The untold story: Visual Studio App Center

Achraf Chennan
2 min readJan 24, 2021


For a while now Microsoft released Visual Studio App Center. An alternative to Azure DevOps for mobile app developers. Visual Studio App Center is a great platform for developing mobile apps. The first time I used the App center was in 2019. I used it for a Xamarin Forms app. There were some issues with the SDK. But overall Visual Studio App Center was a great tool. Also when debugging and getting the errors from devices.

Here some great features of the Visual Studio App Center.


This is a very handy feature when working with test groups. You can upload a new release or automatically push a new version by CI/CD. The great feature Distribute offers the possibility to create multiple groups. You can create public and private groups, and also some analytics to see how many users installed the app and on which device.


In my opinion the best feature available. Diagnostics saved my life. Developing mobile apps is very hard. There are a lot of different mobile phones and different Android versions. This gives different results, some code works well on some phones, and some not. You can also use the App Center to write errors from your own code. It’s a very handy feature and gives you the possibility to dig into the data.


Always wonder if your users really use your app. Analytics is the key. With this feature, you can get the necessary data to see where your app is running. On which phones and with which operating systems.


Also very handy, but I didn’t use it. I used Azure DevOps to build my mobile applications. This was more suitable for me because I had more projects in my solutions. But if you only have a mobile app then this feature is provident.