A tiny (two people) New Zealand firm has created a Mac application that allows almost anybody to build iOS apps.

Rosebrae Technology has created yLIP, a Mac desktop application builder software offers non technical users the tools needed to publish their content for mobile. It uses a drag-and-drop interface so you can easily create and publish amazing applications on tablets and phones.

In a yLIP project, you have scenes, each of which corresponds to a different screen in the finished app. Whichever elements you add to a scene (images, movies) are transformed into layers in that scene. These layers can then be moved around, scaled or connected up to user actions and other layers.

Applications can have multiple scenes - in fact, an entire app can be created from a PDF file in seconds. Sounds can be played on demand and it contains an app simulator for testing builds, or publish the app to a test device.


From yLIP, you can publish to the App store or within an enterprise.

Andy Griffiths coded the whole thing in Papakura, where he works in partnership with his wife at Rosebrae. I asked how difficult it was to code a Mac app.

Andrew: "That was my first Mac app, but I knew Obj C after coding for iOS and some of the stuff is the same. Still a steepish learning curve I'd say, just not as steep as it could have been."

yLIP is currently available on a subscription basis only, which includes publishing your app to a test device, to the App Store or to your enterprise users.

An introductory beta price is US$200 per month - for more information and pricing, please visit Rosebrae's yLIP site.

In the past, Rosebrae has built the apps Multi TimeZone Clock, iRateEm, Alphabet Animals and Magnetic Letters (like fridge-magnet letters).

Government app

While our government whittles its social programs to the bone, it's spending money on apps. I have noticed this bizarre trend on TV ads where they start showing some video, and then move the content to an iPad or iPhone screen as if it's playing on that. It seems crass to me, that even the furniture ad with Crazy Stary Lady thinks showing pictures of items displayed on an iPad screen is going to make its business seem more sophisticated somehow. And if it works, that's even stranger. I mean, they're not advertising an app for the business, they're just using an iPad as a display. Weird.


Anyhow, perhaps in the same vein, our august Government has launched a new smartphone and tablet application built especially for the release of the Budget. The new app allowed users to look at documents from the Budget, read ministers' public press statements and watch video coverage of the Budget's release.

The app was designed and built in four weeks by Wellington developer PaperKite. Finance Minister Bill English says the app, called NZ Budget, was funded through savings made in the printing process. R-i-g-h-t. I'd like to see the figures, myself.

English reckons the app is an example of the Government keeping up with the times. "It's also in line with the Prime Minister's expectation that New Zealanders will interact increasingly with the Government in a digital environment." I guess that presupposes that anyone this budget effects, or who has a genuine interest, also has a smartphone. What do you think?

Well, I guess anything that makes the government look good in these difficult times is deemed worthy of throwing money at. I think it should have Crazy Stary Lady shouting out the salient points.

Countdown app

I shouldn't find this funny, but just a couple of years ago, Apple got the pip (hardi-hah) with Woolworths in Australia for getting a new logo that looked like Apple's. According to Apple, anyway. I mean, it's spherical with a stalk, but other than that, it definitely looks more vegetable than fruit. It's curly, and green. But the reason I think it's funny now is that Countdown - a Woolworths supermarket brand - has just launched its first app, resplendent with that aforementioned one-time-problematic logo.

The app is free, and does what you'd probably expect - lets you order stuff that you pay for (of course) so that it can conveniently be delivered to your door. It also supports your OneCard for discounts and lets you scan in the barcode for products you're getting low on to add them to the list, which is a good idea.And as some of the commenters on iTunes have pointed out, you can use that barcode scanner while in rival supermarkets to scan barcodes and see how the prices compare.
Queue a future ban on smartphone use in supermarkets? There are already restrictions on photography.

(There's also the 'Big W' app, for Woolworths' stores. Hmm, kinda looks like the W in Woz ...)