Build a Windows Phone app before lunch!


So yesterday, I worked from home because I was fighting a bit of a cold. I decided for some crazy reason that I should try to make a Windows Phone app before lunch, it being 8am.  It was completely do able, and now I have an app pending approval to be published.

Step 1 – Register

at http://apps.windowsstore.com/ 

Step 2 – Choose a Template

As you can see below, there are tons of options! I decided I’d create one for my hometown, Castro Valley, CA

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Step 3  - Title, Description, & Content

Super easy! Hopefully if you’re building this app, you have an idea for a title and a description. As for your image/logo, you can either refer to my earlier post about logos, or pick a nice image off of Bing. Bing has an awesome feature where you can find images which are free to use commercially (which is what you probably want for your app)

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Content

Each tab is a different “page” of your app, meaning that you get to it by swiping left or right. I decided to change my pages a bit from the original categories

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The two main ways of presenting information I used were pure HTML5 and tables.

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The HTML5 sections were simply text, for example, Geography:

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If desired, I could have gone in and edited the HTML…. but lunch depended on me finishing the app….so beautification was not a priority.

 

Tables were slightly more challenging, but still totally do-able.

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You can either add each place individually:

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Or Import data via excel.  (I recommend exporting it first so you can see the formatting, and then modifying that) It’s all CSV formatted

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So, I did that for each of my sections/pages as appropriate.

 

Step 4 – Style, Tiles, Splash & Lock

There isn’t much to say for this section, basically pretty straight-forward. But I’ll show you what I did:

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I chose the flip template:

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And I chose default splash screen and lock screens:

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Step 4: Generate!

App studio says it’ll email you when it finishes generating your application, but it doesn’t really take that long, I didn’t mind waiting.

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Soon, you’ll get this page. You’ll want to download the publish package. It will download as a .xap filed

I would also recommend downloading the source code so that you can easily grab screenshots

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Step 5: Publish!

https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/publish

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It’s only a 2 step process!

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Name your app, describe the category, and choose your pricing

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Upload your downloaded xap file

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You also need to add a description for the store as well as keywords.

 

LAST PART – Upload images.

App tile icon. You should already have that from your App Studio project.

Screenshots. These were a bit more complicated. What I recommend is opening your source code (as mentioned earlier), and running it in the WXGA phone emulator.

You can then take and save screenshots

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Then you’re done! You can go ahead and submit your app for review.


Update!


My app is now in the store!

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The screenshots and description we developed earlier are now viewable, and people can download my app. Here’s a link if you want to check it out, download and RATE IT!

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