In this part, we are going to take a look at how you can add an RSS feed to your app, add custom HTML and providing Bing News.

This tutorial has been split up into multiple parts to make it easier for you to jump in and out of sections without too much information being thrown at you at once. Choose from the selection below to get yourself started or if you’re new, stick around and you’ll be moved onto the next part at the end of each chapter:

  1. Part 1 – Creating a social menu and adding customizing a Facebook section
  2. Part 2 – Add more social media, YouTube videos and collection based data
  3. Part 3 – Adding RSS, custom HTML and Bing News

Adding an RSS feed

An RSS feed comes in many varieties. It can be the news posts from your website, a personal blog, a collection of pictures or your favorite podcast show. Whatever the flavor, Windows App Studio can handle it. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to use my personal blog RSS feed to show you how this works.

Finding your RSS feed

RSS feeds can be easily found on most websites, if they have one, by typing ‘/feed’ or ‘/rss’ after the URL in the address bar. Some websites will also give you a handy button to click to get their RSS feed. Once you’ve found your RSS feed, you’re going to need to copy the URL so you can insert it when adding your RSS section.

Feeds

Get the URL for your RSS feed and copy it!

Now back in App Studio, you want to create an RSS section and insert the URL to your RSS feed. Again, like with earlier sections, you can now go into the Edit section and layout your content. With my blog RSS feed, I like to show the image that is included with the post so that I can attract users of the app to the articles.

Layout RSS

Laying out the RSS feed

You now have a customized RSS feed in your application!

Adding custom HTML

Not all of your content in your app needs to be dynamic from sources. If you have content on your website that you want to display, you can easily take the HTML and drop it straight into an HTML section in your app.

Adding custom HTML

Adding custom HTML to your app

The section has an easy to use text editor for you to get your content into your application. As you’re using HTML for this section, there aren’t any layout options available as you layout the content using HTML. This is great for an about page, privacy policy or terms and conditions for you or your app.

HTML Content

Laying out content using HTML

Adding Bing News

Adding Bing News to your application may seem strange at first. You might be asking yourself, “Why do I want news in my app?”. Well adding Bing News is a great way to pull in news from other resources about your brand. If, for example, you were creating an app for your company, you might want to show news sources from various parts of the internet and using Bing News is a great way to do this.

Bing News

Choosing a region and search term for a Bing News section

Choosing a region provides a method of localizing your search terms to a specific region. If you’re well-known in the UK, you wouldn’t want to be attempting to find news articles about yourself in India, for example. For the best possible reach, play around with the region setting and check what content is pulled. You might find you’re big in a certain country.

Then you have the search term. Try to be specific with this unless you’re aiming to pull in random bits of news not related to your app. Say for example you were making an app about Windows Phone development, maybe a good search term would be “Windows Phone development” as it makes it clear what you’re looking for.

Bing News Layout

Laying out Bing News

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to the Bing News section that you can layout but hopefully in a future update to App Studio, we might see some more customization.

We have now looked at all the sections we can play with in the latest version of the Windows App Studio (as of August 2014). In the next session, we will look at finishing up the details of the application and getting your app into the store. The next section requires some minor design skills if you want to be customizing the theme of your app heavily.

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