Microsoft launches Windows Phone App Studio Beta
Today, Microsoft launched a beta version of Windows Phone App Studio, a completely web-based tool to create applications for Windows Phone. App Studio lets developers design applications by applying given templates and plug-ins and is even suited for users with modest development skills. More experienced developers can use it for rapid prototyping and manually alter the generated code afterwards.
Applications can be created using pre-defined themes like "Our company", "My hobby" or "Official store" or as an empty application. When using a theme, the application is configured with typical structures, data sources and style. Developers can then start to customize the application to their specific needs.
By starting with an empty application, the user needs to define all parts of the application within a wizard style editor. Just like configuring a pre-defined application, this works by using simple controls or drag and drop.
App Studio lets the developer define static or dynamic data-sources which represent the content of the application. Static data is embedded in the application whereas dynamic data can be updated via Windows App Store and is then pushed to the application.
A simulator is part of the web-based editor and instantly reflects all changes to the application. When the user has finished working on the app, he can chose to generate the application to test it on a real device, continue to work on the source code in Visual Studio or to publish it in the Windows Phone Store.
Using App Studio and testing on local devices only requires a Microsoft account and is free of charge. For publishing an application in the Windows Phone Store, a developer certificate is required.
Windows Phone App Studio is designed for Internet Explorer 10 and in the moment, there seem to be problems using Google Chrome or Safari.