What I learned this week:
It's way easier to build an app than you think. Using a few no-code tools online, I was able to whip up a small prototype in under 5 minutes.
The tool I used is called Glide (glideapps.com) and it pulls data from a google sheet to fill a few different templates. All I wanted to make was a simple app that lists all my previous live streams in one place, and I already had the past episodes listed on a google sheet, so I changed the formatting a little, plugged it in, and it worked.
You can add chat functionality and more to the app, but as a simple database app it worked like magic. Plus, it's free to use and experiment with.
There is one catch though, you can't then submit that app to the app store. The app functions like a basic website when you pull it up in a browser, but Glide will immediately prompt the user to add the app to your home screen. If the user does that, it functions just like you downloaded it off the app store. It's no longer in a browser, and you can even get notifications from it.
That's great because it's a free way for your potential users to download your app. But that's also bad because it's atypical. It's not the normal way you download apps, so there may be a lack of professionalism there.
Beyond that, just imagine the possibilities? You could host parties and make an app just for that one party if you wanted to create a certain vibe. It could list attendees, and information about them so everyone can network easier. You could create a scavenger hunt using different password limitations within an app. All of these are simple ideas, yes, but you don't need to be wildly unique to make something valuable.
Now, of course, there are ways to build apps with significantly more customization in design, functionality, and be able to actually publish them to the app store.
A few tools you should look at are Adalo (adalo.com) and Bubble (Bubble.io) - Adalo seems more design oriented and has almost all the functionality you need, but Bubble takes it a step further, and allows for an insane amount of integrations and action calls from different tools.
But, the point is, for 99% of your app ideas, you can build them very quickly without coding a single thing. You'll have to take the time to learn a few tools, but you won't have to worry about development or design.
Adalo, for instance, is capable of creating and hosting a two-sided platform like UpWork, including payment, etc. Anything that's been built in some way before is likely going to be super easy to build on a no-code tool. There's a lot of power in that.
If this was helpful at all, a retweet would be awesome - it really helps me, but no pressure of course!