Microsoft is clearly playing catch-up in the phone game. In both hardware sales and app catalogs, Apple and Android have a large lead. Today brings another arrow aimed at both of those shortcomings. The Windows Phone App Studio sets out to lower the bar for entry to the app building game. Using a web-based template, users can use a variety of templates to get started creating their first app and then side-load it on their phone.
Of course, with the addition of a dev account, that app can also be submitted to the Windows Phone Store. That could open the floodgates that swell available app numbers. Granted, a lot of those will not be of the best quality, but have you had a good look around the Apple and Android app stores? It wouldn’t be anything any different.
The more interesting bit though, and possibly what could lure users away from their iPhones and Android devices, is the ability to make your own personal app, with no intention of every making it available to the public. If Microsoft can develop the web based studio to the point that useful one-off apps are reliable and reasonably easy to get up and running, it could be a very attractive feature of the Windows Phone system.
At the moment, the interface is pretty slick, but there are some growing pains. Logos can only be png, and while there are feed reading bits built into the system, it seems an atom feed isn’t supported. Still, it is certainly an interesting idea.
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