Building an iPhone app to promote your Web site or blog is becoming an increasingly popular thing to do, but the cost of creating an iPhone app can reach thousands of dollars. A new system called AppMakr, from PointAbout, lowers barriers to app development.
AppMakr pricing starts at $199, making it relatively affordable to quickly turn your existing RSS or Atom news feed into an iPhone application. You need just a few things to create an app with your own branding: an RSS or Atom news feed from you Web site, graphics for your header and splash screen, and an icon for the iTunes App Store.
RSS or Atom feeds can originate from Twitter, iTunes podcast feeds, Flickr streams, YouTube, Wordpress, or other sources. If any of the feeds contain MP4 video, AppMakr will support playback within the app that it builds. If your site has multiple feeds, you can create multiple tabs within your app to represent each feed.
AppMakr provides a few options for making money off your app. You can submit the app to the App Store as either a free or paid download. On free apps, you can embed ads from services including AdMob, Medialets, DoubleClick, and Google Adsense. Once you finish customizing your options, AppMakr will submit the app for you to Apple's App Store.
According to the AppMakr Web site, there are two pricing options:
$199 - The easy way: AppMakr publishes your app
Submit your app in minutes, with AppMakr as the publisher. Skip the difficult parts of making an iPhone app, including working with Xcode and figuring out the app certification and provisional process. You can even insert your own ads in the app. Apps built with this option will have a small AppMakr logo on the splash screen.
$499 - You're in control: Publish under your own brand
Take control of the app-building process by creating an Apple Developer Account and loading your certificates into AppMakr. We'll take care of the rest, including the provisioning, building and management of your apps. You'll also be able to test apps on your own phone with Ad Hoc builds.
It should be noted that AppMakr does not replace the full application development suite of tools called XCode from Apple. Additionally, the current release of AppMakr doesn't support more than news feeds for content generation, but the AppMakr blog mentions additional functionality that will be added to it in the future. Even with its current limits, AppMaker is a cost-effective way to make your brand and content readily available to iPhone and iPod Touch users.
You can see a video demonstration of AppMakr below:
AppMakr.com has provided us with a coupon for anyone interested in a trial. To use the coupon, visit AppMakr's site and enter the code "CNET" to receive $99 off of the prices listed above.