BlackBerry: It supports several ways to develop widgets, mobile sites, themes and other applications. To be approved, a fee for every 10 apps is charged to distribute your apps on BlackBerry's App World. Though, BlackBerry often offers promotions to waive this fee.
Android: By downloading Java for Android, which is a free software development kit. You can create apps. The kit is packaged with developer tools, source codes, samples and emulators for testing your application. Android also makes it easier by offering 'do-it-yourself' videos, technical articles and instructions on how to develop apps. To distribute your app in android market place (Google Play), a one-time developer registration fee of KSh2,300 ($25) is charged.
Windows: Although, it may not be the world's largest, its user interface is easy to use. Windows app program provides valuable and clear documentation on the best practices for marketing your app. Thus, making it difficult for your mobile app idea getting rejected, after spending time creating it.
Apple iOS: A fee Ksh8,500 ($99) is charged to join Apple's elegant and seamless-functional platform. The iOS developer center has a wide selection of tools, debugging tests and guides for creating apps for just about any purpose.
With the above platforms, programmers can create any mobile solutions and market on various mobile apps stores. For example HewaniLife, which is arguably Kenya's first local app store, contains over 400 mobile apps for Windows, Android, J2ME and Blackberry. The not so computer-savvy individuals can also create their own mobile applications via these tools:
1. uBuildApp: With this tool, you can develop, test mobile apps for iphone and android for free (no monthly fees!). You only pay when you are ready to release your app. Also, you can edit your content in real time and make unlimited changes after the release of your app, for a full year.
2. Tiggzi: This is a cloud-based mobile app builder which allows you to build mobile web apps as well as Android and iOS apps using visual UI builder. It's geared more toward developers as it allows quickly consuming any cloud-based REST service. The advantages of using REST (Representational State Transfer) service to create apps is that; it's platform independent - the server can be a UNIX, while the client can be MAC. Also, language free i.e. the C# can talk to java. In addition, the service runs on top of HTTP and can be easily be used in the presence of firewalls.
3. MyAppBuilder: For a fee of KSh2,500 ($29) per month, this mobile app builder will create an android or iphone app for you. You don't need a technical background to develop an app with them, all you have to do is provide content like books, videos and they'll do the rest, even uploading it to the app store for you.
4.SwebApps: Although, a one-time KSh34,000 ($399) development fee is charged. It's an affordable, simple way to create, update and track a native mobile app for your business. You create your android or iphone app online and is available via apps store, you can update the content in real time via SwebApps.
5. RunRev: This is a cross-device platform, where you can develop your apps and run them live using the full capabilities of Android and iOS devices. You can them deploy these prototypes to whatever platform your customers need. The site is also packed with a lot of tutorials. Pricing is a bit stiff as they range from $299 to $1,499.
6. Genwi: This is a publishing platform for tablet and smartphone which allows you to create and manage on all mobile devices. It delivers rich content such as photos, audio, video etc. You can also revise your app as often as you like and monetize it for business using ads and in-app subscription. Pricing varies after a three-month trial period.
7. AppMakr: In this platform, you can use existing content and social networking feeds to create a variety of different approaches for your app. It's designed to make creating your on iphone app easily and quickly. It includes features like custom CSS, java-scripts capabilities, location-awareness and push notification. The tool is free to use, but a a fee of KSh6,700 ($79)/month/subscription gets you access to more advanced features.AppMakr works on the iOS, Android and Windows operating systems.
Indeed, building an app is a sure way to open up a new revenue generating venture, deepen your relationship with your customers and effectively differentiate your brand from the rest.