Everyone can build an app – introducing Windows Phone App Studio beta

Today Todd Brix outlined several new programs to make it easier for more developers to get started with the Windows Phone platform. In this post, I’d like to tell you a bit more about one of them, Windows Phone App Studio beta. I’ll cover what it does today and how you can help determine the future direction of this new tool.

Windows Phone App Studio is about giving everyone the ability to create an app, regardless of experience. It also can radically accelerate workflow for all developers.

clip_image002 I continue to be impressed with the rate at which the developer community has adopted the app paradigm, but I also recognize that the app economy is still in its infancy. From a few hundred apps just a few years ago to millions of apps today, developers have imagined and built amazing app experiences that elevate the concept of a smartphone to new heights. In a way, apps are the new web. Websites began as portals for large companies, then became vital to small and local business, until ultimately we all had a piece of the web via blogs and social networks. The same is now true of apps. With the industry’s best developer tools and technologies, and a growing set of innovative features and capabilities across the Windows family, we are investing in new ways to make it even easier for everyone to quickly create innovative and relevant apps.

Windows Phone App Studio beta is a web-based app creation tool designed to help people easily bring an app idea to life by applying text, web content, images, and design concepts to a rich set of customizable templates. Windows Phone App Studio can help facilitate and accelerate the app development process for developers of all levels.

clip_image004For hobbyists and first-time app designers, Windows Phone App Studio can help you generate an app in 4 simple steps. When you are satisfied with your app, Windows Phone App Studio will export a file in a form that can be submitted for publication to the Windows Phone Store so the new app can be made available to friends, family, and Windows Phone users across the globe. The app’s data feed is maintained in the cloud, so there’s no hosting or maintenance for the developer to orchestrate.

More skilled developers, on the other hand, can use the tool for rapid prototyping, and then export the code and continue working with the project in Visual Studio. Unlike other app creation tools, with Windows Phone App Studio a developer can download the source code for the app to enhance it using Visual Studio.

The Windows Phone App Studio beta is launching with a limited number of templates, plug-ins, and capabilities, and is optimized for Windows Internet Explorer 10. We have implemented full support for Live Tiles in this first release to give developers and users the opportunity to personalize their app experiences.

What features we add next are largely up to you: Windows Phone App Studio is what you make of it. We’re exploring new content, data access modules, and capabilities, and we’re eager to learn just how you use the tool and what sort of additional training, resources, or guidance you may value.

I invite you to sign up and explore Windows Phone App Studio and more importantly, I’m looking forward to hearing your suggestions on how we could expand the service.