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Microsoft’s on-device development environment TouchDevelop has just become a lot more powerful in version 3.1.
The app now supports accessing the outside world via Bluetooth Serial using the RFCOMM protocol, allowing one to control Bluetooth gadgets such as the Sphero Ball for example.
Radio support has also been added back, due to GDR2, and the app now has enhanced Live Tile support, allowing Pin to Start once, again, and allowing tiles which cycle through pictures.
The environment is now pretty feature rich, supporting:
- Access to accelerometer, location, maps, translation services, web search, share on Facebook or Twitter, and more
- Take screenshots, write comments, compete on leaderboards
- Code 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
- Define custom structured data types, objects, tables
- Create and reuse code with libraries
- Unified editing and execution environment with the TouchDevelop Web App on 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
So if you are not quite ready to open Visual Studio, and found Windows Phone App Studio much too limiting, check out TouchDevelop in the Windows Phone Store here.