Today UK startup Application Craft is launching to the public to give app developers one platform to build and deploy web, native and desktop apps. The company’s cloud-based app development platform aims to “kill the complexity” by helping anyone create a cross-platform app, and it’s officially launching today with $1 million in angel funding.
Application Craft offers developers a browser-based integrated development environment (IDE) where they can build, test, and debug their apps. Developers can build their front-end screens using a drag-and-drop user interface designer, write front-end and server-side code, and add functionality using the widgets toolbar, which features open sourced widgets that allows users to add everything from geo-targeting to social media sharing. “You sign up, you can immediately startup developing…and Application Craft is also the default deployment platform,” May said.
Developers can also monetize their consumer apps by connecting their ad provider with an Application Craft widget. “You’ve got a code-free way of monetizing your consumer apps,” May said about the advertising functionality. Today’s launch includes additional features like multi-language support and several new widgets, including a document signing tool. The company also works with clients to develop custom apps and widgets.
There is a free version with all basic functionality, and pro accounts are $45 per month per developer, with enterprise plans available as well. The pro version is targeted at experienced developers, and gives users enterprise data integration, app migration, advanced widgets, and support for Google Analytics. The pro plan allows developers to keep ad revenue made within the apps (any revenue made from advertising using a free account is kept by Application Craft). The free account lets developers create up to 10 apps, and pro versions offer unlimited apps.
May said he will be using the recent round of funding for hiring and marketing, and said thousands of apps have been created on the platform since it launched in beta in 2011. While there are DIY app platforms like Appmakr and app creation platforms for experienced developers like Appcelerator, May believes his company is taking a unique approach to mobile apps. ”We have competition in all those different areas, and they’re competing for the way an app is built,” he said. “We don’t have anyone who’s doing the Visual Basic approach.”