Everyone talks about how important it is to build an iPhone or Android app, but it doesn’t look inexpensive or easy. Until now. I’ve been testing appsbar, a free Web-based app that allows small business owners create their own iOS or Android application.
I found appsbar.com when researching the digital coupon phenomenon (think Groupon and Living Social) and discovered a post by appsbar founder Scott Hirsch, who built the tool, in part, as a do-it-yourself coupon service. From the merchant point of view, the pricing of coupons is expensive. Most business owners considering coupons could benefit from a tool that lets you build it yourself and keep the profit margins higher.
Even if you’re not building a coupon offer, appsbar is impressive. The tool walks you through everything from the icon that will represent your app in the Apple store or Google Android Marketplace, depending on which market you’re targeting, to the functionality on every page. After you pick the basic properties of your app, you go through design (colors, layout, etc.) and then add content.
You can add a variety of content on one or more pages just like you would on a website. As you click through the options, you can see in this image below that you have lots of choices for what type of content and functionality you want to put on a page. The choices include events, forms, menu or list of items, video or photo gallery, contact page, a link page, and a promotional coupon page (there are more, but you get the idea).
What I really like:
- Appsbar reviews all your work and then submits it to the appropriate marketplace for you.
- I can see the app as it develops in the mockup image on the right side of the screen.
- It essentially lets you create a mobile website at the same time you create an app that people can interact with.
What I would like to see:
- A little more clarity that they are going to submit your app…
I didn’t realize that after I created the app and clicked “publish” that the service would review it and submit it to Apple or Google. While it may have told me that once, I just wasn’t ready to commit to that step. It appears to save it anyway, but it left me in a tiny panic that a less-than-ready app might get submitted. Thankfully, the service reviews the app and won’t submit it if it appears incomplete. But a few more warnings or cautions or “heads up” flags would be appreciated. If your app meets all the requirements, you can expect it will be published in 14 to 21 business days according to the followup email you receive when you hit the submit button.
With the growing Amazon Android Marketplace, I’m eager to see appsbar expand and submit apps to that major service.
If you’ve wanted to create a simple mobile phone or smartphone application, appsbar offers a very easy way to do it at a price point that everyone can afford. Free. Plus, they keep it simple and pain-free. If you’ve had a great experience developing an iPhone or Android application, please let me know in the comments.
Learn more about appsbar.