Many people still think that mobile apps only work for big companies and organizations, but things have changed and small-medium companies have started to follow the trend. Mobile apps make a business visible to customers all the time and help create a direct marketing channel. They provide more value to the customer, help build brand image and recognition and enhance customer engagement. They also help you stand out from the competition and cultivate customer loyalty in a more effective and cost-efficient way.
No programming experience? Let’s get started
The cost and time required to develop a native app were the top factors holding small businesses and entrepreneurs back from developing their own apps. However, technology has transformed almost everything and now cost of developing an app is no more such a serious concern. Gone are the days when we were totally dependent on serial programmers to develop an app.
You have come to the right place if you already know how mobile apps can help transform small-medium businesses and want to learn more about developing your own app, but without any coding experience. To make the research easier for you, we have picked up the top twelve tools you can use to easily create professional-grade apps. We’ll briefly cover each platform and include pros and cons of each to make the selection process easier for you.
Netherlands-based AppMachine is a great tool to start building your own app right away and supports both Android and iOS. Pricing starts from $59/app/month while reseller bundles are also available if you are seriously into the business of making professional-grade apps.
The tool automatically scans a website to use its content to build an app, including photos, RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts and more. Whether you are an artist, a coffee shop owner or in the real-estate business, this tool is very easy to use and helps users start developing their apps right away without any complications. The platform does all the hard work for you whether you are adding content, building blocks or uploading your app to the Google Play Store or iTunes.
- Very easy to use
- A lot of pre-built designs and templates
- You only pay when you decide to publish your app
- You get all the features even in the trial version
- Real-time previews
- Wizard-based app building
- 100% native apps
- Available in ten different languages
- Highly customizable built-in templates
- AppMachine logo show on the app until you make payment
- Not suitable for users with heavy API usage
Dropsource allows you to build native Android and iOS apps right from a web browser and is a powerful platform for developing data-driven apps. The intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes developing an app a breeze, while the platform does all the coding work in the background.
The people behind the platform believe in working smartly instead of working harder and the platform allows users to focus more on the UX and vital features instead of worrying about the code and debugging. The platform is absolutely free to use during the beta period and you only have to pay once your app is ready for the real world (pricing is provided upon request).
- Browser and mobile based app testing
- Scalable and adaptive layouts
- Drag-and-drop interface
- Fully customizable apps
- Swagger API Framework (RESTful APIs)
- Native source code for each app (iOS apps in SWIFT, Android apps in Java)
- 100% availability of the source code
- Custom plug-in testing
- May require some time to get along with the advanced interface
- You need to have an idea of how data-driven apps work
Appypie aims to make it easier for non-technical users to create their own Android and iOS apps and supports almost all other major mobile platforms including Windows, BlackBerry and Fire OS (available only in the Platinum plan). The platform also provides specialized tools for creating Church, Radio, Restaurant, small business, real-estate, wedding and more industry-specific apps. AppyPie’s customers include some big industry names such as NIKE, L’OREAL , AUTODESK and NHS. It allows creating a database-driven app using Google Spreadsheets and forms, while it also provides deep analytics using Google Analytics.
The platform comes loaded with all the features needed to create functional apps for a variety of mobile platforms. The ad-supported version is available for free and supports Android, iOS and HTML5, while the paid version (Basic) starts from $14 a month/app and supports only HTML5 and Android. The Gold package costs $30 a month/app and supports both Android and iOS apps as well as HTML5. App add-ons cost more but provide even more functionality like unlimited push notifications and resubmissions to app stores. AppyPie is a great solution if you want to create some basic apps, but for complex apps make sure to review integration with third party technologies as they can cost a lot.
- Very easy to use
- Loaded with features needed for creating apps and games
- Specialized tools for different industries
- Allows creating in-app store
- Support for more than 10 platforms such as Amazon, Shopify
- MailChimp integration
- Harnesses the power of Google Analytics
- Advanced features mostly rely on third-party solutions
- You may need to integrate your apps with 3rd party developers, especially when cloning complex apps
- Limited customization options
- Uninspiring documentation
- Add-ons and 3rd party integrations can eventually turn out to be quite costly
Thunkable is a drag-and-drop platform that focuses on Android apps (iOS support expected soon) and makes use of the new material design interface. Its support for Microsoft Emotion and image Recognizer means you can add captions and emotions automatically to the images. Thunkable is a great starting point for users who have zero coding experience and want to get started with app creation right away. The platform supports Maps and Location, cloud and local storage, sharing and more, allowing you to create fully functional apps. Users can get started for free, but you’d need to pay for certain features. The platform aims to bring app development to the masses by providing an easy-to-use interface and offering a lot of functionalities and features in a neatly designed package.
- Intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Native UI and Material Design
- Maps and Location
- Cloud and local storage options
- AdMob Ads
- Support for hardware features such as NFC, Bluetooth and Accelerometers
- Pricing model not clear
- Only supports Android for the time being
Andromo is a specialized platform for creating Android apps and allows anyone to get started without any coding experience. The platform supports only Android OS and eliminates complexities and hassles related to cross-platform app development. It does only one thing, but in a smarter, faster and more efficient way by creating real Java code for all apps. It compiles the apps in its own cloud servers using the official Android SDK provided by Google.
Affordability is another factor that helps differentiate Andromo from the competition. The ad-supported version is free and does not support monetization, while the starter package costs $8/month (billed annually) and allows creating up to 50 apps. The professional plan costs $21/month (billed annually) and includes advanced features such as no Andromo logo on the ‘About’ screen and priority queuing.
- Specialized platform for Android OS
- Customizable appearance and style
- Supports photo galleries, blogs and feeds, Social Media, Videos and more
- Multilingual apps
- Very easy to get started
- Lacks some advanced features
- No support for cross-platform development
Goodbarber is an Android, iOS and progressive web apps development platform that uses a modular approach and features many fully customizable templates. A library of more than 3,000 icons, 150+ Google Fonts and 150,000 Hi-resolution images means adequate resources are available to create engaging and interactive apps.
The intuitive workspace makes it easier to design apps, while the real-time preview of apps on different devices ensures they work as expected on all devices. The content management system supports text, images, videos, sound, forms, calendars and maps. Rich notifications options ensure that the right notification is pushed at the right time to the right user.
Pricing starts from €24/$24 per month , but it only includes one Progressive Web App. For Android and iOS development, pricing starts from €32/$32 per month. Those looking for advanced features would find €48/month advanced package more suitable, while reseller package costs €200/month.
- Easy-to-use, intuitive interface
- Excellent theme collection and other resources
- Fully customizable templates
- Modular design
- Intuitive navigation
- Triple data backup
- Team management features
- Supports over 30 languages
- Instant preview
- No Support for email-marketing integration
- Source code remains hidden from the user, which is not something advanced users would want
GameSalad is a specialized platform for creating games and helps non-technical users get started in no time. However, it may not be the right choice if you are a seasonal gaming developer as many developers have reported performance issues with games developed using this platform.
Being a game engine, GameSalad provides a solid foundation for beginners to get started right away. The platform only supports gaming apps and mostly suits users who want to easily and quickly build interactive mobile apps without any coding experience.
Cross-platform compatibility is good as it supports Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon Kindle and HTML5. The basic version is available for free, while the Pro version costs $29/month and offers features including in-app purchases, cross-platform publishing tools, social features and priority technical support.
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Easy to use and get started
- Easy publishing of apps
- Excellent community support
- Clutter-free interface
- Performance issues in demanding games
- Fixing a game can be difficult if a problem occurs
AppMakr is an affordable software that allows people with no programming background to easily create mobile apps for Android and iOS. The DIY platform allows users to start building apps in no time using the simple drag-and-drop interface. It’s simple, yet feature packed and offers excellent cross-platform compatibility. Users can create a single app and publish it on both Android and iOS platforms.
AppMakr makes it easier to customize the look and functionality of apps and allows users to match color schemes, logos and text according to their brand identity. The free version comes with limited functionality but follows a ‘No Ads Ever’ policy, which is something we don’t usually find in most other free subscriptions. Pricing starts at as low as $1/month, while the Pro package costs $19/month and reseller (10 apps) package $39/month.
- No ads even in the free version
- Simple-to-use interface
- Affordable packages
- Very customizable
- Social Network Sharing
- Cross-platform support
- Support for 15 languages
- AppMakr Market
- Publishing iOS apps can be a little trickier
- The interface can sometimes become slow
Swiftic App Maker
Formerly Como, Swiftic App Maker targets small businesses and provides them with all the tools they need to create fully functional apps.
The platform also supports a variety of services, including PayPal, OrderIn, OpenTable and booker, making technology accessible to small businesses and allowing them to compete with larger competitors.
Swiftic guarantees success and business results in the first six months and promises six more months free if the outcome is not according to expectations. Cross-platform compatibility saves businesses precious time and allows them to create a single app that is compatible with multiple platforms i.e. Android and iOS.
Pricing starts from $57/month (monthly payment) and users have the option to opt for yearly and 2-year payment plan that costs $48 and $41/month respectively.
- User friendly interface
- Quick time-to-market
- Mobile store
- Ordering and delivery through app
- In-app coupons and scratch cards
- Social Media feeds
- Advanced analytics
- App Publication Assistance
- No support for Windows Phones yet
- Design options are limited
- Some advanced features missing
AppYourself is an app builder targeted at optimizing mobile and online presence and allows businesses to reach their customers directly with push notifications.
The platform supports all major mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and HTML5. More than 30 different modules and a variety of templates allow users to create fully functional and engaging apps in very little time using the easy-to-use and intuitive interface.
Pricing for Web-only apps start from €5/month while the basic package costs €15/month and supports Android, iOS and web apps. The premium package costs €30/month and features unlimited modules. However, users have to submit their app themselves otherwise charges may apply.
- Plenty of options and features
- E-commerce, in-app store
- Very easy to use
- Capable stimulator, quick loading
- Powerful statistics
- Limited customization options and templates
- Online Knowledge Base provides bare minimum information
- No team management features
Mobincube is another app builder that allows non-technical users to create functional Android and iOS apps without any coding experience. The visual interface is easy to use and helps users start designing their apps right away using the drag-and-drop tools.
Mobincube offers a lot when it comes to customization and offers great flexibility. Users can decide how their apps look and behave, while the built-in templates provide a starting point and are very customizable. Advanced features include online shop, source code availability and Google Analytics.
Pricing starts from €9.99/month, while Advanced and Reseller packages cost €19.99 and €99.99 per month respectively.
- Easy initial setup and app launch
- Excellent customization options
- Simple visual interface
- Unlimited apps
- Availability of source code
- Limited Apps space
- Limited cross-platform compatibility
Mobapp is an app creation as well as a marketing tool that makes it simpler for non-technical users to create and promote their apps. Available for both Android and iOS, Mobapp saves users from the hassle of app submission and provides marketing tools that allow effective sharing of apps.
The white label dashboard is fully customizable and provides an opportunity to showcase a brand. Access control features enable app creators to restrict customers from accessing certain parts of the management interface.
Pricing starts from $32.50/month, while the Pro and Advanced packages cost $82.50 and $165.83 per month respectively (billed annually). Separate packages are available for agencies starting from $125/month (billed annually).
- Simplified user interface
- User access controls
- Detailed statistics
- Robust app creation tools
- Simple and easy-to-use interface
- A little costlier than other solutions
- White label apps feature only available in Pro and Advanced features
- MOBAPP does not guarantee markets approval