Applications are one of the most popular aspects of mobile devices, and with such high levels of demand, many of the most successful software ventures in recent years have involved the development of apps. There are dedicated app stores for each of the major mobile operating systems, and these provide a huge variety of different apps for a multitude of different purposes.
Many people have found success in developing their own applications, but until recently, to develop an app required an intermediate or advanced understanding of at least one programming language, such as Objective-C for Apple operating systems and C++ and Java for multiple platforms, as well as knowledge of development environments and compilers. But now almost anyone who is IT literate can create applications with no advanced knowledge of programming required.
In this article you will learn about some of the most popular and useful programs for creating apps by yourself.
Overview: App Inventor for Android (now maintained by MIT and previously Google) is a simple and powerful application that can create applications such as games and animations for the Android OS. Applications can be created by using ‘components’ and ‘blocks’. With the ‘Design View’ you can create and arrange components to create the building blocks that the application needs to work. Basic components include text boxes, buttons and images, animation components include image sprites, and other components include speech recognizers and Bluetooth clients. With the ‘Block Editor View’ you can then define the blocks to determine how the components work and interact with each other.
Pros and cons: MIT App Inventor is simple and easy to use, and does a good job of teaching application development from a non-programming perspective and teaching you how to think like a programmer. Its true potential for creating good apps, commercial or otherwise, is debatable and frequently argued in application writing services reviews. Few successful apps have been made using App Inventor for Android.
Target Audience: MIT App Inventor is designed for people who are not familiar with a programming language. It is most popularly used for education.
Price: MIT App Inventor is free (open source).
Overview: Buzztouch is an online-based program that creates and publishes apps for Android and iOS. By using app components called ‘plugins’, the complexity of program creation is made much easier, and it does this without limiting the number of functions and features available to you. You first create the structure and layout of the app with the online control panel. Then you can download the app and use an iOS or Android software development kit to get the app ready to put on the iOS or Android app store. Changes and improvements can be made even once the app has been published.
Pros and cons: Buzztouch offers high levels of control for making apps, so you can design something that is truly unique. The plugins allow you to be as creative as you want to be. There is more control available than other app makers, but because of this Buzztouch is also one of most complicated app makers. While the program requires no programming knowledge, it does take a fairly long time to learn and become proficient with.
Target Audience: Buzztouch is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to build applications.
Price: It is free to create up to 3 hosted applications. For an annual fee the Members package allows you to make 50 hosted apps and also allows you to self-host your apps.
Overview: With The App Builder you can quickly and easily create applications for Windows, Android and iOS. Apps are created in HTML5 with The App Builder’s content management system, and there is enough flexibility to make a unique application with unique imaging and branding. The App Builder is a good tool for simple apps that include things like image galleries, lists, calendars and videos, and you can link to web based content. Once the app is ready, you are provided with a download link to put wherever you want and share with whoever you want. The content management system lets you update the app and make modifications, and these updates reach your users immediately once you submit them.
Pros and cons: The App Builder is very simple to use. This software does not publish your apps to app stores, which helps to keep things simple but also reduces your exposure and will usually mean that you will need to self-promote your app. Application writing service reviews state that The App Builder does not have the depth to create more feature-rich applications, or gaming applications.
Target Audience: The App Builder is most suitable for individuals and enterprises who want to create simple apps with a very specific function.
Price: The App Builder is free to use. All free apps created include an advert for The App Builder, though this can be removed for a fee of $5 per month. App creation for enterprise use is subject to pricing.
Overview: Xcode is an integrated development environment for creating apps and software for iOS and Mac. Xcode integrates code creation and editing, graphical interface building, testing and debugging all within one standalone application. Xcode doubles up as a fairly useful code builder that shows you your mistakes and suggests fixes as you proceed. This is not actually an assisted app builder, but is good if you want to learn how to code for app development.
Pros and cons: Xcode can be used to create completely custom and independent apps and it is not simply an app builder. From UK essay spell checkers to mathematical modeling, an IDE like this offers more power and control than any simple app builder. The catch is that Xcode is code-based and you will need to have knowledge of a relevant programming language.
Target Audience: Xcode can be used by interested learners and professional developers alike.
Price: The latest version is 4.6.3 and is available for free.
Overview: Magmito Apps is an online-based tool which can create apps across all platforms. You can design an app that includes up to 50 pages of content, from scratch or with a template. You can include text, graphics and photos, embed videos, provide links to other web pages, create custom icons and embed RSS feeds. Once you have created an app, you must then pay to publish it, and you can then distribute it by email, QR code or SMS for free with Magmito.
Pros and cons: This app builder offers a good middle-ground between simplicity and design control. They state that if you can create a blog with a content management system, then you will be able to use Magmito to create apps without difficulty. Magmito also offers a professional app design service for a competitive price if you don’t have the time to create apps yourself.
Target Audience: Most users are either small businesses or consumers who create simple apps like product promotion apps, event apps and scheduling apps. There is no native monetization but there is of course the capacity for marketing.
Price: It is free to register and create apps with Magmito Apps. If you want to publish a finished app, there is a private pricing model and a business pricing model. Model ‘A’ is $4.99pm or $49.99 for 12 months. Model ‘B’ (business) is $9.99pm or $99.99 for 12 months. Both models come with unlimited updates and your app will be free from advertisements.
Overview: AppsGeyser is a free online platform that lets you convert your web content into a custom Android app available to download at Google Play or through the AppsGeyser online platform. It works in a very simple way, and there are only 2 short steps to take. AppsGeyser is ideal if you want to increase exposure for your website or video channel. Features include HTML 5 add-ons, statistics and reporting, app notifications and social sharing. An API is also available for developers to integrate an existing application with the AppsGeyser service.
Pros and cons: AppGeyser is the fastest growing do-it-yourself app builder currently available. Your apps can be monetized by including adverts or by setting prices for your apps. It is extremely simple to use and you need no programming knowledge, and all distribution is free. The main service cannot be used to create apps, though a web service is available for creating apps via the AppsGeyser API.
Target Audience: AppsGeyser is designed primarily for business owners.
Price: The service is free to use.
Overview: Zoho Creator is an online platform for creating business management applications with no technical knowledge required. You can quickly create an interface by dragging, dropping and modifying the dimensions of new components, otherwise known as ‘fields’. 20 field types are supported, including single lines, checkboxes, notes and images. Forms can be customized for controlling the response to user actions. The information that the app collects can be visualized and analyzed for business purposes, and dynamic content can be delivered with HTML and the in-built scripting language. Themes and styles can be customized according to your business needs and branding agenda.
Pros and cons: All databases linked to your app are managed by Zoho so you can easily build databases over the web. The usual difficulties surrounding storage, security and availability are eliminated. Zoho Creator is cost effective, but only when the users know how to get everything out of the service – otherwise it could be a waste of money.
Target Audience: Small and medium size businesses, associations, freelancers etc.
Price: Zoho Creator is priced on a ‘pay as you go’ model. You can pay either monthly or yearly. Prices start at $25 per month, and for this price you get unlimited app creation, 10,000 records, 5 users and data backup.
Overview: Andromo is an app builder that lets you make professional, high quality apps for Android without having to create or modify a single line of code. Once you have constructed the app using the online platform, Andromo then generates custom source code (Java) and compiles the app and links it to Andromo’s cloud servers using the official Android SDK. The creation interface is sectioned into a number of tabs, which each represent a step of the app creation process. You are able to customize all of the different aspects of your app, including the app’s appearance, feature set, functionality and response. You can use presets to simplify the process or take control of the smallest details.
Pros and cons: Unlike many other cross-platform app builders, Andromo creates true applications and not simple HTML content. It all runs online so there is no need to download anything. This is certainly one of the best app creators, but it does cost you money.
Target Audience: Andromo is designed for both private app developers and businesses, newcomers without coding knowledge and experienced coders alike.
Price: $25 per month (monthly plan) or $99 (yearly plan). Professional plan is available for $499 per year.
Overview: AppFurnace is a simple drag-and-drop style app builder that creates apps compatible for Android and iOS. From the powerful online app design platform you can create a completely unique app and control exactly how it looks and behaves. Preset features can be used for fast app creation, and it is simple to add your own media. AppFurnace offers a big number of features for app creation and development, including interactive location features.
Target Audience: Private app developers, businesses, associations etc.
Price: It is free to create apps with AppFurnace, but publishing costs money. Self-publishing or publishing with AppFurnace (Calvium) are your options, and cost upwards of $599. The Plus app creation package costs $32pm.
From businesses and entrepreneurs to bloggers and programmers, almost anyone can now create a new application for whatever purpose. These apps are definitely worth a try if you want to create something new and express yourself, or if you want to give your business a new lease of life.