How to create an app: Top tutorials for iOS, Android or desktop

Although Microsoft’s mobile aspirations were all for nothing (sorry, Windows Phone fans), Microsoft’s still dominant on the desktop. Moreover, its ambitious universal approach to development means apps you create potentially have reach across a wide range of platforms.

01. Windows Dev Center

How to make an app: Get started with Windows apps

Head to Windows Dev centre to kick things off (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s Windows Dev Center is the natural starting point for anyone keen to make windows apps – for PCs, tablets, phones, and more. There are explainers about Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app development, insight into Windows conventions, and a bunch of code examples.

02. Create your first Windows app

How to make an app: Create your first Windows app

Learn how to make an app that speaks

If you want to quickly get something working, this tutorial from Microsoft walks you through how to create a simple ‘Hello, world’ app for UWP using XAML and C#. Also, rather than just fling up a dialog to say hello, this little app will speak.

03. Create a Windows desktop app with C#

This 15-minute video tutorial walks through how to create a desktop app for Windows using C# and Visual Studio. It comes from the Computer Science YouTube channel. You'll end up with a simple popup with two different response options. 

04. Make a Windows clock app

How to make an app: Make a Windows clock app

Creating this simple app will teach you plenty of skills

This tutorial for Tuts+ goes a bit further than many beginners' guides. Vivek Maskara leads you through the process of making a clock, where the background gradually shifts colour by converting the time to a hexadecimal value.

05. Create a simple UWP game with DirectX

How to make an app: Create a simple UWP game with DirectX

Learn how to craft a game with this tutorial

Sadly, this tutorial from Microsoft doesn’t leave you with a playable game at the end. Still, you do at least learn to work on the major components of a game: creating a game loop, rendering, controls, audio, and adding imagery.

Next page: How to make macOS apps for Macs

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Craig Grannell

Craig is an editor, writer and designer. He writes about design and tech, specialising in Mac, iPhone and iPad, and has written for Creative Bloq, Stuff, TechRadar, MacFormat, The Guardian, Retro Gamer and more. You can view more of his writing on his blog, Revert to Saved