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Make an iPhone app or games with no programming

Updated on August 12, 2012

I'm no programmer but have always been interested in creating websites and recently got interested in making apps for smartphones. I started with a simple google search and was surprised with how many options there were out there for making iphone apps without any programming. However, I was soon dissapointed when I found out how expensive each of these platforms were. In this article, I'm going to talk about my experience a little bit and the service I ended up using at the end and the process.

Partial List of app makers

1. Sweb Apps

What it Does: Simple tempetale based system. After picking the category for your app (Restaurant, Retail, Business, etc.), you choose the buttons you want to include (Menu, Directions, Map, etc.). You can even create a mobile storefront where Sweb Apps manages your inventory.

How Much it Costs: The company offers four-, six- and eight-button packages, which all include a one-time set-up fee of $50 per button. Then there is a $25 monthly hosting fee applied to every application going forward. Big long term cost


2. Kanchoo

Kanchoo is another platform that allows content producers to create native iPhone applications, this one is designed for news organizations. To use the service, you provide the company with an iPhone application icon, a splash screen (in .png format) and a description of your application which will be used in the iTunes App Store. Then, using their online tools, you build your app by uploading the content which can consist of either photos or news articles.

How Much it Costs: Basic account holders pay $88 for creation of their iPhone application and submission to the iTunes App Store along with a $28 per month fee for bandwidth and hosting.

3. AppMakr

AppMakr is another DIY solution for app building and can be really cheap or farily expensive depending on how you use it. They will let you make an app by pulling together RSS feeds and you get to choose your app icon, splash screen, header image, colors etc, If you have basic programming skills you can also add CSS or Java script with your RSS to customize how they look. You can also integrate your admob, adsense , millenial ads by simply adding your account number or your code.

The cost is $499 if you want them to publish your apps however its free if you want to publish it yourself. I know thats little more work and still have to dish out $99 to apple to get the developer license but then you can publish as many apps you would like for free

4. AppBreeder

What it Does: AppBreeder is another DIY app builder service, similar to SwebApps. Where SwebApps offers categories to choose from, AppBreeder offers "App-Kits." These are pre-defined collections of app settings which include gadgets, icons, and behavioral elements. There are kits for a wide range of industries including everything from real estate to legal and bands to restaurants. You use the kits as a jumping off point to start building your app and then add or remove gadgets as your needs require. After building your app, you can then publish it to the iTunes App Store. However, AppBreeder isn't just limited to the iPhone - it also lets you publish apps for Blackberry and Android devices as well. (Note: the company's website says that "due to sudden demand spike" AppBreeder's build and publishing tools will be unavailable until Nov. 30th.)

How Much it Costs: AppBreeder offers different packages depending on whether your app will be ad supported or ad-free and which platforms you plan to distribute it on. Ad supported apps are free, iPhone web apps are $9.95 - 14.95, native iPhone apps are $29.95, and the iPhone/Blackberry/Android app package is $39.95 - 49.95.

5. MyAppBuilder

What it Does: MyAppBuilder is a service that creates iPhone applications designed to help you sell your content. Whether that's books, music, videos, etc., the service turns any content into an app. You can also use MyAppBuilder to create custom quizzes, apps that are fed by Twitter pages, or you can turn your blog into an app by way of its RSS feed. To use the online app builder, you login to the service's "Control Panel" where you submit details about your app including content, features, flow, and image files. The company then uses this information to create an app for you which is sent back to you for review. After you approve the app, MyAppBuilder submits it to the iTunes App Store on your behalf.

How Much it Costs: The service is available for a fee of $29 per month. There is also a $20 processing fee to compile your data, put it in the appropriate format, and submit it to the App Store for review.

6. BuildAnApp

What it Does: BuildAnApp is another DIY cross-platform app builder designed for small businesses, community groups and professional service organizations. Using the web-based service, you can pick and choose from the company's customizable templates to create apps for the iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile platforms. As with Sweb Apps, creators can use their own graphics or choose images from the company's own online gallery. A special feature of this service is its ability to house an email distribution list that will notify end users to download the application once it becomes available. (Note: this service is currently in private beta testing right now. You can sign up here to be notified when it's available).

How Much it Costs: The company says pricing has not yet been determined but will be "competitive" with similar services.

7. eBookApp

What it Does: The eBook App Maker is a service specifically designed to create iPhone apps from eBooks. The app builder supports nearly all digital formats including PDF, Doc, Zip, CHM, HTML, TXT, FB2, PDB, PRC, Mobi, PDB, MHT, RTF. eBook creators can also specify various fonts and sizes, can add images and notes, can lock the orientation to landscape or portrait, and more.

How Much it Costs: The company's site doesn't publicly list its pricing but offers a "request a quote" form instead.

8. GameSalad

What it Does: GameSalad is a downloadable tool for creating games without needing to know programming or scripting. Using the company's visual editing software, you can create games which can then be published to both the web and to the iPhone. GameSalad offers a suite of "interactions" and attributes which you can add into your game to create the action. You can also drag-and-drop art files and sound files from your computer into the game builder, too. As you create the game, you can tweak the various elements during the building process and can preview what the game looks like before compiling it.

How Much it Costs: The company offers a basic, free version of GameSalad which lets you publish to the web, but not the iPhone. For iPhone games, there are two versions available: the Express version for $99/year and the Pro version for $1999/year.My cxpreince was bad with this at the beginning. it kept crashing my mac.

9. MobileRoadie

What it Does: Mobile Roadie is an application builder that lets bands create their own custom iPhone applications which can include content like photo galleries, streaming music files, YouTube videos, upcoming concert listings, lyrics, news, Twitter and RSS feeds, and even interactive features like a "wall" where fans can post comments and photos. The app can also link to Ticketmaster and LiveNation ticket sales information and to the band's album(s) on iTunes.

How Much it Costs: There is a $499 set up fee for Mobile Roadie followed by a $29/month fee for the first 100 installs. To get rid of the 1 cent per install fee, bands can choose to host their own content instead.

10. MobBase

What it Does: Similar to Mobile Roadie, MobBase is also an app creation tool designed for bands. Without needing programming skills, musicians can create apps that include videos, images, bios, band news, streaming playlists, concert schedules and links for music purchases. The tool, offered by MixMatchMusic,

How Much it Costs: Applications are $20 dollars to activate. Free apps are priced at $15 dollars a month for the first 500 installs with $5 dollars per additional 1000 downloads. Paid apps cost $20 dollars per month for the first 500 installs and $6 dollars per month for each additional 1000. MobBase does not take any application sales fees in regards to revenue share. The company also receives 5% of purchased music downloads.



Update!

While this post was by no means meant to be a definitive list, it's amazing the response it's received in both the comments and via email. So many people have asked "how could you forget.. this company or that?" OK, Appcelerator was an oversight, but as far as the others, they just weren't on my radar. Here's a few of the ones that received multiple mentions:

  • TapLynx: A DIY solution for building apps without coding.
  • MobileAppLoader: Another DIY solution for building iPhone apps without code.
  • MobileStoreMaker: A DIY solution for making a mobile storefront for iPhone.
  • Appcelerator: Like Rhomobile and PhoneGap, you do need to code, but you don't need to know Objective C. Instead, you can build iPhone apps with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Python, PHP and Ruby instead.
  • MobiOne: An iPhone emulator that lets you build iPhone apps by coding them using your web development skills.
  • Appanda: A system that lets you build apps through RSS, links and manual uploads. Still in beta.

However, there are tons of others, too. Really - tons ! Hop into the comments section to see even more suggestions from their users and fans.

RSS into App

My app

I picked appmakr to make my apps. I decided to use the free method and paid $99 to apple to receive my developer license. This took couple days. But as soon as I was approved I was able to upload my license into my account. I started to make my app after this. I simply typed what i wanted to make my app about. Mine was about Nepali News, this I typed that, the site found me icon images, splash screen , and I made my own header using photoscape and uploaded. The appmakr also suggests you RSS feeds you can use based on your keyword, I used some of theirs, added few mine, changed the colors as I wanted, put by app info, added my advertisement and was able to build my app. They also give you a warning system based on several factors about what is the likely chance of you getting your app approved. This no guarantee but simply your chances. The next step though was bit tricky , getting the app provisioned through apple and building . However, they had a step by step video which makes it simple if you follow the video and do the same. After the app is built, i was able to test the app on my ipod touch and then upload it ti app store for approval. They have video directions for this too. Its completely upto you to either make the app free or charge for it. I submitted mine as free. After about 10 days, i received the approval from apple and my app was live on the itunes store. The actual time to build was less than 45 minutes .

You can see how the apps looks like. Here are the ones I made:

Nepali News App

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nepali-news/id379872395?mt=8

Nepali Recipes App

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nepalifood/id381455344?mt=8

I've included few videos about how you can make the apps, but they have numerous more on their site too.

If you do not have an apple developer license and do not want to get one, or would someone to build your apps, please contact me , and we can discuss how I can help. Good luck App making!

PS: Also included are the screenshots of my app to give you an idea about what you can do with this.

One of the things you might want to do is create a personalized website for your app. This cna be done easily via Wordpress and these days many hosts like Bluehost or Go daddy provide 1 click install with custom themes suited for mobile apps.

RSS

PS: If you do not have your own  RSS feeds , its easy to create one from Yahoo  news, google news, feedburner etc. There are a lot of resources on the web to help with this

Easy app making

App Images

Comments

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    • profile image

      Abrar 

      4 years ago

      What about app architect

    • profile image

      iphoneappcreator 

      6 years ago

      This is fantastic! Nice work on putting together this informative article. I look forward to reading more from you!

      You can also find more info about creating your own iphone apps by visiting http://iphoneappcreator.net

    • profile image

      MyAppInc.com 

      6 years ago

      $99/month for an app!?? You can get the same thing (app built with all the same features like MR) from myappinc.com - check us out! We offer iPhone, Android, iPad & Blackberry apps for DJs, Artists, Bands, Nightclubs, Bars, Lounges, Restaurants and more for only $299!! Don't get ripped off by MR!! Cheers!!

    • profile image

      Vlad 

      6 years ago

      Apps are what is needed to make your smartphone smart and unique.Im fond of app creating and find it really helpful to use site like snappii where i can build apps in minutes.

    • Dilaila  Spencer profile image

      Dilaila Spencer 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for such detailed information!

      You may also include to the above list http://seattleclouds.com, an online mobile app builder tool. This online service has all the visual tools for building and iPhone and Android apps without necessity for coding skills.It is easy to use and not expensive.

    • profile image

      Alexandra 

      6 years ago

      Mobile apps are hot today. But hiring a programmer is too expensive. I used snappii.com to make apps. It's really easy, the web service allows to make mobile apps in minutes, and without programming skills at all.

    • profile image

      Garry 

      7 years ago

      My favorite iPhone app builder tool is Snappii.com. It is really easy and great for me! Low pricing and cool features! They have WYSIWYG editor - great option!

    • profile image

      Creating Apps for iPhone with AppMakr 

      8 years ago

      Thanks so much for all the great details on AppMakr!

      We've also added GeoRSS, Photo Galleries and Push Notifications to our other great options. The service is FREE for a limited time so keep building & publishing those apps!

      http://AppMakr.com

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