Windows Phone App Studio Gets Upgraded

As the number of countries with Windows phones increases, so does the number of apps being downloaded. These numbers make me wonder whether I should quit my day job and vie for a slice of the pie by releasing my own app for Windows Phone 8.

Advertised as an easy way to get into SDK for the Windows Phone Environment, Windows Phone App Studio caters not only to the professional developer, but also to the novice. By creating a Microsoft account, a user running IE10 can choose from the available categories in the marketplace, add the content desired, choose the style, and then try out the creation. There are four streamlined steps, which even I can use to get my start in the app market. A more experienced developer can take this basic creation and tweak it further using Visual Studio.

Since its launch in August, the App Studio has received several boosts in functionality and improvements in how developers can use it. One of the more prominent upgrades is the use of NFC, which allows developers to send apps to each other by touching their phones together. This should make collaborations much easier.

The Windows Phone team has also implemented a new cache for external data sources, allowing access to dynamic data, like stock prices and RSS feeds, regardless of whether the phone is connected. It is also easier to integrate built-in phone functions that allow people to make calls, play music, etc., without having to exit the app. Furthermore, by including calls to Windows Phone Ad SDK, the developer with a pubCenter account would be able to add advertisements to an app and start generating some income.

These upgrades come with the hopes that Windows Phone App Studio will keep the recent app explosion very much alive. Since its launch, the 160,000 people who have used the program have created 65,000 apps. Feedback to the Windows Phone team has been the key element in how these improvements have been implemented.

Given the ease with which you can create an app for Windows, what is holding you back?

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