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Toolkit Tuesday: Build a Mobile App with Como DIY App Creator

Internet usage on mobile devices continues to grow each year. The latest data shows that 60 percent of Internet users access the web mostly via mobile, and that 30% of web traffic in 2013 came from mobile devices. It’s more important than ever for businesses to have a mobile version of their site or a mobile app if they want to be found by customers using their phones and tablets to access the web. Today we’re showing you a DIY app creation tool that makes it simple to design, build, publish, and promote mobile apps – without requiring any knowledge

Como DIY App Creator

Internet usage on mobile devices continues to grow each year. The latest data shows that 60 percent of Internet users access the web mostly via mobile, and that 30% of web traffic in 2013 came from mobile devices. It’s more important than ever for businesses to have a mobile version of their site or a mobile app if they want to be found by customers using their phones and tablets to access the web.

Today we’re showing you a DIY app creation tool that makes it simple to design, build, publish, and promote mobile apps – without requiring any knowledge of coding. It used to be that if you wanted a mobile app for your brand or business, you would have to hire a web developer and shell out a decent-sized chunk of cash. With Como (formerly Conduit Mobile), anyone can create a professional-looking app in a matter of minutes.

Como DIY App Creator

Here’s how ridiculously easy it is to start creating your first mobile app using Como:

  1. Name Your App
  2. Select the type of app you want to create
  3. Enter Your Facebook page

Como finds your existing online content and adds it to your app automagically. Before I did any customization or added any content whatsoever, this is how my brand new app appeared – six unique pages about our brand, without hardly lifting a finger.

Screenshot 2014-05-26 10.47.20

Customize Design and Content

Once Como pulls your content, you can begin customizing your app by adding more pages, editing page names and content, and choosing backgrounds and color schemes.

Add new app pages by clicking on the plus sign. Como supports monetization features like coupons and e-commerce, as well as forms, maps, audio, video, and more. You can also connect your social networks. Como will provide suggested page names and icons, but you can change these as well as adding your own photos, text, links, etc. to each app page that you create.

DIY App Creator Como

Once you’ve added the app pages you want, click over to the Style & Navigation tab to customize your backgrounds, theme, colors, and navigation.

DIY App Creator Como

Como DIY App Creator

Create Account and Test Your App

When you’re happy with the design, navigation and content of your app, click Continue. This is where Como will prompt you to create an account and choose your pricing plan. There is a free account available with Como, but it doesn’t get you very much – you are only allowed five app users and it doesn’t publish your app to any of the app marketplaces like the App Store or Google Play Store. The next plan is $39 per month (unlimited app users and submission to app marketplaces), and there is also a Platinum plan available for $99 per month, if you want to have Como branding removed from your app.

Once you’ve created your Como account, you can take your app for a test drive using the App Simulator. This allows you to see how your app will work on different devices such as iPad, iPhone, Android, or Kindle, and make adjustments as needed.

Publish, Distribute and Promote

One of the great features of Como is that it not only lets you build apps, but also publish, promote, and manage them from right within your Como dashboard (if you chose a paid plan, that is). First, it will guide you through the steps of publishing your app, including the unique requirements of each individual marketplace (such as distribution certificates and App IDs).

DIY App Creator Como

Once you’ve sent your little app out into the world, you have to help people find it. Como provides a variety of promotional tools including social sharing options, website banners, QR codes, and a customized app landing page.

Finally, Como offers analytics so that you can track your app’s performance. You can measure number of downloads, view your app users by mobile platform or by country, and also see how your users engaged with your app through clicks, coupons, sales, and more.

Try it Out

Como is a great DIY solution for startups or small businesses that need a mobile app but have held off because of concerns about time and cost. We encourage you to take it for a spin and let us know what you think!

Does your business have a mobile app? Have you tried Como or any app-building tools? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Heather Allen

Belle's first employee. Lover of great food, good books and spreadsheets. Mom of three. Native Floridian and city girl residing in the cornfields of central Illinois.