Four Startups Changing the Mobile Apps Space

Instagram is demonstrated on an iPhone Monday, April 9, 2012, in New York. Since Verizon Wireless broke AT&T's exclusive grip
Instagram is demonstrated on an iPhone Monday, April 9, 2012, in New York. Since Verizon Wireless broke AT&T's exclusive grip on the iPhone last year, several other phone carriers now offer Apple's popular smartphone. On Monday, T-Mobile said it will make a stronger bid for used iPhones from AT&T as Apple prepares to launch a new version. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)

Just about a year ago, in December 2011, the one-millionth mobile app was released. That's a whole lot of apps, and the number has only grown throughout 2012 -- and will continue to do so in 2013.

The booming mobile app industry has already created 500,000 jobs since 2007, and it isn't slowing down: in March, Apple announced it hit the 25 billion app download mark. Although the industry is relatively new in the grand scheme of technology, companies are working with apps in new ways every single day.

So which companies are truly innovating? There are a slew of startups aiming to make our lives easier, guided by the help of mobile technology. Here are four companies dramatically changing the mobile apps space:

One of the major problems developers run into when writing code for mobile devices is making it compatible for different types of phones. That's why CodenameOne has developed a platform that saves developers time and resources, allowing them to write code only once in Java and have it work across multiple platforms -- iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, and J2ME devices.

The software solves complex problems that usually face developers and entrepreneurs trying to hop on the mobile apps trend, helping developers to quickly create and distribute their apps with little headache. The best part? The platform is completely free.

Launched in 2010 with $3 million in startup funding, Sincerely allows users to send real photos in the mail from their mobile devices. Users can instantly print and ship Instagram photos to friends and family at anytime, from anywhere.

Now, Sincerely has launched Sesame, a new app that allows users to send themed gift sets delivered in a box to friends and family. Available for the iPhone and iPad, the app is revolutionizing the way we use mobile devices for everyday tasks, like showing appreciation for our loved ones. As the startup gains popularity, we're sure to see similar endeavors popping up in the mobile apps space in years to come.

3. Ketup

Launched in 2012, Ketup allows users to register via their Facebook account and sell items in their local area -- like Craigslist for custom products, including vintage artwork and handmade items.

The app allows for a paperless way to sell products locally, offering the quick and easy execution only available via mobile device. The startup is young and will continue to thrive as more users join, but this is one mobile app company that stands to revolutionize the way we use new technology to keep the selling of traditional, homemade products alive.

4. Yapp

Now entrepreneurs don't need tons of money or brainy developers to get their ideas off the ground -- Yapp makes the process of creating your own mobile app for an event easy.

Currently in development and accepting beta code requests, Yapp allows anyone to create an iOS app or HTML5 mobile site in minutes. Users can choose from a variety of themes for events, such as weddings, book clubs, parties, or fundraisers, and guests can be invited via email. Yapp recently received an undisclosed amount of seed funding, so keep this startup on your radar as it continues to move forward.

As more and more mobile app companies crop up hoping to improve our lives, this is one industry to keep your eye on in the coming years. The space is experiencing unparalleled innovation, meaning the best technology may be yet to come.