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TouchDevelop — Programming on the Go

Nigel Horspool (University of Victoria), Nikolai Tillmann (Microsoft Research)
and everyone else in the Touch Develop team

update for readers in 2015 and beyond

TouchDevelop - Programming on the Go is a useful reference for those looking to get started in Touch Develop. Touch Develop has since gone open-source and has had many updates since this book was originally published, so some features and functions may differ in the current version than what was written in the book at that time.

get the book now

Download the free eBook:
Buy Print Book:

who this book is for

This book has much to offer to both students and teachers:
  • For teachers, it walks through, in detail, all of the screens of the Touch Develop app, and it points out similarities and differences of the Touch Develop language compared to other programming languages that the teacher might already be familiar with.
  • For students and enthusiasts, the book can serve as a handy reference next to the phone.
The book systematically addresses all programming language constructs, starting from the very basics such as variables and loops. The book also explores many of the phone sensors and data sources which make creating apps for mobile devices so rewarding.

how to read this book

If you are new to programming with Touch Develop, or if you have not yet worked on touchscreen devices, we suggest that you read the book starting from chapter 1. If you are already familiar with the basic paradigm of the Touch Develop programming environment, then feel free to jump ahead to the later chapters that address particular topic areas.


The Touch Develop Web App runs in many modern browsers on many different devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Macs, PC.

status of this version

The first version of the book was produced as a limited edition of 75 copies for the ACM SIGCSE Conference in Raleigh, NC, March, 2012. That book was based on Version 2.6 of Touch Develop for Windows Phone 7.
An updated copy of the book with 1000 copies, based on Version 2.10, was printed in January 2013. This book was made available via a Creative Commons License and put on the Amazon Bookstore as well as the Touch Develop website. Much of the contents of the second book were also applicable to the Web App version of Touch Develop, though all the screenshots were still of a phone.
This third version has been retargeted at the Web App version of Touch Develop.

what's next

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