I’m very app-y
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 | Author:

Sorry for the rubbish title, but it made me smile.It’s obviously been a long day.

Today I made my first ever app for a phone. It took me about 45minutes and I’m fairly happy with the result. It all started yesterday when Simon (@xannov) said he had made an Android app and wanted a tester. I remember he had made an app before for iphone and I was interested then but just couldn’t get it to work so I gave up. This time, he pointed me towards a different website and it was much easier. That website is www.appmakr.com (no ‘e’)

The key thing is RSS feeds. Without them, you’re stuck (or that’s what I found anyway)

My app was going to have my school’s twitter feed (the RSS link found on www.twitter.com/stjohnswaltham), links to our blogs (all setup through wordpress) and news from our Joomla-based website. This final part was the hardest.It’s quite tricky to get certain elements of Joomla to feed into an RSS feed. I wanted the galleries to feed out, but they’d have to be done separately rather than all pictures etc, so I left those in the end.

So you start by uploading a logo for your app and a background/splash screen. This was done in seconds. Then you click RSS and copy and paste the feed into your app. It validates it and tells you if there’s a problem.Once you have all of your feeds on there, you can choose a colour for your header and some other options (remove ads) and you’re done. Click publish and wait 10-15minutes.

Now, it isn’t very whizzy and it doesn’t allow readers to comment on the blog posts, but if they get read by parents then it has to be a good thing. Pictures come up nicely and if they want to, they can click the link and visit the blog post to leave a comment.

Do you want to check out my app? Visit the Android market(search for st john’s angel).

Feedback is welcome of course.

PS – It is also possible to use the site to make an iphone app, but that is a bit more complicated, needs an App developr account and needs to go through Apple first. I will add that to my to-do list for later…

Edit 01-04-11 – The iphone app is launched today, find it in the itunes store. For more info, visit this information page on our school website

Edit 26/03/11 Our Android app is now in the Android market. Just search for St John’s Angel. This was published by Angel Applications and we had some support from the excellent @therenegade78. The iphone app is currently under review. For more info, visit http://www.angeleducation.co.uk/appshop/index.php/