Getting Started with Windows Mobile Application Development

Creating programs that run on Windows Mobile phones is just as easy as writing apps for the desktop. Follow the steps on this page and you'll have a running Windows Mobile application.

Get the Tools

You need the following tools to create a Windows Mobile application:
  • Get Visual Studio. You will need Visual Studio to develop applications for Windows Mobile. It will allow you to author, debug, and package your application for delivery from one easy-to-use interface. Learn more at the Visual Studio Developer Center.
  • Download the latest Windows Mobile SDK. The SDK contains the API header and library files you will need to access Windows Mobile functionality as well as documentation, sample application projects, and emulators that allow you to deploy and debug your application, even if you don’t have a Windows Mobile device.
    Download Link: Windows Mobile SDK
  • Get ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center. You will need to have ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center in order to deploy applications to a Windows Mobile device or to an emulator. Windows Vista ships with Windows Mobile Device Center. For Windows XP, you can download and install the latest version of ActiveSync if you don’t already have it.

Create, Build, and Run an Application

Here's how to create and run an empty Windows Mobile application:
  • Create a smart device project. Open Visual Studio.
    1. On the File menu, select New->Project.
    2. In the Project Types pane on the left, expand Visual C# and select Smart Device.
    3. In the Templates pane on the right, select Smart Device Project and click OK.
    4. When the Add New Smart Device Project wizard pops up, select Device Application and click OK.
  • Add a little functionality. From the Toolbox pane on the left, select a button and drag it onto the form in the design view. Double-click the button to create a Click event handler. In the handler, type the following line of code:
    button1.Text = “Click!”;
  • Build and deploy your application. To run your application on a Windows Mobile device, make sure it is connected to the desktop. Press the F5 key. From the drop-down list, select a device or an emulator to deploy to, and click OK. Your application should be up and running.