App Studio is an innovative new tool for building Windows Phone apps using a templated approach. App Studio not only generates a ready to go app, it also gives us some great CSharp and XAML code we can use as a start base to go forward. Note AppStudio is a work in process. If it 'revs' during this series we will adjust.

App Studio is very easy to use. Enter RSS feeds, links, photos into the system. Set a theme. Pull in some images. And out comes a ready to go application. This is very similar to the approach used by AppMakr ( http://appmakr.com/ ) and others. Unfortunately, AppMakr dropped support for Windows Phone, so they're off my radar.

A few differences from an approach like AppMakr when compared to Microsoft AppStudio. First, AppStudio is supported by the actual OS vendor. Aka Microsoft. Our guys wrote the tool that generates the apps. No other app generation tools have that right now.

AppStudio also gives you the source code to your applications. So you can "mod" past any functional limitations you may not like. AppMakr did not give you source code to mod. You are stuck with what it generates. When I used AppMakr a bunch of stuff just didn't work ( http://blogs.msdn.com/b/devfish/archive/2011/04/27/appmakr-app-approved-few-items-to-note.aspx ).  I filed bugs, they were never addressed. With access to the source code, I could have fixed it.

You're also able to 'steal' any goodies from inside the App Studio generated code that you like and put them into your other projects. The YouTube viewer in particular has been liberated a few times, my little Florida birdies tell me.

So why not rebuild our ByteMaster Tribute App using App Studio? I'm going to post a series of blog posts covering some of the topics below. Got additional ones, let me know and we'll see if its in-scope for this exercise. At the end of the exercise I'll also release the full source code for the app.

APPSTUDIO TOPICS WE'LL COVER
  • AppStudio - What is it  ( this post )
  • Our ByteMaster Tribute App - preparing, the checklist
  • RSS Feeds
  • Youtube feeds
  • Adding a LINKS section - email / blog / website for consulting / get the source code
  • Sharing the app with friends in App Studio
  • Viewing the app in the emulator
  • Taking Screen Shots for store submission
  • Mod-ing our app - ad control
  • Mod-ing our app - adduplex
  • Mod-ing our app - how to integrate "review nag" into your app

Quite a handful, but it should be interesting and give you a good walk through. Some links below

LINKS