Microsoft “Project Siena” is available for free from the Windows App Store.
Upon launching the app, you will be presented with a tour video which will detail you the various aspects of the app. This can be skipped with the Skip button at the bottom right.
Once you are in the main interface of the app, you will be able to start designing your apps. The main interface of the app looks like the below screenshot.
In the above screen, you can see me adding a background image to the app that I am designing. The app that you are designing will appear in a smaller box at the center of the screen. The default background is white. Changing the background of the app gives a professional look to the app that you are designing, so you can use that as a marker if you intend to deign apps for the Windows Store. Now let’s start by adding some interactive elements to the app’s design. Simply click on the Plus button at the top right corner of the screen to do the same. A pane with Visuals as the title flies in from the right.
You can see that in the above screenshot, I have added a Text field, a music player interface at the bottom, and a sound recorder button at the top right. All these elements can be selected from the Visuals pane. You can configure the various aspects of the interactive elements through the control bar at the bottom which is open at all times. This control bar allows you to set text size etc. for text fields, control tile background color and label color for tiles, add a music file or a playlist of music files for the music player interface, etc. Depending on the element that you select, you will be able to perform various actions. You can select an element after adding it to the screen by clicking on it. In the below screenshot, you can see the final layout of my app.
Time to see the app in action. Right click on the screen to reveal the top control bar.
Click on the Preview button in the above screenshot to play your app!
You can see in the above screenshot that I have sound recording at the top right and the music player active at the same time. You can also see the text that I have entered in the app. The music player is fully featured, with options to control volume, play, pause, seek etc. The volume can be controlled easily as well! You can go back to the previous screen via the Esc. button. Now its time to save the app! To save it, launch the top control bar, and click on the file button. If you want to publish your app (ready for launching on your system via the Start Screen), click the Publish button. If you want to save it as a Siena project file, use the Save or Save As buttons.
The publish screen brings you a variety of options where you can set the tile configuration etc. for the app in the Start Screen. Once all is set, click the Publish Button.
That’ it! Your app is now ready for use!
Microsoft “Project Siena” is a one of a kind app that allows you to easily create apps with no coding knowledge whatsoever. Microsoft has really outdone itself with this app and by making it available for free for Windows 8 and 8.1, it has opened up a range of new possibilities for App Developers worldwide. I love the app for all its functionality!
With no second thoughts, I rate this app a 5 out of 5! Hell I’d rate it a 6 out of 5 if it was possible!