Turn doodles into apps with Microsoft’s Ink to Code

Microsoft’s latest Garage project, Ink to Code, can turn your new app doodles into a working project.

Some of the world’s greatest ideas started as a doodle on a napkin or piece of paper. The Gettysburg Address, the poem that gave way to the U.S. National Anthem, and the premise of the Harry Potter series — all were reportedly started on a simple piece of scrap paper.

Ink to Code wants to ensure an idea for what could become the next big thing doesn’t just end up in the bin. Of course, at least in its current state, it will only generate a framework to build upon — but it’s rather impressive nonetheless.

The project enables anyone to draw wire frame sketches which can be exported into Visual Studio to expedite the process of prototyping apps. Building more advanced features will then require more specialist knowledge, but it’s a quick way to get started.

Alex Corrado, a Senior Software Engineer on the Xamarin Designer team and one of the originators of the project, says:

“Getting your ideas for a new app or feature onto paper is one of the fastest, most natural parts of the brainstorming. But then, you ultimately need to turn that sketch into code and sooner than you know it, 10, 20, 30 iterations of a sketch really add up.”

The team took inspiration from the ‘Smart Ink’ feature built into Windows 10 which itself was created to facilitate the uniquely creative process of sketching.

Ink to Code will recognise common objects and convert them into functioning elements. The first version supports labels, text fields, text paragraphs, images, and buttons.

Support for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is naturally supported, but it can also be used for Android user interfaces.

You can download Ink to Code from the Microsoft Store here.

Do you plan on trying Ink to Code to start your projects? Let us know in the comments.

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