Monday, June 23, 2014

From Studio to Studio - Apps made in App Studio, opened in Visual Studio

Pluralsight blog - Taking Windows Phone apps from App Studio to Visual Studio

Microsoft’s App Studio just got a whole lot more powerful. In the latest version, you can make universal apps that run on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1, as well as Windows Phone 8 apps – you can also include maps, music and RSS feeds. Even better, you can speed up the whole process by getting started in App Studio and then opening your code in Visual Studio.


You can also create your entire app right in App Studio. This includes making the manifest by adding details in the Publisher info section; you’ll need to create a privacy statement and include the publisher information for your developer account if you want it published to the official Store. It should also be noted that you’ll have to create screenshots separately, since you can’t do this in App Studio (you can either run it on your device or load it in Visual Studio and grab screenshots from the emulator).

Opening apps in Visual Studio

If you want to add social connections, tweak the Windows tile, create a multilingual app or include advertising, you’ll need to open your app in Visual Studio. To do this, make sure you have Visual Studio and the latest version of the Windows Phone SDK installed (download here). Choose “Finish” on the App Studio site, then “Generate.” Along with the installable download package and the Publish package, this also generates a source code package. If you created an app in the first version of App Studio, it’s worth going back and getting the source code again; the new release creates much cleaner, higher quality code using the MVVM pattern.



AppStudio can make Windows Phone 8 apps or universal phone and Windows apps.

Remember, you can choose Windows Phone 8 or universal apps here; they need Windows Phone 8.1 so if you don’t have the developer preview on your phone, you won’t be able to sideload them. If you want, you can generate the Windows Phone 8 app, then click the Generate button again to get the universal code. (You’ll need to change the file name if you download both, but you’ll probably want to do that anyway.)

If you don’t want to go through the steps of starting your app on App Studio, you can also download the source code for the two sample apps on the site. This gives you an outline MVVM app you can use to get started, with placeholders that can be changed.

When you open your project, Visual Studio should automatically load the packages from NuGet that App Studio uses, ...


To localize an app with multiple languages, open the AppResources.resx file in the Resources folder of your project source code. On the project’s Properties page in the Supported Culture box, select whichever languages you want to use for the UI.

Visual Studio will create a new resource file for each supported language that is a duplicate of the AppResources.resx default language resource file, renamed using the locale code, such as for German and Germany or for German and Austria. Edit each language file to put in the correct UI strings. Now, when you build, your app should be multi-lingual.

The new version of App Studio makes more powerful apps than the original, but they’re still basic. Opening the code in Visual Studio means you can get started with an app quickly, including adding resources like tiles and icons. In a nutshell, the new App Studio lets you get cracking on the interesting code more quickly.

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I dig that you can kind of scaffold the app in App Studio and then apply your personal tweaks in VS. The power dev's can make their App Studio App's stand out from the rest... :)

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