Today, the TouchDevelop team is excited to announce the first release of a TouchDevelop app for Android.

The TouchDevelop team at Microsoft Research has taken on the mission to enable anyone who has a mobile device to create apps directly on the device. Our first release in 2011 was an app designed exclusively for Windows Phone. In 2012, we released the TouchDevelop Web App that runs pretty much on any modern device in a web browser: not just Windows Phone, but also iPhone, iPad, Android, and it also runs on PCs, Macs, and some other systems.

TouchDevelop – the future of app development

screenshot_4TouchDevelop brings everything together that we envision for the future of app development:

  • an integrated development environment optimized for mobile devices with touch-screens
  • cross-platform development: pick up any device to write or run code
  • a built-in on-device debugger and crowd-sourced insights including coverage, profiling, and crash logging
  • a sharing platform to get other people to try out your apps, give hearts, take screenshots, write comments, create code variations
  • interactive guided tutorials that help you get started even if you have never programmed before
  • a really powerful programming language that includes a physics engine to build fun games, boxes to compose forms for quick data display and entry, cloud data to build apps with automated data replication, and much more!

TouchDevelop for Android

imageWhile the TouchDevelop app works great in a web browser, the TouchDevelop app for Android enables an important aspect of a native app experience: notifications. The TouchDevelop app for Android allows you to receive notifications directly on your Android phone or tablet related to your user account. You’ll get notified when someone gives you a heart, writes a comment, takes a screenshot, or creates a variation of your code.

Download TouchDevelop for Android from the Google Play store!

You’ll notice that the app will still open the Chrome browser at https://www.touchdevelop.com/app/ for the actual TouchDevelop experience. That’s because the TouchDevelop system is implemented in HTML5, and most Android versions do not support using all of the latest and the greatest HTML5 within any app other than the Chrome browser.

Looking ahead: WebAppBooster

pictureThe native TouchDevelop app for Windows Phone exposes many sensors and much of the data available on the phone (NFC, Bluetooth, your songs and pictures, etc.) However, the TouchDevelop Web App running inside of the Chrome browser on Android cannot access all those sensors and data directly. We are working on a way to expose this information on Android: WebAppBooster is a free Android app that gives the TouchDevelop Web App access to sensors and data of your Android phone or tablet.

At this time, WebAppBooster is still a work in progress, and not all sensors and data providers are exposed yet. Learn more…

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