Mobile App Market: Joining the mobile app gold rush

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This is a follow-up to the previous post where we talked about the growth of the mobile app market and how you could possibly benefit from it. In this article we discuss about the first general steps you need to consider before you join this app gold rush. And you can benefit, if you work smart, not necessarily hard but smart.

First step: Learn, Learn and Learn


Types of apps

Developing an app depends on the type of app you want to create. There are three major types of apps that are common today, namely Native, Hybrids, Dedicated Web apps.

  1. A native app is made using a specific programming language for the targeted platform. Some of the programming languages include:
    1. Objective-C for iOS,
    2. Java for Android,
    3. C++ for Symbian.
  2. A hybrid app is made using web development languages like HTML5, Javascript and CSS3.
  3. Dedicated web app is a just a mobile web site tailored to a specific platform, an example is LinkedIn web app which was designed for only Android and iOS. You use HTML5, Javascript and CSS3 to develop these.

How to develop an app

There are 2 major ways that mobile apps can be developed.

  1. Mobile app builder;
  2. Hard-code.

Both methods have their own pros and cons.

For the guy who would rather not write code

Mobile app builder


This is the choicest method if you do not have any computer science qualification or simply if you would rather not write code and save time. Mobile app builders are programs that let you develop apps by simple drag and drop actions e.g. placing a button in the User Interface will simply need you to drag it from the panel and paste it on the phone emulator.

There are various mobile app tools on the internet that can help you design apps easily. Many of them are cloud based i.e. hosted on the internet, Examples are AppMakr, EveryoneApps, iBuildApp, Snappii, MobBase, Appbuilder, Appsbar.

Tutorials on how to can get started with some of the builders:

AppMakr => video

EveryoneApps => video

iBuildApp => video

Snappii => video

The advantage of using mobile app builder is that development takes very little time. However, innovativeness here is throttled because you have to adhere to what the builder offers and how it works.

Hard-code (getting your hands dirty)

For the guy who knows web technology

Dreamweaver mobile app

HTML5 came with the power to develop the finest mobile apps, in-fact industry specialists say 52% of mobile app developers use HTML5. This includes

  1. Websites that automatically reshape to match the size of the device’s screen,
  2. Web apps that are downloadable and can work offline and
  3. Web apps that are converted to native apps using programs like Appcelerator.

The guy who is experienced in web technology has therefore a good starting point on the development of mobile apps.

There are frameworks available that can help you in the development of good hybrid apps. Among these is my personal favorite, Sencha Touch which is a Javascript library UI. For tutorials on how to use Sencha Touch click here. If this is your first time reading about Sencha Touch then I would suggest you start with the Getting Started tutorial. Other frameworks you can also work with are OpenMEAP, Toura Mulberry and Adobe AIR.

For the guy who knows Java, C++ or Objective-C

Good news, you are the guy in best position to create the fastest, smoothest and most reliable apps. All you need are some tutorials on getting started. For Android app development you can start with this set of tutorials, for the iOS platform you can start with this, and for Symbian app development this is a good starting point. Feel free however to google and find tutorials that are more suiting to your personal taste.

Next article we will be giving some tips on how you can begin working on your first major project. This will include naming your app, researching on competition, and uploading the app to the appropriate app store.


  1. A says:

    coool, i feel this will help a lot of aspiring developers out there

  2. Ndafara Tsamba says:

    Good series, I like.

  3. wellafella1 says:

    wats your recommendation.Mobile app builder or hard code. If you can, in your next article can you highlight how people make money from thee apps?

    1. Kelvin Muza says:

      Frankly I enjoy the challenge of coding so I’m the hard-code guy. But that may not be the best for some simple apps. You would really want to save time and develop a simple app by using an app builder.

      In the end the question of Mobile builder vs Hard-code really depends on the type of app you want to develop.

      As regards the 2nd question: People make money on apps during downloads of premium apps, the app store sends 70% of the app’s price money into your account. Another way in through advertising. For more info on this you can go to the previous post linked in the introduction

  4. Mablazo says:

    Very useful

  5. robocop says:

    There is a good series by MarakanaTechTv on YouTube. Its from 2012 a lot has changed since then, but its a good intro.

      1. Kelvin Muza says:

        Thank you for the links

  6. James Dube says:

    Great article!!!!

  7. Member says:

    I have to create a simple event app or rather convert html site to whatsapp, what do you recommend. I have download the android sdk/ android studio, how does it come into this article

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