Fábrica de Aplicativos helps users or "Appers" easily create simple mobile phone applications. Based in Brazil, Fábrica launched in October 2011 with foundation, business and government investment and support.. Fábrica’s website defaults to Portuguese, but translates to English and Spanish. While not exclusively intended for education, Fábrica sees its platform as a way to better use mobile technology in the classroom. Through its school plans, it intends to enable teachers and students to develop simple apps that benefit their schools and classrooms, or simply take the first step toward learning software design.
After authenticating through Facebook or registering an email address, users can immediately begin working on an app. First, they select from a limited number of colors and design styles and customize their app with their own background images and logos. Then they choose from a number of pre-selected tabs (e.g. Flickr, Facebook, RSS, Twitter and YouTube feeds), which display as menu items in the app. Finally, once all desired tabs have been added to the application, the user publishes the app to the Fábrica application store for immediate download to iPhone, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Android and Java. Once published, Fábrica users can share their apps in Fábrica’s App Gallery, which provides a custom QR code and enables sharing through Twitter, Facebook and Google+. A premium subscription removes running ads and allows users to access additional tabs.
Fábrica suggests that through app creation, users will make their classes more modern and relevant by bringing technology into the classroom. Teachers have created communications applications for their classes to coordinate messaging and collaboration. Other Portuguese education-related apps provide support for school course selection, physical activity tracking for PE classes, and so on. Alternatively, Fábrica recommends that users have their students create their own applications to experience the excitement of design.
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