Even though its been available for over a year, Microsoft’s Windows App Studio is still technically in beta. Now the service, which allows anyone to make simple Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 apps for free, has been updated to support creating Windows 10 apps as well.
While Microsoft has not yet allowed third-party developers to release Windows 10 apps in the beta store, this update to Windows App Studio has been designed to get them ready to launch apps when the store opens. Microsoft says:
Windows 10 apps, including those generated by App Studio, are built using the new Windows Universal Platform. The platform includes a set of new controls that enable responsive design, meaning that app content looks great on a wide range of devices and window sizes. The SplitView and VisualStateTrigger controls, along with menu navigation provided by the “hamburger button” (three horizontal lines) in the upper left, are key elements of this new design approach. When you use App Studio to target the Windows 10 Insider Preview, your apps will use these controls to lay out content and reflow it smoothly and responsively.
While the store is not yet live, Microsoft is allowing developers to test their Windows 10 apps made from the Windows App Studio:
Once the app is generated, App Studio allows you to download both the app packages (to sideload to your devices for testing) and the Visual Studio project that lets you access your source code. The beta we are releasing today enables side loading and testing of packages on PCs running the Windows 10 Insider Preview, but does not yet allow those packages to be side loaded onto phones (that capability will arrive in a future release).
Microsoft has also added some more features to Windows App Studio that can be used by app developers immediately for their Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 apps. They include adding support for Bing Maps inside apps, along with the ability for apps to search through the Xbox Music catalog.