A lot has changed since 1995, literally anyone with almost no technical capabilities can crank out a web or mobile app with ease. So I thought I'd take the opportunity to share some of the more interesting app development platforms I've discovered recently.
As a small business owner, if you decide there's good reason to develop your own mobile app, there are several tools that will help you do that.
You don't have to be a programming junkie before you can use these tools - The frameworks are simpler to understand. Developers don't need to build their own databases or maintain the app. They just open up an account, then point their app to the cloud.
CoronaCorona is the platform of choice for cross platform mobile app development. Whether you're building games, ebooks, utilities or business apps, corona will be a smart option for you. Its elegant APIs allow you to add features like Facebook and physics in just a few lines of code.
PhoneGapPhoneGap is a free and open source framework that allows you to create mobile apps using standardized web APIs for the platforms you care about. Developers can create apps for iPad, iPhone, iTouch, Android, Palm, Symbian, and BlackBerry devices.
PhoneGap allows the developer to work with device hardware features such as accelerometer, GPS/location, camera, sound and much more.
RAD Studio XE5RAD Studio XE5 is app development for building true native applications for Windows, Mac and mobile. With native app support across all major platforms, developers can reach the largest addressable digital markets in the world. RAD Studio XE5 includes Delphi XE5, C++Builder XE5 and HTML5 Builder XE5.
TabrisTabris is a Java framework written by Java developers for Java developers to build mobile apps. It uses standard JavaEE technology to create an application on a server. Native clients act as a player for the applications's UI.
Tabris also provides a powerful widget toolkit that renders native iOS and Android widgets. It is based on a proven technology stack using SWT, JFace and OSGi. You can write your application entirely in Java, re-use existing code and benefit from first-class IDE tools without the need for cross-compiling.
MoSync offers support for several types of OS', including Windows Mobile, Android, Symbian, Moblin and even a mobile Linux distro. Support for the iPhone OS and BlackBerry will be featured in MoSync 2.4 version.
Sencha ArchitectSencha Architect is an HTML5 app builder that lets you build apps for web and mobile. It lets you drag and drop your widgets into an outline of an iPhone, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Microsoft Surface, or custom-sized screen. Then the framework handles the layout, widget management, and event juggling.
The code sencha architect produces runs in a WebKit browser and can be turned into an app by wrapping it with PhoneGap or Cordova.
FirebaseWith Firebase, you can build realtime mobile and web apps in minutes using client-side code. When data changes, apps built with Firebase update instantly across every device -- web or mobile. Firebase-powered apps work offline. Data is synchronized instantly when your app regains connectivity.
Firebase has full-featured libraries for all major web and mobile platforms and bindings for the most popular frameworks.
AppsGeyserAppsGeyser is free web platform that allows converting any web content into an Android App. There is no need to code or even know how it works. Just follow 2 easy steps and your App is ready to work for you. Your app will have all you need including messaging, social sharing, tabs and full support for HTML5 enhancements.
ParseParse allow developers to create great apps, without worrying about server maintenance and complex infrastructure. Instantly add push notification, data storage, social integration and more, the moment you add Parse SDK to your app.
The provided native SDKs make it easy to create apps for all your favorite devices. From desktop to mobile apps, Parse has an SDK for everyone.
AppscendAppscend create apps base on ruby & php frameworks. It bundles together a template-based design system and a cloud-based CMS to juggle your content. Every single update you made will reflect automatically in your app, canceling out the need for resubmission.
LiveCodeLiveCode brings three key things to your development process: the interface, the language and live coding. You start with the interface. Get going by opening a new project and dragging items onto it. A button, a field, a scrollbar… whatever your app needs. Play about with them a bit. Resize, rearrange, change the color, add some pretty drop shadows. Make it look funky and just the way you want it.
RhoMobileRhoMobile offers Rhodes, which is an open-source framework based on Ruby. This permits the developer to create native apps, spanning over a stunning range of OS' and smartphones. The OS' include Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, iPhone and RIM.
The framework lets you write your code once and use it to quickly build apps for every major smartphone. Native apps are said to take full advantage of available hardware, including GPS and camera, as well as location data.