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Fast prototyping with AppStudio and Windows Phone

AppStudio

AppStudio
Do you have a Youtube channel with your lectures? Are your tutorials and lectures online? Do you want to target mobile users? Are your learners using WindowsPhone? If you answered yes, this solution is for you.

Windows App Studio lets you swiftly build Windows and Windows Phone apps to test, publish, and share with clients, co-workers, friends, and family. Need to make changes or try variations? With App Studio it’s a snap! Business owners are using Windows App Studio to build their own apps to connect with customers and spread the word about their products and services. Such solution can be successfully used in education.

App Studio allows you to build your content-driven application in 4 easy steps. And what is more important it does not require any programming whatsoever.

Idea

Every app starts with an idea. In case of the App Studio idea=content. You have to think what you want to present to the users. App Studio allows you to convert seamlessly your existing web content such as podcasts, blogs etc. into a mobile application.

Add content

It may be your video podcast published on YouTube, or a WordPress blog with tutorials and lectures. They can be “wrapped” into a native Windows Phone application just in few clicks. App Studio provides you with a panorama view that can be filled with up to 6 pages with content. Your steps in the system are guided in a way, that your final product is build according to the Microsoft UI guidelines for Windows Phone.

Select style

Mobile users are making their decisions based on visual site of the application. Very often it is the first and the last aspect they consider. App Studio allows you to choose colour palettes and generate live tiles; splash and lock screens from your content. You can adjust it to the content you present or follow the branding of your institution.

Use it!

App Studio builds your app and provides source code which you can edit. You can deploy your application into a Windows Phone and provide your testers and focus groups with an access to your new application.
You can also download a complete project and allow your developers to extend it with even more interesting features.

Summary

Windows App Studio is a free, simple, on-line tool for fast prototyping. It provides access to mobile technology tools to people with an idea but limited technical knowledge. We see two important limitations of this tool in the educational context. Firstly, the platform is still not popular among students. We can observe a growth of Windows Phone market share yet it is far behind competitors. Secondly, App Studio limits the character of the application to content-driven providing at the same time very limited choice of data sources. Lack of the interface to popular restful web services is big disadvantage of this tool. This limitation can be overcome by wrapping the service into a RSS feed. However, it requires programming and access to the web service.

Even with these limitations, App Studio seems to be very useful tool for quick prototyping that many educators may like and apply to take their web-based solution one step further.

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