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Microsoft Project Siena (beta)

Develop Windows 8 apps... From this Windows 8 app

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 20 December 2013
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 928
Developer: Microsoft
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Microsoft Project Siena (beta)
Develop Windows 8 apps... From this Windows 8 app

Microsoft Project Siena is a Windows 8 app which allows you to develop more Windows 8 apps, no programming skills required.

The process starts by placing, moving and resizing assorted objects on your page: images, videos, buttons, lists, checkboxes, whatever they might be.

You can link your visuals to data sources: RSS feeds, an Excel file, Sharepoint, Azure services and more.

Next comes the tricky task of making sure the app works as you expect. And this isn't particularly easy, at all. You don't need programming knowledge, but there are lots of options and settings you'll need to learn in order to get everything working properly (as well as entering Excel code for more complex logic).

Once it's all done then you can use the app yourself, or share it with others.

Verdict:

Project Siena isn't app development for beginners; it's far too complex for that. If you're used to visual development environments, though, and interested in creating simple apps, but have no idea where to begin, then it's well worth a try.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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Value:
Free
Rating: