HoloLens and Unity tip #005 – Install multiple versions of the same app onto your HoloLens

HoloLens and Unity tip #005 – Install multiple versions of the same app onto your HoloLens

We are developing a HoloLens application for one of our customers. The project is splitted into a number of iterations and delivers versions of the application on weekly bases. This allows the customer to view the progress and report issues and wishes back which can be resolved instantly. The customer requested if some of the versions could be maintained on the same HoloLens device.

Normally this would not work. As soon as you deploy your application, it overwrites the previous installed version. But there is a way. :)

You can have multiple instances of the same application running on your HoloLens. Each installed as a separate application with its own space and storage. To accomplish this, you will need to do the following before you deploy your HoloLens application.

First of all it is wise to rename the application. This will help to identity this version of the application in the HoloLens menu. Open the application manifest editor by double click on the Package.appxmanifest file. Change the “Display name” to a new name which will identify this version.

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It is also possible to open source code of this file. Then you will need to change the display name via XML format.

Secondly you need to change the Package family name. This identifies your application and contains a name, publisher id and publisher display name. It is defined based on the certificate of the publisher.

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Go to the “Packaging” tab in the editor of the Package.appxmanifest file. Press the “Choose Certificate” button.

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Select the option “Create test certificate” under the “Configure certificate” drop down. It is also possible to select an existing of a certificate of the store. Enter the publishers name and if needed a password to secure the certificate. When the “OK” button is pressed the question is asked to replace the existing certificate.

The application now has a new display name and a new certificate. This allows you to deploy this specific version to the HoloLens device next to the already deployed application. An example of three versions of the same application is shown below in the HoloLens menu.

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