Smart Bronco: Prototyping Measuring Coolant Temperature

So while I was figuring out how to get my application approved for the Microsoft Store, I decided to move forward with actually writing some code. Eventually I want to read the temperature in the Bronco, but before I get there I wanted to just test out reading temperature at all. Taking little steps and learning along the way is how I like to develop, as it makes it a lot easier to respond to failure. Only tactically when I realize I’m on a wrong path do I pivot. It’s a similar philosophy as laid out in the Lean Startup, which prescribes a lot of these ideas for starting a business, but they seem to apply for development as well.

In order to prototype this out, I knew that I didn’t want to think too much about the hardware. After all, I’m a software person, and besides I think there’s little value in reinventing the wheel unless it’s for the distinct reason to learn how the wheel works. So, I leveraged a hardware¬†and software abstraction and used the Seeed Grove kit for Raspberry Pi that allows me to not worry about translating the analog world into the digital world. The Grove System is specifically created to make prototyping less painful, and I can certainly attest to that. With the Grove Starter Kit for IoT based on Raspberry Pi as a starter point, which I received as part of an IoT bootcamp put on by Microsoft, within an hour or two I was getting the temperature of the real world and displaying it on my screen.

While not all that earth shattering, that allowed me to create the code that I will need when I’m starting to use a temperature sensor more appropriate for the Bronco. And that is exactly what prototyping is for, so it was a great success. Now, if only they would approve my app for the Microsoft Store, then we’d be cooking with gas. Or cooling with coolant, I suppose.

Microsoft Reject My App Store Submission

Being rejected is difficult. When I submitted my Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application to the Microsoft Store, I had no reason to think it would not pass with flying colors. I followed their checklist. I checked all the appropriate boxes, dotted all the t’s and crossed all the i’s.¬†

Wait, the other way around.

Either way, it was rejected, and the reason (in my mind) was quite funny. There was no screenshots of the application! That was the reason! Why is this funny? Well…

The purpose of the IoT application is that it will be pre-installed on an OEM device. Aka, this thing is built to be installed on an IoT device that shows up in a store and sits on a shelf, and when a user buys it and takes it home, the single application that is installed on it will show up. They won’t even know it’s a Windows 10 IoT Core device, they won’t know it is connected to the Microsoft Store, they won’t go and find the app to download.

Well, that won’t really happen for the Bronco as it’s just kind of a proof-of-concept for that, but the logical issue still stands. No one is going to see this app in the Microsoft Store (and in fact, one of the checkboxes I checked was “hide this from the Microsoft Store search).

So, putting a screenshot or two of what the app does seemed a little superfluous to me. Perhaps it’s for the reviewers to make sure there’s a little meat to the potatoes in submissions. I know that the Microsoft Store (and really, all app stores) have an issue with quality of apps, so maybe that’s what they wanted to check out.

Either way. I’ll keep you up to date when I find out if they approve it!