Rather than persist in my full-on html training with General Assembly (which is, incidentally, pretty damn good), I’ve been distracted by making Apps.
My main criteria were they had to be easy to make and free. Because uploading to the only forms where people look for apps costs quite a bit – $20 to upload them to Google’s appstore and more, I think, for the Applestore. There’s no point in making an app and not putting it onto these.
So here’s the good news: you really can make your own functional app using free software and without knowing a line of html.
The first one I made was with AppsBar. It was straightforward, and I was pleased with the slightly 1993-style throwback that it produced – although the moving titles were a bit annoying and looked a little cheap. But I realised, to my horror, after pressing send, that I had committed a typo. And I didn’t know if I could update the app after publishing. I now have to wait 3-5 days to find out what I can do about corrections!
The next day I was a little wiser. I checked on whether you can do updates. And I tried out Appmakr. Appmakr is genius for several reasons.
It’s visually far more attractive straight-away. You can upload your own buttons, backgrounds, and the colours and images that they give you to work with are good. The task-bar is more straightforward too.
The only disadvantage is that you can’t view pages as they are published – instead you preview by sending the app to yourself on your phone or by email.
So, depending on how easy to upload to various app-stores it is, I’m rather hoping that I may have found my app maker.
There’s a caveat of course. If you want a really decent job done on an app, you need to go to a professional. These cookie-cutter apps really don’t cut it commercially. An outfit like my brother’s firm will make you something spectacular – and will interrogate exactly why you want an app and what you think this will do for you that a website won’t.
As for what I’m doing with my apps and why – please check back here.