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Windows Phone App Studio has over 50,000 active projects, adds new features

App Studio

Nearly two weeks ago Microsoft released App Studio for Windows Phone enthusiasts and potential developers. The web tool allows users to create fairly basic apps for Windows Phone without much prior development knowledge. Today the team announced that App Studio has over 50,000 active projects alongside new features. Let’s check them out.

In the first 48 hours that App Studio was live the team saw over 30,000 projects created. That number may have slowed down since, but the team hasn’t stopped improving the service.

The team behind App Studio pushed the message that the service will be essentially built by you as you provide feedback to them. They’ve been listening to feedback and have started to implement some of the ideas from the community. Here’s what’s new with App Studio.

  • New connections to additional external data sources
  • Improved code legibility
  • New templates
  • Flickr as data source
  • Fundamental changes to App Studio to improve performance and scalability of the system

While App Studio might not appeal to legitimate developers who are already masters of the Windows Phone platform, it could be a first step for many others looking to start down the road of developing. App Studio is free and also lowers the wall for anyone wanting to sideload apps to their device.

You’ll want to head to App Studio to learn more. http://apps.windowsstore.com/default.htm

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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Reader comments

Windows Phone App Studio has over 50,000 active projects, adds new features

56 Comments

I'm trying to get this, it says I need an invite code. How do I get one. I emailed, still haven't received one. I signed up to be a developer because it was $20.

Weird. I just emailed them ten mins before this post and got it it a few minutes later. I'm not sure if it's one person or an automated system to get the code. Try again? 

Nope. The apps created here don't add to MIcrosoft's official count of Windows Phone apps. They will if you get a dev account and submit them to the Store though. 

I've started a few but not close to finishing any of them. Its really nice but takes a while to get used to the navigation. Good job MS!!!

I'm glad they are continuing to improve on this service and quickly. As a beginner with no experience, I have already started a project. It is a little hard to navigate and could use a lot more features like location tracking and ability to drag/drop, resize.

I know it just came out, and it's beta. But i hope that there are more features coming. I haven't tried it but from youtubing it a bit and watching others do it, i feel like it's RSS feeds and static pages / links.  Great for a company website or a blog's website, but nothing more (though i may be wrong).  I am hoping they add more! Which it seems from this post, that is something they would like to do.  I feel with some more features and as easy as it appears to be, we'll get some really nice apps that wont take people very long to do at all!
 
I would like some input fields.. If i was able to submit a query to a webpage and catch the XML (or JOSN... or hell i can even manage to fake an RSS feed) and then display the output, that alone would put this WAY ahead!!  And it's free!!
 
Come on microsoft!! you can do it!!

For the most part, you're right. They do have an html5 template, buy I haven't messed with that yet. The biggest problem I have with it is that you can't adjust font sizes, making a lot of text entries get cut off.

Although i assume wpcentral, or at least hope they'll create some sort of database with links to all of the apps created here, you should include links as this place can prove highly profitable or useful

I work for a small sales rep agency. We've been wanting a simple app that would allow us to pull recent sales numbers from our database, but couldn't really justify paying a lot of money for development. It looks like this tool will allow me to create it in my free time. The only thing that is missing is the ability to also use it as a Windows 8 app!

So, would the dev license I got from this allow me to install the homebrew apps sometimes featured here?

I've built an app for my website: PettyFans.net. It's free if you all want to see the results. I'd love to hear what people think! Its pretty simple, but I'm adding more and more when I can find the time. Expect an update to be posted sometime this week. The app submission/update certification process takes around 5 days or so.

Thanks. Like I said, its very simple at this point. I just hope it gives most people an idea of what to expect using App Studio Beta.

I have a crew of people and we want to start distributing video content. I've started poking around with this and there's no way to just put in the link or embed code to one specific video, unless I'm missing something. It seems to want you to add an entire channel. I want a "featured video" on my main page and then each other page would ideally have one video or a playlist of videos. Has anybody figured out how to do this or am I wasting my time??

Make a new selection, edit/select youtube data source, select search instead of channel, enter the YouTube video code. You'll see that specific video listed below once it loads.

I've made two apps. One for my favorite CFB team with links, RSS news feeds and YouTube channel feeds (although the YouTube channel feed hasn't updated properly in app). The other is for a vacation rental property, mainly photo and links to website its listed on.
I've exhausted the features of the app at this point so I am glad to hear about additional features... think I'll go see what else I can do right now.

After checking it out, all I see different is the addition of flicker.
...
Anyone here know how to work with HTML5 as the data source? Other than plain text and website links, I can't anything to work with it. For instance, I would like basically insert HTML code for a web widget (if you will). Anybody?
Edit: It only accepts certain code, basically it just won't do what I want it to. Maybe I'll try moving it over to VS & see what I can do.

Hey all! I've just created an official instagram, youtube and snapchat app all in one, me and Rudy did it yesterday (is what id love to be able to say)

I created my first app (needs some image tweaking), and it was a bit challenging at first to grasp the navigation and customization menus, but I think I have a fair handle on it now.  It seems like most of these templates essentially let you create an app that mimicks a website.  My wife even asked "So, how is this different than our website?".  I was hard-pressed for an answer.  But what I'd REALLY like to do is create an app for my bank.  THAT'S the kind of template I could really use.

Of course the problem with that is Security, even at a very basic level removing code you would still need to understand things like web protocols, encryption etc for an app like that. If you really do want to make something for a bank then I'd suggest native code, not only will you get a better looking app, but you'll get one that works.

So, working with the DataSources area, how do I decide--and use--the Dynamic option as opposed to the Static option?  It would seem so far that this option is only available at the higher level, not in the lower levels where you create each "collection".  I had a collection that I would have liked to have had my netcasts available, but when I go to edit any of the collections they appear to only be simple Title & Description templates.

I think the best way to use the App Builder is to actually develop the groundwork of an app, e.g. the basic design, menus, etc -- so that when you take it to Visual Studio you are not starting from zero.

Should I have developer account or I can use it with my Microsoft account that I'm using at my phone?

It does, perhaps you are not using it correctly.
Also, most feeds I have seen are in the best format. ie, either no pictures or no content & only summaries.

One thing I think Microsoft needs to do is create a completely unified experience for developers. So you could create one app with different views for different devices. This is what Cononical is doing with the Ubuntu OS. It makes me, an application developer, all tingly inside when I see innovation like what Cononical is doing. Plus they use Qt,which I adore.

The reason I say that Microsoft needs to create a unified experience is because it's not currently. Apps made for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and web and desktop all use different assemblies, which is a pain in the butt