Windows App Studio February update has a number of new features

Today, Microsoft launched the February update for the Windows App Studio. If you're not familiar with the Windows App Studio, it's a tool that Microsoft provides to allow developers to create Windows apps without writing any code.

The service has been popular with web site owners and bloggers, as it allows the developer to simply plug in some RSS feeds and compile an app. The developer even has the option to download the source code and edit it to include features that are not available in the App Studio.

Here's what Microsoft added in today's update:

  • Grouped layout – Windows App Studio now supports grouping data based on a data point. This feature lets users represent their in groups based on certain criteria. This could be used when displaying a list of products grouped by brand or other data point. It can also be used to group things based on date or time. For example when used for the events template, this lets the user create an agenda or schedule. This feature introduces a lot more flexibility into how you can display your data.

  • Date & Date/Time data type – We introduced two new data types for our collections: Date and Date/Time (Date + Time w/ minutes precision). This allows you to append date and time info to any collection entry, which in turn enables a lot more experiences such as organizing information by time. To support this feature, there is a new date/time picker, new calendar formatting options, and new calendar actions so the end user can add events to their personal calendars. In addition to the collections data source, Date and DateTime data types can be used among all the data sources of Windows App Studio that have date times fields (RSS, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), allowing you to take advantage of the DateTime formats and use these data sources with the new Grouped Layout.

  • Search within app –With this release, we’re delivering a long-requested feature: enabling search within an app generated in Windows App Studio. This lets users search through an app to find specific content, which is particularly helpful when there is a lot of data.

  • Collection favorites –Now your end users can have the option to save any data from your collections as their favorites into a favorites section. If you enable this for their users, as they browse your collections they can mark certain entries as their favorites to save for easy browsing later.

  • Service improvements – In this release cycle, we also improved the back end of the App Studio service to make your experience smoother. This included updating the app generation model to use VS2015 Update 1 (which means developers can target more devices) and improved and updated how-to documentation.

The firm has also announced that later this month, there will be a contest to showcase the Windows 10 apps that have been created with the service. They will pick the six best App Studio apps that have been published to the Store and feature them on the App Studio homepage.

Source: Windows Blog

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