There's a variety of building tools for websites, such as Squarespace and Weebly, but not a major platform for mobile apps. We wanted to take a similar approach with mobile apps and enable anyone to prototype a mobile app.
What it does
Protowell is a fast, easy to use and versatile visual mobile app prototyping tool that lets you create basic functional and extendable apps without the need to write code. Edit pre-made layouts with your own content and plug in API keys and endpoints to skip the need of writing code. Some of our layouts include menus (delivery.com), maps, and photo galleries (unsplash).
You can even test your prototype on your phone with the Expo app. Furthermore, once you're satisfied with the prototype, you can export the app and get a functional codebase that serves as a boilerplate for further development. We focus on the prototyping functionality of Protowell, because similar to Invision and Marvel, which allow users to preview app mockups, we achieve the same experience but also provide extendable code at the end of the process.
How we built it
The foundation of Protowell relies on the hot reloading functionality of React. This allows Protowell to reload JSX generated from our mongo database, ensuring simple flexibility and updating. There's no need to compile or debug, since most of the content is contained within pre-existing components.
What's next for Protowell
We'd love to continue fleshing out the layouts and usability of the exported codebase. Currently a very barebones export process.