Microsoft announces Windows Phone App Studio so everyone can make an app

AppStudio_Beta

We’ve all heard about how Windows Phone is lacking apps over and over again. With a new tool from Microsoft you can help fix that problem by making your own apps. Windows Phone App Studio is a new web tool that aims to make it dead simple to design and submit Windows Phone apps. After using it extensively this morning I have to say that it’s really easy and fun to use. Let’s take a look.

First thing you’ll need to get started is a Microsoft account. After you log in you will see the screen below. There are a number of templates that can get you headed in the right direction. Templates include company, catalogue, celebrate, menu, hobby, sports, trips, and more. You can also select “create an empty app” to start with a blank app.

WPappStudio3

Next you will be guided through four steps to complete the app. First step is to choose a name, description, and logo. Easy enough. The next step is by far the most difficult, but it’s not hard if you understand what is happening. To add content to the app you create “sections.” Each section is a page in the panoramic navigation, as seen below.

01-panorama

Each section can be customized with content such as RSS feeds or YouTube videos, and the layout of each section can also be customized. The content inside each section is called a “Data Source,” and it can be used in other areas of the app once created. In the screen below we can see the Data Sources being used in the app on the left side, sections in the middle, and the app preview on the right. After you have all the content done it’s time to add some color.

WPappStudio2

In the App Style section you can customize the colors, live tile, and splash screen/lockscreen. You can select colors for the accent, background, foreground text, and navigation bar. The background can also be an image. Live tiles come in three configurations: cycle, flip, and iconic. Cycle just cycles through up to nine photos, Flip shows both sides of the tile and can show additional info, Iconic just shows the app icon and additional data. Lastly, you can choose an image for the splash screen and lockscreen.

WPappStudio4

In the last step you can see an overview of the app and make sure it’s ready for primetime. You can choose to make the app public so others can see, or just leave it private. If you want to try the app on your phone select the “Generate” icon on the left. Microsoft will send you an email with information on how to install it on your phone (it’s super easy).

That’s all there is to it! Who is going to make an app? Share your creations with us!

Windows Phone App Studio


  • Terje Førsund

    This looks like a lot of fun! Great for making a prototype or a small App. Great fun!

  • martin

    Will def give this a go to rapidly get out smallish apps, great tool