Microsoft has developed a very interesting application that allows you to create HTML 5 webapps, applications for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, from Android. This is the TouchDevelop app and it’s already available on Google Play.
Anyone, and this is serious, anyone can create a script from their Android with TouchDevelop, a script that can then be easily converted, through this same application, into an HTML5 webapp, a Windows 8 app or a Windows Phone app. It explains step by step how to develop this script (the conversion to the application is the least important thing). It is practically a tutor that tells us “play here, now play here”… Faithfully!
How TouchDevelop works
It is simple, although it is necessary to have basic knowledge of English. Pretty much everything starts from the Android app. That’s the mat. Once installed, you just have to follow the steps indicated.
Basically, the process involves installing the Android app, then installing a Chrome app, and finally following each step-by-step instruction to create the script. That script can then be converted to an HTML5 web app or an app for Windows 8 (can be submitted to the Windows Store) or Windows Phone (then can be submitted to the Windows Phone Store).
To be more detailed: TouchDevelop is a web application where our script is being developed. For that reason, the Chrome app must be installed for it to work from that browser (it is suggested to install that Chrome app when starting TouchDevelop). The Android app only generates notifications for what’s happening in the Chrome browser we’ll be working on (obviously, it needs to be installed on our Android). For example, you can raise sounds when a part of the script being created completes successfully.
How to use
Once you understand the above, you can start creating a script. To get started, you can designate one of the script templates offered by TouchDevelop. From there we are told what to do, where to compete until the script is complete. Basic knowledge of English is required to understand the instructions. Unfortunately, everything is handled in this language.
How to manage the web application, application for Windows 8 or Windows Phone
Once the script is created, it can be converted to one of three application types. It is not difficult, but finding the option that allows us to do this is not very hidden. Once the script is finished and published, refer back to it to edit it. Then you click on the “script” gem in the upper right corner. You need to designate the script that has been created and, in the subsequent window, scroll around below to see the options to convert or export to one of the three types of applications mentioned.
Windows Phone app: At the time of writing this article, the Windows Phone Store is “under maintenance” so it was not possible to convert the script into an application for this platform and submit it to that store for approval.
Windows 8 app: The application data is indicated and then a .zip file is downloaded. That compressed file needs to be submitted to the Windows Store via Visual Studio 2012 software for Windows 8 (pulled). To install this software, you must have Windows 8 on a desktop computer.
Web application in HTML 5: is the clearest. We are offered the conversion option and, once done, we are offered the link to access said webapp. As an example, the link for my web application created with TouchDevelop is this: tdev.ly/dgee. I feel sorry for her so I am a beginner as a developer.
The ease that TouchDevelop offers to create applications is enormous. Although in principle only scripts can be created from templates, the methodology it has is interesting enough. Simply anyone, without even having programming notions, can create a script from which an application can be generated, in all the extension of the word. Unfortunately, TouchDevelop is a useful tool for Android that allows you to create applications for Microsoft systems, NOT Android.
Download TouchDevelop: Play store