The complexity and costs associated with developing and customizing an iPhone App has just been turned upside down. The team at PointAbout launched this week a revolutionary tool called AppMakr, which enables anyone to develop and publish simple iPhone applications in minutes.
Do you have an RSS feed of compelling and noteworthy content that some of the millions of iPhone users might be interested in seeing on their phones? If you do, you too can generate an iPhone application using AppMakr in a short amount of time with a reasonable amount of money. While we’ve seen similar incarnations of mobile and even web site generation tools, AppMakr provides a powerful capability in generating a viable iPhone experience despite all of the many complexities of creating these coveted utilities. AppMakr handles everything from the application icon and splash screens to the content detail and interaction screens and it even handles the associated touch screen navigational gestures for selecting, zooming and tapping through the content.
The workflow of generating the application is a straightforward process. One can start by simply providing a Web site URL or keyword query and then wait for the result which is in the form of a sample iPhone app built with that content in less than 30 seconds. One can then customize the app further by incorporating additional feeds from social media services like Twitter, Flickr or YouTube. The next step which is optional is to modify the graphic elements to reflect your branding and style guide. This includes the ability to tweak the content icons, splash screen and application tabs. If you are interested in generating a return on your investment, AppMakr also provides the opportunity to opt into one of their two current ad network partners or to B.Y.O.A.N. to serve ads into the resulting app. The video tutorial below provides a brief visual demonstration of just how easy the process is.
Finally, as you reach the end of the generation process, AppMakr gives you two options to publishing your application to the iTunes store. The first is to continue to build and publish using AppMakr, and the second is to publish the app to the iTunes store on your own, provided you have an iPhone application developer account. This is also where the price point changes from $199 to publish with PointAbout/Appmakr as the author when the app appears in iTunes, or to be able to specify your company as the author for $499 and have overall greater control of your application; for instance, being able to test it on an iPhone and not just an emulator first ,and just as important, having the ability to charge for the app if you’d like.
The overall assessment of AppMakr is that at the $200 price point, I would give it a B-minus. I doubt that if I had already taken the necessary steps and made the investment to become part of the iPhone developer program that I would find much value in this solution especially not for an additional $500, but that’s just Me, what do you think?