App Development for Dummies (and Journalists)
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