The Windows App Studio is an online portal for building apps for Windows and Windows Phone that has been around for a couple of years now.
I have actually used this site to build a couple of simple apps over that time and while it was very basic in the beginning it has matured nicely.
It can be used to build a variety of applications now for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 and with the package of updates it received recently it is now compatible with the Windows 10 Insider Preview.
The update brings in the new Windows Universal App Platform (UWP) controls for layout which means your app will be more responsive based on the size of the screen it is being viewed on.
Bonus: it includes the infamous Hamburger Menu as well!
This sample app shows how it responds to screens of different sizes thanks to the new Windows 10 UWP Layout Controls.
Other new features that have been included in this update:
- Live Tile Update: Until now, Live Tile update used a background task that connected to our service to drive tile updates. This has been re-implemented using a platform feature called Tile Update (and removing the background agent). The result is greater reliability and reduced battery consumption.
- Xbox Music Data Source: Your apps can now query the Xbox Music catalog to search for artists. App Studio will fetch album metadata, including album covers, to bind to your pages like any other collection data source. Xbox Music Data Source will also allow you to launch the Music app to listen to the album you want using a deep link configured as a URL action in our collections.
- Bing Maps: For the first time, you can bring maps into your App Studio apps with support for the Bings Maps control.
- Application Insights: Application Insights is an analytics service that helps you monitor app usage and performance. Usage data enables you to track how many users are launching the apps and discover how they are interacting with your app. Performance monitoring gives you diagnostic reports of crashes and helps you understand their impact on users.
The site also includes the tools necessary to generate a Windows app package that is compatible with the Windows 10 Insider Preview or for Windows/Windows Phone 8.1. That resulting package can be downloaded so you can side load it on your Windows desktop device, there is no support for side loading onto your phone yet, or move it into the Visual Studio 2015 Release Candidate for further development.
The Windows App Studio is a great way to get started in learning to code for Windows and Windows Phone.
According to Microsoft Windows 10 app submission will begin later this summer.