Microsoft Windows App Studio updated for easier Windows 10 apps

With Windows 10 now running on over 120 million machines since its release on July 29, and Windows 10 Mobile just around the corner, developers have some serious incentive to make solid Universal Windows Apps. Today, Microsoft announced an update to Windows App Studio that makes it an even better tool for doing just that.

July’s App Studio Windows 10 Preview provided a Windows 10 Simulator, a tool to easily convert Windows 8.1 apps to Windows 10, and other enhancements. Today’s update builds on the Preview by providing some enhanced tools to make the process of creating and distributing Windows 10 apps even easier.

The most significant update seems to be the ability to push an app to the Windows Store directly within Dev Center, without needing to go through Visual Studio first. Additional enhancements include:

  • Windows 10 Store Package with Screenshots: easily create Store packages with automatic screenshot creation
  • Immersive Simulator (full screen web view): Review and interact with your app in full-screen mode
  • Windows App Studio Collection App: Manage app collections separately, in real time, directly update app data, and more
  • Live Tiles Editor: It’s now easier to create dynamic Live Tiles without stepping outside of Windows App Studio
Here's the new Live Tiles Editor.

Here’s the new Live Tiles Editor.

Those are the major updates. Here are some additional new features:

  • Advanced theme and icon editors
  • Better sideloading support for Windows 10 apps
  • Hero Image Editor
  • Improvements to the UX in apps generated with added visual features
  • Initial Windows 10 IoT support
  • Windows App Studio NuGet packages
  • Source code on GitHub for libraries and sample apps

This seems like a nifty little nugget, given how hungry we Windows phone fans are for Windows 10 apps:

For those of you with existing Windows 8.1 projects in App Studio, with just a couple of mouse-clicks, you can upgrade your project to Windows 10. All you need to do is to navigate to your Windows 8.1 Projects page, and click on the “Convert” icon for any app(s) you’d like to upgrade. It really is that easy.

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