Thursday, April 24, 2014

Create Windows and Windows Phone Apps easily with App Studio

Aloha

Microsoft has made it easy to create Apps for windows with a large number of templates to choose from. Your limit is your imagination.

In the early days of Internet web site development there were many sites offering free web sites
 based on templates. You could sign-in and create a web site with a few pages sprinkled with some images and with some basic formatting tools all under 15 minutes. I created one during those days which is still alive:

 http://www.angelfire.com/vt2/hodentek/

App Studio provides a similar user experience albeit lot more sophisticated with much tighter integration with Microsoft's Visual Studio tying up both windows 8.1 development and Windows Phone 8.1 development by intelligently sharing resources. It's two birds with one stone scenario.

The journey for this App development starts here:
http://appstudio.windowsphone.com/?stay=1

There are preliminaries like having a Microsoft account; having a computer with Windows 8.1 OS (Windows 8.1 Professional is even better so that you can have a Hyper-V for Windows 8.1 Emulator) and for some deeper interaction, may be Visual Studio 2103 Express for Windows with Update 2 RC (henceforth just Visual Studio).

http://hodentek.blogspot.com/2014/04/visual-studio-2013-update-2-release.html

The projects that you develop with App Studio can be deployed to your Windows Phone 8.1 but then it requires that you have your phone get it unlocked. However you can bring it into Visual Studio, build and run your App.

The journey for this App development starts here:
http://appstudio.windowsphone.com/?stay=1

There are preliminaries like having a Microsoft account; having a computer with Windows 8.1 OS (Windows 8.1 Professional is evven better so that you can have a Hyper-V Windows 8.1 Emulator) and for some deeper interaction, may be Visual Studio 2103 Express for Windows with Update 2 RC. The projects that you develop with App Studio can be deployed to your Windows Phone 8.1 but then it requires that you have your phone get it unlocked.

After these preliminaries concerns you get right into action from the appstudio link mentioned earlier.
You just click on Start new button.


Under Sample Apps you find two templates Contoso Ltd and Windows App Studio which when clicked would display the following:


Click on Windows App Studio to display the following:


Click Create to start you App development from this screen:


In this screen you start providing your own App title and basically everything has a place folder where you bring in things (like images etc.) and type out content. The App has a maximum of 6 sections. You can add/ delete /edit a section from this interface.

This way you can arrange your content; implement your theme which is consistent across both Windows and Windows Phone; and arrange for tiles. You could publish it to Windows Store which is described in the help section. You could also just click Finish without publishing it.

The App Studio allows you to create Apps to target;
  • Windows Phone Only
  • Both Windows and Windows Phone
This a choice you can make while working with App Studio.

After finishing the project you can Generate the code that you can bring into Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows with Update 2 RC. Once in the IDE you can build and run your App which also adds it to your Start screen of your laptop.
There are some excellent resources available like the Sample Apps.

Here is the structure of one such project in the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio where you can see separate nodes for Windows and Windows Phone; and the Shared resources.  Only the Windows node has been expanded.


Watch this blog for more details.

Mahalo



 
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