|Click Here to Download The app from iTunes|
Here's a bit more about the app, and about the tool I used to make the app. I'd love your feedback via email or in comments below on what else you'd like to see in the app.
The Hacker News app uses Push Notifications from Urban Airship, which is integrated through AppMakr. So the author of the app can send out a notification to everyone who's downloaded the app. PG, if you read this, the push notifications are all yours to use; I don't plan on sending too many out unless it's something really significant.
AppMakr uses RSS feeds to populate the app with content. The difficulty with Hacker News is that the site links to external stories. Luckily, I found a killer feed from Readable Feeds by Andrew Trusty, which is based off a script from Nirmal Patel. This is really just an awesome example of one technology building on top of another. Andrew, Nirmal - the HN iPhone app is counting on your stuff, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't have any downtime! :)
We just added GeoRSS feeds within AppMakr, and I put it to good use within the Hacker News app. I used MetaCarta's RSS GeoTagger to turn any locations mentioned in a Hacker News story into a pin on the iPhone app. So, building on Andrew & Nirmal's RSS goodness, MetaCarta extracts any locations, turns them into a lat & long point, and then AppMakr drops a pin wherever in the world the story is taking place.
AppMakr also recently added in media RSS functionality, which displays as a picture gallery. I used a Flickr tag to create the media RSS feed. Pretty sweet, the tags I used were "Paul Graham" and also "Y Combinator" in two separate galleries.
There's a great Hackers & Founders Meetup, which offers an RSS feed. I threw it into AppMakr for Meetup functionality.
Twitter also offers both RSS feeds for specific accounts, as well as for search results, both of which I put into the app.
I also included a "wildcard" section, where I'll rotate in any feeds that the HN community would like to see in there. If you have a feed you'd like to suggest, please email it to me (make sure to send me the RSS feed, not the website URL).
I'm one of the co-founders of PointAbout, the company that created AppMakr. Here's a bit more about AppMakr:
We launched AppMakr in January 2010. Since then, it's been used to build over 8,900 iPhone apps. We recently launched the App Quality Index algorithm, which lets us predict whether an app will be accepted or rejected by Apple with 90% accuracy. We also recently made it so youdon't need to own a Mac to create an iPhone app - by using AppMakr, the process is completely web based, yet the app is fully native, works offline and all that good stuff.
AppMakr has been used by the likes of Newsweek, National Geographic,The PGA Tour, The Havard Business Review, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, US Congress, Maclife, Inc 500, along with smaller publications like RacerX , WTOP and literally thousands of others to make apps. There's even an Australian Fire Brigade that built an app with AppMakr called CF Alerts to warn its populace of impending fires.
Our traffic & traction has been pretty astounding to us. Here's a graph since we launched in January showing both session & user base growth: (yes the actual #'s are removed; if you're an interested Angel investor or VC please contact me directly!)
AppMakr User Base Growth (end users, using the app):
AppMakr Session Growth (although it tracks user base growth closely, it's an independent number). A "session" counts as the app being opened by a user.
We often get a lot of people asking us if apps (and mobile in general) is a real true growth area, or if it's just a fad. I like to answer that question with these two slides:
Here are more screenshots from the app:
As many of you know, PointAbout launched AppMakr this past week.
And it has been the craziest launch I have ever participated in.
I don't have a lot of time to write now, since we're still working until 4am to handle the rush. I'll write some updated blog posts later dissecting the launch and what we as a team have learned from it.
But suffice it to say that the amazing launch press we've gotten sums it up, including TechCrunch, Mashable, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Robert Scoble, Geoff Livingston, and many others. Complete press list below.
These are the points I'll be delving into in more detail later:
As many of you know, PointAbout launched AppMakr this past week. And it has been the craziest launch I have ever participated in. I don't have a lot of time to write now, since we're still working until 4am to handle the rush. I'll write some updated blog posts later dissecting the launch and what we as a team have learned from it. But suffice it to say that the amazing launch press we've gotten sums it up, including TechCrunch, Mashable, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Robert Scoble, Geoff Livingston, and many others. Complete press list below. These are the points I'll be delving into in more detail later: Outsourcing finally pays off for small businesses, including the following ones, which saved us: - posterous - cotweet - zendesk More on the value of Twitter: - cotweet - speed of support Lessons on going with your gut How to be fast & efficient in your work, including: - taking screenshots - keyboard shortcuts - cinch - textexpander - quicksilver Press Mentions: TechCrunch: http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/01/06/appmakr-make-your-own-iphone-apps-for-just-two-bills/ Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/01/04/appmakr/ MobileCrunch: http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2010/01/03/appmakr-transforms-app-store-landscape-enables-anyone-to-make-their-own-iphone-app/ Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/01/now-available-on-an-iphone-app.html Robert Scoble: http://scobleizer.com/2010/01/04/part-i-hot-startups-to-watch-in-2010-2/ Guy Kawasaki: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2010/01/how-to-make-an-iphone-app.html#axzz0bfyLOMYD Geoff Livingston: http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/2010/01/04/appmakr-makes-iphone-apps-accessible/ TechMeme: http://www.techmeme.com/100104/p72#a100104p72 (2/3 down the page) MediaPost: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=119935&nid=109352 KillerStartups.com: http://www.killerstartups.com/Mobile/appmakr-com-create-mobile-apps-without-being-a-pro AppModo: http://appmodo.com/9308/make-your-own-iphone-app-with-appmakr/ TECH Cocktail: http://techcocktail.com/home/2010/01/06/appmakr-launches-easy-mobile-app-creator/ The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/06/AR2010010603681.html Mobile Marketing Watch: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/appmakr-aims-to-make-everyone-an-app-maker-4861/ BizReport: http://www.bizreport.com/2010/01/apps_for_everyone_with_pointabouts_appmakr.html Geek.com: http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/make-your-own-iphone-app-for-199-2010015/ iFun.de (German): http://www.iphone-ticker.de/2010/01/05/appmakr-verspricht-schnelle-iphone-apps-fur-jedermann/#more-9205 One last thought is the phase we're entering now, which was referred to by Paul Graham as the "Trough of Sorrow". A business has a large initial spike in traffic, then it takes awhile to really work the kinks out and get traction. Here's a screenshot of the graph he drew on a whiteboard, and our traffic below:
Forget what you think you know about Windows RT, the media have been on a witch hunt and in the process misled the consumer about this Operating System and the hardware which runs it.While you can read more on why i think thiselsewhere on this blog. this post is about Windows RT Apps and what works.
While it may not have all the abilities of its sibling to install apps on the Desktop, this is still a Windows machine with the ability to connect to mapped drives and mount lots of external media. While you could do all this management from the desktop explorer RT is about the apps. What this app offers above many of the others is its simple layout which makes dragging and dropping files between mapped folders easier.
It's worth noting if you do want to see a nas drive as a mapped drive for example, you'll need to do the actual drive mapping (for now) in the Desktop explore app. However once done you can create links within this app to any sub folder.