More than one million people a day buy smartphones. And more than a billion apps are being downloaded every single day. Many of these apps are either free or come at a very minimal cost, making them available to the masses. However, most of these apps are built by large corporations who can afford to hire app developers and spend a great deal of time and money developing them.
Until recently the smaller players, such as small and medium businesses, charitable organizations, indie musicians, and even individuals, could not break into the app creation field; it was simply too time and cost prohibitive to create an app. The thousands of dollars and months of development work posed a huge barrier to entry into the world of apps.
The good news is that there is a paradigm shift happening right before our very eyes. The state of the “AppConomy” is changing. There are three companies that I see as the real frontrunners and leaders in the AppConomy. These companies, Appcelerator, Appsbar, and Parse.com have made it possible for millions of small and medium business and consumers who have a passion to be able to build apps on their own, without spending a lot of time or money.
Appcelerator offers a program that allows developers with some technology background to make an app for Windows, Facebook, Android, or iPhone all in one place. Although they do charge for the software, this software makes it easier, less expensive, and less time consuming for a small business to create an app. A couple of years ago, there were less than 100,000 app developers on the major market. To date, Appcelerator has empowered over 480,000 mobile developers and helped create over 55,000 new apps.
Next in the line-up of companies changing the face of the AppConomy is Appsbar. Whereas Appcelerator requires some developer expertise to use, Appsbar’s platform allows regular people with virtually no programming or technical expertise to build their own app. The step-by-step wizard makes it as easy to create an app as it is to create a Facebook page. To date, Appsbar has empowered over 450,000 people to create professional, quality apps. The software is completely free, making it even easier for individuals, charitable organizations, musicians, educators, and virtually anyone to create an app.
The big difference between Appcelerator and Appsbar, aside from the fact that Appsbar is free of charge, is that if a company wants an app that will BE their business, they are probably better off using Appcelerator. However, if a company or individual needs an app FOR their business, they can easily go to Appsbar and do it themselves free of charge, and in virtually no time.
The final player that has made its push in the paradigm shift of the AppConomy is Parse.com, which was recently purchased by Facebook for $85 billion. Parse.com offers a tool that makes it much easier to develop Facebook apps. Parse.com is similar to Appsbar and Appcelerator in that they offer a tool that makes app development easier and more cost-effective. The major difference is that Parse only offers assistance with Facebook apps, not apps for smartphone devices.
When you take a look at the most valuable and popular websites, search engines, and social networking sites today, you will notice that they all have two things in common: they are easy to use and they are free. Popular digital and interactive media has been built on the concept of the free source. Based on these three apps companies alone, it’s just a matter of time before apps make a similar transition. The barriers of app making are breaking down. Thousands of entrepreneurial people, non-profits, small and medium businesses, and even larger companies who want to save money are beginning to realize that the app market is becoming more open and available for the masses.
While tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook have reaped huge rewards from the mobile app explosion, those that really drive the app economy have been locked out and priced out of the app market until now. The millions of consumers and small businesses that have downloaded billions of apps and purchase close to a half billion smart phones a year were left on the sidelines until companies like Appcelerator, Appsbar and Parse.com made it possible and affordable for them to get in to the app game.
Robert Weneck has made incredible contributions to the fields of news media and journalism over the past 40 years. Throughout the course of his career, he has been a consultant and publicist for the White House and has worked on major projects with seven U.S. Presidents and news colleagues such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and John Chancellor. He also served as a news media advisor to President Ford and several sports figures and celebrities, such as Don King, Evil Knievel, and Marvin Hamlisch. Weneck’s valuable contributions recently earned him the honor of being Florida Businessman of the Year.