back to article Microsoft slaps fresh paint on code-free Windows Phone dev tool

Microsoft has given a significant overhaul to Windows Phone App Studio Beta, its web-based tool for building simple apps for Windows Phone 8. Redmond has pitched the tool as a way for "hobbyists, enthusiasts and new developers" to build apps without programming. Specifically, it suggests App Studio is good for making "content- …


This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

The guy developing for Windows Mobile says "thanks"

But it turns out he thought he was coding for Android having been confused by the Nokia X.


Print As...

Why don't they just make something like that Print As PDF? You, know: Print As W8 App.

We need more programmers. Obama said so. Perhaps we can raise armies of programmers this way.


That's nice of them

But I would be infinitely happier if they focused on fixing the OS and puring features into it.

Silver badge

Re: That's nice of them

Pray tell Aoyagi, what's 'wrong' with the OS - doesn't it do what you want to do with an OS?

What makes you the arbiter of what any OS does?

I have a view of what a smartphone OS should do at a minimum to make it acceptable to me:

1. The phone part should work, allow both making and receiving calls. probably should support call waiting and call rejection. Nice to have: Reject with a text, call number blocking.

2. Texting should work. Also blocking text numbers.

3. Support Apps, installation and removal. Removal should not involve the App in any way.

4. Be quick enough to not annoy the user.

5. Start up and shut down when requested.

6. Not drain the battery more quickly than acceptable, ensure the user can control battery use.

7. Prevent Apps performing unauthorised functions or accessing unauthorized data.

8. Support hardware such as cameras and audio etc.

9. Be updateable, actually be updated, preferably OTA.

I am sure there are other things people must have (like Bluetooth) but, the point is that WP works completely acceptably as a phone OS. It rarely, if ever crashes (my uptimes run to weeks and usually reboots are because the crappy EE network is fault and I try a reboot 'just to see' if it fixes it, which is doesn't 'cause it's the network).

It is fast by any standard such that it feels smooth and easy to use, without multiple taps and swipe-swipe type attempts.

The ecosystem has enough apps for me, and for most people I imagine. Just because 'you' couldn't do without <insert app name here> doesn't mean anything. I could just as easily ask how you get by without integrated screen zooming or an optical image stabilised camera not to mention the people-centric mechanism used for contacts that mean I don't have to start up fb, linkedin or twitshit just to see the various messages, they all appear in one place. I could laugh at your main screen which has fixed icons that you must continually jump back to and press to start yet another separate app to see the weather or something whereas I jus have that information regularly updated on a tile so one glance is enough to know whether there is traffic on the way home.

This grief about notifications says it all. Firstly, the tiles have indicators always telling you where unread items are. Secondly, Nokia Lumias indicate this even when the screen is off on a display which lights up when you take it out of you pocket, along with the time - reducing no-end how often I have to even switch the screen on, brilliant for those people who are not watch wearers.

The fact that there is an Action centre incorporating notifications probably coming suggest only that MS want people like Reg Hacks to STFU about the missing one - not that it is actually needed. The other stuff like flight mode access etc, from that screen is also not really required. it takes two taps for most users to access wifi/flight mode etc. now it will be a swipe and a tap woo-hoo. What is essentially happening is that they are building a replacement front screen to put on top of the one that is there when you swipe. I am sure it will be useful but it is hardly required. Anything you use often enough to wish there was a shortcut can be placed as a tile/shortcut, including VIP contacts/Web pages/driving destinations etc.

People whine on and on about the things that WP doesn't have because they think the paradigm of 'their' OS must be the right one (you don't have a menu at the top of your app - I don't need one, I swipe left or right - Oh!, how come it doesn't work like mine?).

So, keep you inane, pathetic opinions based on nothing to yourself you troll.

Silver badge

Re: That's nice of them

0. A smartphone OS should not be rammed down unwilling victims throats by an extortionist taking $5 per handset from other smartphone OS manufactureres.

Thumb Down

Re: cambsukguy

Well that's nice. You can't " Prevent Apps performing unauthorised functions or accessing unauthorized data", becaues there is no access rights management in WP. And other than this, any mobile OS (including S40) can meet your silly requirements. WP is not fast either, it's ridden by lengthy animations that make it seem fast. And application ecosystem is something I don't care about, 1st party features is what's most important.

But wait, you asked what's wrong? A couple of things:


Limited settings (can't even control the annoying search button),

No application data access management,

No task proper manager(fixed),

Trying to force me to use clouds by "either give us all your contacts or no marketplace for you" which is (for me) unacceptable (there is a workaround for this),

"back" instead of "start" or "close",

unable to connect a PC to internet using USB cable,

sending business cards is obnoxious and sometimes doesn't work,

Cannot install anything outside of the store,

No file explorer (with sending files over BT) or access to the system and application files,

No direct Outlook sync,

No music player that can sort by folders (and playlists are less efficient) or play by search like VLC,

Audio codecs,

Only global volume control (plus on phone),

Can't see the amount of transfered data for the last 30 days (fixed),

Can't uninstall things like "games" or "calculator",

Can't download whatever I want,

Can't get rid of the message preview that pops up at top whenever a text message arrives,

Can't set static IP for WiFi,

Can't lock screen rotation,

Files disappear after uninstalling handler (uninstalling PDF reader also deletes all PDF files),

can't make application folders or sort applications,

USB mode slow, loading all photos takes ages (no mass storage connection, only as "device),

Carrier controls things they shouldn't get their hands on (data sense)(fixed?),


region locks,

cannot set numeric keyboard as the main keyboard,

camera sw terrible (blur, no light focus, quality, ) (fixed),

saving new number (ADD DESCRIPTION),

doing offline things online (help, privacy statments, ...),

no option for opting out of all "automated feedback",

can't set a song as ringtone,

messaging is broken when a contact has more than one number on it,

"me" in contacts (don't use it, takes up a ton of space),

no way to manage vibrations,

no alternate keyboards,

WiFi dies when the phone locks (fixed),

no blocked contacts(fixed),

no USB host,

no click to call in browser (clicking/tapping/touching a phone number on the web should call the number),

browser page loading is terrible (fail in midload makes loaded content disappear),

obnoxious useless buttons (like "more details"),

saving recorded videos into "Pictures",

some 'apps' can run in the background and there is nothing you can do about it (both stock and 3rd party),

no custom sounds,


no call recording,

No choice of USB mode (device, zune, modem, storage... ).,

Cannot see files copied to phone, unless office files or media,

Preinstalled "apps" not visible on the store (glance, etc),

insufficient and unwanted presets (such as in calendar "how long"),

unnecessary dropdown menus for binary choices,

IE has only 6 tabs max,

can't kill music player,

"needs wifi" for things (screenshot),

unable to select videos in gallery selecting,

quicknotes autosync without opt out option,

no custom message sounds,

no "select all" in most places (wifi networks, notes,

No BT settings (visibility, paired devices, access rights...),

update unreversably changed message sounds,

unable to adjust things that are off (internet sharing, use of location on photos...),

no way to summon first time help/tips/etc.,

"captured by" in gallery,

contact doesn't have SMS option when the number isn't designated as "mobile",

can't manually check for application updates,

no profiles,

IE cannot save MP3 (and who knows what else),

IE cannot open tabs on background,

screenshoting makes loud sound regardless of sound settings,

redundancy in options "phone storage" and "storage check",

checking for update takes bloody forever,

IE can't access websites on custom ports,


Yes, I'm aware some of the things are related to each other, can't keep track of all the shortcomings of the OS.

Have a nice day, I'm already looking forward to your fanboyish answer along the lines of "YOU DON'T NEED ANY OF THIS" or "This will come in the future™ !" And for the record, don't compare it to one OS. Compare it to iOS, Android, Sailfish, Symbian and Windows Mobile.


Re: That's nice of them


People who use other people's IP should pay for it.

Nobody is forcing anybody to buy a WP phone.


Re: cambsukguy


This is a list of your preferences. Don't like it, use a different phone.



No, that's a list of facts. I am, actually, using a different phone after suffering 9 months with Lumia 920. But that's another typical fanboy response "If you don't like it, don't buy it and YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO CRITICIZE IT!!!!111". I think all that's missing from the list is that several of the issues can be "fixed" with 3rd party applications. Most hilarious.

Anonymous Coward

Common on sheeples, this is Microsoft! How many "ideas" have they assimilated for their own. They can't come up with anything on their own, they do a half ass job of copying other people. The only thing they are good at is bullshit and stealing. No way in hell I would create an app for them, the next Windows9 would have that app as a "feature". Down vote all you want, but know your history, and know who is still lurks in the background, and know your lyrics.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

We won't get fooled again.

Silver badge


So it's sounding like another TouchDevelop environment where you either have to run the app through the "IDE" or pay up to submit it to the app store so it can be installed as a stand alone program.

Of course they could give us a developer mode that allows us to write and install, hahahahahahahaha, whatever we like. Damn, almost made it through that last bit with a straight face.


documents and website packaged as crapware

I'd love the opportunity to take the piss out of the WP store - but every other app store is also choking in exactly the same not-really-an-app crapware. Sometimes seems there's no dev tool that does less than the app using public will accept ;(



" 350,000 developers of all skill levels have used Windows Phone App Studio Beta, resulting in 300,000 projects and 20,000 apps"

And they are pleased with that success rate?


Re: Err...

Yep. I would be anyway, to judge from the fart apps and porn apps and website repackagers on the Google Play store.

In fact, given Sturgeon's Law, they're only overshooting by 3.4%.




All those thousands of brits programming in their bedrooms on BBC basic, the availability of Icon, Perl, Python etc on any platform, and now? Glossy pamphletware. shrug. ignore.

Come on lads, make a nice sandbox that people can programme in using some modern interpretted language and let us have some fun!


20,000 published out of 300,000 projects

Isn't all that bad. I imagine a lot of them are people just having a go with it, or maybe making an app just for themselves, without putting it up on the store.

For instance, I'm making a little cookbook/menu app to remind me of things I can cook, in order to reduce my reliance on takeaways. Since it's my own personal 'repertoire' (I am not exactly a chef), it's only useful to me, hence I've no plans to make it generally available. Unless the 'cook like an idiot' diet becomes fashionable, I suppose.


Re: 20,000 published out of 300,000 projects

I'm quite a good cook, but I would still buy a book called "Cook Like An Idiot". And watch the TV spin-off.

This topic is closed for new posts.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017