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3 Ways To Create An iPhone App Without Touching The iOS SDK

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iphone app ios sdkEven with more than half a million unique offerings on the App Store, there isn’t always “an app for that.” You may be an enterprising designer with a great idea or in charge of a small business or organization that needs a mobile presence on Apple’s devices, but you can’t do it without programming expertise.

That’s where app building services come in. They do the heavy lifting and technical work for you so you can concentrate on your idea. Some are computer programs that seek to simplify the process for creators, while others allow you to explain what you want to a team who will execute your plan. Some require an upfront fee, others take a share of the profits. Let’s take a look at three options for different needs.

The Small Business Owner With Big Dreams

Sweb Apps

sweb iphone appsSweb Apps is an online service which lets users build their own iPhone apps without writing a lick of code. Pre-designed templates for various business types, such as restaurants and retail, can be customized with backgrounds, buttons, and designs from their library or your own uploads. You choose the features you want, including menus, directions, audio streams, news feeds, and even mobile shopping where customers can make secure purchases with a PayPal cart.

For a basic app on a single platform, there’s a one-time development fee of $399. For an additional $100, you get the same app on both iOS and Android. A $29 monthly hosting fee is required and allows you to change and update the content of your app anytime. Sweb Apps also offers an App Tracker analytics tool that lets you see exactly how users are interacting with your app, down to how many times each button is clicked over time, for $10 a month. To stand out from the crowd with a fully customized app, Sweb Apps charges $1,799 (plus $600 for a second platform) and $39 a month.

The Windows Web Developer

MobiOne

mobione iphoneFor all their “Post-PC” talk, Apple still requires developers to build iOS apps using an SDK that only runs on Mac OS X. If you don’t have access to a Mac, MobiOne lets you create an iOS app on a Windows PC using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. According to MobiOne, the code generated is a hybrid of web standards and native iOS, with the option to be fully native coming soon. A PC-based iPhone emulator is included for testing and mockups.

Unlike other services, you only pay $99 for the development/emulation software, no hosting fees or profit-sharing. Because it caters to professionals and doesn’t eat into profits, MobiOne counts Verizon, HP, Oracle, Cisco, and Merrill Lynch as customers.

The Technically-Inept “Idea Guy”

App Incubator

app incubatorSay you’ve got an idea for what could be the next must-have app, but no idea of how to execute it. App Incubator lets you submit a written description of your app and its intended audience, benefiting strong verbal communicators who can’t code to save their lives. Also offered is a downloadable storyboard template so you can visually sketch out ideas. Your submission is evaluated by a real human being based on originality, functionality, simplicity, profit potential and fun.

If App Incubator think they can run with your idea, they do all the work, even dealing with Apple’s byzantine App Store submission guidelines. You pay nothing to App Incubator to get started and once the development costs are recouped, you receive 25% of every download. Get App Incubator

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