Since the release of smartphones, a new generation of developers, designers and software producers have emerged. More and more people are interested in creating their own apps and software, but the difficulty of learning coding often holds many back. AppCraft is an app from Korean startup BeyondApp which allows users to create their own apps via an easy to use interface.
BeyondApp was founded in September 2009, though the team had been preparing a prototype of their product one year previous to this. With a mission statement that says “Democratize Creativity!”, the company wants to help users to release their creative skills via its platform. BeyondApp released its app developing software on the App Store in May 2011 after a completing a closed beta. The CEO of the company JaeKwon Jin, talked about why his company began working on such an app.
“We have developed mobile device software for a long time. We see the app market as one that usually has a lot of major changes. It is hard for young ones to enjoy such a difficult market when the preparation time takes a few years. Also, the App Store has opened up a new path, but there are many out there with great content and creativity who cannot get over the ‘wall’ of developing.”
Despite being a Korean company, BeyondApp has targeted global users from the beginning and this is why the app was originally produced in English. Through the support of the Korea Creative Content Agency, the BeyondApp team were able to travel to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for training in game development for six weeks.
“While there we admired the developers and also felt jealous. We knew that we also had the skills required, and that’s when we hoped that one day we could develop software that people around the world would use and admire. That was how AppCraft got started.”
The program allows users to choose images, or actors that can be controlled, manipulated and animated in various ways. While some might doubt the control that such software gives over creating an app, there is a surprising abundance of features. Users can choose from a range of complex details and options to control how the app works and how objects interact with one another.
“For AppCraft, we took the good points and necessary items from experience with various tools and have interpreted them in our own way. We conducted research using all different kinds of tools including presentation tools, kids computer education software, electronic simulation software and even semi-conductor IP design development tools. Through that, we were able to incorporate the needed animation features for good presentation in AppCraft and more easily learn programming for a game physics engine and an effective sound engine.”
AppCraft also offers tutorials and sample apps to help its users learn how they can make apps more easily. Apps within AppCraft itself are called “liquid apps” and can be used and edited within the program at any time. For a feem, apps can also be ‘solidified’ into files which can be uploaded onto Apple’s App Store. Once the user receives the “solid app”, they can sell it using their own individual accounts. Jin says that through this, the company has opened up a window for new content on the App Store.
“We would like users to make all different types of apps with our software. We would like to see apps that can be easily made through AppCraft, such as students creating projects about insects or plants in their area, or for travelers to show, pictures, sound and video from their adventures overseas. It would be great to see apps like these appearing on the App Store.”