Thunkable

A drag-and-drop tool for anyone to build native mobile apps

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#3 Product of the DayMarch 06, 2016

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Arun SaigalMaker@aksaigal
Hi all, We made Thunkable to help anyone to build native mobile apps. We've been working on this tool at MIT and Google for the past few years as an open source project called MIT App Inventor, and we decided to make a product (Thunkable) around it to better support our users. We’re in the current YC W2016 batch. There are two parts to the tool: Designer: Allows you to create an app UI by adding different UI components to your screen, such as buttons, TextBoxes, GoogleMaps, etc. It also allows you to add non-visible components to your apps, such as SMS receivers or NFC sensors. Blocks: Thunkable has a blocks-based programming language that makes it easy for novice programmers to use, but is sophisticated enough for seasoned developers to use (you can make functions, variables, callbacks, etc.). We’d love to hear your feedback, and answer any questions you may have. Thanks, Arun
Duane Wilson✌️@helloduane · I like Designing & Building Products
Fairly sure this was the project that Google started to build simple Android apps that was taken over by MIT. There is a long history of people doing this, Nokia used a UK company to build web hybrid apps in their app store as well. They all work meh. Could be fun for designers to test things but in general it's better to just start from a solid codebase.... now, given it's MIT and they have been working on it for years I have higher hopes for this project but the proof is in the apps launched and KPI's - performance, time to market, ability to support the codebase as you grow, etc.
Neil Sandhu@neilsandhu · Founder, Coinvet
@duanewilsonsf like you, I'm always skeptical of these drag-and-drop app and website builder tools. But given the pedigree (MIT and YC) I'm hopeful this could be different.
Chris Pattison@chris_p86 · Interaction Designer
@helloduane yeah it's a strange tool. It's still too technical for some designers and it's overly visual for many devs. I can see there being more appetite for these things going forward and it could evolve into something pretty amazing. Musicians and architects used to code every line when creating digital work but now it's all done visually with point and click interfaces and it's arguably a natural evolution - particularly the front-end work (sites like webflow obviously heading this way too).
cruzheres@cruzheres
It seems an interesting tool, I will test
Hugh Durkin@hughbeme · Hugh Durkin
So awesome. "Drag and drop programming" - would love to see this for web apps too.
LevonPro@levon377 · Founder, Zeroqode & Bubblewits
@hughbeme it already exists, check out http://bubble.kz
Mariana Salcido@mariana_salcido · Philosopher and social researcher
@levon377 you can't take your code out of bubble though. I agree it's a business, but for a programmer the benefit gets reduced.
carlos garcia@androidlove · Co-Founder, Internet Missionaries
Basically App Inventor but with new features! App Store publish, templates and a future iPhone version. Wow nice job!