You don’t have to be a whiz at coding to build a smartphone app. That’s why the folks at Microsoft have developed a free platform for anyone to build an app for Windows devices. If you have a unique idea to build an app on Windows Phone, but don’t know how to get started, this quick guide should point you in the right direction.
Microsoft’s Windows App Studio is the go-to-place to build your app, publish, test and share it with the world. This is a free online app creation tool that lets you create an app from scratch or choose from a wide variety of templates covering topics such as sports, product catalogs, city guides and so on. You can drag and drop content such as images, videos and RSS feeds in a few clicks, apply theme colors, create live tiles and generate the source code for editing the app according to your requirements. The Windows App Studio website also has plenty of resources and guides to help you get started right away.
Here’s a quick step by step walkthrough of how to build your Windows Phone app.
1. Go to Windows App Studio website.
2. At the top right corner of the screen, click Start Now.
3. In the next page, sign in with your Microsoft credentials.
4. Next, grant the necessary app permissions and register yourself.
5. You will then be taken to the Template section where you can preview the different templates and see what they contain. You can also create an app from scratch using the Empty App template.
6. If you are creating an app from scratch, you will enter the design area where you can add an app title, upload a logo, include content, apply themes, tiles and publishing information. As you add content to your app, you can see a live preview of it on the Windows Phone screen to the right of the screen.
The Content area also lets you add up to 6 sections on the app. Sections are basically pages that contain data such as articles, images, videos and so on. You can add an RSS feed, a TouchDevelop app script, a HTML component and so on.
7. Once you’ve defined your content, you can select the Themes tab to add colors to the background, foreground and application bar. You can choose between a light, dark, and custom theme and customize them to your requirements.
8. The Tiles tab lets you change the appearance and behavior of the tiles that appear on the Start screen. You can select from 3 template types and finally determine the splash and lock screen images while you’re on this section.
9. Finally when you are ready to publish the app, you can head over to the Publish Info tab, add an app description, select a language and associate the app with the Windows Store. For this purpose you need to sign up to the Windows Dev Center and reserve your app.
Once the formalities are complete, you can generate the app package.
The App Studio will create 3 types of packages. You can generate the app to side load on the phone to test it out. Before you go ahead with testing, you must install a certificate available as a QR code on the screen. Once the certificate and app are installed, you can open up the App from the App list and test all the pages and functionality of the app.
You can then submit your app to the Store by following the guidelines detailed in the Dev Center.
The Windows App Studio offers detailed guides, videos, and reference material for anyone without coding skills to create Windows apps, test them and submit them for publishing to the Windows Store. If you have a plan to build an app for Windows, be sure to explore the Windows App Studio to learn more.