We are experiencing a technology shift: Powerful and easy-to-use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming more prevalent than traditional PCs and laptops. TouchDevelop is a novel programming environment and language that makes it possible to write applications directly on mobile devices, taking full advantage of touchscreens, and without the need for a separate PC.
TouchDevelop is freely available as a web app on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and as a native app on Windows Phone. Since the first release in April 2011, TouchDevelop for Windows Phone has been downloaded more than 350,000 times, and over 125,000 registered users have published 40,000 scripts. All artefacts created by TouchDevelop users are publicly available for research purposes via REST-based APIs, enabling external researchers to analyze the massive number of mobile applications developed with TouchDevelop. TouchDevelop can be used in the classroom to teach programming concepts, and TouchDevelop is also ideal for classes on Mobile Computing, as it cuts the time required to write apps.
TouchDevelop comes with typed, structured programming language that built around the idea of only using a touchscreen as the input device to author code. Sensors such as accelerometer and GPS are available as a first-class citizens in the programming language.
In this talk, I’ll briefly demonstrate the experience of app creation on mobile devices, and discuss various extensibility points of the TouchDevelop platform.