Before anything else: I was given a special coupon to try AppMakr out expressly for this review. Also, if you want to try it out for yourself, there’s a goodie at the end of the post!
There’s no question that iPhone apps are huge now. Over 3 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store, and if you do business online, releasing an iPhone app of your own is one of the hottest ways to connect to both existing and potential clients.
Which is why AppMakr, which claims to help you create an iPhone app in 27 seconds caught my eye. Can it really be that easy?
Creating an App
The quickest way to get started is to type your website or blog URL into the box on the front page, and click “Go Ahead, Make My App!”. AppMakr then starts searching for feeds and images related to your site:
From there, you go directly into the dashboard, where you are given the option to choose or upload an icon and a splash screen for your app:
See that iPhone graphic on the right side of the screen? That’s the App Simulator, and it’ll reflect changes you make as you build your app. This worked well enough for me, but it’s important to note that unless you create an AppMakr Developer Account (more on this below), this simulator is your only option for testing.
The “Feeds/Tabs” tab will most probably already be populated with your RSS, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook feeds (if these exist). As you add new tabs, you’ll be given the option to choose from existing icons, or upload your own.
Customization is simple. You can upload a header image, or change a few colors.
The “Monetize” tab lets you embed your own ads in your app- which, if you’re creating a free app (your only option at the $199 price), you might want to do.
Then click the “Publish” tab:
Before you hit the “Publish My App” button, you need to know that you have two options here. You can either publish your app with AppMakr as the author (this is the default, and costs $199), or choose to self-publish your app for $499. The latter requires a bit of work, with steps outlined in their support pages. If it looks a bit too complicated, you can pay AppMakr $250 to do it for you.
And that’s it. You’ve made an app with AppMakr. From here, AppMakr will quality control your app, and submit it to Apple. Approval time is currently at around 1-2 weeks (and that’s when we hope to see the Apple Gazette app at the store!)
Yay or Nay?
Now I’m not sure if it took me 27 seconds or less to create my app, but it certainly was fast– fast enough, and easy enough, to have a working, custom iPhone app “just like that”. I know my little walkthrough sounded simple, and that’s because it was. AppMakr was built for simplicity, to make something as scary sounding as Programming an iPhone Application a breeze. That reason alone makes this an awesome service in my book.
Of course, there are things I would love to see on AppMaker, such as additional non-RSS pages (which is currently on the roadmap), more design customization options, and a search function, but I do think that for $199, the service already works wonderfully. Even $499 is a pretty good price point, considering what you can do with a self-published app.
So, do I recommend AppMakr? Yes. If you’re even considering creating an app for your website, blog or business, I urge you to try it out. Sign-up is free, and you don’t have to pay a cent until you’re completely happy with your app and ready to publish it. And when that time comes, we’ve got:
A Special Apple Gazette Discount
Here’s that goodie I promised you: from now until January 31 2010, simply use the coupon AppleGazette to get $100 off at AppMakr.