Let’s face it, since the advent of the iPhone five years ago, we’ve all been clamoring to have our very own, homegrown mobile app. However, the challenge lay in the application (pardon the pun) of that idea. Only few were familiar with the mysteries of programming, the rest of us had to resort to daydreaming. However, now even the not-so-technical minded can flaunt their apps, all thanks to an array of do-it-yourself app makers that have sprung up online.
These app builders take care of the technicalities while you let the creativity flow. But the array of choices can be confusing, so here’s how you can narrow down your search. First and foremost, it is important to be clear about what your needs are i.e. what kind of an app you are looking to create. Most app creators specialize in specific types of apps and it is your job to use their expertise to your advantage.
If you have content to sell, then app creators like SwebApps and MyAppBuilder can fashion you an app. Where Kanchoo is an app maker that specializes in making apps for news agencies, iBuildApp and Shoutem are great choices for those who plan to publish a continuous stream of content. Services like BuildAnApp and The AppBuilder specialize in catering to small businesses and community organizations. Mippin App Factory actually claims that it can build you an app in 5 minutes!
Next you have to consider what kind of customizing options an app maker offers. MyAppBuilder does most of the work for you by designing you the app and sending it to you for reviewing. Swebapps lets you choose from one of their templates and gives you complete control over customization by offering many categories to choose from. Similarly, AppBreeder offers “App-Kits” in which the icons and other elements required in an app are pre-determined by them and you just have to select the kit that’s right for your industry. AppIncubator is itself an app available through iTunes that lets you use its storyboard tool once you have submitted your ideas.
App creators offer different options for payment. Most app makers like SwebApps and Kanchoo charge you a one-time development fee. For example, Swebapps offers an easy, low-cost option for a $399 development fee and a monthly $29. Some, like the AppIncubator prefer to take 75% of the revenue generated off your app in the iTunes Store instead. AppMaker lets you create the app for free as long as you allow in-app advertisements.
Lastly, it is important to know if you want your app to be submitted on one or multiple platforms. While the iPhone remains a favorite, many app makers have started building apps for Android and Blackberry users as well. AppBreeder is one such example. While SwebApps caters to iPhone and Android users, The AppBuilder even submits your app to the Windows Phone Marketplace.