Those who have given into the marketing hype of the iPhone may well have found that, despite having thousands of apps available in the App Store, the one you really want doesn’t exist. Creating your own app will provide the functionality you need, and companies who do so stand to gain real kudos. We'll also show BlackBerry and Google Android users how to customise their handsets.
Customise an Android handset
Not everyone wants to create an app exclusively for the iPhone. One alternative to the AppMakr option we’ve looked at in our first walkthrough is iSites, which offers Android addicts another easy-peasy method of creating mobile apps based on your blog or website’s RSS feeds.
As with AppMakr, you’re given basic templates to edit and customise, along with warnings of incomplete feed entries or invalid strings (typically because they don’t conform to the W3C web standards that Apple and others mandate).
Sign up to the service, add feeds and specify Android as your preferred platform. As before, there’s a payment involved in getting your app from your handset or desktop to public availability. iSites can also custom-make apps on your behalf.
One of the most compelling Android apps is OpenHome. This makes use of widgets to allow handset owners to customise their Android phone as they please, adding 3D effects or skins for media players.
Other possibilities here include ‘live wallpaper’ for phones such as the oversized Google Nexus One.
If you like the paste-in-a-feed approach used to create apps in either iSites or AppMakr, the Google Listen music feed app will also appeal (see listen.googlelabs.com). The app works by queuing tracks and podcasts for you based on your feed subscriptions. News can also be queued using the service.