Mar 13, 2013
Over the course of the last few years I have had a few bright ideas in the shower. I have started serious work on two separate Android apps using Google’s Eclipse programmer, and so far have just two skeleton programs to show for my efforts. I bring this up to show that I have experience in the difficulties of writing Android apps; I am an electrical engineering student, and by no means a programmer, but as someone who is regularly around different kinds of computer codes and such I am still very much in the dark when it comes to what is needed for Android. For those who are even less technologically proficient than me this learning curve has to be daunting, and is easily the number one road block to creating the next great app.
When working in Eclipse I often found myself yearning for a program that could just let me, in lay-man’s terms, build my project. No entering in confusing and precise jargon, just drag-and-drop images, and, in plain english, say what should happen when this button is tapped. Well, maybe my dream program has arrived; called jimu it is an ambitious effort to make a web app that does exactly what I have described above. Instead of coding by hand the user simply drags and drops different, customizable blocks to build their app. Created a new screen is as simple as dragging one into the editing field, and screens are connected by simply dragging an arrow from an action on one screen to its reaction on the other. The simple example is having a button that displays a photograph in its place when tapped. In jimu all the user has to do is place the button, drag another screen into the editing field, put the image into that new screen, and then connect the two with a line from the button. There are, of course, very detailed ways to edit each interaction and it is the goal of the developers behind jimu to allow anyone to have as much control with this graphical interface as they would hard-coding it by hand.
Unfortunately, jimu has gotten off to a slow start on KickStarter. Of all the projects I have reviewed on KickStarter this one has the potential to be the most influential because it could make app creation much more accessible than ever before. None of this will be possible without the donations of the internet community, so I urge everyone to check out jimu and help this great project gain some steam.