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An Alternative to Wire Framing WP7 Apps With Sketchflow

· Mobile Zone

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Learn about an awesome free tool for visual studio called Cacoo that lets you wireframe Windows Phone apps as well as mobile apps for other platforms.

While looking for a free alternative to Sketchflow I landed on the Cacoo web site.  Any developer who decides to use the free Visual Studio tools may find themselves doing the same search.  The base functionality of Cacoo is free although there are certain features that have fees attached to them such as extended stencils and templates.

Cacoo doesn’t seem to have a template for WP7.  It does have templates for iOS and Android development so I started with the Android template and started modidfying it for WP7.  Funny thing is since Android has the same hardware vendors as Windows Phone the basic frame looks just right (I would swear I was looking at my Samsung Focus).

Below is the start of a new mockup for the user group that I help run.


I found that while Cacoo doesn’t have all the icons I need I am able to insert them from the Windows Phone Toolkit folder.  If I put them off to the side as you can see above.  I can simply copy and paste them into the appropriate place as needed. 

Beyond that I have customized the main frame frame so I can have my base to work from.  In the future I intend to create this as a stencil and if it looks good enough I would consider making it public.

My use of this product is still in it’s early phase, but it seems like a great way to start.  Maybe if you use this to get going you can earn enough from your resulting apps to pay for something with more bells and whistles in the future.

Source:  http://geekswithblogs.net/tmurphy/archive/2011/11/21/wire-framing-wp7-apps-with-cacoo.aspx

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