The rise of iPhone app making for dummies

Ever wanted to make an iPhone app without signing up to be an Apple developer? Two DemoSpring start-ups are offering just that.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

PALM DESERT, Calif.--If you thought Apple's App Store was getting crowded, we've got bad news. It's about to get worse.

Appwhirl and Appvoyage--a pair of new companies launching here at the DemoSpring conference, are trying to make the process of creating an iPhone app and submitting it to the App Store take less than five minutes and something that requires no programming prowess whatsoever. In fact, building them takes place right in your Web browser.

Are these apps capable of building mind-blowing games, or complex business apps? No. For both companies, the expectation seems to be that most people who would use these products are just trying to put together a piecework app with news feeds from their business, or other company resource pages.

Both companies' apps work with a system of modules. For instance, you can add a specific Twitter feed, or an RSS feed with just a few clicks. These then show up as feed items within the app's main menu. Both also let the app maker see a live preview of what the app will look like with an embedded iPhone simulator.

To be honest, neither demo from these companies concluded with the kind of dynamic application a business or individual could create if they worked on it in-house. Things like customized branding can be done, but many of the same interface elements remain the same between all the apps made with these tools. But the expectation here is that both of these companies will eventually offer tools good enough to do these things with ease."

See also: iSites, which launched earlier this year.

AppVoyage turns iPhone-app building into a WYSIWYG experience, akin to blogging. Josh Lowensohn/CNET