Microsoft recently revamped its Windows App Studio Beta, formerly Windows Phone App Studio, adding new ways for burgeoning developers to control the look and feel of their apps.
Windows App Studio is a template-driven, drag-and-drop software development tool that enables both amateur and seasoned coders to quickly publish Windows applications. Users can also export Windows App Studio projects to Visual Studio for further development.
For makers of content-driven apps, this month's update enables their WordPress sites to pull double duty.
"We introduced a new WordPress data source that lets you connect your app to your WordPress blog," stated a blog post from Windows Apps team. "It pulls in content and displays it beautifully in your app so you can free your blog from the Web and get it in front of 110+ million Windows 10 users by publishing it to the [Windows] Store."
WordPress is the leading blogging and content management system (CMS), used by nearly a quarter of all Websites, according to the Web analytics specialists at w3techs. The recent WordPress 4.4 release features expanded oEmbed support, responsive image handling and new extensibility benefits courtesy of new API infrastructure code.
Apps created in Windows App Studio can now sport a new, more modern look with a new image carousel control. "Sometimes you want to showcase a selection of images in your app. The Carousel lets you display a number of hero images in a single section that behave like a slide show," wrote the company's staffers.
In addition, the company has enabled new, customizable design features for app makers that organize their software's functionality or content into sections. "We added a few more features to help make your apps look great. Now you can change the background and adjust the hero image for each section individually and choose how each section appears on the default/home section of your app," they added.
Those seeking to earn a little extra money from their apps can now display ads in their apps.
"It's great to have people using and enjoying your app, but it's even better when those eyeballs translate into revenue," stated the company. "Now included is the Microsoft Ad control, which means you can now place advertising in your app to make money from people using it."
As part of the update, Microsoft has published a trio of new templates. They include a template for the aforementioned WordPress connector and an events template "that uses the new Related Content feature to help you build an informative app for all of your event attendees," wrote the Windows Apps group at Microsoft.