Microsoft introduces Visual Studio Mobile Center

This week, Microsoft is hosting its Connect() developer conference, where it's already made a series of announcements for software creators on all platforms. In addition to joining the Linux Foundation as a platinum member, there was plenty of news about its Visual Studio tools too.

Visual Studio for Mac made its official debut today, and a release candidate of its new Visual Studio 2017 suite has also been released. On top of that, the company introduced its new Visual Studio Mobile Center, a range of cloud services and tools to help developers build and manage their mobile apps.

Microsoft describes VS Mobile Center as "a mission control for mobile apps that brings together all the cloud and lifecycle services" needed to enable smooth mobile development. Devs can use it to build, test, distribute and monitor their apps, as well as adding backend cloud services, with the ability to scale them to meet any number of users.

Key features available at launch include:

  • Build your apps automatically with every pull request
  • Test apps on thousands of real-world devices
  • Distribute passing builds to beta testers
  • Monitor apps for crashes and bugs
  • Learn about real world usage with mobile analytics
  • Connect to a mobile backend for automatic scaling and to add important cloud services like offline data sync, tabular data storage, and end-user authentication services

Microsoft is already working on further additions, including "expanded platform support for Cordova and the Universal Windows Platform, as well as additional cloud services such as push notifications and advanced analytics". Next year, Mobile Center will also integrate new and existing HockeyApp and Test Cloud apps.

To begin using the Visual Studio Mobile Center preview, you can request an invitation now. Once you're approved, you'll be able to sign in with your login details from HockeyApp, GitHub or your Microsoft Account.

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