer who want to show advertisement on their free app to give this a try.

I had now switch to Ad Rotator to display ads from Smaato and AdMob. Mainly because it can switch between different providers. When one failed to show, the others will take over. Second, I can add more ad providers later on without making any changes in my source code. Although I can further maximize the revenue by using different ad providers in different countries (eCPM will depend on the ad display, country and ad provider), but I don’t have any idea which ad provider give better pay on which country yet, so I will stick with 50-50 for Smaato and AdMob currently.

by Ooi Keng Siang via Ooiks’s Blog

Bug in AdMob SDK for Windows Phone 7 Version 4.0.4

Today, when I’m trying to continue working on one of my Windows Phone app and suddenly the app force quit every time I run the app. Man, it is working correctly last night and now it doesn’t work anymore! What the hack is this “An unknown error has occurred. Error: 80020101.”? The error did not give me a good idea what is it all about.

I can’t really guess what actually happening. After spending a long time checking what went wrong, then I found out Google AdMob control which I use to display advertisement is not working correctly and it keep on throwing error when it put into visual tree.  So I do some search and found out that the AdMob SDK has cause quite number of problems in current version. Lot of developers complain about this problem but no work around or fix is provided by Google.

I try several way like putting try/catch, generate ad from code behind, generate ad from loaded function and many more. All doesn’t work and it still throwing error, ARGH!! There are only 2 options left for me. First option, completely remove AdMob from my app and I will gain nothing from the app. Second option, ignore the error.

Since the app I created is pretty simple and it is for demo purpose, so I will keep the ad and ignore the error.  By setting exception handled to true, it should stop the app from force close when running. Of cause it will still pop up error when you running in debugging mode. I will just comment out the ad control coding part when I debugging the app and un-comment it when I finish develop it.

I had submitted the app to Windows Phone marketplace. I not sure whatever it can go through the certification process or not but I shall update this post when the result is out. Yes, my app get through the certification without problem. In the end, I still cannot figure out what is actually happening to the SDK which is working flawless for the pass 2 weeks and it now cause me so much trouble. Let’s hope the developer (Google) fix this mess as soon as possible. Meanwhile, only 2 options, either remove all or ignore it!

[Update] I had fix the problem using Ad Rotator instead, check out my latest post here.

by Ooi Keng Siang (Microsoft Student Partners) via Ooiks’s Blog