App Studio is a new tool released by Microsoft that allows anybody (not just programmers) to quickly build, test, and publish Windows Phone apps. It is currently just in its beginning stages, with support for Windows 8 apps planned for the future.

Today, I tried out App Studio (Beta) for the first time and my overall experience with it has been great.

Within a few hours, I was able to customize a provided template and create a unique, full-featured Windows Phone app. There is an overwhelming amount of features in App Studio for the first-time user. My recommendation is to just click on all the buttons and you will find that you can customize just about anything.

The only bad experience I had with creating the Windows Phone app with App Studio was that the online program was very slow, but that could just as easily been because my Internet was also very slow. Other than that, no complaints. I have tried other Windows Phone and Android app drag-and-drop builders before, but this App Studio was easily the best out of all of them. And the customizability is great. When you use other app builders, they all pretty much look the same. And, most of them are basically just RSS feeders with a page for links. Microsoft’s app builder has the flexibility to build for any topic. It also has a nice feature that allows you to review each of the many provided templates with sample data before you choose one of them to customize.

The biggest and best functionalities of App Studio:
1. The speed of creating a complete app.
2. The freedom of customizability. There are about 20 major templates to choose from. And, within those templates is a customizable page. And, within that customizable page are more customizable sub-templates (but, you don’t have to mess with the templates and sub-templates if you don’t want to).
3. Ability to choose from and create live tiles and flip tiles.
4. The automatic creation of each of required icon/logo images sizes need. You only need one picture.
5. Ability to create a XAP file (Windows Phone app file) which can be uploaded directly to the Windows store.
6. Ability to export source code of the file. (Read my next post, “How to Edit App Studio Code“)

In the future, when I have to create a Windows Phone app, App Studio will be my first stop. I could easily make five apps in one day using this method.

Great job Microsoft!

ps – Microsoft has also gamified App Studios so that users can earn points and win goodies. More info: App Builder Rewards

Link: App Studio