& cplSiteName &

App Development for Dummies (and Journalists)

Sarah Thomas
4/16/2013
50%
50%

Dutch startup AppMachine wants to turn anyone into a mobile application developer, whether they know a single line of code or not.

The company has already helped 19,000 build and design apps online, and now it's opening up its platform to everyone in an open public beta. That means that your mom, a blogger, the local coffee shop, or even global DJ Armin van Buuren can build a custom app to submit for publication in the Apple and Google Play app stores.

The startup says it learned from user feedback and questions in its closed beta and has improved the service, making it simple to design, develop, test, and publish apps. This is something I can attest to as I spent the morning building my own app. The process is easy to use and ties in with all of your Web properties, so it's simple to integrate your social networks or, in my case, content from Light Reading.

Nokia has offered its version of a build-your-own-app platform since 2010 for the Ovi App Store, now rebranded as Nokia Xpress Web App Builder.

These services are fun to use, and I can think of at least two people (mom; dad) who would download my app, but what's interesting about them is juxtaposing them next to the operators and GSMA's app initiatives. Looking at their history in the apps space, you'd think getting an app built and deployed took moving mountains. AppMachine, and other services like it, is here saying, "you can do it with a few minutes and a few clicks."

Granted, the apps built through a process like this won't have the deep level of integration that operators can offer through application programming interfaces (APIs), and they may be hard to get published in an app store (especially Apple's walled garden), but they should serve as a reminder that the old world order no longer reigns. Moving slowly, offering expensive services, or imposing stringent requirements isn't going to cut it in a world where anyone can develop an app.

— Sarah Reedy, contributing editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Lipi Akter
50%
50%
Lipi Akter,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/6/2013 | 7:24:38 PM
re: App Development for Dummies (and Journalists)
this is great information for a publisher like me as i was in deep trouble when i was looking for a good application. but i as able to find an application that i have used in publishing of my kitchen magazine through PressPad www.presspadapp.com
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/16/2013 | 4:05:58 PM
re: App Development for Dummies (and Journalists)
Thanks for the feedback, seven. I agree with you about speed and quality. That's why I envision the operators building native apps that need a high degree of security and reliability and probably aren't free -- which is why enterprise apps are a good target. Platforms like AppMachine are good for those individuals, pubs or SMBs that want to build an app and extend their presence to mobile, but aren't banking their business on it. But, like you said, you never know where or from whom the next Angry Birds will come from...
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/16/2013 | 3:01:46 PM
re: App Development for Dummies (and Journalists)
Hi Sarah,

I think the biggest thing is and will be the speed/quality changes presented by these new tools and methods. -áTelcos have been very heavy on development time and quality which leads them to use/deploy/make products and services that scale to big audiences. -áNewer forms of development make personal/small group products and services more and more possible. -áSome of these turn into big deals (see Angry Birds) but most don't. -áIt is almost impossible to predict a priori what will happen with these new items. -áI think it makes the dichotomy between the older stolid development and the newer form grow larger by the day. -áBOTH have their place (nobody wants a Router developed by something like AppMachine), but I come back to the notion that trying to cross that gap will become increasingly harder.

As to your robustness comment, one thing to think about is this. -á10 versions of the Appmachine developed app might be available and used in some quantity before the older style became available. -áThat means that likely the initial users will have acted like QA and the bugs found/fixed. -áThe early users and momentum will be taken before the solid app becomes available. -áI think this first mover advantage is going to be huge.

seven
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/16/2013 | 2:26:32 PM
re: App Development for Dummies (and Journalists)
My feeling is that apps built via this process will never be as robust or tightly integrated as those built on APIs and using network assets. AppMachine, and companies like it, aren't a threat to the operators, but rather a good reminder. I think the operators are also targeting the enterprise space more (or at least they should be). Security will be a big concern there.
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Libelium and Movandi and their founders are pioneering new technologies that are already changing the game for IoT and 5G, respectively, making them startups you want to keep an eye on in 2018 and beyond.
Ten worthy women and two trailblazing startups made the shortlist this year for Women in Comms' Leading Lights awards. Winners will be unveiled soon at BCE.
It's a great, important time to be a woman in comms and to join our upcoming Transformation Summit in Austin on May 14 (men too!).
Keeping quiet about sexual harassment is the worst way to put an end to it.
More women in leadership and board positions could help combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Join WiC in Denver as we discuss this and more on March 22.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
Huawei, ZTE in the Eye of a Trade Storm
Robert Clark, 4/26/2018
US Investigating Huawei for Sanctions Violations – Report
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/25/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
What's in the Box?
By Huawei
Beginning With the End In Mind
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives