TouchDevelop v2.4: push notifications, updates, discussions, …

We have been amazed by all the great scripts that you have published over the past months – view them on

Today, the TouchDevelop team is releasing the latest update: you can now discuss scripts (write comments, reply), and get notified whenever someone else does something that relates to you. The update also packs a number of other new features, including new APIs to access more phone sensors and data.

You can install the latest version directly via Zune.

Follow TouchDevelop on Facebook to stay up to date.

td13The first thing you will notice when you start TouchDevelop after the update is a new look to the main info pivot.

At the top, you see featured screenshots – you can watch as they change over time, and tap on them to get the scripts. You can also view the gallery on the web.

At the bottom, a jump menu allows you to quickly get to all of the pivots that exist on the main TouchDevelop page.

If you want to get to your installed scripts, which include some preinstalled samples and tutorials, just tap on the big installed pivot title at the top.

Tap on Take the tour! to start a walkthrough that teaches you how to write and publish your very first script.

td12Push notifications

You get a notification whenever someone else…

  • publishes a variation of one of your scripts
  • publishes a screenshot of one of your scripts
  • gives one your scripts a +♥ review (see below)
  • replies to a comment that you wrote
  • beats your leaderboard score in a game you gave a +♥ review (see below)

TD8You can view your notifications in a new pivot on the main TouchDevelop page. If you opt in on the Settings page in the app or on the web (and do not forget to hit that save button!), you will also get push notifications sent directly to your phone:

td91) If you have pinned TouchDevelop to your phone start screen, then the TouchDevelop tile will indicate how many unread notifications you have.

2) You will also get real-time toasts showing the very latest notification at the top of your phone screen.

TouchDevelop will reset your unread notification counter when you start up the app, are logged in, and a successful sync with the cloud takes place.

Just disable push notifications in the Settings page if you no longer want to receive them.

Updates, hidden scripts

td6We added two mechanism to the script bazaar to organize multiple variations and versions of basically the same script:

A newer script is an update of an older script, if 1) both have a common base script, 2) they have the same script name, and 3) they were published by the same user.

If the above definition applies, TouchDevelop automatically recognizes that your new published script is meant to be an update of the older script – you don’t have to do anything, except remember that you shouldn’t rename your script when you want to publish an update; don’t append strings such as ‘beta’ or ‘v3’ to the name of your script. If you want to give out your own version numbers, write them down in the description of your script, but not the name. TouchDevelop will only show your latest updates in all main script lists. In the app, users get a visual indication when an update is available for a script, and they can apply the update with a single tap.

td7Besides updating, there are other reasons why you might want to hide one of the scripts you published earlier – maybe you just don’t like some of them anymore. There is now an option in the rate and review dialog to hide any of your scripts – you can toggle this option as often as you wish for a script you published earlier.

Hidden scripts do not appear in the main script lists. They still exist in the database; users who already have it installed can still use it. If somebody knows the script id, they can also still find it on the web and in the app. You can still find all of your own scripts, hidden or not, in the user home section in the app – just tap on your name on the main TouchDevelop page to get there.

There is a fun interaction between updates and hiding scripts: users would get encouraged to update to an older version of a script if the newer version is hidden.

Discussions: Write comments, reply to comments

td11td10Some of your scripts get really big, and we thought it would be great if you could discuss them.

You can now do that: There is a new pivot in the rate and review dialog called discussions. You can write as many comments as you want, and you can reply to any particular comment. You can also delete comments.

Simplified +♥ reviews

TD1td2We simplified the way you review scripts. Instead of giving 1 to 5 stars, now you cast your vote with the +♥ or –♥ button. Comments are no longer attached to reviews – if you want to give feedback, please write a comment in the discussion pivot.

Your old reviews will get translated automatically: 3 or more stars becomes +♥, and your review texts become comments. You can tap –♥ or delete one of your comments if no longer like them.

When you browse through the script lists, you now see little icons indicating how many comments  and +♥s a script has.

You can also add ♥ directly from the running screen of a script.

New APIs: live camera, augmented reality, more contact information, …

panoWe added many more new APIs in this version.



Take a look at the new samples to see how you can use them:

Tap to run

td14If you are logged in, you can directly run the main action of a script by tapping on the big icon in one on the script lists. The big icon should have a little play icon.

This will trigger the process of downloading, installing and running the main action of the script.

IntelliButtons from the cloud

td4td3If you have written a script yourself, you probably already know the two IntelliButtons rows in the calculator view of TouchDevelop. They might be spread over multiple pages, and there are only 6 buttons you can tap to insert things into the current expression.

Starting with this update, the order of the IntelliButtons is no longer fixed, but may change dynamically: We analyze all published scripts in the cloud, do a statistical analysis to figure out in which order APIs are used most often, and the app regularly downloads this latest prediction model from the cloud. In this way, the more scripts you write and publish, the faster you will be able to input your code, as the buttons you need will be shown first.