Won't it be cool to create your own app? There is so much joy in seeing your app published or finding unique ways to share your content. Although, many of us do not have coding knowledge or simply do have the time to learn a programming language. Those obstacles should not stop us for publishing our ideas and content. Nor should the barrier of expensive development costs - either in the form of programmers or software tools or web services. This course has been put together to show you how you can accomplish your goal of creating and publishing your own app without enduring the pain of learning a complicated code or paying additional fees.
Based on a workshop I facilitate at conferences for Training and Development professionals, this course is aimed at those who may or may not have content created but are unable to share their content via mobile or desktop apps because of time, costs, or IT resources. The course begins with the concepts and the design considerations one might think about when developing their app. And since this course uses whatever free resources are currently available, time is spent discussing the limitations present. After framing the design and objectives, the course creates apps step by step. The course builds upon itself as it progresses. The learning starts simple and then adds more complex content.
At the end - and actually even at points up to the end - you will have your very of Windows app to share, use, and publish in the Windows store. There are options to port your app over to other operating systems and platforms briefly discussed at the end. You will have the pride and joy of knowing you accomplished something great. It will open your mind to all the possibilities that await and ignite your creative and problem solving drive. Ready? Let's build something!
Welcome to the Creating an App Using Free Resources and No Coding course. I am excited to share something I discovered and found to be extremely useful. I can presented this course at training conferences throughout North America and thought I could do the same here. What is really great is that I can actually do more in these video lessons that I often do not have time to do in a typical instructor led class. Let's begin. I think you will be impressed in what you can create with little coding or app developmet experience needed!
This lesson I explain why I learned about this topic and what I have been able to gain from it. The aim is to inspire you and give you some perspective on the course ahead.
This is where your app building journey begins. Start a new project. Select from the various templates at your disposal. I will explain the various options to you and the pros and cons of them.
As you begin a new project, you must get familiar with the Windows App Studio workspace. This lesson provides you with a quick tour and lay of the land to get you situated.
Probably the simplest, yet extremely powerful and necessary part of any app focused on getting content to the app's consumer. In this lesson, I shall show you how to start your own HTML section or use the prepopulated example from the template to begin adding your own text and/or HTML based content.
Contenting your app users to other content that you may have stored elsewhere requires links. Links are excellent ways to launch your users to your full website or shopping pages. Links can also be used to point users to other relevant sites of your choosing. But links do not only go to other websites, you can use this section to add a Call button. If they are using the mobile version of the app, they can contact you for more information. On the desktop version, they could call you via Skype or other methods. You can also add a link to have them email you for more information. This lesson shows you the options and how to set up various links and actions in your app.
Another great source of content to share with your app users is with a collection. This simple database is an excellent way to layout and display your content. This lesson explains how to set up your collection or collections. As well as options, settings, and other considerations.
There are numerous arrangements for the pages and the subpages for your app. This lesson explores some of those options and what the options mean.
When you are building your app in the Windows 10 builder you have a few more options when it comes to the layout of pages in your various sections. This includes having related content. You also have more configuration options available. This lesson explores those options.
Beyond the text and other content you are delivering to your users via your app is the option to play videos directly in the app. You may also direct people to video content you have stored elsewhere in the world wide web via links, but there is major benefits to having your YouTube content play natively inside the app. This lesson discusses its usage, as well as some considerations or constraints to doing this.
In order to have YouTube videos to play in your app, you are required to acquire an API key. This part can be a little tricky and does require a Google Account. If you do not have a Google account, you may obtain one for free from Google or you may select to skip this section.
This is probably one of the most challenging activities and lessons in this course. In this lesson we are going to pull YouTube videos and display them in your app! There are many steps involved. It does require a Google account to connect an API from Google's Developer Console with your Windows App Studio app. Once you are done, you will have videos streaming thru your app.
As YouTube content is attached to your app, you can manipulate the ways and options the content is being displayed. This lesson shows you some of the options available to you.
Quick recap of what we have covered up to this point and celebration of technically creating our very own app!
Adding RSS feeds are a simple way to bring content into your app from various sources. You may have your own RSS feed to pull in for your app users. You may also use RSS feeds curated by others. In this lesson, I shall use a NPR RSS feed to demonstrate how easy it is to add the feed and to configure its layout.
Now that the content has been entered, the real fun begins. Making it yours. Making it beautiful. There are so many options available to you in coloring and designing the app's look and feel to your preference or brand. This lesson explores those various options.
When a user opens your app, they are greeted by a quick splash of color or logo. What is splashed on screen is up to you. In this lesson we explore the options and settings available to you in designing and developing your splash screen.
One of the coolest features with Windows apps is the tiles - especially live tiles! There are various options available to you as your design and build your app. This lesson explores those options and things you should keep in mind as you design your tile look and feel.
There are a few different options and things of note when customizing your tiles in Windows 10 compared to Windows 8. This lesson points out those differences and guides you thru the tile options.
There are a few options for you when it comes to publishing. All the options are provided for you every time you generate your app. What this lesson discusses is the the differences between those outputs and how you can use them.
As you prepare your app for publication, there are a few settings to fill out or select from. This lesson guides you thru those setting options to finalize and prep your app for publication.
In order to publish your app in the Windows Store for all to see and to rate and to download, you must have a Developer Account with Microsoft. It is a one time setup. Does take some time and costs a fee. But it is the best and truest way to make your app available to the world. This lesson discusses some of the needs required and some common questions asked. Learners are encouraged to follow the steps and documentation from Microsoft and http://developer.microsoft.com
For those of you selecting to publish your app to the Windows Store, you are given a dashboard, along with other content and resources from Microsoft, to improve and monitor your app. Once it is live, you can view how many times it has been downloaded, and if you have advertising turned on, how much advertising revenue you have earned. This lesson provides a tour of the dashboard and some insight on what to expect and see.
For those of you with blogs or other content residing in a WordPress site, there is an awesome option to quickly and easily pull that information and content into your app. Using a WordPress section, you can post and edit your content on that site and immediately have it accessible to all your fans and readers in their app. An excellent option for those who have a team of authors to create content in WordPress, but only really want one person to lead in the editing of the app.
Throughout this course we encourage you to begin with a Windows 8.1 template. This is because there is an option to convert your Windows 8 to a Windows 10 based app, but not the other way around. Ergo, this lesson demonstrates how this works and other considerations on doing so.
A quick and easy way to publish content in your app without must of the set up of sections, etc. covered throughout this course is to use the Web Hosted options. Using these web based templates is using the assumption that you have content stored elsewhere on a fully functional public website or other hosted location that the app can pull the content from and display to your users.
Have a comic book or ebook created in Adobe's InDesign? This lesson shows you a neat trick to turn any of your InDesign documents into an app. Another great way to get your content in the format you want and into the hands of your audience.
There is an option outside of Visual Studio that you may wish to explore if you are seeking a way to port your Windows app onto other platforms, such as iOS for Apple and Android. This lesson explains the application of PhoneGap found at www.phonegap.com by Adobe.
Thank you for attending this course. I enjoyed putting it together for you. It was a lot of hard work, but knowing that it will help a lot of you fulfill your goal of building an app or at least opening your eyes to what is available and possible, makes it worth it. Don't forget to rate the course and share it with others. Cheers!
Lead Crowd Surfer for The Crowd Training, Neal Rowland has produced and delivered content on a variety of topics, from workflow management to SharePoint design. Although most of his authoring and instructing revolves around the management topics of Project Management and the corresponding certifications of the Project Management Professional (PMP) and PRINCE2; Information Technology Service Management and the certifications of ITIL Foundation, ITIL Practitioner, the other ITIL Intermediate exams, and Managing Across the Lifecycle; and Agile project management with its corresponding certifications of the Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) from the Project Management Institute and ScrumMaster.
Knowing and presenting technical and management best practices is difficult in its own right. But making it interesting and effective is another component. Neal blends the educational best practices and pedagogy with a thorough understanding and practice of the content to produce highly effective and efficient courses. A major benefit for those who enjoy and learn best with visuals and relaxed presentation.
Neal has produced hundreds of courses for numerous training providers worldwide. He is also a contributor in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).