Has inspiration struck you out of the blue with a great idea for an app? Then what are you waiting for? Try to make that app immediately. You don’t want someone else to snap up your bright idea and market it, don’t you?
So, what tools do you need to make an app? You might be surprised as to what is readily available or downloadable. The following are just some of the many software or tools available to anyone who want to make or have that perfect app.
Initially developed for iPhone, it can now also support iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, devices with Android 1.0 to 4.2, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and Playbook OS, Bada, Symbian, webOS, Tizen and Ubuntu Touch. The PhoneGap framework is now being used by several mobile application makers such as ViziApps, Worklight, Convertigo, and appMobi as the backbone of their development engine.
Their beta service has the PhoneGap Build feature, which allows users to upload code and receive iOS, Android, Palm, Windows and BlackBerry apps ready for launch. The app is free to use during beta stage. Developers reportedly plan to sell the premium edition for a membership of $250 a year.
Branded Business Apps
This technology company offers a platform that specializes in the needs of small to medium size companies as well as restaurants, churches, health clubs and hotels, among others.
They like to keep things simple and limit the functionality of their apps to around 40 features. To assure quick production, they also promise to be able to make any app after just a five-step development process, all beginning with the filling up of a simple design questionnaire. This will determine the content of the app as well as the set number of screens. This data will then be put up against a standardize template then fine-tuned.
Branded business apps also promises to be able to make and launch any app for availability in iPhones, Android phones and other mobile devices within 48 hours. Even after launch the content of your app will still be managed by the client through a content management system.
Development costs can be as low as $399 while monthly management of your app begins at $39 per month.
While other developers or tools rely heavily on templates, Eachscape shuns them. This is to avoid having a generic interface common among many apps, so each app will have its own unique landscape. So, what does Eachscape use? Dozens of pre-built blocks. So, you can essentially build up your app from scratch.
Making an app in Eachscape is as simple as dragging and dropping what graphics, features, feeds and any other data you want into a mock mobile phone or mobile device blank screen. After you are content with what you see, save the changes and then it’s done!
Blocks will range from simple colored panels to more complex ones including Google ads, chat, HTML and links to videos. To add to the variety and content, EachScape also has a “block marketplace” where developers can provide code for functions that go beyond those you can already have in available blocks.
Eachscape apps can also be used among multiple platforms like iOS, Android, HTML5 and even GoogleTV. As with many tools, Eachscape has cloud management, CMS, analytics and control features.
For its creativity and ease of use, Eachscape comes at quite a hefty price; licenses start at $2,500 per month.
Away from other app developers that deal with the glitzy and the glam, Canvas likes to keep it strictly business with a platform specialized at helping you run your small or medium business. As their main draw, Canvas offers to replace your old paper filing system with a digital system and even offers a secure place where this data can be filed and stored securely.
You can also make your own apps with their platform and put this up in their marketplace where users can share their different experiences and business solutions. For example small bakery owners can have access to apps that let them manage inventory, deliveries and sales specific to the merchandise they deal in. The same with specialty shops. The different apps, stored in their own cloud system, can also be customized to allow for better communication between businesses and their customers.
How much does this service cost? Fifty cents per use of each app, $20 for unlimited monthly use and $210 for unlimited yearly use.
Some app developers let you make your own app through a seemingly creative exercise, others let their own people make the app themselves. CloudSpokes takes a different approach, tapping a unique set pool of app developer talent, the public. In short, it outsources the app-making process in the form of a competition.
CloudSpokes starts by taking orders from businesses and companies about any apps they want. It then makes an online announcement for a competition for that app. Developers can read the brief online and sign up if they want to join the competition. Entries are then submitted in code. The entries are reviewed and a winning app will be chosen, and the developer will be paid.
The company prides itself in this innovation, saying they are providing a field where young developers can hone their skills or make a name for themselves. This is aside from improving the developer gene pool.
The cost? It depends on the app the client is looking for.
Code or programming language is the lifeblood of many app developers, but Red Foundry realizes there are people out there who want to make apps but are not familiar programming language or don’t have any coding skills. This is why they came up with a platform that lets you make your app while doing away or having as little use of code as possible.
Just like some developers, Red Foundry lets you use a drag-and-drop functionality when it comes to making your apps. They have specialized modules that let you add anything from images, to lists to audio and even maps. With their platform Red Foundry promises users will have full control over the features and appearance of their app; nothing will be there if they do not want it there.
Red Foundry has a variable price range, offering basic services for free, developer support at $150 per month, professional support at $350 per month and corporate support at $1,250 per month.