How to export Windows Store apps

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Windows Store apps are available on both Windows 8+ (for desktop and tablet devices) and Windows Phone 8+. It is recommended to export universal apps, but some alternative export options are provided for legacy support. In the Export Project dialog, choosing the Windows Store option gives you four options, which are listed below.

Windows 8.0 (VS 2012)

Export a desktop/tablet only app for Windows 8.0+. For more information see How to make a Windows 8 app.

Windows 8.1 (VS 2013)

Export a desktop/tablet only app for Windows 8.1+. For more information see How to make a Windows 8 app.

Windows Phone 8.0 (VS2012 for Phone)

Export a Windows Phone 8.0+ only app. For more information see How to make a Windows Phone 8 app.

Universal 8.1+ (VS2013.2)

Export a universal Windows Store app that can run on both Windows 8.1+ and Windows Phone 8.1+.

Universal 10+ (VS2015)

Export a universal Windows Store app that can run on Windows 10+ and Windows Mobile 10+ using the Edge browser engine. Windows Store universal apps are apps that can be exported once and run on all Windows devices (desktop, tablet and phone). This simplifies the publishing process and also allows users to have the same app across all their devices without having to buy it again.

This is the recommended option, and the rest of this tutorial covers this export option; for the other options see the above links.

Getting set up for Universal apps

You will need to download and install Visual Studio 2015 Community, which is free. You must also run it on Windows 10 to be able to build Windows 10 Store apps, so be sure to upgrade if you need to.

You may want to learn about using touch controls to support tablet and phones, and supporting multiple screen sizes.

The Browser object's On back button pressed will trigger on Windows Mobile when exported as a Universal app.

Exporting from Construct 2

First, ensure your project has the right Name, Description and Author properties set, since these will be used in the exported app.

After exporting having chosen the Windows Store platform and the Windows 10 Universal app option, your export folder will contain a .sln (solution) file. Double-click on it to open it in Visual Studio. If you've not used Visual Studio before, it's a sophisticated tool for application development. However, you only need to use a small number of commands to configure and test your app.

Testing from Visual Studio

You should see a tree down the right called the Solution Explorer which lists your project. Double-click the package.appxmanifest file (highlighted below) to edit the app information, such as its orientation, required permissions, splash screen and icons.

To run the app, click the green Run icon in the toolbar:

If you have the Windows 10 Mobile emulators installed, you can also select one from the dropdown arrow just to the right of the Run icon. If you have a physical Windows 10 Mobile device and plug it in to your PC with a USB cable, it should also appear in the dropdown list allowing you to quickly test your app on a real device. Note you may need to enable Developer mode on the device, and possibly install drivers for the device - Visual Studio should prompt you to do this.

Finishing up

To submit your app, refer to the Windows Store developer site here: https://dev.windows.com

You may need to pay a fee to open a new Microsoft Developer account. The website will take you through all the necessary steps and provide the publishing dashboard from where you can publish apps to the Store.

Happy publishing!

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