Turns out you don’t have to be a programmer to create your own apps. But you will need the patience to work your way through a lot of tutorials. If you can do it, you’ll save around $10,000, the standard price for a custom game.

Why make an app? Well, if you’re counting on customers or club members to find your website, you might as well forget it. Get them to download a free app and they’re more likely to engage. Here are some that caught our eye.

  • AppInventor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been used by a U.S. Marine to create an app that helps other Marines destroy weapons in the field. There are many tutorials at the site. Go to
  • GameSalad seemed very techy, but it helped a Chilean magician and economist who knew no programming get the number one spot in the Chilean app store with a game called e-Pig dash, about flatulent pigs who push around angry birds.
  • Magmito is by far the easiest to use unless you just want a mobile version of your website. It’s $5 a month for consumer apps or $10 for business users. Build an app for your club, event or business using their maps, quizzes, videos, and graphic tools. Start with one of their templates and see how it looks on your phone.
  • AppMkr turns your website into a mobile app automatically. It’s free if you don’t mind their ads.
  • Microsoft’s Small Basic, from, is a good way to learn BASIC programming.

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