The beautiful thing about the App Store is that anyone can publish an app or game from almost anywhere in the world. The hot topic in the developer community is how app developers can use these cross platform tools to build an app once and be available for all platforms and also with drag and drop template app generators. These are all great for non coders who want to instantly create mobile apps on the spot that comes with a monthly expense. Is it worth it in the end? Let’s cover what’s going on and some risks.
Will Your App Template Be Banned?
Tech Crunch covers the details of the updated App Store guidelines where Apple is stating the rules and is taking action against template apps now. For details go here.
The Argument: Small Businesses Can’t Afford To Hire Developers
This argument is being thrown around as it can be very expensive to hire app developers to build that app. However there are cheaper alternatives that can help such as freelancers, which could actually be cheaper than a monthly templated app. Other benefits include higher app quality and additional features that no template generator can include.
Small businesses are just a Google search away from finding the best solution to fit their app needs. Also we need to remember, if you’re a small business owner, you know advertising and marketing costs money and is vital to your business right? That alone can costs thousands of dollars. So, what makes mobile apps less vital to your business goals in this mobile world? If apps pose such an important role, then wouldn’t it make sense to invest in it? I think it’s not that small businesses can’t afford it, they choose other priorities over making apps. Whatever the purpose of this thinking is, maybe they don’t see the potential business exposure it can give or whatever the reasoning is behind it. If a small business doesn’t have creative outlets or have enough capital, it is either too early in its startup phase, or won’t last and will be out of business anyways.
Creating apps can be learned, so my advice is to either learn it yourself, hire freelance developers, or hire locally in office. It’s not that hard to build a simple template app and I could do it for you for half the price if you really want one. This should only take a good 2 days or less to build natively without additional monthly expenses.
Stay Away From Templated Apps and Hybrid Apps
This is just my opinion as templated apps and hybrid apps both can have a monthly fee depending on the tool used to create the apps. I like to control my business expenses and this is why I stay away from these services. Other aspects to consider is the quality and experience the app is delivering to your users. Most hybrid and template apps are sluggish and I tend to always uninstall them after a few seconds because of this. I don’t blame Apple for wanting to have higher quality apps, and apps that are unique from each other. I’d say create an app from scratch and throw in your own creative uniqueness to it. This is what makes apps come alive, in my opinion at least.
Facebook’s iOS app was a hybrid but they realized that was a mistake because of how slow it was. According to this they had to rebuild it utilizing Apples native code as the base. They also have an amazing technology on top of it but the base of the app is native.
“So while utilizing web technology has allowed us to support more than 500 million people using Facebook on more than 7000 supported devices, we realized that when it comes to platforms like iOS, people expect a fast, reliable experience and our iOS app was falling short. Now that our mobile services had breadth, we wanted depth. So, we rewrote Facebook for iOS from the ground up (I really did open up Xcode and click “New Project”) with a focus on quality and leveraging the advances that have been made in iOS development.”
Lastly, with just a simple policy change, as Apple has already done, this can wipe your apps off the market without notice. You have no control in this scenario and I agree this is very risky to be in this position. Any app or game published on the App Store is at risk of being removed without notice. As the way things go, there is always a solution we can go from here. I don’t see why anyone can’t host their own apps on their own website alternatively. Small businesses might want to look into that if they still pursue templated apps. I wish you best of luck with which ever route you go.