Apple filed a new patent application, “Content Configuration for Device Platforms,” for an app authoring tool for users with minimal programming knowledge. Based on the sketches published by AppleInsider, the tool relies heavily on a user-friendly graphical user interface, not unlike Google’s App Inventor released two years ago.
Do you think the Apple Store will become overcrowded with cheap apps with this new tool? Share your thoughts below.
These tools remove the entry barrier for people who are interested in creating their own mobile app, but have not learned to code. Simple apps, that is.
Apple compares it to a Web page development tool like Dreamweaver, since it enables users to create Web pages without understanding the underlying code. However, these capabilities are often limited, especially when creating a complex Web page that requires extensive customization.
Apple’s App Store today is very similar to the Web in the early days, when users were mostly bystanders scouring the web to see what it has to offer, while contributing almost nothing in return. Self-publishing platforms such as website builders, blogs and, more recently, social networks, allow users to pour much more content to the Web.
Similarly, the Apple App Store today is populated by apps written by developers. Most users have no idea how these apps are created, and they probably aren’t aware they can create an app.
A side-effect of the Web’s openness is the ever-increasing amount of spam and low-quality content. Will the Apple App Store suffer the same fate if every person can create their own apps? Yes, but only when everyone is ready to be $99 poorer. That’s the fee to register as an Apple Developer.