How do you think the app landscape (and the use of your phone) is going to change when nearly everyone has the tools and resources to build their own apps? That’s what struck me after trying out Appgyver’s new toolset, dubbed Composer, which brings down the required skill level needed to start making apps.
This marks the third major tool coming out of Appgyver – which started with Prototyper, a tool that allows app developers to make quick screenshots of their prototype in Photoshop, and then packages them together with buttons and native transitions. The idea here is to offer a better sales tool and to give designers a more realistic tool for prototyping.
Shortly afterwards, Appgyver launched their major piece of technology – Steroids – which gives developers command line tools to create HTML5 apps with native app performance. The tech extends Phonegap, the popular HTML5 app development tool.
Watching how their users were employing Steroids, they learned that many of their user were putting together their framework and scaffolding from generators that would do it for them – you could see so in the types of CSS they were using. Additionally after talking to their users they found that Steroids developers were knocking out their UI stuff done in a week, but still the backend and the data synch were taking 70-80% of their time… something that needs to be done every time you create an app.
“We asked ourselves, how can we solve this problem? How can we make that go faster? Developers want to spend their time on unique features, not having to list photos and everything,” says Nate Montgomery of Appgyver.
What came out of these discussions was a visual bootstrapping tool that can create navigation, data, and plug into integrated API providers like Parse and Kimono, so instead of having to create bridges that talk to your app, you can just drag and drop in their connected providers.
I’m no coder, which you can tell by the “Arctic15” advertisements still up on ArcticStartup even though the date has passed. But still I was able to create a simple ArcticStartup newsreader app using the Prototyper toolset and by following the following instruction video to get over the little bumps in the road.
The amazing thing about Appgyver’s products is that since you’re building in HTML5, changes to your app appear instantly on your phone. For someone like myself, the “oh shoot I have an app already” feeling as soon as you start is pretty cool.
The company says it doesn’t want to be another app builder, but basic users like myself are likely to use its one. Their core focus is on Steroids users who just want to get a quick framework and data up, but what’s also interesting for the company is the amount of attention they’ve gotten from enterprise customers.
The problem enterprise customers have is that they have all this data that they want to throw into apps – either for their own employees or customers, but if they throw that idea to IT then they’ve got at least a 6 month turnaround time. By using the enterprise version of Appgyver composer, they can then securely plug in their own APIs and start kicking out apps.
Composer is still in Beta but currently it’s free for the time being, so i’d have to recommend you start dragging, dropping, and using their logic editor to start fooling around with your own apps.