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TouchDevelop v3 - WinPhone 8, Speech, NFC, Tiles and much more...

Today we revisit one of the more interesting projects for developing app's for your phone, on your phone...

We've highlighted TouchDevelop here a couple times, Develop for Windows Phone, with Windows Phone... TouchDevelop & Getting in touch with TouchDevelop (Think "From What to Wow"), being wow'd by it every time.

With this release, it's moving from wow, to Oh Wow...

Announcing TouchDevelop v3.0 for Windows Phone 8: unified experience, new language features, NFC, speech and tile APIs

The TouchDevelop Team is thrilled to announce a major update of the TouchDevelop app for Windows Phone 8 that brings you: unified experience with the TouchDevelop Web App, new language features, NFC, new speech APIs, new tile APIs. It also comes with a new set of script templates, and a whole new documentation system.

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If you have a Windows Phone 8 device then you can install the latest version from the Windows Phone Store.

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Unified experience, new language features

The new TouchDevelop app for Windows Phone 8 is a complete re-implementation based on the same code base as the TouchDevelop Web App at touchdevelop.com. This means that you can use all of the new language features of the Web App, including pages and boxes, OAuth v2.0 support, new event handlers, uploading and searching for art, libraries using records, async web requests, JSON builder, and more.

The new TouchDevelop app for Windows Phone 8 is better than the Web App, as it gives you access to many more sensors and data providers: Calendar, Camera, Compass, Contacts, Gyroscope, Media, Microphone, Phone, Orientation, and now also NFC, Windows Phone speech APIs.

You can seamlessly switch between the new TouchDevelop app for Windows Phone 8 and the Web App that runs on iPad, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac (and also Windows Phone 8).

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New script templates and documentation system

When you tap on "create script", you will find a new set of new script templates that help you create different kinds of games and utility apps. The templates are integrated with the whole new documentation system that you can reach by tapping on the big "Docs" button in the "chat & learn" section.

Near Field Communication (NFC), Proximity

Use Near Field Communication (NCF) to send and receive messages. NFC allows smart-phones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other when they are in close proximity. Depending on your device capabilities, you can write tags, send messages and receive messages.

Learn more by trying out this sample script: nfc my music /kkuj - A little script that uses NFC to launch Nokia Music for the active song on another phone

New speech APIs

You have access to new speech APIs that use the speech engine built into the Windows Phone 8, not using any slow cloud service.

Sample script: voice to text to voice /uzmd A script that using speech recognition and text to speech together.

New tiles APIs

We simplified how to create your own tiles. You can use the new tiles APIs that make it easier to pin and use a default tile. The old tile APIs are obsolete and won’t work.

Wider live tiles

When you pin the new TouchDevelop app as a wide tile on your start screen, and enable push notifications in the settings in the app, then you will see your latest notifications on the tile.

You can turn off notifications if you no longer wish to receive them.

Other API changes

This app update no longer supports the radio APIs, as Windows Phone 8 does not currently support radio. This update also drops support for the home singleton and the motion APIs, as they were rarely used.

Will scripts written with the new app work on a Windows Phone 7 device?

As soon as you use new language features that were not available in the TouchDevelop v2.11 app for Windows Phone 7, then that script, and all scripts derived from it, will not be visible on a Windows Phone 7 device.

Can scripts exported as Windows Phone apps use all the new features?

Not yet. At this time, you can only export a script as a Windows Phone app for the Windows Phone Store if the script doesn’t use any of the new features (and is not derived from a script that uses a new feature). We will enable the export of Windows Phone 8 apps that use the new features in the near future.

Feedback

The new TouchDevelop app is a big change from the older app. We understand that you might be missing some particular functionality of the old app, or you might even find some bugs in the new app. Please don’t hesitate to send us feedback at touchdevelop@microsoft.com.

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Here are the latest details from the Windows Phone Store page for TouchDevelop

Create apps on your phone, share them with other people! Create fun games and automate recurring tasks. Query the phone sensors and send web requests to the cloud. You compose programs by tapping on the screen.

Update v3.0:

  • Unified editing and execution environment with the TouchDevelop Web App on http://www.touchdevelop.com --- that means you can edit and run your scripts on other devices in a browser
  • Create sophisticated UIs with pages and boxes
  • Authenticate web services with OAuth v2.0
  • Access to NFC via the tags singleton
  • Use built-in speech engine of Windows Phone
  • Export your scripts as apps and submit them to Windows Store and Windows Phone Store
  • Upload your own pictures and sounds to use them in your scripts

Features added in previous updates:

  • Access to accelerometer, location, maps, translation services, web search, tiles, charting, share on Facebook or Twitter, and more
  • Take screenshots, write comments, reply to comments, and compete on leaderboards
  • Synthesis: When you search for available commands, just say what you want to do, and TouchDevelop will try to write the script code for you
  • Fast game and physics engine
  • Get push notifications when someone does something related to your scripts
  • "Pin to start" your own tiles to the phone start screen
  • Define custom structured data types, objects, tables
  • Create and reuse code with libraries

Don't have a Windows Phone 8? You can build app's on and for the web too.

http://www.touchdevelop.com

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Here's one example (by David Renton, another Friend of the C9, TouchDevelop, Getting in touch with TouchDevelop (Think "From What to Wow");

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And finally running in the browser;

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If you have someone in the family who find's code scary, this might be a fun, easy and cheap way to break the fear and introduce them to the wonder that is development... Smiley

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Follow the Discussion

  • Paul ThomsenPaul Thomsen More happy is coming...

    Thanks for the article, but apparently IE 11 is not supported (Win 8.1 Preview) Sad

    Any word on when that may be coming?

  • Greg Duncangduncan411 It's amazing what a professional photographer can do...

    @Paul Thomsen: Nothing that I've heard (not that I really would). But you can make it work in IE11.

    Go to the site and sign in. When you get to the Your Browser is not support page fire up the IE Dev Tools (F12). On the right, scroll down to the last charm, the one that looks like a Screen/Phone (or hit Ctrl-8) and change the user agent string to IE 10.

    Now go to touchdevelop.com/app and you should be good to go. At least I was able to play with David's game above in IE11 (Win8.1 Preview, Surface Pro)

    Hope this helps...

  • You can use https://www.touchdevelop.com/app/beta It has IE11 enabled.
  • Greg Duncangduncan411 It's amazing what a professional photographer can do...

    @MichalMoskal:Nice! Thanks Smiley

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