The Best Open Source Mobile Application Software

The Best Open Source Mobile Application Software – Today’s computer user is no longer sitting at a desk, typing away on an old-fashioned keyboard. Today’s computer user is sitting next to you in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or in line behind you at the DMV. Today’s computer user can look up information on the go, as well as play games and listen to music, all thanks to smart phones and computer tablets.

In order to meet the changing marketplace, marketers must aim their pitches at the mobile market—specifically apps. Apps are the way to reach today’s consumers, experts say. The good news is, you don’t have to be an expert to develop apps for the most popular platforms. Several open source development applications are available, both for programmers and non-programmers.

For programmers:

  • PhoneGap: Using HTML5, the preferred standard in web programming, PhoneGap combines HTML and JavaScript, two areas in which most programmers are comfortable. PhoneGap supports seven separate platforms: iOS (iPhone), Android, OS 4.6-4.7, OS 5.X, OS 6.0+, WebOS, Symbian, and Bada. For seasoned programmers, PhoneGap should be fairly user-friendly, incorporating much of the knowledge you’ve already achieved as a programmer.
  • Appcelerator: Powering NBC’s iPad app, among others, Appcelerator allows the programmer to use Javascript, HTML, CSS, and other skills to develop apps. Creating apps for six different platforms, including Android, iOS, and Blackberry, which is in closed beta. The learning curve for Appcelerator is a little more complex than with PhoneGap, since programmers are required to learn Appcelerator’s Titanium API.
  • Open Mobile IS: Billing itself as a complete development solution, Open Mobile IS’s goal is to provide a full set of tools for app creation, saving programmers the effort of piecing together an app using tools obtained from various sources. According to Open Mobile IS, its apps will work with a wide variety of mobile devices, including PDA, smartphones, laptops, and tablet PCs.
  • Rhomobile: Rhomobile provides a variety of tools for developing apps, from Rhodes, which uses Ruby-based development framework, to RhoHub, which allows you to develop apps online, with no software installation required. With a single codebase that works on several platforms, Rhomobile allows you to get started right away. Owned by Motorola, Rhomobile was used to design the Humana insurance app for iPhone and Android, as well as the app for BMC Remedy help desk software.

For non-programmers:

  • App Inventor Beta: This app allows you to preview your app’s look on your phone as you’re designing it. Part of MIT Mobile Learning, App Inventor Beta allows non-technical creative types to get in on app developing with a simple-to-use interface. App Inventor Beta supports only the Android operating system—a negative to developers looking to create apps to share with the general public, since it will only work on one platform.
  • My App Builder: With this catchy, memorable name, My App Builder does exactly what its name says—builds apps. With My App Builder, you upload your blueprint and the site’s talented designers build your app for you. This is mostly a templated site, so your requests must fit within its limitations. With availability for the iPhone operating system only, this is another limited app creator.
  • GoMo: This site has become valuable for the mere fact that it will show you how your site looks on a smartphone. Once you’ve determined your site needs a smartphone-friendly redesign, GoMo will connect you with resources to help build your smartphone-ready site.

As GoMo points out, by the year 2013, more people will use their phones than PCs to get online. Since many consumers have already made the transition, it’s important for your business to adapt its marketing plans as soon as possible. Using these tools, you should be able to get started today.