Developing an app rarely proves to be a quick, easy endeavor. Fortunately, several companies recently have launched app builders to help developers create innovative offerings for a range of platforms.
Here's a closer look at three new app builders that may influence developers worldwide, both now and in the future.
1. JW Player's Apple TV App Builder
(Source: JW Player blog)
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) TV app development may prove to be a time-consuming, expensive process for even the most experienced developer. But now, JW Player is offering a platform designed to remove the guesswork from the Apple TV app development process.
The digital and mobile video platform and player company this month released its Apple TV App Builder, an open-source product that enables users to design and deploy apps without having to worry about coding.
JW Player points out the Apple TV App Builder requires "minimal configuration and no additional cost." Plus, JW Player is providing the first free app framework for Apple TV, empowering developers to create Apple TV apps without delay.
Schklowsky (Source: JW Player)
"We want to empower independent publishers to monetize their content," Pablo Schklowsky, JW Player's senior vice president of video platform, tells FierceDeveloper. "And with our open-source app framework, our code is live for developers to use at any time."
Epicurean media brand Tasting Table represents the first JW Player customer to leverage the Apple TV App Builder.
In fact, Tasting Table used the platform to create a tvOS app ready for approval by Apple in under 24 hours, Schklowsky says.
"The development of the Tasting Table app required very little effort on their part," Schklowsky notes.
Tasting Table co-founder and CEO Geoff Bartakovics called the app build a "slam dunk" for the company, telling FierceDeveloper that "just based on similar app development that we've done, even a basic entry level for me would have been in the $25,000 to $35,000 space to develop something custom. Where I would have had to engage a UX/UI guy for front end, and figure out how to use the Apple API, and figure out any workflow process internally to probably double-load the videos if they didn't have this for us."
The Apple TV App Builder may be just the beginning for JW Player, too.
Schklowsky notes his company is focused on building a "multi-platform strategy" that will empower developers to create apps for numerous over-the-top (OTT) video platforms by the end of the year.
Appery.io offers a cloud-based development environment for building mobile and responsive apps.
Unlike other app builders, Appery enables developers to create mobile apps that run on all major device platforms including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, all from a single code base.
Katz (Source: Maxa Blog)
Max Katz, Appery's vice president of product and developer relations, notes Appery provides visual tools and integrated backend services for delivering cross-device apps in the enterprise, along with a middleware to mobilize existing/legacy data sources and support offline mode for apps.
In addition, Katz points out over 300,000 developers are building and running apps on Appery, and his company plans to explore new ways to support developers.
"Developers love that they can build and deploy an app for iOS and Android literally within a few days," Katz says. "On the app side, we are planning to add support for popular Ionic 2 and AngularJS 2 frameworks. On the backend services side, we are going to continue to expand our API Express offering ... [which] allows users to connect to various enterprise data sources and expose them via APIs to use in a mobile app. Going forward we are planning to add out-of-the-box connectors to enterprise data sources such as Salesforce, SAP and others."
Katz acknowledges the demand for enterprise apps is expected to grow over the next few years.
And as such, Appery will continue to focus on simplifying and streamlining the app development process.
"Our goal is simple. We want to make it fast and simple build enterprise mobile apps and ensure IT can deliver all the apps businesses need," Katz says.
3. Appy Pie
Want an app builder that's "as easy as pie"? With Appy Pie, developers can leverage a do-it-yourself platform that is designed to help them create one-of-a-kind apps in minutes.
Appy Pie features a drag-and-drop interface to help both expert and novice designers build apps instantly.
Source: Appy Pie promo video.
Also, Appy Pie offers a number of app building options, including:
Church app maker
Radio app builder
Restaurant app builder
Small business app builder
Real estate app builder
To date, at least 1 million apps have been created using Appy Pie, according to Appy Pie founder Abhinav Girdhar.
Appy Pie intends to expand its support as well, ensuring developers can create apps for a variety of platforms.
"Going forward we are adding support for Apple & Android TV, iWatch (and) wearables ... on top of that, we plan to launch a new version of our app framework 'snappy.js,' which aims to make the app five times faster," Girdhar says.
Appy Pie remains "bullish" on the app development sector as well.
"It took us three years to get 1 million apps created on our platform," Girdhar says. "However, the next million will come within this year."
Samantha Bookman contributed to this feature.