You have (want) an app for that?

It’s Déjà vu again. This used to be “do you have a website?” in the early 2000, now it’s “do you have an app for that?”

It’s a given that everyone, everything has a website, thanks to the various website builder tools/websites, content management tools such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal. This used to be a big business of building websites. These various tools democratized the website building process. You don’t have to be a pro. They all offer a WYSIWIG editor, you drag, drop, buy images of iStockphoto, few minutes (may be an hour) later you have your own website without thinning your wallet. These content management tools really took the wind out not just of making but also maintaining the website on a regular basis.

There are specialized websites / tools bordering on SaaS (Software as a Service) and website builders for specific categories. For example, I was looking to manage my son schools’ PTO / PTA, there are a number of sites and the prominent among them being ParentOrbit. They not only allow PTO to register, collect funds using credit cards, ACH, but also let you setup class parents, broadcast emails, collaborate with other parents. I even noticed them letting independent Business Owners (robotics, chess classes, anything to do with kids)  to run a virtual shop. They can manage their business, communicate, collaborate, accept payment etc.

The same democratization process is happening in the app marketplace. Unless, you are looking to develop a unique, ultra functional app, you pretty much can create, publish to the store and maintain it the same fashion. The same content management tools like WordPress have its own mobile plugin, that lets you convert a website built with WordPress into an app. If you want something specific like, creating a Social media based mobile app such as your band’s fan club there are myriad engines like Anahita, HumHub, SocialEngine. These let you create a website and convert them to mobile apps.

In addition to these tools similar to content management, there are also other mobile app builder tools like goodbarber, appypie and more. Then there are other cross platform app builder tools such as Microsoft Xamarin, Appcelerator Titanium. Microsoft recently bought Xamarin and bundled it free with Visual Studio.

You don’t have an app yet? want an app? Pick one- anyone is good enough than not having one. Still confused? drop me an email.

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