Hands-on: Intel’s AppUp store makes it easy to port, test, upload apps

This post is sponsored by Intel.

Semiconductor giant Intel has a new app store, called AppUp. It’s a market for apps that run on netbooks, tablets, computers, and other devices that support Intel’s latest low-power processors.

At Intel’s invitation, we tested AppUp by porting a beta version of our Windows Phone 7 application to the store. It made it very straightforward to port a mobile app to the Windows desktop.

The procedure for submitting the application was pretty simple. You download the library for whatever platform you’re using to write the app (in this case it was .NET), sign up for a developer account to get a special keycode, put that keycode into your code, and compile. Then it’s a matter of submitting that compiled code to the AppUp store for review.

As a developer, I especially liked being able to invite other people to review the app (before it went live on the AppUp store) by sending them an email from within the submission process.

But there are still a few bugs. For example, we had to remove the application from our computer first before we could test how the application loaded from the store. But that’s an experience that developers alone will face, and end users wouldn’t have to go through, since only an app’s developer is likely to have the app already and still be wanting to download it.

The AppUp store doesn’t carry apps for all devices, just those that run on Windows PCs and Intel’s low-power Atom processor, which can be found in many netbooks and may soon find its way into mobile phones and even appliances. For instance, Intel demonstrated an Internet-connected treadmill at the Intel Developer Forum last year, so nothing’s out of the question here. The company also showed a racing bike that streamed information live to a pit crew and interactive advertisements and signs. Intel says the possibilities are endless, and they probably are — although I have to wonder if the same app can really run on such diverse devices. Right now, only computers, netbooks and tablet computers carrying the Atom chip can download these apps.

AppUp store AppsThe application we developed was a pretty simple RSS reader, now available on the Windows Mobile 7 store. But if you are curious and you have an Atom-powered device or you’re running a Windows machine, you can download it from AppUp here. Keep in mind this is not a webpage, but an application you install on your device first before you can install any apps.

Below is the final result, showing how the app looks on on a PC. For a rapidly-done port from Windows Phone 7, it’s not bad.

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