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Mobile Roadie – Building mobile apps for dummies

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14 October 2010
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iPhone apps are sexy and powerful, but they are expensive. So when somebody offers custom mobile apps at an affordable price, media people of all stripes take note.

Earlier this week I went to London’s Digital Roundabout to have a look at Mobile Roadie, a tool that allows people to build their own mobile app with next to no technical expertise. And it gets better – it’s available for the iPhone and Android and soon for other platforms too.

There are other tools like this (like Yapper), but Mobile Roadie is an impressive bit of kit. So I shot a quick video of their London dude Stephen O’Reilly explaining the service.

It won’t cater for very bespoke or niche app ideas, but it covers the basics very well: data import, sharing, graphic customisation, and the platform even has an API.

And if you really want a bespoke section in your app, they allow you to build it and integrate in the final build.

But the main draw for me was the extremely intuitive interface and the fact that the development team keeps adding new features to the platform. Which means you can keep making new versions of your app, all part of same fee (which is part one-off, part subscription).

One of those features that caught my eye was a Top User functionality. It means that each app has the built-in option to assign points to user behaviour. The more your fans comment, post and like, the more ‘Top User’ they become. Not bad functionality for encouraging engagement. Pretty handy for celebrity type apps.

Who’s this for? So far Mobile Roadie has been very focused on the music industry (they’re always looking for a bit of value for money ;-) ). But in the future I can see this working for any brand or organisation that has good content and/or an active community of fans.

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