Mobile Application Builder Platforms
04 Sep 2012
In my quest to understand the possible future of Web APIs, I’m trying to understand the opportunities available for APIs when it comes to latest wave of mobile app builder platforms.
What I’m classifying as a mobile app builder platform, is a web-based platform (not something you have to download), that lets you build a mobile application and usually (but not always) without any development experienced.
There are a lot of sites that claim the ability to build mobile apps in minutes, but many of them clearly are spammy crap. I tried to sort through as many as I could to come up with this short list of mobile app builder platforms:
|AppBotic - Mobile app builder supporting iPhone, iPad, Android and HTML5 with no visible support for APIs.|
|AppBreeder - Mobile app builder with iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android support, with no direct API support.|
|App Builder - Mobile app builder with support for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and allows for direct API integration for content.|
|BuildAnApp - Mobile app building platform supporting iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile with no API support.|
|Cabana - HTML5 mobile app and Facebook fan page building application with sophisticated support for API integration.|
|FiveSpark - Mobile app building platform with direct APIs up port.|
|LiveCode - Mobile app building platform with support for iPhone, iPad and Android with to evident API support.|
|Mippin - A mobile app building platform with support for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, HTML5, Blackberry and Nokia with no clear API support.|
|MobBase - Fan focused mobile app building platform supporting iPhone, Android and HTML5 with no direct API support.|
|Mobile App Wizard - GUI Mobile app builder supporting iPhone, iPad, Android, HTML5 that is content and feed based without specific extensibility for APIs.|
|MobileRoadie - Mobile app building platform with support for iPhone, Android, iPad and HTML5 with API integration support.|
|Mobincube - Mobile app building platform with support for iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android, Blackberry and Symbian, with no clear options for API integration.|
|MyAppBuilder - Basic mobile app builder with support for iPhone and Android with no direct API support.|
|Shoutem - GUI mobile app builder platform with iPhone and Android support, built around feeds with custom modules for API integration.|
|Smart Pilot - Mobile app building platform supporting iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry with module based API integration.|
|Swebapps - Mobile app builder with support for iPhone and Android with no direct API integration options.|
|TapLynx - Mobile building platform for iPhone, with no clear API support|
|The App Builder - Mobile app building platform supporting iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and HTML5 with no clear API support.|
|Tiggzi - Cloud based mobile app building platform supporting HTMl5, iPhone, iPad using HTML5, JQuery Mobile and Phonegap with tools for building API connectors.|
Not all of these mobile app building platforms provide support for external APIs, the ones who do are clearly leaders in the space. Tiggzi and Cabana both provide powerful API support, while others offer modules, connectors that are canned API integration, without much customization from users.
Many of these mobile builder platforms look pretty basic and are trying to capitalize on the needs of the masses wanting to deploy mobile applications. The mobile builder platforms that continue to add in API connectivity, especially with social and personal data APIs will keep up.
I predict in 6 months, I'll come back to this post and 1/3 will be out of business, because they didn't build in API integration.