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Facebook's free prototyping app Origami just got better

Origami (opens in new tab) - the tool Facebook uses to make products such as Instagram, Paper, Messenger and Slingshot – has been given a thorough makeover and an upgrade.

App interfaces are becoming increasingly fluid yet designers often still rely on static comps to communicate their ideas. Origami aims to help designers build living, interactive product prototypes, without the need for any coding on the maker's part.

There are two parts to the package – Origami for Mac, and Origami Live. The latter is the companion iOS app (opens in new tab). Both are free to download.

Origami 2.0

Facebook's free Origami tool offers code snippets

The ability to export designs as code should make designers' and developers' lives easier.

Origami's headline new feature is Code Export. It will covert your visual design into code for iOS and Android devices, and also make snippets for web animations too. This means developers can paste code into their products without the need for specs.

Other new features include...

  • Presentation mode – Full screen, beautiful Mac based previews of how apps will look on iOS.
  • Sketch Integration – Origami 2.0 now works with Sketch via a plugin. There's a similar system for Photoshop too.
  • New Origami tutorial resources (opens in new tab) – If you fancy trying Origami, there's a library of new learning resources now available.

Origami now packs some lavish preview features.

Origami now packs some lavish preview features.

Origami Live

Designers have, since Origami 1.0 landed, been clamouring for the ability to test prototypes on iOS devices. The Origami Live app is the answer to their prayers.

Just download the free app from the App Store (opens in new tab), connect your iOS device to your Mac, and you'll be able to interact with your design in a mobile environment.

The simulation environment supports multitouch and device sensors.

Words: Martin Cooper

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