Affordable Smart Phone Apps

I mentioned earlier that the existence of twin platforms used to mean that app developers had to build the same app twice, once for iTunes and once for GooglePlay, which added significantly to the cost of development. That meant that a low-end price for developing even the most basic app used to be in the low-five figure range, and well above that for something more complex.

I say “used to be” because things have definitely changed in the last year or so. I liken this to the evolution of similar technologies that have gone “mainstream” in recent years.

Anyone who remembers the early days of desktop publishing will recall that it used to take quite a skill set to become proficient at building pages using that technology. You needed to know design, of course, but also had to be a font expert, a color expert, and a technical wiz, too.

Then some really smart programmers came up with software for the rest us, like Microsoft Publisher, Print Shop and others. Suddenly, laying out of flyers, brochures and even full-fledged magazines became a snap for regular everyday folks.

Similarly, in the early days of the internet, you had to be pretty smart to build your own website. It’s no coincidence that terms like Webmaster and Guru sprang up to describe what these early adopters were doing. Nowadays, just about anyone can put up a WordPress site in an hour, and you’d only need to hire an expert if you want it to do something fancy.

The same evolution has recently happened with apps. Not long ago, you had to be a programmer, not just in iOS but Android SDK, and countless other operating systems, too. It also helped if you had talent as a designer, not something you often find in a programmer, so you were probably talking about adding another person to the project. Then you might need a project manager to marry the conflicting agendas of the technical teams and the design teams.

It’s not hard to see why it was so expensive to develop those early apps.

But within the last year, new software has come on to the market that has allowed for apps to be developed without the need for a technical background, although you do still need to be a great designer.

What’s more, some of those programs allow for a single app to be developed that is compatible with both the iTunes and GooglePlay app stores.

This is a game-changing development because, for the first time in the short history of the industry, the cost of developing an app is within the reach of every small business, church group, school district, and, yes, sports organization in the world.

So if you’ve been thinking that you’d like an app, but there’s no way you could afford the five-figure price tag, think again. There are companies out there (including ours) that can develop an app for less than $1,000. That’s still a sizeable investment, of course, but nowhere near as much as it would have cost even eighteen months ago.

In my next post, I’ll talk about how much time you need to allow for the development of your club’s app. If you want to read that installment right away, click here.