My post yesterday about FileMaker Pro got me thinking about an item I wrote back in April called "14 Do It Yourself mobile application development platforms" (especially since many of you keep reading it).
In that spirit, here are four more offerings that have come to my attention since I pulled together that article. I am only focusing on development environments or services that a small-business owner should be able to use herself or himself.
Sorry to those of you that are pitching full-blown toolkits for creating commercial mobile apps, but that just isn't the focus of this blog.
Application Craft - The company's development environment uses a drag-and-drop interface for assembling features and touts one-click application deployment on platforms including Apple iOS, Android and, actually, Facebook. It uses HTML widgets for geo-targeting, analytics, and social media sharing. The company's free version supports creation of up to 10 apps (but you have to run the company's ads in them when you distribute them). The paid service starts at $45 per month or $450 per year for unlimited applications.
App Press - Founded in 2010, the company behind this cloud platform for Android and Apple iOS apps created it with graphic designers and creative agencies in mind and it shows. A small business can rely heavily on existing content to create highly visual mobile applications. The App Press service offers an instant preview feature so progress can be reviewed along the way. A basic version of the service starts at $30 per month.
Mobile Roadie - The first thing you'll probably notice when you visit this site is that the company touts high-profile celebrities as some of its customers. That said, it serves plenty of small businesses looking to create a native mobile presence, according to the company's CEO Michael Schneider. "Consumers aren't really consuming the information that small businesses are putting out online in the same way that they were in the past," he said. You can use the platform to create a mobile version of your web site for free; the service starts at $99 per month for creating native iPhone or Android smartphone apps.
MobileAppLoader - This platform offers templates for all sorts of small businesses to use in their mobile app development -- that includes everyone car dealerships to contractors to automotive services companies to hair salons. Its claim to fame is "app in a snap," which lets a small business get an application created and published fairly quickly. There's a set-up fee (generally $99.99) and then you pay fees starting at $9.99 per month, depending on whether you're publishing for Apple iOS, Android, iPad or all of these.
For two more resources about mobile apps development: