The Mobile App Trends Series is presented by Sourcebits, a leading product developer for mobile platforms. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iOS, Android, Mobile and Web platforms. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter for recent news and updates.
The massive growth of the app market has coincided with the creation of a parallel niche industry — the proliferation of accessible, low-cost development alternatives to traditional shops and agencies.More App News at Mashable
But not all brands — or industries altogether — require diverse, expansive functionality in their apps. In the same regard, a lean approach to launch can move a unique product to market in a mere matter of minutes. For these brands, the process going forward is much as the same is it is for high profile, heavily touted launches: engage with customers, build off their response and expand and iterate in due time.
As the mobile applications market moves toward $25 billion per year, according to a MarketsandMarkets report, non-traditional development opportunities are emerging in a number of forms. Programs now allow everyday consumers to build apps through HTML, drag-and-drop platforms, customize templates and simply drop an SDK. These services are on the rise, and they're worthy tools to keep in your arsenal.
Below are six platforms carving out their space in the market.
Beyond high profile clients like Wikipedia, which used PhoneGap to launch its official app on Android, iOS and Playbook, the service is utilized by development companies building for multiple clients. Sean Mahoney, CEO of AndPlus, LLC relies on PhoneGap to build for both large corporations and small startups. As a power user, he's able to bring PhoneGap beyond its core capabilities.
"Moving to PhoneGap, we saw that we were able to set up our own development environments and thus develop and deploy extremely scalable, as-native-as-we-wanted apps for mobile devices," Mahoney says. "For power users like AndPlus.com, we actually have created a PhoneGap deployment area that is exclusive to our clients. This allows us to create, use, and build apps that utilize plugins developed by our internal team."
Cost: Free to use for development while in beta; support plans begin at $249.99 per year.