After releasing TouchDevelop in April of 2011, first exclusively available for Windows Phone, the overwhelming response surprised us. Since then, more than 300,000 people downloaded the app. At first, TouchDevelop was limited to creating scripts on the device where it was installed – there was no way to share scripts with other people.
In August 2011, the update to v2.0 of TouchDevelop brought sharing of scripts via the touchdevelop.com cloud service. The update also enabled many more social features such as reviewing scripts, writing comments, taking screenshots, etc. Since then, more than 90,000 people registered online and shared more than 25,000 scripts, most of them written entirely on phones. Many features were added over time, making TouchDevelop an increasingly powerful development environment and language. The features include support for libraries for code reuse and custom structured data types.
In order to share scripts not only within the TouchDevelop environment, but also with other people who might not be aware of TouchDevelop, we added the ability to export scripts as apps that can be submitted to the Windows Phone Store. This capability has existed since March of 2012.
In the near future, the update v3.0 of the TouchDevelop app for Windows Phone will bring the same editing and execution engine that currently powers the TouchDevelop Web App to Windows Phone 8 devices.
A significant upcoming addition to the TouchDevelop programming language will be the concept of “cloud state.” By just tagging a variable as “cloud”, similar to how one marks a variable as “static” in C#, an app is turned into a distributed app with shared state. All changes to that variable will get automatically synchronized between different devices and users.