iPhone Apps: Roll your Own ?

wb4jfi wb4jfi at knology.net
Tue Mar 9 10:57:29 CST 2010

Unless something has changed, creating the app was not the big issue.  I 
downloaded their dev environment a year ago, and it seemed OK.  But, 
they require that all app distro be through iTunes and the iStore.  It 
costs $200 to sign up for that, per person/organization.  And, you can't 
even try your app on a real iphone until you go through that.  You can 
possibly piggyback with another willing organization, but good luck 
finding one.

I like my iPhone, but I gave up the idea of creating anything for it.  
Apple and their closed system/minds....

Andre Kesteloot wrote:
> Software
> *Easy-To-Make iPhone Apps*
> Dan Woods, 03.09.10, 6:00 AM ET
> If you ever had an idea for an iPhone app but did not really have a 
> clue about how you would get it working, your time has come. A new 
> generation of simplified iPhone app development environments are about 
> to reduce the technical skill required and promise to add fuel to the 
> already explosive growth in the number of apps.
> The current road to an iPhone app leads through Apple's iPhone 
> Software Development Kit, which is a collection of software, sample 
> programs and educational material that provide the tools that are 
> needed to create an app. IPhone app programming is based on a language 
> called Objective C, which is a powerful language but one that requires 
> a programming background to master. Most people who can create an HTML 
> page without too much trouble wouldn't know where to begin to create 
> an Objective C program.
> The new iPhone app developer toolkits vary widely in power and 
> approach, and frankly, will lead to a lot of useless apps, something 
> there is no shortage of now. But they will also unlock user-driven 
> innovation on a massive scale, and this will no doubt lead to many 
> success stories. Here's the lay of the land on how these new toolkits 
> work and what they can do for you.
> First of all, it is important to separate the toolkits by their 
> approach to creating iPhone apps. The two broad categories are 
> template-based systems and those that provide simplified building blocks.
> The template-based systems reduce the process of creating an iPhone 
> app to a fill-in-the-blank process. To create an app, you choose a 
> template that provides the basic structure and functions of the app. 
> You then add assets such as graphics or sound files or links to the 
> template, press a button and out pops a working app. Examples of such 
> environments include Mobile Roadie, aimed at bands that want apps and 
> AppBreeder, which has a number of different templates. Larger systems 
> for content management like Kyte now offer ways of automatically 
> producing apps as well.
> The advantage of template app development environments is that they 
> significantly lower the barrier to creating an app. You don't have to 
> hire a development firm to write Objective C for you. If you can 
> manage to get graphics in the right form, you can get an app that 
> looks quite good. The problem is that such an approach offers limited 
> flexibility. If you want what is in a template, great. But if you want 
> to adjust things in a way that was not anticipated, you are out of luck.
> The building block approach is much more powerful, but demands a bit 
> more thinking and understanding on the part of the developer. The 
> building block approach provides the developer with a blank canvas. 
> You then choose from a set of building blocks and place them on the 
> canvas. The building blocks can be configured by filling in the blanks 
> for certain types of assets and through configuration parameters. But 
> the number of building blocks on the page, their size and how they 
> interact is far more flexible than the template approach. Anyone who 
> has done Visual Basic programming will find the building block 
> approach familiar. But you must understand the building blocks (title 
> of a page, map, buttons, lists, etc.) and how they interact, which is 
> somewhat more difficult than filling in a template.
> EachScape is the pioneer in the building block approach. EachScape was 
> cofounded by Ludo Collin, cofounder of StarCut, a mobile Web site 
> development house, and Bob Fitterman, the former CTO of Vindigo, a 
> mobile local search service that was way ahead of its time. Other 
> companies pursuing the building block approach may be out there, but I 
> haven't been able to find them.
> "Template-driven solutions tend to produce apps that all look the same 
> and have limited capabilities," said Fitterman, who is now CTO of 
> EachScape. "EachScape lets nonprogrammers create smart phone apps with 
> all the hallmarks of a custom program: advanced user interactions, 
> local data storage and even the ability to incorporate custom UI 
> elements. Our apps each look unique because they aren't confined to 
> what the template lets you do." For a look at an app created by 
> EachScape check out /TimeOut Magazine's/ Guide to New York City 
> <http://itunes.apple.com/app/time-out-new-york/id342731404?mt=8&tduid=87cb0a12044b7c0419315a8e1deb6566&affId=1503186>.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> But Fitterman acknowledges that templates provide such an easy way to 
> get started that he is going to incorporate templates constructed out 
> of building blocks into EachScape. Once users have some experience 
> with templates, they may be able to handle building blocks.
> Which choice is right for you? If there is a template-based 
> environment out there that does exactly what you want, then go for it. 
> It will be the simplest path to creating an app. But if you want to do 
> something unique or are a digital agency that is going to create a lot 
> of apps, the building block approach is probably better.
> One major advantage of using these simplified environments is that 
> some of them will not only create an iPhone App but also create apps 
> that could run on Android or Palm or other platforms and devices. 
> Fitterman says EachScape has its Android version up and running based 
> on the same building blocks that are used to develop iPhone apps.
> So the next time an idea for an iPhone app pops into your head, don't 
> just let it sit there. Bring it to life.
> /Dan Woods is chief technology officer and editor of Evolved 
> Technologist, a research firm focused on the needs of CTOs and chief 
> information officers. He consults for many of the companies he writes 
> about. For more information, go to evolvedtechnologist.com 
> <http://www.evolvedtechnologist.com/>/.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Tacos mailing list
> Tacos at amrad.org
> http://www.amrad.org/mailman/listinfo/tacos

More information about the Tacos mailing list