|Easiest way to create a "flat" content-based app for iOS and Android|
I would like to create a very simple app to accompany my website, it would only have c.10 html-based pages, nothing more than that, menu, pages, perhaps a "social" page for FB/Tw/email, that's it.
I would like to dip my toes into app dev by doing this myself and it seems a very straightforward project that would allow me to get to know some of the app dev tools out there and not have to go through xcode or its android equivalent.
What tools/services could I employ to put together a "simple" app like this?
If you are talking about a web app, than the tools vary and it's pretty simple over all. Coming from a webmaster side, it is straightforward.
When I ventured into apps in 2009, I wanted to do this but then you are still forced to drive traffic from your own website or sources. You don't get found in the native app stores in searches. You are never exposed to the people that are just on those devices. And that world is growing. I bought a lot of books, played with sample code and just started making changes to see what happened. Taught myself over time.
It has gotten very hard to get a web app, html page app through Apple as they want a real native Xcode built app. If their reviewer sees you are just html type of pages, a web app, you won't get through.
Android doesn't have a review system or quality control so you can pretty much do anything there. Build a simple webview inside a real Android app and go. Reviews from users may not be as good though.
In my case, I wanted to drive people from the native app world to my brand and website. And drive people from my website to possibly get a app. I think that is the best of both worlds if you can do it.
thanks adam, yes I noticed since posting my question that apple has very high standards for actually getting an app into the Appstore. Was told on the apple dev forum in no uncertain terms that "an app like that would be a total waste of time, go and read the developer guidelines". Just missing a "moron!" or a "RTFM!" on the end of that comment and we would have had a full house! :)
Yes, I was looking at using a tool like appcelerator or phone gap, something like that, to dip my toes in. I have a popular website and I just wanted a spin-off app with info, "latest news", "new pages", that type of thing. Doing it for Android first might be handy as their market share is so big now.
You sound like where I was in 2009 in that same decision. Spinning a website into a app. I tried appcelerator/Titanium, phone gap and some other things but they just didn't perform very well. I decided a app with bad ratings may not do me much good. But if you are just promoting a app version to your already existing web browsers, it may work out okay. Although a button to a mobile version could run the same way.
Looking for new users from the Android store can be tough. Harder than it may seem anyway. I have some apps that rank high on the Android charts that don't do much in numbers.
For me, Apple outdoes Android 15-1 in downloads. Thus far, I have been disappointed in Android because it doesn't match the hype and the numbers. They can say all they want to make it look good but it appears that most Android buyers are just buying a cheap phone (that is the cheap phone if you just want to make a call) and don't do much in the way of apps. Even worse for paid apps.
Even a highly hyped phone like the Samsung S4 is only 1.5% of the Android market. Far cry from the numbers of the iPhone. Just my two cents.