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Make your own app with these DIY services

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | June 25, 2015
Small business owners: Have you ever considered going mobile? That is, making an app for your business, whether it's a restaurant, store, or events company?

Unlike the other services in our round-up, Como doesn't offer tiered pricing plans. Instead, there are only two options: The free plan, which limits you to five app downloads and 50 mobile visitors per month (basically a trial plan), or the paid plan, which starts at $29 per month and gets you full functionality, including unlimited users and downloads, unlimited push notifications, and advanced analytics.

Como's app builder is more intuitive than Appy Pie's, and everything is slightly more streamlined for businesses who need a solid, professional-looking app without having to spend hours uploading and adjusting content. It's also more expensive, though, since that $29 per month price is only what you get if you sign up for the two-year plan (it's $33 per month billed annually, while Appy Pie is $19 per month billed annually).


Both Appy Pie and Como are good choices if you're looking to build a straightforward, no-nonsense app for your business or restaurant. But what if you're looking for something a little more whimsical and, well, sexy?

GoodBarber is all about sexy mobile apps--heck, even their splash page is a minimalist rainbow blend of watercolors and text. While Appy Pie offers up a few generic stock photos, and Como gives you four or five basic themes, GoodBarber has an entire theme library, complete with custom fonts and high-resolution stock photos from Unsplash (a free stock photo library). If you want to make a pretty app, and you don't have the time to find or create content yourself, GoodBarber can definitely help you with aesthetics.

First, GoodBarber asks you to name and categorize your app. You can't use any special characters--not even spaces--in the name. Next, you'll be asked to create an account (just an email address and a password), before GoodBarber takes you to its app builder.

GoodBarber's app builder is a bit more design-y than Appy Pie's or Como's, and it doesn't try to lock you out of things like audience stats or general settings before you've created your app. The builder features a large live preview of what your final app will look like, along with seven "steps" for designing your app, which are located in a menu on the right side of the screen.

Step one is theme: GoodBarber has a collection of about 50 themes, all of which have their own font, background, icons, and colors. The themes look polished and unique, and you can preview your app in a theme before you decide to change it. Step two is navigation layout--GoodBarber lets you pick from eight different layouts, including a cool, colorful type-face menu, a center-text menu, and two different types of slide-out menus. In each menu, you can change the colors of both the text and the icons, as well as the texture of the icons. If you'd prefer to create your navigation layout from scratch, there's also an option to just enter code. Step three lets you edit the header (swap it out for a picture, or add some fancy effects--iOS only) and body of your app (background, separators, and margins).


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