Sweb Apps publicly launched an eponymous web site today where small- and medium-sized businesses can create their own iPhone applications, providing a new way for them to market their services and promotions to the increasing number of smartphone users.
On the Sweb Apps site, a business selects which buttons it wants to feature on its app, such as a map, menu, contact information — there are even buttons for Facebook and Twitter that will send customers straight to its company Facebook fan page or Twitter feed. Businesses can choose from packages of four, six or eight buttons, which cost $200, $300 and $400 respectively; there’s also a $50 onetime set-up fee and a $25 monthly hosting fee.For $10 a month, a business can add the “App Tracker” feature, which measures how many times its app is downloaded and the number of times each button within it is pressed. Once approved by Apple, businesses are able to update any information on the app in real time since Sweb Apps saves the information uploaded on the site in its server database, according to Sweb Apps CEO Magaly Chocano. So if a restaurant’s menu or hours have changed, the owner can submit the edits to the Sweb Apps site and the changes will be made instantly.
Currently, there’s no space for a business to add advertisements on its app, but Chocano said the company is working on that functionality. Businesses can, however, charge users to download their apps on the iTunes Store. San Antonio, Texas-based Sweb Apps received $60,000 in funding in June from Chocano’s family and the company plans to expand its app-building service to BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Android-based phones by the first quarter of 2010.