The Top 7 Mobile App Development Tools For Developers on a Budget

App Development Tools

A lot of money goes into building an app, and even when you have the essential pieces you need–you are still a long way off from the App Store. Back in 2013, the average cost of developing a “small” app was around $3000 – $8000 and a lot of that went to marketing. Those numbers haven’t gotten any better as competition increases. Once you have your app built, you still need to figure out just how you plan on marketing this thing, how you’ll track conversions, as well as how you’ll monetize your game or tool.

From tracking app analytics to generating revenue, here’s a look at our seven favorite tools that make your post-development life just a whole lot easier.

1. Enhance

One of the biggest pain points while developing an app is the time it takes to integrate SDKs (not to mention the knowledge in coding). Enhance allows you to integrate your app automatically with other third-party applications. Import SDKs with ease, monetize your app, and update your program with patch fixes. On top of that, Enhance allows for easy tracking from downloads to in-app purchases, plus you can add things like the option to download the app via Facebook for easy access. The best part for developers on a budget is that Enhance is free! There are no trial periods, no package plans, and no strings attached.

2. Xamarin

The tool lets app developers to use the same IDE, language, and APIs across devices and platforms using a C# code base. Xamarin has some big names behind it, too, we’re talking Microsoft, Foursquare, IBM, and even the Dow Jones. Xamarin platform also allows a developer to share code with other users, enabling more apps in less time. The pricing is beneficial for indie developers, as their studio community is free of charge for individuals and small businesses.

3. Pollfish

Pollfish is a company that helps you monetize your app in the form of surveys—the technology inserts ads into mobile apps, then generates money for the app developers that agree to pass surveys along to their audience.

Pollfish can be used to generate revenue within your app, alongside other sources of revenue, like your existing mobile app platforms. If you’re worried about your users being irritated by surveys, they can easily opt out.

What’s more? Pollfish also allows app developers to ask users questions about their own app—so you’ll get some valuable feedback you can incorporate into making a better app. Win-win, right? Plus, Pollfish pays you.

4. OpenBack

App marketing isn’t just about downloads, it’s about keeping people interested in your content for the long haul. OpenBack is an intelligent delivery system made to boost app engagement with your user base. In short, OpenBack makes it easy to create and “push” out push notifications.

The advantage of this program versus the myriad of others used to create these messages is personalization. Each notification is customized to user preferences—sending out SMS messages or emails depending on preference. Developers on a budget can try out a demo or free trial to see if it’s worth the cost.

App Development Tools

5. AdMob

Here’s a popular one for you that you may already be familiar with; Google’s AdMob is a favorite among mobile developers looking for monetization options. Mediating with AdMob means you’re connected with over 40 third-party ad networks that work to help you boost revenue. While AdMob takes a cut of your sales, you don’t need to pay to play–and you can cross-sell your other apps straight from the platform.

6. Chartboost

Chartboost is a mobile advertising network that works primarily on securing direct advertising deals between app developers. This tool is specialized in the sense that it allows developers the opportunity to sell advertising space to other app developers.

This means you can cross-promote your own apps—and even create playable ads that work well with mobile games.

7.  Unity

While we’ve looked at a number tools build to support your existing apps, here’s one that can help you develop the next viral hit from scratch.

Unity is a feature-rich, flexible editing and development tool that allows you to create mobile apps, VR and video games. The game engine comes with 2D and 3D tools, one-click deployment to the Play or App Store (and more), plus a built-in monetization service for mobile games.

You can try their personal account for free to get a feel for the program, or upgrade to the $35 a month plus account or the $125 per month professional tier.

There’s no doubt that developing an app, taking it to market, and successfully monetizing your solution is serious business (not to mention can be risky for your wallet). We hope this list gives you some inspiration, or at least a jumping off point to getting your app ready and positioned for success.

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