August 27, 2014

APPNATION Interviews: Yapper - App Inventor for the Rest of Us

While at the APPNATION Conference last Monday and Tuesday, I had the opportunity to meet with several people talking about some cool things that are being released for Android.  One that caught my eye right away with the new Yapper 2.0, an online app development tool for people who might not be as code savvy as they need to be.I think that there is a bit of desire in everyone who is involved in the Android community to be a developer of some sort.  I heard time and time again about how people have a great idea for an application, but simply do not have the know how to actually code and create that app themselves.  (I probably need to admit here that I am one of those people who secretly desires to be a wicked cool dev) So when I was able to interview Nicole Demeo from from Yapper, I was instantly interested as the folks there have created a HTML 5 powered web app to help those of us who are code challenged be app developers.

The premise of Yapper is simple.  Make it easy and affordable for anyone to create an app for either the Android or iPhone platform.  I know what you are saying, how good could an app created out of a cookie cutter experience be?  The answer is, “quite good”!

I had a short demo of the process of creating a web app on the iPhone while I was talking with Nicole, and it is literally a 4 step process, depending of course on what options you want to include in your app.  As Nicole walked me through, it was apparent that the creators of the platform had really made it easy enough for a soccer mom to create an app.  Now I know you hard core devs are going to snort at this and write it off, and I can understand that, but say you have a mom out there with a craft site that gets pretty good traffic.  This app will allow her to extend her reach into the mobile market, and sell digital and real goods to an even larger audience, all without having to hire, well, you!

Now, up front, you are not going to be creating games, or a unique user experience with Yapper.  This app creation platform is used to create an app that brings together your content from the web, allows users to interact with you as they consume your content, and last but certainly not least, allows you to sell content and items right within the application.  Yapper is the first platform to allow in app purchases on Android using paypal to link to your app.

What was demoed for me was a business book summary site, where you can login to the app, search for a book that you need a summary for, get both audio and text samples, and then buy the book.  Everything was incredibly polished and smooth, and easy to use.  It was a seamless experience that was hard to believe that it came out of an “app generator” of sorts.

Everything I was seeing looked to good to be true, so I thought that it must cost an arm and a leg to create an app with Yapper.  There again, I was really surprised as you can create an app for as low as $99, with the top end being $1,000 with all the bells and whistles.  Even the top end of $1000 is not so shocking if you compare it to the cost of paying a developer to do something similar.

We are going to be working with Nicole and Yapper to give this whole app creation thing a try, stay tuned next week as we work to bring you a functional Android application made on the Yapper app creation platform for Android!