It seems like applications are always a topic of discussion when it comes to Windows Phone, whether it's talk of a hot app that's finally made it to the platform, or some other app that still hasn't made the leap from Android or iOS. Today's news is no different, but this time we're covering a tool that Microsoft says can help everyone to create a Windows Phone app and contribute to the ecosystem.
The new Windows Phone App Studio beta is a web-based tool that allows users to quickly put together an application using one of several templates. After selecting a template, such as "My Trip," "Sports Team" or "My Favorite Band," users can add text and drag in content from the Web, images and more. Then comes the style step, which involves selecting color palettes, creating Live Tiles and generating splash and lock screens. The App Studio will then compile the whole project and spit out some code that can then be loaded onto a device, tweaked in Visual Studio or uploaded to the Windows Phone Store.
As part of the launch of Windows Phone App Studio, Microsoft has announced that any developer that's not registered with its official Dev Center will be able to unlock 1 phone and load up to 2 apps onto it. Ponying up the registration fee to join the Dev Center (which is on sale for $19 through Aug. 26) will allow a user to unlock 3 phones and load up to 10 apps onto each. Another perk to Dev Center registration is the new "Click to Chat" support, which gives developers that are having problems the opportunity to chat directly with a Microsoft support rep.
The Windows Phone App Studio is Microsoft's latest effort to grow the number of applications available on its platform and to attract developers. While some of the templates offered by the App Studio don't exactly sound like something that a full-time dev would use, the tool seems like a pretty simple way for regular users to try to whip up a quick app to show off to their friends. If that experience goes well, it's possible that that Average Joe could become motivated to become more serious about app development, something that I'm sure Microsoft would love. You can give the Windows Phone App Studio a try by hitting up the corresponding link below.