Developer feedback leads to new features in Windows Phone App Studio Beta

Since its launch, Windows Phone App Studio Beta has had incredible momentum. This is thanks to you, our 160,000 users who have created more than 150,000 projects and built 65,000 apps in just two months.

The Windows Phone team strives to provide both seasoned and novice developers with the very best tools and resources. We know that providing tools that are accessible and easy to use frees you to focus on streamlining and adding features to create the best apps. That’s important. Your active participation in discussions of Windows Phone App Studio—blogging, tweeting, and emailing—has let us know what matters to you, and this has helped us continue to work toward a more compelling Windows Phone App Studio Beta experience. That’s why today we’re announcing a new set of features that will make App Studio Beta even more responsive to your app development needs.

First, we’ve improved app development workflow by enhancing the code and projects that you create in Windows Phone App Studio Beta. For external data sources, with our new cache implementation, you can access dynamic data or RSS feeds even if the user’s phone is not connected. We’ve optimized Visual Studio projects to remove external references when they are not being used–this significantly reduces project size and complexity. With “Fast Resume” you can set a default language for easy publication in the Windows Phone Store. We’ve added “FlipView” which makes navigating between items in your data source easier. And you can integrate Near Field Communication (NFC) to share your app with other App Studio Beta users.

We’ve also made it easier for you to integrate native phone functions into your app using “actions.” Simply create a menu and your users can choose to open Nokia Maps, play music, make phone calls, and use other native apps – all without leaving your app. You can also define these actions in your collection schemas as either dynamic or static, and choose in the bindings whether to display a button on the details page to execute that action.

Finally, as we work toward integrating third-party SDKs, we have included calls to the Windows Phone Ad SDK. If you have a pubCenter account and want to add an ad control to your app, all you have to do is open the Visual Studio project, add your pubCenter ID, and then publish your app to the Windows Phone Store to start earning.

If you want to experience these new features and see how your apps look with these improvements, simply go to your Windows Phone App Studio dashboard and recreate your application.

Your feedback has been incredibly valuable in helping us focus on what matters to you. Thank you—and keep talking to us about the features you want to see next. I look forward to seeing more great apps from all of you.

Related link:

Glossary of Windows Phone app development concepts http://apps.windowsstore.com/home/howto