Pixate lets designers prototype native mobile apps without writing code

The service works with Android and iOS devices

Pixate's Web-based development tool.

Pixate's Web-based development tool.

Startup Pixate is offering a tool that lets designers build prototype apps for iOS and Android that run directly on devices, without having to write any code.

Mobile apps have become much more advanced as smartphone screens have grown and processors have become more powerful, but the tools to develop them haven't kept pace with those changes.

"A pain point we have heard over and over again is that interaction design is hard. Designers are making videos, they are making drawings, using Keynote or PowerPoint presentations just to try to show what they want," said Paul Colton, CEO of Pixate, which is based in Palo Alto, California.

Pixate's design tool became generally available Tuesday. Designers can use it to create complex animations and interactions, and see them in full fidelity, running natively on iOS and Android devices.

"The key for us is that it works in real time," Colton said. "You can have multiple Android and iOS devices in front of you, and they will all be changing as you are editing and creating your prototype."

To get their creations onto smartphones, Pixate users have to install an app that works like a runtime, Colton said. The app also makes it possible to share prototypes publicly by sending an email with a link.

To help users get started with the existing version, Pixate has published video tutorials and app demos on its site. The videos show how Pixate's user interface can be used to create animations and add images, for example.

Upcoming features will let users access the camera and accelerometers. Pixate has also started looking at wearables and how it can help developers build the apps designers have created.

Pixate is currently available for US$10 per user per month for the Solo plan. A version that lets a team of designers work together is also available for $20 per user per month. Organization that are willing top pay on an annual basis get a two month discount.

Pixate seems to be a well-thought-through tool, said Anders Flygh, user experience designer with consultant Valtech in Sweden. But while it allows for fancier design, it seems to require a lot of effort, he said via email.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Development toolsapplication developmentsoftwarePixate

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?