AppOnboard brings app development to the masses with AppOnboard Studio

The no-code philosophy comes to app development through AppOnboard.

App development company AppOnboard has announced a new creation platform aimed at simplifying the process of building mobile applications. Dubbed “AppOnboard Studio,” the toolset is gunning to bring app creation to the masses by eliminating the need for coding experience, similar to the way Wordpress or Wix has opened up website building to everyone.

“AppOnboard Studio enables anyone with an idea and creative assets to build an app demo,” Jonathan Zweig, CEO and co-founder of AppOnboard, said in a press release. “Our easy to use tool-set completely eliminates all barriers of entry to app development, whether it be the cost or availability of engineering staff or the knowledge of how to code. It is truly a product that takes you from art to app”.

“'No-code' is a massive trend that is bigger than any of us. You can see this with any part of the evolution of software,” AppOnboard COO Bryan Buskas told GameDaily. “15 years ago Computer Science PhDs were hired to build websites. Now anyone can build a website using [codeless] tools like Wix or Wordpress and the PhDs are working on much harder problems. Why is it that today you need to know how to code to make an app? Our mission is to enable anyone with an idea to bring that idea to life as an app.”

Founded in 2016, AppOnboard was created with the goal of “building the world’s smallest native engine for app demos” according to Buskas. The idea was to give users the ability to try apps before buying. In teaming up with Google, AppOnboard has helped bring a “try now” feature to many games on the Google Play store. The “try now” button can be found next to the “install” button on an app’s store page, and allows a user access to an instant demo.

“On a global scale, Google Play instant apps and 'try now' experiences have already become the preferred user experience--similar to all forms of digital entertainment that are “on-demand,” Buskas said. “The try now experience truly opens up more content discovery by allowing more choice and on-demand app experiences.”

According to Buskas, AppOnboard’s on-demand approach to app development has helped to increase player retention for several app developers, including Jam City, FoxNext, and Game Insight. The implications of instant-access means we could be one step closer to a sort of Netflix for apps.

AppOnboard’s work in developing on-demand development tech has, according to Buskas, been leading to AppOnboard Studio. “Everything we have been building to date at the company has been in preparation for the launch of AppOnboard Studio,” he said.

Since the company’s launch in 2016, AppOnboard has extensively developed its network of investors and ad partners--to date, it has earned upwards of $35 million in investments, including $15 million earlier this year. “The top gaming companies in the world were so impressed with the results that we were able to build relationships with the vast majority of the top 200 grossing games in the world, whether it was powering their game demos, or allowing them to earn revenue by running demos of other games,” Buskas said.

The feedback was so positive that clients began to ask for access to AppOnboard’s suite of development tools. “It was then that we realized that we had to open up Studio--a product that we had been using in house to build game demos ourselves--to the whole world.”

In today’s on-demand digital landscape, it makes sense that app stores would join the likes of movies and music as an instantly accessible form of entertainment. In particular, the mobile sector is absolutely booming. The rapid growth of mobile revenue the last few years is certainly an attractive prospect for companies looking to, not only cover their overhead, but flourish. The appeal of the mobile industry is not lost on Buskas.

“The three biggest trends we see today across the mobile landscape are the explosion of hyper casual games, success with interactive/playable ads, and the rise of no-code tools,” he said. “Hyper casual games have tapped into the word of mouth aspect of game discovery by becoming lightweight, simple to learn, yet difficult to master. [And] the largest developers are now spending the majority (more than 50 percent) of their ad spend on interactive (playable) ads as video ads continue to lose favor.”

What Buskas is most excited about, however, is the potential of no-code tools. “They truly democratize app/game development--finally anyone can create an app or game--even without access to funds, specialized skills or expertise, or know-how. This truly will have a global impact across all regions and countries.”

Buskas’ optimistic outlook for AppOnboard Studio is illustrative of a booming mobile industry that grew by 23 percent in 2018. The world collectively spent more than $73 billion on apps and games last year, and AppOnboard is looking to take advantage of that by courting would-be app developers keen to cut themselves a slice of the pie. It’s for certain a smart business move that fills a demand not yet met in the mobile sector. AppOnboard Studio is available now for current partners who registered for the early access program, with more open access to follow at an unspecified date.

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Sam has been freelancing since 2016, and has bylines at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, and Unwinnable. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter.