- Park, Landscape, or City Tours: Creating a Mobile Tour Guide App for the Outdoors
- 4 Ways to Generate Revenue with: eCommerce in your Mobile App
- Winner: Mobile Apps vs. Mobile-Friendly Websites
- Dress Code for Grand Palace: How to dress for Grand Palace Bangkok
Mobile Tour Guide Apps: Custom-Built Apps vs. Platform-Based Apps
Museums, parks, cities, and visitor attractions that want a mobile app as a tour guide for their attraction have two options: get one custom-built for your needs or use a platform- (or template-) based service. Both options have their pros and cons.
Both options create a tour guide app that your visitors download onto their own smartphones and use to take a tour or explore the space. But while the visitor's interface is the same, the museum's experience with building the app is vastly different. The chart below lays out the basic differences between the two:
Custom-built tour guide app can be designed to look like your fantasy app. They are completely your own layout, design, and branding. Platform-based apps can still represent your branding, color scheme, and logos, but they are not fully flexible when it comes to the fundamental structural flow of the app. Nevertheless, most of the layouts you could imagine are possible.
Both types of tour guide apps can be directly downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store under your brand name with your logo as the app icon. Some platform-based app companies will require you to fold your tours into their existing app, so that visitors first download that company's app, and then select your tour from within it. However, not all platform-based app companies require this.
Custom-built tour guide apps are built from scratch and require development and programming. Platform-based tour guide apps have a platform, or foundation, already developed and require minimal programming to launch a new app.
4. Launch Time
Custom-built tour guide apps will typically take a minimum of 6 months to launch. Platform-built tour guide apps can go live in 1 to 2 months.
Both custom-built and platform-based tour guide apps will require a time commitment and a resource commitment on your part. Unsurprisingly, custom-built apps require a larger commitment pre-launch for the design and development. They also require a larger commitment post-launch, because maintenance, upgrades, and changes are more idiosyncratic.
Since custom-built tour guide apps require more development and work than platform or template-based tour guide apps, they are naturally more expensive. Depending on the complexity of the features, custom apps can cost more than $15,000. Some platform-built apps can cost less than half as much.
Action Data Systems is a platform-based mobile tour guide app developer. We create apps for you that your visitors can download to take a tour. Our platform, ActionShow App, supports multiple tours, languages, mobile ticketing, gift-store, and sponsors. To learn more, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.