Navigating the school mobile app landscape these days requires a pretty large map. Before SchoolNow developed a school mobile app, we partnered with some school mobile app with a wide range of deliverables. I feel for the school communications lead who’s trying to make sense of it all.
The good news is that getting a mobile app for your school isn’t that difficult. There’s a long list of quality providers who can create a functional and appealing app specifically for your school and your community.
Now, if you think that having a mobile responsive website is sufficient for reaching your audience on their devices, think again. Or if you’re solely relying on your website for mobile communications, you could be missing the boat.
Like me, your whole life is probably on your phone: calendar, contacts, emails, financial information, social profiles, and let’s not forget Google Maps. We all rely on our phones in some capacity for so many daily tasks. Your students, parents, and teachers are no different. They’re just as reliant on their devices as you are on yours. That means that when they look online for school-related information, they’re probably doing so on their phone. If not, they should be.
Start with our top 20 school mobile app list
When you begin your search for a mobile app provider, narrowing – much less selecting one – could be a little tricky. This round-up article should make things easier. We’ve listed some of the most popular school mobile app with some high-level information. Once you get the big picture of providers, you might want to consult the School Mobile App Planning Guide we’ve compiled to help you make an informed decision about the right mobile app approach.
School mobile app providers can be segmented into three categories:
- Stand alone
With a bundled provider, the app comes in a package with a host of other services, such as website development, content creation, and even email and social media services. A standalone provider will let you purchase the app development without committing to other solutions. And finally, a DIY provider gives you a framework for creating your own app, but leaves much of the execution to you.
Bundled school mobile apps
These providers offer mobile apps as part of a broader package of web communications tools that can be purchased together or separately.
Apptegy offers their audience a professional CMS platform as well as a user-friendly mobile app, Thrillshare. Thrillshare brings everything you need for school marketing and school communications together. This allows you to share content on your school website, mobile app, social media accounts, and send text messages and voice calls. Apptegy also offers website development and alert features.
SchoolMessenger offers a robust notification system that allows you to push out important notifications to your audience via text, phone, email, and social media. The company also offers website development and host of other digital solutions. Apps at SchoolMessenger come in two forms. One is the InfoCenter, which comes free with SchoolMessenger’s other notification solutions. InfoCenter is a non-branded, generic app that your teachers, students, and parents can download. The app will deliver any messages that you want to distribute.
The other option is a custom-designed school app that features your own branding and specific content. Your app could include activity schedules, important notifications, grades, supply lists, and any other information that you feel is important. Custom-built apps are an add-on cost to the notification package.
You’re probably familiar with many of ParentSquare’s other education solutions. ParentSquare now offers app development as part of its suite of services. ParentSquare packages its mobile app into a broad offering of digital communications, including two-way group messaging, private conversations, and district-wide alerts.
Finalsite's mobile app includes website integration, custom branding, push notifications, content filtering, secure logins, and data integrations, giving your school community access to the important information they need. Finalsite also offers a range of products from content management solutions to hosting and accessibility.
Our new app development service allows you to seamlessly integrate your website content and notifications with your app. Teachers can push out announcements or assignment updates. Coaches and activity organizers can get important information to their teams. The SchoolNow app brings parents closer to the school experience with a personalized school feed that pushes messages and stories based on parent communication preferences.
Stand-alone school mobile apps
These providers typically let you purchase the app development without committing to other, more comprehensive web communications solutions.
As their name suggests, SchoolInfoApp focuses on one thing and one thing only - apps for schools. They offer a wide range of options and features. If you’re operating on a budget, you can use an unbranded app based on a template. Or you can pay more for a custom app that is branded to your school or district. If you’re only looking for an app, without any other web development or content solutions, then SchoolInfoApp could be a good choice.
Like some of the other providers on this list, Yourmobileschoolapp.com focuses only on mobile apps for schools. They can customize features, design, and much more. For a low-budget, quick turnaround app, you may opt to use one of their templates. However, if you’re willing to invest more money and time, they can develop an app specifically to meet your needs.
appmakr4schools offers many of the same types of apps and features that other developers offer. However, they can also build apps for specific purposes, such as an app exclusively for alumni, an app for your school’s football team, or even an app for fundraising.
Ready Education builds apps exclusively for schools, focusing on the higher-ed market, and offers many of the same features that you will find with other providers. They also offer an easy-to-use backend dashboard so you can quickly make changes to your app content.
Schoolapptitude.com offers a robust set of features, including the ability to pay for lunches via the app and scheduling for volunteer activities, PTO meetings, and parent-teacher conferences.
Create a school and university app to keep up with you students with Shoutem school & education app builder. Shoutem offers an intuitive dashboard that allows you to select from pre-made templates or customize your own.
My School Design is dedicated to enabling schools that rely on effective communication with easy-to-use technology. They allow you the ability to create user-friendly school apps and provide schools with the tools you need to keep parents, students and staff in the loop.
SpaceO Technologies develop a complete mobile app solution for all the schools, colleges, and universities that help both parents and students to connect with teachers, get instant access to events, news, assessment notification, sports updates, newsletter, school travel information and more.
Do-it-yourself school mobile apps
These providers give you a framework for creating your own app, but leave much of the execution to school staff or other suppliers.
They provide the platform and you fill in the blanks. An app from iBuildapps may not be branded or full of content, but it will function and it will be extremely affordable.
Powerschool’s app solution is a non-branded, non-customized platform where you simply enter in the information relevant to your school. When your parents, teachers, and students download the app and log in, they see the relevant information. A good starter option for schools on a budget.
Schoolmobile.com offers one of the broadest ranges of features among the DIY options. They also offer some customization features so you can integrate your brand into the app.
AppInstitute helps its users improve communication with both parents and students easily by creating your own school app. They offer the ability to send secure messaging, publish news and information, and send reminders with push notifications.
nandbox.com lets you create an educational app and organize class schedules, inform students of updates, and keep parents in the loop! nandbox.com allows you to create school and university apps hassle-free. They also have an app builder for students, where they create simple and reliable apps.
Bravo Studio’s technology allows schools to build their no-code native mobile apps. They offer full design flexibility with Figma or Adobe XD, as well as premium features like in-app purchases and real-time chat. Bravo also enables you to connect almost any external data source with a REST API.
For the more tech savvy users, Google AppSheet enables schools to create and customize applications using its easy-to-use, interactive UI. Step-by-step guidance allows you to build, automate, and maximize your mobile app easily.
Finding the right mobile app provider for your school may be an intrepid journey, but it’s also an important one. The last thing you want to do is invest money into a solution only to find out that it’s the wrong provider or platform for you. Take the time to research your options and make sure it's a good fit.
Once your app is developed and launched – if done right – you’ll find that your students, parents, and teachers will appreciate the new technology. Your audience has gone mobile; it's part of their daily routine. Make your school app part of it too.
If mobile is the future, then the future is already here. It’s time you meet them there.
- 3 Keys to Consider before Selecting a School Mobile App
- How a School Mobile App Can Help Reach Parents
About the author
Marketing director and content strategist for SchoolNow, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at email@example.com.