I’ve wanted really badly to develop an iPhone application since the SDK was announced. What kind of application? It doesn’t matter. Something not too ugly that does something of limited utility, and does it well. I ran into two problems: First, I have no development or coding experience (I stumble through basic HTML). Second, I never actually downloaded the SDK, out of laziness.
AppLoop, a new venture by Eric Kerr and Ashwani Kumar, aims to help me and others like me create iPhone apps while leaving intact my ignorance and my tendency towards sloth. The web-based generator takes any RSS feed and converts it into a native iPhone application, complete with offline storage so it’s not just a glorified web app. They even handle submitting the app and updates to the app store, and provide analytics. Functionality beyond RSS is expected to be forthcoming in paid versions of the AppLoop.
But is it a good thing that I can make a web app? I admitted just now that whatever I’d make would be not very useful. How many more apps do we need that bring little to the table and add even more confusion to the tangled wilderness that is the App Store? Not to mention the fact that lowering the bar on what it takes to make an app will lead to serious backups in the App Store approval process, possibly delaying applications that bring us things we actually want, like MMS.
On the other hand, sites like ours can quickly and easily produce a handy way to deliver our content to readers in a customizable, convenient format. There are plenty of sites that offer useful content but who aren’t interested in or don’t have time to produce a dedicated app for iPhone users.
A double-edged blade like this is definitely bound to cause a stir in the iPhone development community, regardless of how people end up using it. Will we be seeing any apps from TAB readers courtesy of AppLoop? Check out the video below for a closer look at what the generator does.