It’s the end of the year and the holiday season in many parts of the world, so we have one more release this year to celebrate all the App Studio enhancements in 2015, such as the launch of Windows 10 and the November Update. Today’s Windows App Studio Beta update brings some exciting new features that we can’t wait for you to use. There are a couple of big new features, some significant design related improvements, and fun and useful new templates.

The new features in this release focus on things that help empower small businesses, professionals, and organizations to create great apps for Windows and better connect with their customers.

  • WordPress Data Source – We introduced a new WordPress data source that lets you connect your app to your WordPress blog. 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 Store.
  • Related Content – Did you ever want to show related content in a section (such as speaker information for an event listing in a Convention app, or comments from a blog post)? Now it can be easily done in Windows App Studio Beta. This feature opens up new use cases and we will show them off in new templates in the future.
  • Microsoft Advertising – It’s great to have people using and enjoying your app, but it’s even better when those eyeballs translate into revenue! Now included is the Microsoft Ad control, which means you can now place advertising in your app to make money from people using it.

Recognizing that great design is core to quality user experience, we also put time into building features that customize of the look and feel of the apps created in Windows App Studio. These features let you set the look and feel you want for each section of your app, taking advantage of media-rich designs. :

  • New 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 slideshow.
  • Improved Section Design Features – 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.

What’s the best way to get started with these features? With the new templates we’re releasing! These templates show off the new features and make it easy for you to become familiar with and use them.

  • WordPress Template – Showcases the new WordPress data source and is an excellent way for you to break out of the web and bring your WordPress blog to the Windows platform and Store
  • Events – This template uses the new Related Content feature to help you build an informative app for all of your event attendees.
  • My Shop – Leverage our new design features in this template and show off your catalog of products. This template also adapts nicely to portfolio situations for photographers, artists, designers, and anyone who creates or sells content.

We would love to hear your feedback on these new features and see the great ways you take advantage of them for the apps you build. As always, you can find us on the forums and User Voice. Also, if you have a great story to tell about your experience using App Studio, please tell us. Have a great rest of 2015 and we look forward to an exciting 2016.

Let’s build some apps!

-Windows App Studio Team

Source: Windows App Studio December 2015 Update | Building Apps for Windows