Version Reviewed: 0.9.9
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Creating an iOS app isn't just a matter of typing in code and seeing what happens. Well, it can be but it's not recommended. Instead, it's far wiser to create mock ups and design the general look of the app, checking it all works and makes sense. This is where AppCooker comes into its own. It's an app that allows users to work on app mock ups, their app's icon and even the marketing side of things, all within this one tool. It might appear expensive at first glance, but it should prove hugely helpful to designers.
AppCooker could have been intimidating to use but I found it didn't take too long to figure out. Creating a new project is quite simple with options dictating what format the app will be on (either iPhone or iPad), followed by an easy to use mockup creator. A series of wireframes and widgets make it possible to set up the basics, before linking each screen together to, hopefully, form a fully fledged app design. Being so visual and informative, it's simple to look through and work out if something is missing or whether everything works ergonomically.
Elsewhere, the app's icon can be designed from within AppCooker, offering plenty of functionality, such as being able to import photos from various sources. A notes and design section offers a place to enter ideas and inspirations, to ensure the user is constantly reminded of the focus of their app. Similarly, there are sections for entering a description and App Store category. An ideal place to check back on for enlightenment, as well as keeping all pertinent information in one place. A marketing section completes the options, with scenario analysis there to help developers work out their pricing models.
None of this would be overly useful without file management functionality, something that AppCooker offers in plentiful supply. It's possible to export to iTunes as well as DropBox and Box, to send over to colleagues or simply to backup. Most useful of all is AppCooker's integration with AppTaster, a free companion app that makes it possible to test out mock ups, as well as share them for feedback purposes.
It's tough to fault AppCooker, seemingly offering everything a designer could hope for. It should serve creators well, and help them create their own apps in an attractive and ergonomic fashion.