|Introduction to AppStudio
The Easiest way to Program Mobile Devices!
AppStudio 3 is the latest tool from NSB Corporation. It's a development environment which creates apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets. Somewhat Visual Studio like in appearance, it has a design screen where you layout your screens, integrated with a code editor. Once you have created your forms and code, it creates an app ready to test or deploy.
The AppStudio IDE runs on both Mac and Windows, with the appearance being virtually identical. Projects can be freely interchanged between the two platforms.
Installation of AppStudio is straightforward and includes everything needed to get started. The download is under 40 megs, about 97% smaller than XCode or Eclipse + the Android SDK.
The first time AppStudio is started, it goes directly into a HelloWorld program:
Testing can be done in the local browser, a device or a simulator. Since you need to install the iOS or Android toolchain to run their simulators, it's good to find that the local browser is actually a better choice: you'll be able to use the browser's debugger. You can use Chrome or Safari: both are close to their device counterparts.
To run the app on the device, enter the URL in the browser. You'll get this:
Write your app once and run it on any recent iOS or Android phone and tablet. Apps can also be built into websites or run standalone on the desktop.
HTML5 is an emerging group of standards, many of them vital to mobile devices. AppStudio makes full use of them. There's no need to learn about HTML5. AppStudio just uses it as appropriate.
AJAX is a technique for exchanging data between an app and servers. It can be used to interchange data with your own server, or to get data from others (such as Google, Yahoo, Twitter, PayPal, FaceBook etc.) AppStudio has an Ajax() function to make it easy.
PhoneGap is a technology which converts web apps (like AppStudio produces) into native apps. AppStudio is tightly integrated with PhoneGap. It's just as easy to use PhoneGap Build to make an native iOS .ipa or Android .apk file as it is to deploy to a server.
SQLite is a software library that implements a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine. SQLite is the most widely deployed SQL database engine in the world. It is built into mobile devices and is easy to use from AppStudio.
The download includes everything needed to get started. No additional SDKs, emulators or libraries need to be downloaded. All the components are full integrated on installation. An organized library of samples is included.
Documentation is in a Wiki: an offline version is included in the download. It includes an IDE Handbook, language reference, Technotes and Tutorials.
There is an active and helpful forum. The company offers both free and premium support.
A farmer in Ireland created an app for farmers to track their herds. Hundreds of farms are now using the app.
In Germany, a developer created an app which allows restaurant patrons to order from an iPad menu. The orders go directly to the kitchen to be fulfilled. It's now being implemented in other countries.
A program for weavers was developed in the US. It helps design and control the weaving process.
In Canada, a company which inspects gas stations built an app for their field inspectors. With maps, pictures and checklists, productivity is greatly improved.
In England, an independent developer created a complete personal/small business accounting system which runs on iOS and Android devices.
In the Philippines, a hobby programmer is creating card games which run on handheld devices.
In Australia, a guidebook app for a music festival was created.
A company with a commercial app for photographers written in Visual Basic converted to iOS without doing a rewrite.
A corporation in Germany is using an app they developed to query information on their SAP backoffice systems on handhelds.
A doctor in Malaysia developed an app to do basic BMI and general health calculations, as well as an app to rapidly look up diseases based on symptoms. Another doctor in France developed an app to monitor food intake for diabetics.
A photographer in Brazil developed an app to compute the ideal time to take pictures and capture "golden hour".