In the age of Mobile phones and Smartphones, ‘Mobile app’ is a commonly heard term. Mobile app are small software applications that run on mobile phones or other mobile devices and serve some specific function or provide information on a particular topic. Some examples of mobile app that usually every smartphone comes preloaded with, are: calendar, calculator, e-mail, clock and weather information. Additional Apps can be downloaded on the phone through app store native to the Operating System of the phone you own, such as: Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World, which are the distribution platforms for these apps.
Popularity of Mobile App
|36 percent of smartphone and 45 percent of tablet users purchased at least one app in the year 2014.|
|More than 100 billion mobile apps were downloaded from the Apple App Store, as of June 2015,.|
We have seen the popularity of mobile phones growing over the last decade. Mobile phones have now been replaced by smartphones that are full of apps. An app has the ability to directly target its actual user-base and has the ability to absorb the consumer. Therefore, demand for various apps has risen over the last few years.
Apps Make your Phone a Multi-Purpose Device
|Mobile messaging app WhatsApp boasts of more than 900 million active users per month!|
The trend of mobile phones has caught up with consumers because the various apps on the phone make it a multi-purpose device. This small gadget single-handedly acts as a phone, a camera, an organizer, personal assistant who informs you about your schedule and appointments, instant messenger, a navigator to guide you on your journey, your personal trainer who tells you how much more work-out is required to burn a specific amount of calories to keep you fit, a dictionary, a music player, a movie player, a gaming zone and numerous other utilities.
App development tools
Conventionally, a lay person like you or me cannot even deem it possible to create an app on his own. After all, App Development is not everybody’s cup of tea. It requires some amount of engineering knowledge as well as extensive work hours and trials. But now, it is possible for an amateur like you or me to develop our very own app. A large number of App Development Tools are now available that can guide you through each step of app development.
Features of App Development Tools
These software’s or tools are platforms that can help you create or design your own app in a matter of seconds and at a faction of cost or sometimes without any cost. Mobile App Development Tools can have the following features:
- They have all the tools required to design an app:- integrated notifications, functionality with various programming languages, built-in photo galleries with high-resolution images, location-aware GeoRSS, custom CSS and personalized branding & designing etc.
- No more working twice as hard for the same app. A single App development tool lets you develop app for Android as well as Apple due it’s cross-functional feature.
- These tools allow you to publish your app directly to the google play store as well as its a iPhone app version to the iTunes App Store – with a single click.
- There is no limit on the number of apps you can develop and publish
- They provide an excellent platform for ambitious developers to display their talent and target the right audience
Let us now learn about some of the most popular and efficient tools that can help you to develop your own app.
RhoMobile offers Rhodes, an open-source framework, based on programming language Ruby. You can create apps on various mobile Operating Systems including Android, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian as well as RIM.
This tool can be downloaded from http://rhomobile.com/download/
- You can program your app on Rhomobile with coding and programming languages like Java, HTML5 and CSS3.
- Native apps developed on Rhomobile are completely compatible with available hardware, offering you great speed and precision.
- You will require to code once in Rhomobile framework and would be able to use the same code to create apps.
- It has great widgets, effects and styling libraries to help improve the utility and look of the apps
- It has RhoHub, a hosted development environment and RhoSync, an individual server so that users can access all the app data conveniently.
|Appcelarator powers over a 1,000 native apps per month|
You can start using Appcelarator by signing up at http://www.appcelerator.com/signup/
- It allows cross-platform native mobile app development
- You can program your app on Appcelerator with programming language Java Script.
- You will find App development tools such mobile backend as a service(MBaaS), mobile test automation, crash detection and performance management, and mobile analytics.
- You can access over 300 APIs and location information.
- Develops through and through hardware-based apps.
- You can store app data either in virtual private cloud or on the device
- UI Development portability across various platforms produces unreliable or irregular LCD (lowest common denominator) design.
An amazing tool that will help you to develop your own app for iphone, Android or Windows and also lets you create HTML5 mobile formatted websites and allows you to share your content with a much larger audience.
This tool is free of cost and can be downloaded from http://appmaker.en.softonic.com/. However, if you purchase a premium version for $79, per month, you can access other advanced features also.
- It is a browser-based platform.
- The best part about using Appmakr is that no coding is required for app development.
- It follows a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach that makes the user very comfortable and completely at ease even if he is designing an app for the first time.
- It allows you to use any content that you may have and even social networking feeds so that you can create various facets for your app.
- Excellent UI abstraction without forcing an LCD design.
- Not so great Native performance
Xamarin web development tool helps you to develop apps in C# with Microsoft’s Visual Studio using APIs and data framework on iphone, Android and Widows platforms. It also supports cross-platform mobile app development.
- You will find class libraries, a C# compiler, and a virtual machine in Xamarin
- Xamarin uses Mono-based tool chain.
- Excellent native performance quality and performance
- It does not allow complete User Interface (UI) portability across iOS and Android. As a result, you need to code APIs, widgets, event logic etc separately for both platforms and hence consumes a lot of time.
- In-built Xamarin overhead significantly increases its download time and also takes up larger storage space.
|PhoneGap has to its credit the ‘Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco’s 2009 Launch Pad event’ award.|
It lets app developers design native mobile app and also provides hassle free access to native APIs. You can easily use other hardware features such as GPS/location, camera, accelerometer on your phone with PhoneGap developed apps.
This tool can be downloaded from http://phonegap.com/install/
- It uses standardized web APIs for Android, iOS and platforms
- It is an open source platform that can be downloaded free of cost.
|PhoneGap is now owned by Adobe|
- You can take online training courses with its Adobe AIR app to guide the developer on using native API’s and designing mobile app on PhoneGap.
The credit of launching WidgetPad goes go Satoshi Nakajima
This tool is also available free of cost and can be downloaded from http://widgetpad.soft112.com/
- WidgetPad uses a hosted SaaS (Software as a Service) model.
- You will find App development tools such as source code editing, collaboration, debugging and project management.
- WidgetPad allows you to distribute your applications to app stores.
- Allows you to easily port these applications to smartphone devices such as the Palm Pre and Blackberry.
Just like PhoneGap, MoSync is also FOSS multi-platform mobile app development tool that can help you to create apps with standard web programming languages namely C/C++, HTML5 for Windows Mobile, Android, Symbian, iPhone OS, BlackBerry and Moblin.
- It has App development tools such as integrated compilers, libraries, runtimes, device profiles etc.
- MoSync includes Eclipse-based IDE for C/C++ programming.
You can develop HTML5 apps on Sencha with the help of included resources such as Sencha Animator and Sencha Architect. Apps developed on Sencha, are also compatible on various platforms.
- It has unique tools such as layout engine, fluid animations, and smooth scrolling to develop applications with quick response time.
- Drag and drop insertion for different smartphone platforms namely: iphone, blackberry, Kindle and Microsoft is also a unique feature of Sencha.
- It has over 50 built-in UI components and themes that look native.
- It’s Touch feature makes app creation a cakewalk.
|Mippin has published more than 100,000 apps to various app stores|
Mippin App Factory is a cross-device app builder tool that helps you design live archetypes that are capable of using all attributes of iOS, Windows and Android devices. These prototypes can be published to itunes, Google play store or Windows store and also to Amazon. It is a platform-independent engine.
Mippin is a boon for small businesses, whi=o can have their own app for all types of smartphones. It is an extremely quick and simple 3-step process that does not require any technical skill set. Click on http://www.mippin.com/appfactory/ to start creating your own app.
|Examples of some apps created by Mippin are: NME.com, Star! Magazine, Auto Express, Electricpig, etc|
- Mippin is known for it’s high speed.
- It does not require coding and so no development skills are needided to create your app.
- It is free of cost. However, you can purchase their App Pack for $99 per year to improve your experience. Furthermore, you can upgrade by paying $999 per year. for each Native App.
- It has automatic updates.
- Mippin’s user-friendly features provide flexibility in creating iPhone and Android apps.
- It’s high cost is definitely it’s weak point. You may have to pay as much as $999 per year for native apps.
Yet another platform that helps you to develop, publish and manage HTML5 apps and other apps on iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets. It offers superior media such as graphics, photos, audio and videos.
Use a three month free trial to
- It is also a cross-platform tool which means, you create an app only once and the tool duplicates it flawlessly for all other platforms.
- You can edit your app limitlessly
- It does not require coding.
- There are various options that will help your app earn revenue. You can use ads, coupons and subscriptions.
- Regular updates to improve your spps. for
- It uses cloud-based technology which is safe & consistent
- GenWi provides reliable data about consumer behaviour to help you imporove your app.
You can also check out these app builder tools.
MyAppBuilder: No technical know-how needed. Trouble-free uploading to App stores
ShoutEm: Perfect for bloggers, students, sports lovers, news sites and local publishers. No coding required. Also offers trouble-free uploading to App stores
The above mentioned tools are just a few of tens of other app development tools, some used for creating a specific type of app. One such example is Mobicart that helps you to create e-shopping app. Another tool called MobBase that provides information to users on events and also helps them to buy tickets for the same.
Similarly there are apps for creating blogging apps, music apps, apps for promoting businesses, publishing apps and so on. In short, you can create an app for anything that you wish to share with a large number of people.
Creating an app for your business gives your product or brand its own identity, increases your customer base and also enhances your revenue channels. It is indeed the best way to stay at the finger-tips of your customers.
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