One of the top questions I get is how to get started in App development. The answer I was giving until today was “it depends”. And by “depends” I meant are you a developer or someone who has never programmed.
But now I can 100% tell you where to get started thanks to an awesome new tool I discovered yesterday.
It’s called Ionic Creator and it is an online drag-n-drop utility that exports code you can either code up or pass onto your developer. Here is the link. And even better you can either text the code to your phone to see it in action or they have a mobile App that you can review your App on so you can see how it would look as an App.
It took me about 5 minutes to learn. You can create pages, drag in buttons, lists and then link all the pages together. The styling is pretty generic on the free accounts (I’ve only used the free so far) but it gets your idea into an actual working version.
If you have an idea for an App open a free account today and put your idea into action. Start building out the pages and linking them together. Then in the top right corner there is a “Share” icon. Click that and you will have URL that you can share with developers. Then go Upwork and post a job to get bids from developers to build out your App.
Ionic Creator also creates some base line code. You can export that code as the project base. Email me if you need more help because I can go into this pretty deep. But you need to take some action and create your prototype first.
There are three export options. Two are free and two are paid.
Command Line Interface (FREE): This is a few command line calls that will create a project for you.
Export Zip File (FREE): What the tool spits out is HTML/CSS/JS in an Angular project. The project zip file contains everything you need to start a PhoneGap project. You could easily take this code and dump it into a GIT repository and then use PhoneGap Build if you know that process. I’m an expert at PhoneGap Build so email me if you want to go this route.
The final option is “Creator Mobile App” (PAID): I haven’t paid yet so I cannot tell you much other than I think it packages everything up and give you a .apk (Android) and .ipa (iTunes) file that you can publish in the App stores.
There are a number of other things you get with paid accounts like the ability to have multiple users. This is quite powerful because you could literally have your marketing team creating the App layouts and flows. Then you could hand off to your developers and have them coding.
I am always looking for better and faster ways to develop Apps and am going to adopt this tool in full force. From what I have read online they are expanding out to bring App development to a whole new level.
So quit dragging your feet and take action on your App idea!
Jeremy Callahan is a Mobile Commerce Expert, App Developer and Founder at Flip Shop Marketing