Daily Archives: July 12, 2011

Creating Your Own Mobile App?

After researching QR Codes and creating my own, I was intrigued by the possibility of creating my own mobile App. How hard could it be, if QR Codes are so easy? Turns out, even a simple App is much harder than you might think for the non-programmer, non-Java Script user, non-computer genius.

I am sorta-pro when it came to HTML (built three websites using MS Frontpage, after building webpages using just HTML code). But, like most software that’s more than two years old, Frontpage is obsolete now. Frontpage 2003 was replaced by Microsoft Expression Web and Sharepoint Designer, released along with MS Office 2007. Although Frontpage was a component of Office 2003, the replacements are stand-alone. The main issue is that servers no longer support Frontpage Extensions that made all the features of Frontpage work. So, bottom line is MS marches on.

My point is that I’m comfortable with development software – generally. What I found regarding creating Apps was a whole new ballgame for me. There are online SAS-type providers that will create a plug-n-play type App, but they’re not all that easy either, or inexpensive.

For example, Mobiflex claims you can “Create Native Mobile Apps in Hours Without Coding”. It makes many claims, but it’s not like entering some data and getting a QR Code. Cost ranges from $9.99 to $199 – PER MONTH.

Another online resource is Mobiforms.

The MobiForms Developer offers you unbelievable value for money. For the price of less than two hours of a contract programmer, MobiForms gives you the power of a whole army of unrelenting mobile programmers. The MobiForms Developer licence costs just £99 UK Pounds (€115 Euros or $159 US Dollars)….

The MobiForms Advanced Edition includes all of the above, plus the MobiForms Sync Server. Unlike most competing products, the MSS does not need third party hosting and does not incur any monthly service charges. The MobiForms Advanced Edition costs £189 UK Pounds (€219 Euros or $289 US Dollars)….

appmaker beta also claims to provide fast, easy, online App development, but the catch is from the beginning screen they provide a link if you “Need design help? Hire a professional from our design marketplace.” Plus, you have to get an Apple Developer Account from Apple for $99 in order to be able to market your App, if that’s what you want to do – even a “free” App – on the Apple iTunes Store.

And, there are others ready to provide expert consulting and App development for varying prices. There was no “free” App development software or website that I could find – except for…..

the open source NetBeans IDE 7.0 “A free, open-source Integrated Development Environment for software developers. All the tools needed to create professional desktop, enterprise, web, and mobile applications with the Java platform, as well as with C/C++, PHP, JavaScript and Groovy.”

If you’re not a software developer – forget it. I downloaded the free file downloads and tried to install them on my home PC running Windows 7. I couldn’t uninstall them fast enough. Here’s what I got – HOLY COW!

The only good news is – if you are a Blogger you’re in luck – sort of. FreeBlogApps.com will “Turn your website blog into a free mobile app!” I tried it and actually created an App for this Blog using their publish to Android Market feature, but since AT&T won’t allow me to download an App from a “third-party” creator, I can’t install it to my Android phone. Maybe you’ll have better luck by clicking here,

or here,
Download The 21st Century Library Blog Free Android App

or scan here.

So, the conclusion I’ve come to is – forget about any notions of easy or free mobile App development. It sure would be nice if there was, especially for libraries. BUT, if you’re ready to dive in to creating Apps for your library, be ready to spend some budget money to make it worthwhile.

P.S. As if that outlook wasn’t discouraging enough, I just went to MyAppCreator.com website and found this message. How’s this for dampening one’s enthusiasm! Remember when the Dot.Com bubble burst?


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