Jul 22nd, 2015

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Google is always looking for ways to improve the app development experience for developers, and their latest move continues that trend. Google has officially acquired Pixate, a kit of software that lets developers prototype new mobile apps. Oh, and they’ve already executed their first bit of business: it’s now free for all to use.

To be clear, Pixate doesn’t let you build a full app for deployment on an Android phone, but it’ll give you an “easel,” of sorts, to help you visualize your app ahead of its actual development. You build out your UI, and you can run through it as you would an actual app on an emulator or an Android phone. Of course, very little will be functional as the code needed to make your app work the way you want to still has to be written.

The video above gives us a quick run through of a typical Pixate project. It’s almost like building legos or putting together a puzzle, with the initial stages of prototyping being a simple series of drag-and-drop gestures. Pixate has also been used to prototype apps for several popular companies, including Lyft:

Tools like these are invaluable for developers who rely on structured visual flow to help shape their development plans. While the software becomes free, Pixate will still charge a minimum of $5 per month for their cloud service which let you and your coworkers or friends collaborate on projects effortlessly.

Pixate says they have big plans for the future, and their new home under Google’s banner will ensure all those plans can be brought straight to your desktop. You can check it out for yourself right here if you weren’t already a customer.

[via Pixate]

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