App building using a plug and play system

Thread Starter

Doccarson

Joined Sep 2, 2017
31
One does this even exist and if so, how in depth can you make an app using one of these systems. Because as much as I'd like to build one completely from scratch, I only have the most basic of programming knowledge in C++ and that was only the most basic of programs where were all text based. And I might mention about 5 or so years ago and I haven't touched it since. And keep in mind that I'd like to make something for both Android and IOS, kinda excluding windows since I think the number of people who use that platform are so rare it wouldn't be worth it. What I'm looking to make isn't all that complicated, maybe some outside data support from places like National Weather Service or something similar.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,063
In the interest of keeping things simple you may want to read How to Write a 'Hello World!' App for Android as a primer. Get familiar with SDK (Software Developer's Kit) applications in general. I believe that every programming language out there has a "Hello World" starter program. The idea is to start simple using simple, and free, available tools. Study code samples to get an idea of how things work. I am not a programmer type, I have written some basic stuff for data acquisition and web applications but if I had to have relied on my programming skills to eat I would have starved to death years ago. :)

Ron
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
I would not assume you can do hardly anything you want to by relying on existing "plug and play" code. I borrow code all the time in my app project (for iOS), but it's very rare that I can use it without substantial customization. To do that customization, you have to: 1) understand what the other person's code does, 2) what you want/need it to do, and 3) how to make those changes. In other words you need to be fluent in the language and know how to use the tools. Having someone else go before you to plow through the syntax and logic and make a working demo is hugely valuable, don't get me wrong, but it gives you a starting point, not an end point.

One notable exception is commercial packages to build into your own project to provide a certain capability. For example, I use one called SwiftyBeaver. It's designed to provide logging (eg. debugging information) for your app in the field. In development you can print to your local console but that doesn't work in the field. The Swiftybeaver package enables remote logging and can even put the log data onto a server so you can see what users are experiencing with your app in real time. This whole package just works beautifully with zero changes by me. I'd have to pay for a subscription if I wanted to use the fancier features it offers. I'm sure there are other examples. In general, the slicker the code, the more it will cost to use it.
 

Thread Starter

Doccarson

Joined Sep 2, 2017
31
Excellent information, the "Hello World" bit brings me back to the first thing I ran in C++. I'm going to do a little reading from the APP article you all sent and also write down a paper version of the program and what phone systems they might have to access to accomplish their goal. And so I'm 100 percent honest about my intent, I'm trying to develop an APP to patent and sell, so if I'm vague in the future I hope you guys don't take offense. I'll get back with more questions after I've read the article. And thanks for the help thus far.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
You generally can’t patent software although you can get a copyright. Since you are planning to use some plug and play code, be sure to keep track of what is borrowed and what is uniquely your own work.

Also, there is an IDE that allows coding for both Android and iOS at the same time. I forgot the name but it is out there. For just iOS, Apple’s Xcode is free and is fairly easy to get started in, to make your “Hello World” app.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,015
If you want to write the same thing to run on multiple platforms, check out something like Xamarin, now included in Microsoft Visual Studio. Write your code once, then select the platform to compile for (Android, IOS, etc..). It's not perfect, and there are occasions when you need to write code specific for the target platform, and Xamarin allows for this. But there will be a learning curve, and at times you will have to learn both the Xamarin part and the target OS part at the same time. And if you're newish to coding then you'll also be learning the language. So practice yoga at the same time, that might help you keep your sanity. ;)
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
Ill look into it, but you can't patent anything regarding an app, like a feature or something?
It's difficult but possible to patent novel and useful functions accomplished by software. In that case you are patenting the technique, not the software per se. For instance if you devised a new way to compress photographs, you could patent the technique and separately copyright the software you developed to accomplish the compression. Your patent would prevent someone else from using the technique even if they wrote their own software. But again, it's difficult to find something that's both novel and useful.
 
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