Microsoft details new developer driven features in App Studio Beta

Microsoft unleashed the Windows Phone App Studio Beta back in August, accumulating a whopping 30,000 projects in just 48 hours. Now an article over on the Windows Phone Develop Blog details some developer driven changes that have been implemented into the app. Perfect for the 160,000 developers who have created more than 150,000 projects, leading to 65,000 apps in just two months.

The team has been taking feedback on-board from developers and seasoned enthusiasts on blogs, tweets and emails. This has enabled them to announce a new set of features to make the beta even more responsive to app development requirements. So what's new in the App Studio Beta for developers? There's quite a lot to take in. Here's a quick summary:

  • Improved app development workflow by enhancing code and projects. 
  • New cache implementation enables external data sources to be available even if the phone is not connected.
  • Visual Studio projects have been optimised to remove external references when not used (reduces project size, complexity, etc.).
  • "Fast Resume" enables you to set a default language for easy publication to the Windows Phone Store.
  • It's now possible to navigate data sources easily with the new "FlipView."
  • NFC (Near Field Communication) can now be used to share apps with other App Studio Beta users.

As well as the above list, the team has also made it easier to integrate native phone functionality into apps using "actions." Lastly, Microsoft has included calls to the Windows Phone Ad SDK as the company works toward integrating third-party SDKs. There's a lot to take in so we strongly recommend you head on over to the blog to read the full details.

How does one get involved to try out the new features? Head on over to the App Studio dashboard and recreate your app.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • This is only the beginning.
  • I hope.. Can you imagine if in the future anyone can create a beautiful app like 6tag on the web.. That will be awesome
  • That's not possible, at least without getting dirty with JavaScript for native API access.
  • Link to blog? 
    This is good news, I've been digging in my heels pretty deep lately, so this is exciting news.
  • Hmm wonder if I could make a Yahoo fantasy football app.
  • Windows should enable development on windows 7 also.. Only Windows 8 64 bit... Sorry microsoft...
  • No clue what you are talking about, windows app studio is a web based app creator
  • My Dear DUDE, most of the developers hate windows 8 but want to develop for windows phone 8, so this apps social also gives them an opportunity to develop on windows 7 or any other OS too.. Coz The wp8 sdk can only be installed on windows 8, 64-bit machine,.. Now you got a clue ,about what I was talking.,??
  • I've met no Microsoft Dev that hates W8, and most normal people don't earthier its weird for a day and then its smooth sailing. People just hate W8 without even trying me the new start screen is WAY more productive than the old start menu...
    And also it can only be installed on W8 for good reason...performance and also the way W8 handles virtualization. MS though of this they didn't just say "lets exclude all the W7 users for fun" I know its a drag to update to 8 but trust me its worth it ;)
  • My Dear Dude, Windows 8 is far performant and ressiliant than Windows 7 and Windows 8 with 8.1 is a super Opereting System. If you are still riding the troll bandwagon, i would suggest you to jump and have a real hands on experience before BS'ing.
  • I'm with this guy.  I was all ready to dip my toe into the WP8 development world, until I saw that I would need Win8 to do it. WTF?  So let me get this straight, you don't want any apps developed for WP8?  Because this kind of BS will drive developers away.
  • No clue what you are talking about, windows app studio is a web based app creator
  • Microsoft should put in a web wrapper tool, allow people to make web apps from existing mobile sites.
  • This
  • They have done that.
  • Not through Microsoft though, I want to make these web apps myself. Given how each user has their individual needs and tastes, there's no way for Microsoft to cover each and every one of us. However, if we could easily make web wrappers for mobile websites (e.g. banks, restaurants, local venues, etc), we can get around those gaps. Moreover, vendors can't complain much if it is people who are building apps for themselves. Here's an idea. Maybe Microsoft should make a "web app builder" app for WP! Imagine, copy and paste the link and ta daa... New web app, right on the spot.  
  • Sounds like a browser :P
  • More accurately, a way around MS' ridiculous restriction against alternate rendering engines. Because that's ultimately what this would be.
  • My issue is you cannot edit the text size of anything in your apps you make
  • Can someone tell me if here maps directions are working for them when they add an action in their app? Mine doesn't work but here maps address does
  • The Nokia Music actions working for anybody?
  • Is the website up for anyone?