Developing apps for Windows Phone 8 & Windows 8.1 using Windows Phone App Studio


The latest Windows Phone App Studio allows windows app developers not only to develop windows phone 8.0 or 7.1.1 apps but also to develop apps that can be ported to windows 8.1 app store itself. Lets take a look what’s new in newly updated windows phone app studio web based portal which relives developer’s development life cycle to few mins to deploy on marketplace.

windows phone app studio

windows phone app studio

  • Since, in this demo, I am developing an app for a small business , henceforth, from template selecting the app named ‘Contoso Ltd‘.
  • After clicking on it, it allows to move to app introduction page.

Contoso App create

  • Next, after creation of the app, move on to the app development dashboard, since the app is implemented initially with demo data, adding a few live data in it.

Data Collection

  • Similar way, you can import data from comma seperated csv files, export existing data into csv itself. The data collection format is available in default static collection & WCF service,OData, RSS, Atom based dynamic data feed.
  • After move on to the next option of Tile & Splash & lock screens. For Windows Phone 8.0, here is the option comes for both Cyclic, Iconic & Flip types. You only need to select the corresponding images along with content.

Tile

  • Select, the splash screen & lock screen icon similarly, while selecting images you would be prompted to few options.

ImageSplash & Lock

  • For each & every development module , you would need to save the changes by clicking the Save icon.

Save

  • Finally, proceed to generation info, check the publication package (.xap) file, certificate needs to install in your windows phone device & Click on Generate.

Publish

Generate Package

  • After clicking Generate button, you would find the following options, the default one is windows phone 8.0 app package along with source code, while the second one is the .appx file that can be shared across windows 8.1 & windows phone 8.0 along with Visual studio 2013 solution.

App gen option

  • Once , you click Generate the following screen would come up.

generate

  • Check option of downloading source code of the app along with app package. Download the bar code in order to install the app on your device.

Publish & code

  • Lets look out the app after porting into device.

App

Catalog page

Team Page

  • Check out the tile screen, while I have added few icons for small , iconic tiles itself.

small

  • If you check the app About section, you should be able to find see the text that, the app is made of Windows Phone App Studio along with app assembly version info.

About

 

  • Windows 8.1 view of the app while debugged from same shared code in VS 2013.

screenshot_02262014_171120

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Building Cross – Platform Mobile Native Apps on Android,iOS, Windows Phone & Windows Store using Single Codebase,PCL with VS 2012/2010 & XAMARIN Tools


Cross Platform App development is always better choice for enterprises where we can avail support for Code Sharing, PCL (Portable Class Libraries) which can shared across multiple platforms of Mobility (aka Android, IOS, Windows Phone 8 / 7.x , Windows Store Apps).

Xamarin introduces such facility where a single code base can be shared across all enterprise mobile platforms along with the benefits of coding on .NET Framework 4.5 / 4.0 & Visual Studio 2012 / 2010.

Lets switch to check to build an Android native app on Visual Studio 2012 with C# for latest SDKs 4.2 using Xamarin tools for Android .

Download Xamarin for iOS, Android , Windows Phone & Windows 8 platforms from here

VS2012

Lets check the structure of theAndroid App on VS 2012. All layout files can be found under Resources folder. 

Android

  • Next, we are using a single code base file which contains the Business logic & App models that can be shared as a Link with iOS, Windows Phone & Windows Store apps.
  • Lets check the Android 4.2 app built on Visual Studio 2012 & .NET Framework 4.5 platform using Xamarin Tools.

AppIcon

Phoneword_Android

Call

PhonewordCall

  • Lets check, how to build the same app for Windows Phone 8 or 7.x platform using the same code base along with business logic.
  • Windows Phone 8 project contains the Main.xaml along with the common code base.

string translatedNumber;

private void Translate_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
if(!String.IsNullOrEmpty(PhoneNumberText.Text))
{

// *** SHARED CODE
translatedNumber = Core.PhonewordTranslator.ToNumber(PhoneNumberText.Text);

CallButton.Content = “Call ” + translatedNumber;
CallButton.IsEnabled = true;
}
else
{
CallButton.Content = “Call”;
CallButton.IsEnabled = false;
}
}

private void Call_Click (object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
var call = new PhoneCallTask();
call.PhoneNumber = translatedNumber;
call.DisplayName = PhoneNumberText.Text;
call.Show();
}

AppPreview_WP8

WP8

Call_WP8CallAction_WP8CaptureWP8

  • The Windows Phone App is compatible along with the Windows Phone 8 as well as 7.x versions.
  • For implementing on Windows Store , without altering business logics & models only the views need to be shared.
  • Lets check the project structure of this app for Windows Store.

PhonewordWin8

PhonewordScreenWin8

  • Asynchronous programming is one of core features related to Windows store, windows phone app developments along with other .net app development. Using PCLs, code sharing approaches too we can take help of simple async methods.
  • Shared code for Windows Store App :

string translatedNumber;
public ObservableCollection<PhonewordTranslation> Translations;

private void Translate_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(PhoneNumberText.Text))
{

// *** SHARED CODE
translatedNumber = Core.PhonewordTranslator.ToNumber(PhoneNumberText.Text);

CallText.Text = “Call ” + translatedNumber;
// Win8, add to history list
Translations.Add(new PhonewordTranslation() {Phoneword=PhoneNumberText.Text, Phonenumber=translatedNumber });
}
else
{
CallText.Text = “”;
}
}

private void ListItems_Click(object sender, ItemClickEventArgs e)
{
var ci = e.ClickedItem as PhonewordTranslation;
var dialog = new MessageDialog( String.Format (“{0} translates to {1}”, ci.Phoneword, ci.Phonenumber));
dialog.ShowAsync();
}

AppIcon

  • For IOS development too, the app uses the same shared code -base which targets to iPhone, iPAD & Universal Mac apps which can be built on C#, .NET 4.5 using Visual Studio editor by Xamarin tools for iOS.
  • You can download the entire app over here .
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