Microsoft releases unified Windows App Studio Beta

We've heard of the past successes of the Windows Phone App Studio, but today Microsoft is announcing an update. The number 1 question has apparently been; what about Windows apps? Folks asking that need worry no longer and say hello to the unified Windows App Studio.

The beta release is available for use from today – see the source link down below for more – and allows you the ability to create a universal project resulting in both Windows Phone and Windows apps in the same session. Pretty nifty.

Also of note:

New in this release, we’ve added the ability to build a template that allows you to wrap a mobile website into an app, and add native controls, called a WebApp. By simply entering the URL of the mobile website, you can create a Web App Template (WAT) for Windows Phone. This option is currently not available for Windows apps.

You'll still be able to download your finished apps directly to your devices, as well as getting them in packaged and source code form if you should wish. And if you're wanting to publish your apps to the store, don't forget to register for a Developer account first. After the recent announcements at Build, this is good news to be hearing. Get to creatin'!

Source: Microsoft Windows App Studio Beta

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • Will the final version be free?
  • Is this beta not free ?
    So for developing apps as an single dev looking to enter development on my own terms, i need to pay ?
  • Yes, I think so. I just created an app with the website wrapper template and in order to publish it to the Store, you need to create a dev account which, in my case, costs €14,00.
    Another downside is, that you can only create a dev account if you have a credit card. For me this means I can't publish my app to the Store as I don't have a credit card :(
  • My account was free and little snooping around they told me I had to pay 1,900 something Pak Rupees (US$1.99) to publish apps on WP. not sure how that happened!
  • If i remember correctly, i had once read that there are 2 kinds of developer accounts. One is free but lets you publish limited number of apps only, but a the paid one, which costed about a 100$, which means INR 6000, allowed unlimted apps.
    Anyone knows about this ? I should think that a free account is allowed, otherwise why would students etc develop for windows phone ? Can anyone clarify about the free account ?
    Edit: someone down in the comments has posted that you can publish 5 apps for free.
  • Did not come across this while a browsed the accounts, I have to give 2000 rup per year though.
  • That's bad. I've read about it a few times. And MS isn't that crazy to fleece first time developers. There must be a free account.
  • Used to be $100, it's now $20 (in the U.S. at least) And the free account can't publish
  • ..And if I was realising free apps to the store I wouldn't rally worry about paying $20.00/year! It's a decent price for al the fine work MS is doing to keep a clean app store (yes, they have some apps that sneak past them every once in a while but it's better than the Google Play Store right now).
  • I think you should read my comment above, it might help you publish your app, if a free account type does exist. You can research about it and maybe post it in the replies, it might help people like me ! (sorry I'm very busy these days so cant look it up)
    Edit: it does exist ! Someone has posted down there that 5 apps are allowed to be published for free ! Go publish your app ! :)
  • 5 apps can be side-loaded, not published.
  • Awesome, I'm glad Microsoft is giving beginner tools to the masses, to help them learn the basics before they move on to more advanced projects. Not to mention: the "developer" status gives you early updates. ;)
  • Do u ned to pay yearly subscription to get "developer" status? Will an App Studio account suffice? And is the subscription to the app studio still invitation-based? Coz I cannot get any emails on my Live account(can send but cannot receive anything).
  • Nope. Having a free account via Windows Phone App Studio is more than enough to be allowed to use the Developer Preview. Just download the app ( and follow the instructions it gives you.
  • Thanks. I will try that :)
  • Medscape is a much needed app for us Medicos. Until a native app is released its hard to recommend WP to my friends. Till then may be try creating a web wrapper through this.
  • Cool
  • It's a great tool, but the last time I used it few weeks back, it needs a hell of a lot of work to be able to produce even a simple app without errors or bugs.
    As it stands, if you don't know how to tweak your created app afterwards in VS, you probably should wait until it comes out of Beta.
    It is also a shame that you are limited by the number of pages you can create for your app in the app studio.
  • Am I missing something? Doesn't seem like there's anything to "download" it just takes me to the same web-based App Studio I've always used.
  • Actually, it's the web-based App Studio that we're talking about. The "download" the article says is about the past projects that you might have created using the old web-based App Studio.
  • I tried the App studio once, and I found it more difficult and confusing than programming an app myself
  • Yeah, I'd imagine it's easier for newcomers that have no experience writing raw code...these "quick and easy hold-you-by-the-hand" easy app makers just confuse us people who want a blank canvas to start putting objects that we can manipulate with functions, arrays and such.
  • The new addition allows mobile web pages to be packaged into windows phone apps that add native things like tiles. I just used to create a windows phone 8 app for ourmobile site and it was easy to use.
  • Hey Richard u write in imore isn't it?
  • Yes , I love his articles :)
  • I'm already using this...
  • But developers can only publish 5 apps for free,, they can only publish unlimited apps in paid version. Not good for apps store and windows phone users..
  • Well, then tell me how to publish for free. As soon as I want to publish my website wrapper app, I need to pay €14,00 for a dev account :(
  • I hope they fix some minor bugs I've noticed and give users greater control.
  • What kind of control is needed? This is for basic app creating. If you want more control use visual studio.
  • Yay need to wait until 8.1 dev preview is on my phone to test my app.
  • It worked flawlessly to expand my Windows Phone 8 app to both WP8.1 and Windows 8.1U1. I now have it on both devices! Sweet!
  • I just discovered you can create apps for things like your family. I don't know if it is new or not. You can create an app that has just your family contacts and things like that. awesome for adding to your start screen.
  • You can do that anyway?
  • Didn't have time to read through all the comments so forgive me if this was asked, but for someone who's never made an app before and had no coding background, but has a very good understanding of computers in general, how easy is it to get into making an app? It's one of those things I've thought about doing for a while but just haven't taken the plunge yet.
  • its very easy to make an app, it may be confusing with the terms (for a 'noncoder)' they use but i suggest to just dive and and play with it by adding text, pics, etc., and see how it works. after that then you can sit down and think up a good app to make
  • Thanks for the response!  I don't even know what kind of app I would want to do right now, but I've thought about trying at some point if I come up with an idea.  No harm in giving it a shot.
  • Sweetness...
    I just built an app and got it certified.
    I'll repackage it and see what it's like on Windows 8.
  • This isn't a bad web app honestly. I created my first one a few weeks back though I did open up Visual Studio and do some tweaking to it to make it look a little better. Maybe they've fixed some of the issues there though. I wish they had a larger variety of sections to add though. OAuth/JSON (advanced) would be awesome. Twitter, Bing Image Search (rather than Flickr), would be good too.
  • The answer to "Are we there yet?" is finally "almost." WP is getting exciting again.
  • I have played with the WP app studio when it first came out...and i dont remember having to download anything.. everything was 'web based'. Now, here on wpcentral it says to download the app and the link that opens to says they 'would like to encourage us to download WINDOWS APP STUDIO BETA today". WHERE IS THE LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM (to make the apps)?  
  • FOR YOUR INFORMATION: by the way, the last time i signed into the WP8 App Studio, i had to give permision for them to access my contacts in hotmail/ otherwise i could not get in!!!  Of course they say, you can change that setting 'later' (but by then its too late).  People complained on the microsoft forums as to why we have to give our contact info to sign in and they were only told it was for 'security' and that it could be changed later.
  • RSS feed in app studio is broken, can't use my dapper RSS feeds anymore... It wont let me hit save