Marvel app allows developers to turn sketches into prototypes

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Date: Monday, December 1st, 2014, 18:35
Category: iOS, News, Software


This could turn into something nifty.

Per TechCrunch, UK startup Marvel, which created an app that lets you turn sketches into app “prototypes” — had just one and a half month’s runway left after burning through the majority of a £60,000 investment from Haatch, has raised a £525,000 seed round from Connect Ventures, app studio ustwo (makers of iOS game Monument Valley, amongst other endeavours), and various angel investors, including Roberto Bonanzinga, Andy McLoughlin, Richard Fearn, and Jeremy Yap.

To that end, Marvel co-founder Murat Mutlu has stated that the startup’s mission going forward is to “lower the barrier” to prototyping.

To achieve this, Marvel’s web, iOS and Android apps let you turn sketches, wireframes, and Photoshop files into a tappable (or clickable) demo of how your app will work. It does this by letting you add ‘hotspots’ and transitions to your images so that the resulting prototype can be navigated as if it were an actual app.

Specifically, the mobile apps enable you to photograph a paper (or back of a napkin) sketch and — in the latest update for iPhone and iPad — draw directly on the screen with your finger or a capacitive stylus.

In addition, the whole thing is built on top of the Dropbox API, so that any changes you make to your ‘screen’ images, even via another app such as Photoshop, are synced with Marvel. This also means the startup is able to offer its core service for free without limits since it isn’t having to shell out for cloud-storage.

That backing will enable Marvel to grow its team of developers and designers to take the product to the “next level”, says Mutlu, and continue a growth trajectory that has just seen the service hit the 60k user mark, adding 200 users per day. Meanwhile, over 2 million images have been synced to Marvel.

The Marvel app requires iOS 7.0 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried Marvel and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

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One Response to “Marvel app allows developers to turn sketches into prototypes”

  1. One downside, right off the top, was the requirement to link to an online service, in this case either Adobe or DropBox – why are so many apps built this way? Why can I not just work in the app? Take a photo of my sketch as the website shows, edit it, then email it? Why the requirement for any other service? I can understand the external services as an option, but not as a requirement