The mobile app industry is hotter than ever, generating sales into the billions annually and growing at an increasing rate. However, development can often be intimidating, especially for inexperienced programmers. That’s not to say that novice programmers can’t break into this market, however; there are numerous tools that exist to help developers create their apps and deploy them across different mobile platforms.
Originally created by Google, App Inventor is a simple programming platform that is now run by MIT. It allows developers to create apps for Android by dragging UI elements into place, greatly simplifying the app development process and making it an excellent first step in learning how to create apps.
One major hurdle for Android developers who want to develop for iOS can be writing their code in Objective-C rather than Java. J2ObjC, a tool from Google, converts an existing application’s Java classes into Objective-C, simplifying the transition significantly. This allows most, if not all, of the application’s non-GUI code to be converted, greatly reducing the amount of work necessary to develop the application.
While none of these applications will completely write a mobile app for you, they certainly take the work out of different parts of the application development process. Especially for beginning coders, tools like these are invaluable in getting your project idea started.