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PencilCase – HyperCard Reimagined, Allows Non-Developers to Create iOS Apps

PencilCase – HyperCard Reimagined, Allows Non-Developers to Create iOS Apps

Robots & Pencil, a company that usually makes their daily bread developing mobile apps for others, is preparing to launch a new development platform on the Mac that they say reimagines Apple’s Hypercard platform of yesteryear, and allows non-developers to create and publish native apps for the iOS mobile platform.


Dubbed ‘PencilCase,’ users can create native apps with a drag and drop interface for adding UI elements, 3D models, programmed animations, and physics with no code required. There’s also a full built-in Javascript engine for those that might want to add some code.

Robots & Pencils CEO Michael Sikorsky says PencilCase is different from other build-your-own app platforms:

“One of the best ways to understand it from a technology standpoint, is that we’re emitting an a classic obj-c Xcode project.  You can imagine why this was important to us, first: native, obj-c apps provide the best user experience and secondly, no tool will ever let you be able to do *everything* hence we can advance apps, by hand later on, cause it is all just a normal Xcode obj-c project.”

PencilCase creates 100% native apps, written in Objective-C. However, it does offer a function to wrap an HTML5 app as a native app.

The platform will also offer an “AppDrop” feature the will allow enterprise customers to set up their own private “App Store” to distribute apps. That feature will require a $299 per year Apple Enterprise license.

PencilCase will be released later this year, but can be preordered now starting at a one-time fee of $119. Other plans are available for professional and corporate users.

  1. John Beltrami says:

    Sounds like another way for non-iOS developers to get their feet wet in the Apple App pool without much risk. I look forward to taking a peek.

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