Development tools for Windows Phone apps
[ This article is for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x developers writing Windows Runtime apps. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation ]
Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 with Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 or later installs everything you need to build and test apps for both Windows Phone and for Windows Store. This topic describes the tools for developing Windows Phone apps that Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 or later installs on your computer.
Later in the application lifecycle, you'll use additional web-based tools that are not installed on your computer and are not described here. These web-based tools include the pages for publishing apps and tracking downloads in the Windows Phone Store.
Install the development tools for Windows Phone 8.1 apps.
If you don't already have Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2013 or a higher edition, get Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows. Then install Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 or later.
If you already have Visual Studio Professional 2013 or a higher edition, get Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 to add the Windows Phone development tools and other enhancements to your existing installation.
Visual Studio 2013 with Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 or later installs everything you need to build and test apps for both Windows Phone 8.1 and, optionally, Windows Phone 8.0. If you want to build apps for Windows Phone 8.0, you have to select this optional component when you install Visual Studio 2013. You don’t have to download and install Windows Phone SDK 8.0 separately. If you already have Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installed, you don’t have to uninstall it before you install Visual Studio 2013.
Create both Windows Phone and Windows Store apps in Visual Studio 2013, a complete development environment. Visual Studio includes project templates, a code editor, a visual designer, and a Toolbox of controls. It also includes integrated testing features. For an introduction to building apps using Visual Studio, see Develop apps by using Visual Studio 2013.
Blend for Visual Studio
Optionally, build the UI for your app in Blend, a stand-alone visual design tool. You can open Windows Phone projects in Blend or in Visual Studio.
Windows Phone Emulator
Run and debug your app on your computer in Windows Phone Emulator, a software emulation of a Windows Phone device. For more info, see Run Windows Phone apps in the emulator.
Developer Registration tool
Run and debug your app on a registered Windows Phone device. Use the Developer Registration tool to register your phone before you can deploy an app to the device. For more info, see Register your Windows Phone device for development.
Application Deployment tool
During development you typically deploy and run your app from Visual Studio. Optionally, you can also use the stand-alone Application Deployment tool to deploy your app to the emulator or to a registered device. For more info, see Deploy Windows Phone apps with the Application Deployment tool.
Windows Phone Developer Power Tools
Catch subtle programming errors, capture real-time performance metrics, and collect log files to troubleshoot your app with the three tools in Windows Phone Developer Power Tools. For more info, see Test and troubleshoot apps with the Windows Phone Developer Power Tools.
Isolated Storage Explorer
List, copy, and replace files and folders that your app uses in the app’s local folder (formerly called isolated storage) with Isolated Storage Explorer. For more info about this command-line tool, see Test files and data with the Isolated Storage Explorer tool.