Like how there are all sorts of companies offering tools to let you build your own web site today, a new wave of them is doing the same thing for mobile apps. Appafolio stands out among the various options because it lets you create a polished native presentation for iOS without having to do any coding.
Instead, you either download the Appafolio app (here) or use its web site to select the text, icon and images you’d like to feature. The interface reminds me of setting up a Powerpoint presentation (in a good way), in that you can create pages within your app for specific types of media that you want to showcase, including slideshows and videos.
Once you’ve created the product, you can direct anyone to view it who has the Appafolio app installed by sending them a shortlink or a pass phrase. The download-and-pass-phrase process creates some friction — or at least it seemed that way to me when I tested it. But, using the Appafolio native app as a portal for presentations also means that the slideshows and videos can be cached and played later even if the user is offline. If you’re an artist trying to show off your latest painting, Appafolio will let veiwers pinch and zoom to see your work close up.
The overall goal, cofounder Brent Brookler tells me, is to cover the main use cases for creative professionals and small businesses — people who need a quick presentation or brochure to show off what they do, that they can easily share in a way that looks great on a mobile device.
The company behind the app, called Treemo Labs, has the right experience for what it’s trying to do, having spent the last several years making professional mobile apps for a variety of television shows, musicians and news organizations, including 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, Big Brother, CBS News, CNET, Nirvana Nevermind (a video app), Rick Steves, Survivor, and Smiley Central.
Appafolio currently provides a range of options for customizing the interface, including page templates, sample logos, coloring alterations, and other visual tweaks — and everything is free. Brookler says the plan is to introduce additional, premium features in the future. You can take a tour for more details here.