Has there been days when you feel like "Boy, I feel like having an app of my own, but
- I have just begun coding, I am not an expert at it yet!
- I can design a few blocks and have a fair sense of aesthetics but I am in not way a UI design guru!
- I can crank up the code to build pyramids and tic-tac-toe but I have don't have much experience with App development!"
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then read on, In this blog I am going to share few tools that will help you create Windows Apps in less then a day and do not require heavy programming skills!
1. TOUCHDEVELOP :- Use this website to create apps on your favorite platforms even when you are not the greatest of the coders! Create magical apps on Windows Phone, Windows 8, IPhone, IPad and Android using TouchDevelop. You can access the website from any device, any bowser and get started. Create your own script , share your script with others or improvise the scripts shared by others. I first came across TD (I will call TouchDevelop as TD henceforth) in May 2014 and I was amazed by how simple it was to do things here. Well, it is a Microsoft product – it had to be simple and user friendly! 😉 So why, you may ask I was TD-ing? it was because I was to teach kids aged around 12-13 years how to develop apps, in one hour! They were pretty amazing learners I must say. So the first program that we wrote was "Turtle – walk" where we used a 'Blank Turtle template' amongst the list of templates available in TD, we colored the turtle, colored the turtle's path and had him walk across the designated path designed in simple patterns of circles & straight lines and come back to the starting point. We used the 'Turtle' library and properties like 'back', 'forward', 'circle', 'set pen color' amongst other properties. The simple 'post to wall' allows you to execute the code. TD programming reminds me of VB somehow. Anyway, check out this amazing tools and create your apps in jiffy : https://www.touchdevelop.com/
2. APP STUDIO :- This website gives you tools and templates to create Windows and Windows Phone apps instantly! All you have to do is register using Microsoft account and get your idea going! Tones of learning resources, video tutorials, sample apps are listed on the website you can check them out to get comfortable with App Studio. Developing apps on App Studio is very intuitive, all you have to do is – conjure an app idea, register on AS (I will call App Studio as AS henceforth ) with your Microsoft account, select a template that goes well with your idea, bind the template with data that you want to showcase in your app, customize the template by specifying the theme and that's all! you app is ready! AS allows you to use Windows Native features of live tiles notification, lock screen background in your app! Might I add, these two are few of the best ideas to attract users towards your app again and again. Spend few hours of a day with App Studio and get a Windows Phone + Windows App (together) at the end of it!! Check out App Studio here – http://appstudio.windows.com/en-us?stay
3. Project Siena :- Project Siena is a wonderful Windows app, that lets you create other Windows App in a jiffy! Choose any control amongst many available inside the app. Pick any data source – REST API, RSS, excel sheet, Azure Mobile service, Coursera, FB, Twitter, Instagram, SharePoint, Yammer and many more. Change the background, add navigations and click events and you are done! Download the Project Siena from Windows Store and let the app-creation begin! Check out : http://blogs.technet.com/b/sams_blog/archive/2014/04/28/project-siena-a-fast-way-to-build-windows-apps.aspx & http://blogs.technet.com/b/sams_blog/archive/2014/05/07/project-siena-app-how-to-publish-in-windows-store.aspx to take a sneak -peek at the hands-on tutorial on Project Siena, I am sure you will enjoy it!
4. App Producer : If you are a news junkie and would like to share the goodness of a news-reading through an app, App Producer is just the thing for you. You can create both Windows and Windows Phone apps through App Producer. The concept is pretty simple here – its a 4-step process viz. register yourself as a publisher, do the branding, get the content in place and publish your app! The interface is very simple, and straight-forward which lets you finish an app in less than an hour if our URLs are in place. Another things about App producer is that it lets you integrate your app with Microsoft Advertising and get you some ad revenues too. Try it out yourself – http://appproducer.bing.com/home/login
I am sure there will be more platforms which help us create Windows Apps in very short time. If you know about any such platform, please share it with me.