Blog : Durham App Developer Competes, Even Bests, Overseas Business App Options

By Kyle | Jun 26, 2014 | in

It may seem hard to believe, but there's a shortage of mobile app developers in the United States. It's a troubling fact for small business owners looking to create a mobile app for their company. The trouble starts with the need to satisfy a country with growing consumer demand, a lack of resources in IT departments and the large price tags domestic app developers charge. These limitations force many business owners to seek services outside the U.S. where app creation can be done cheaply.

In 2011 local entrepreneur Alex Bakman launched SnAPPii - a Durham-based company that has created a visual mobile app creation system - in hopes of helping small businesses make apps easily and affordably for iPhone, iPad and Android systems. SnAPPii offers a platform that can dramatically speed up mobile app creation and therefore lower the cost of custom apps.

“My motivation was to solve some of the problems of mobile app development. I realize that people need about a gazillion apps because, as the Apple commercial goes, ‘there is an app for that’— we now live in a world where there is a growing sense that each of us does indeed need an app for everything. Businesses that can meet this demand are finding handsome rewards in profits,” says Bakman.

SnAPPii provides customers with the ability to simply pick the needed features of their app and either SnAPPii or the client themselves will assemble the app visually using a drag and drop approach. Building apps with SnAPPii is done by simply “drawing” a picture of your app. SnAPPii then takes the picture and turns it into a native app for Android, iPad and iPhone.

 

"There are apps out there that cost north of 100,000 dollars to make. That’s just too expensive for most small businesses," says Bakman. "SnAPPii offers custom built apps starting at $500, or customer DIY services starting at $5 per app user per month."

The services provided by SnAPPii are small, but boost a company's marketing capabilities, which can help stimulate economic growth for both the business and the local economy. Since its launch, the company has spearheaded the development of more than 6,000 mobile apps, all from a platform supporting 17 different languages. SnAPPii has also built over 40 business specific apps all offered in both the Apple and Google app stores. A simple search for “SnAPPii” in either app store will give one a sense of the local company’s capabilities and diversity in app development.

Using companies outside the U.S. does more than just hurt the local economy; it can also prove frustrating for clients who have to contend with language barriers as well as timezone and cultural differences. One problematic cultural difference is the use of the word 'no.' In many countries it's not socially acceptable to say no; therefore, a foreign developer might not say directly what the status of an app is if the work is not complete.

Each year smart phone and tablet ownership increases (a recent study shows 500 million people currently use smartphones and 1/3 of Americans own a tablet) and for many it’s become their primary means for accessing information and attracting clients. Because of this increased use of mobile technology, businesses look to draw traffic to their mobile and online content as a means to engage their customers. SnAPPii not only helps local economies, but the environment as well. The increased use of mobile technology has environmental benefits as it cuts down on paper waste, travel and resource use.

“With mobile devices, especially tablets for businesses, there's no reason to have paper forms what-so-ever. Businesses can eliminate a lot of expense and at the same time go green. Mobile is a huge green technology” adds Bakman.

Acting sustainably is one reason why SnAPPii joined the Green Alliance — a union of local sustainable businesses promoting environmentally sound business practices and a green co-op offering discounted green products and services to its members.

As we move even further into a digital culture, it's important to know that even something as small as creating an app for our smartphones can have far reaching effects. Choosing a local company like SnAPPii that prides itself on helping small, local companies as well as the environment is beneficial to all.

The first 20 Green Card holders or Business Partners to sign up for an app will receive 20% off development fees!