App Review: AppBuilder

AppBuilder is a very special app with a very interesting concept: You can build an app, in an app, on your phone without needing to know anything about coding or programming. Anyway, I have to admit it is not as easy as it sounds, but it’s still far away from complicated. So, let’s take a look.

The start screen of AppBuilder is simple, fast and fluid. You have three pages: My Apps, info and shared apps. Shared apps is the page in which you can see the apps shared with you, which means that friends can send you their apps. Well, you’ll soon find out you do not built any app itself as the application you make is still linked in AppBuilder (so you don’t get a .xap file or something on your phone. If your friends share an app with you, you get a code to download the app as an add on for the AppBuilder… It is very complicated to explain).

So let’s start to create an application: First you have a blank page where you can add things. You can also make it to a Windows Phone styled panorama, which means you don’t need to have only one page to use. On every page things like a text, a map, list box, a tile or even a toggle can be placed (note: a toggle is still only a link. For example: You choose one toggle and want it to turn on or off the airplane mode, but if you press it it’s still only a link to the screen on Settings -> Airplane mode – and this is really disappointing). If you found something to place on the screen you just need to drag it to the place you want it to have. You are also able to change size, color, font and font size, or, if allowed, to add a picture. I cannot explain everything to you, you have to look yourself, because if I tried to give you a full overview this article was extremely long. Just one thing: You can add many things and you have much independence with all those elements.

So, if you look at all this you think this app is simply great, but it’s not! The first few minutes, when you are lucky the first hour this program works great and is fun to use, but soon you will get disappointed! After a few text entries it is just a pain to write something. Sometimes it took me five minutes to write ‘airplane mode’! Even a reboot didn’t help it. Anyway, this is just the little disappointment: As the ‘application’ I created was almost finished I just was not able to edit it anymore. Luckily I am still able to pin the app to my start screen and to use the beta version of it, but doing the last few fixes and changes is not possible, because every time I want to open the editor AppBuilder crashes! I also re-installed the program: Same. I sat some hours on my app and even missed ‘How I met your Mother’ for it, and now I cannot edit it anymore. Before you ask: Yes, I have the full Version. Maybe it is because of my phone, but I don’t really think so…

So, AppBuilder has a nice concept. It is easy and fun to use – at least the first few minutes. If you are a very, very patient person you may like it, but for all others I personally think this app is a pure waste of money and time. In Germany we would say: Nice thought, bad made. Maybe after some updates this application gets useable, but for now it’s not.

If you want to try it anyway, you can find AppBuilder here.

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