Please join us for our free monthly meetup on how to create apps for people who don't know how to code. Each month, local developers with various skill levels meet to share ideas, tools, and basic code to enhance their projects and apps. This is a great place for people who are thinking about creating their first app. You'll meet local people who are just like you with different skill sets and who want to be a part of the growing app development revolution.

Dr. Evan Fram, M.D. is our guest speaker this month and we're lucky to have him. He is on a year long sabbatical from his medical practice. He's a newbie Corona user and is very impressed with it. He's a brilliant man and he's definitely someone you'll want to meet. He's developing a 3-D game in Corona and developed the code himself since Corona doesn't have a 3-D engine as of yet. Here's someone who wants to fully engage himself into something new and exciting.

He has been working with Corona and loves it, saying "It's much more efficient than developing in javascript."

In the process of setting up the development environment he found some things that other people new to Corona might also find useful. He's hoping that his discussion will generate discussion from the more experienced Corona developers and I would certainly learn from that.

In addition to his demos, he'll also talk briefly on

  • Cider – a good Corona editor. available for windows and Mac. It has code hinting, integrated lua documentation, and an integrated terminal output window. It is very efficient to run side-by-side with the simulator on Mac and presumably on windows as well. One of the other members of the group indicated that he uses its debugging features and I would be very interested in learning about his experience with the product.  http://www.mydevelopersgames.com/CIDER/
  • Phonegap . A bit off topic but might be useful for people to know about it.
  • TestFlight – a free service that allows you to distribute beta versions of iOS apps to beta testers via the web. It expects IPA files and I ran across a way of using it with the app files generated by Corona. https://testflightapp.co
In addition to Evan's presentation, we'll have an open discussion on other Corona topics.

I encourage everyone who is thinking about mobile application development to attend. This looks like it will be very informative!

Please click here to register for the event.


Nick Nebelsky is the CEO of Intense Media, LLC, an interactive app development company based in Gilbert, AZ. He has over 30 years of marketing experience in the media industry. He is also an Ambassador for Corona Labs of Palo Alto, CA and co-host of Corona SDK Phoenix Meetup. www.intensemedia.com


 
 
Okay, now that you've got some of the logistics out of the way, I have to throw some more at you.
This blog is for anyone who doesn't have the foggiest where to start, is an author or designer and pretty much anyone who wants to or has always wanted to create their own app. In essence become a software studio. That's what I did, and I'll show you how too!

I have little to no background in coding aside from HTML 3.0. But if I see something that is popular and alows me the flexibility to publish something that I've created, I'm going to do my best to figure out how to do it.

Today it's easier than ever to create your own app without the need of a programmer. But that wan't the case in 2009 and 2010 when building apps was in its infancy stage. Since I'm not a programmer, I found one on Craig's list in my area and hired him. He did a great job coding my first app, MyBasketballStats which is available on the app store. I believe it took between 3-6 months to complete. For my second app, I wanted to have more creative control, decrease the production schedule, and save money. I thought about going the route of someone else publishing it for me and their are lots of companies out there that do that, but their terms didn't seem that attractive to me. I wanted complete ownership without paying any royalties to anyone, aside from Apple of course. (By the way, Apple takes 30% off the top. More on that later).

Back in June of this year (2011), my old college roommate asked me how to start making apps. I told him about the Apple Developer program he had to buy ($99), and that he had to own a Mac ($999 -$2,000), and that he needed to learn Objective-C. Although he was a programmer, he didn't know Objective-C and asked me if I had ever heard of Corona. I checked it out and after reading what they were about, my jaw dropped. Yes I reached Nirvana that day. Thanks Mike!

Corona is from a small but quickly growing company called Ansca Mobile in Palo Alto, CA. Started by two ex-Adobe engineers who worked on Flash-lite. They started their company just this year and have a huge following. More on them later. Corona is much like X-Code, but it uses .lua instead of Objective-C as a language to write code. Lua is very easy to learn and was made for newbies and professionals too. In fact, do you know that little app called Angry Birds was built using .lua.
With .lua, you can drastically cut your coding down to minutes in what would normally take weeks! I'll cover Corona more later. So here is the nitty gritty. Corona will help you make apps not only for the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, but also Android apps, the Nook, and other tablets in the market today. So your book/or app can be seen by twice as many people as you thought possible.

I also recommend using Kwik, which is a Photoshop extension. It's great for anyone who doesn't want to write a line of code and still produce their very own interactive book or comic book. Great tech support and new features added all the time. My first book and second app in my store was created using Kwik, Opening Rome!

If you want to do this, you can. And here's your shopping list.

Corona works on Windows too but you will need to have a Mac to compile it in X-Code before you upload it to Apple. Here's the list of items you'll need.

Apple Developer Membership  ($99)* Yearly
Apple Mac, ($699-$2,000)
Corona Subscription ($199 -$349)* Yearly
Kwik ($79)
Photoshop (check prices)
Word Processor (check prices)

Nick Nebelsky, is CEO and Creative Director at Intense Media, LLC. Intense Media focuses on products that entertain, enrich, and empower their customers. They create and publish their own line of books, ebooks, CDs, and software for the iPhone and iPad devices. You can reach them at nick@intensemedia.com or www.intensemedia.com.
 

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