Several factors come into play when thinking about building a mobile app for your business.
And, mainly, those factors come down to cost and approach. It is not cheap to hire a developer to build an app for you, even if you hire someone with less-than-professional experience.
And the more complex a mobile app you need, the pricier it will get in the long term. As such, looking for ways to build your own mobile app on your own time might be a sound alternative. Thankfully, software tech is evolving at such a rapid pace that building your mobile app without prior coding knowledge has become a possibility.
You might be wondering, though, “Doesn’t this limit my ability to build a dynamic and feature-full mobile application?”. I think there are many answers to this question, so let’s try and break it down.
The evolution of mobile app builders
A few years ago, building mobile apps using builders was not precisely the most reliable route to take. The reason is that you couldn’t build anything more than a static app; without dynamic features.
These days, this is no longer the case. This is because the newest generation of mobile app builders allows for extensions, dynamic widgets, and streamlined real-time features. And, for the most part, as a small business owner, you don’t need much more than that.
The above example showcases how you can incorporate an entire YouTube channel inside your mobile app. And, rather than adding new videos manually, the app will dynamically update the video list in real time.
So, you can apply the same methodology to other areas of your application, too.
- Content. Push out new content entries to your app as they happen, whether it’s from your blog, content system, or an eCommerce store.
- Push notifications. Most modern app builders are now fully capable of providing push notification features to your self-built mobile app.
- User portals. Want to create a place where your users can all hang out together? Something similar to Instagram or Facebook? With the newest mobile app builders, this is a possibility.
- eCommerce. I think many people looking to build a mobile app are looking specifically for eCommerce-related features. Well, good news! This article will cover app builders that let you build an entire eCommerce franchise without ever writing a single line of code.
And, of course, there are many other benefits and features you can incorporate. So, to learn more, we’re going to recap the best mobile app builders on the market today. You might be surprised just how capable such builders are and how many millions of people are building mobile apps this way.
Let’s take a closer look.
AppMySite’s app creator helps all website owners to build native mobile apps without writing a single line of code. You can build Android and iOS apps within minutes and publish them to the app stores. No matter which CMS or web technology your website is built on, AppMySite can support it.
Here’s how AppMySite works:
- Connect: Connect your website and app with a few clicks. Doing this will ensure your website’s data is constantly synced with your app.
- Personalize: Customize your app’s native elements, screens, and menus to fully control how your app looks and works.
- Publish: When your app is ready, download the app files from AppMySite and submit them to the app stores. Apps built on the platform are carefully constructed for approval on Google Play and Apple App Store.
During the process, you will be able to power your app with a number of premium features. Some of them are:
- Chat: Integrate your website’s chat software with the app and chat with your users in real time.
- Language support: Enable users to select a language of their choice within the app.
- Push notifications: Send unlimited push notifications to your customers and users to always keep them engaged.
- Monetization: Connect with Google AdMob and monetize your app by displaying ads.
- Universal payment support: Get support for any payment gateway active on your website.
- Universal shipping support: Get support for all shipping methods on your website.
You can also manage your app within AppMySite effortlessly. Features like Analytics, Auto-publish, User management, and more allow you to streamline app maintenance post-launch. You can get started with a free account and upgrade later when you’re ready to publish your app. Paid plans start at $3/month.
AppyPie has helped more than 3 million creators to build a fully functional mobile app with nothing but visual building blocks. On top of support for Android and iOS, AppyPie also offers full-on PWA (Progressive Web Apps) functionality. So, your mobile app will be viewable in a web browser like a regular website. This pretty much solves two issues at the same time.
The way AppyPie works is extremely straightforward. You start with your own pre-determined application idea and then turn your focus on the “features” that AppyPie offers. The said features act as the building blocks of whatever application you wish to build. As an example, here are some of the categories in which the features are divided into:
If you go for Social features, you’ll be able to add Directory listings, Member cards, Form Builders, User folders, and much more. You can customize each feature for different pages of your mobile application.
AppyPie offers free assistance for getting your apps published in Google Play or the Apple Store to top it all off. It’s extremely convenient and offers a centralized dashboard to manage all your app needs.
How do you feel when you hear about designing your own mobile apps without any coding skills?
Amazing, isn’t it?
Adalo does just that by helping you design new apps and turn them into reality with simple steps. Gone are the days when you needed any developer essentially for designing and development. You will be capable of completely controlling your design by using drag-and-drop components.
With Adalo, you have the freedom to add database configuration and interactions automatically. If you have an existing API, then Adalo will integrate with the same. With a single click, you will be able to launch the true version of your mobile apps on the application stores for Android and iOS.
Various things you can do with Adalo include:
- Choosing a prototype and creating a real app through spreadsheets and databases
- Dragging and dropping usable building blocks for creating the app’s interface
- Linking all the pages together without missing a beat
- Choosing your listing from card lists, simple lists, create your own or image grids
- Adding forms, calendars, payment options, and a lot more.
Apart from all these, you can design your own dashboard to update each user’s data automatically. In addition, you can add icons to make it easier for customers by using navigation bars.You can use different shapes and sizes for icons, buttons, images, etc., and add text.
Furthermore, add push notifications for specific users, user authentication, and also device actions. Besides, you can set relationships between objects and manage users’ data efficiently, and even equations are also possible with Adalo. Last but not least, you can connect multiple apps with a single shared database.
Start designing your mobile apps for free, or choose an existing plan starting from $50/month.
You don’t need to learn coding to design an app. Composer Pro by AppGyver is a professional platform that allows you to easily build applications for any device.
Composer Pro never lets you compromise with the quality and design implementation. You will get many style properties that will give you a pixel-perfect experience. With Composer Pro, you can produce highly optimized native apps that have access to every native device.
Additionally, you will find hundreds of logic as there is no limit to your thought, whether it is maths, array operations or engineering, UI logic, etc. Composer Pro covers it all. You will get 500 building blocks, and you can also share your own composing components with the community.
Their powerful theme engine offers a library of UI components so you can mix & match different components to use them together, and it’s actually powerful. Furthermore, you can integrate any API using their REST integration wizard and also use pre-built integrations. Once you are done with your application, you can ship it with a single click and then release it to make it available for users.
Furthermore, you get debugging tools, deployment pipelines, animation engines, plugins, support of multi-language and font, and security. Composer Pro is 100% free that includes publishing apps to Google Playstore or App Store for use on the web, mobile, TV, desktop, and tablet; hosting your site on CDN (if you want), and many more.
Create an app for mobile devices with GoodBarber with an App builder, making your work more accessible and convenient. GoodBarber uses the best technology that helps you create any app quickly, such as an eCommerce app, content management app, etc.
With various design options and capabilities, you can offer a quality experience to your users/audiences. GoodBarber also lets you create a PWA (Progressive Web App) that works on any device. You can allow access to use PWA from any browser with a simple URL.
In addition, GoodBarbar offers advanced features like push notifications, offline mode, etc. Coming to the advantages of using App Builder, you can benefit from a single subscription instead of getting a huge invoice amount from developers.
Things you can expect out of GoodBarbar include:
- iOS native app that is developed in C
- Android app that is developed in Java
- PWA is developed in Angular and compatible with every web browser
- A back-office and simple interface to manage
- Up-to-date apps
- Expert support
Furthermore, you get 500+ features, push notifications, CMS (to create an image, video, text, sound, or more), universal links, auto-login, one-click payment, a permanent cart, and many more. Also, you can start your own chat channel to interact with users conveniently.
Enjoy the advantage of UGC (User Generated Content), which allows your audience to participate in developing resources in the app. For example, they can send videos, articles, and even images from their phones.
Choose your suitable plan and avail yourself of a 30-day free trial without giving out any credit card details.
It’s fair to be skeptical of the potential of certain mobile app builders. A team of developers generally builds the most dynamic and interactive apps.
So, naturally, one has to question the potential of a mobile app-building service. Fortunately, BuildFire is not only extremely capable but also fully transparent about its features and available tools.
The main feature of BuildFire is its plugin system. Every mobile app you build with this platform will start through a selection of plugins and widgets. The plugins cover all major areas of functionality and tooling for specific mobile applications. E.g., If you want to build an eCommerce app, you can choose between Shopify, Square, PayPal, and other integrations.
The app-building interface is extremely flexible. You can start by designing the Home page and then work your way up to additional pages and content. Down the line, you will be able to add real-time features like blog content, user profiles, push notifications, and much more. Furthermore, BuildFire customers can choose one of more than a dozen templates to accelerate the application building process drastically.
Every feature is explained either through a video tutorial or a written blog post. Also, BuildFire frequently hosts live Webinars to help its customers learn more about the types of apps you can build. It’s an extremely customer-friendly brand.
Lastly, there’s the question of pricing. The Basic plan starts at $89 per month and is sufficient for basic business needs. The Professional plan goes up to $149 per month and offers additional features like in-app purchases and push notifications. And finally, you have the Enterprise plan at $499 per month, including all of BuildFire’s features.
All apps you create with BuildFire are fully compatible with iOS and Android devices.
If you have ever tried to learn to program, you’ve likely heard of the platform Scratch before. The platform uses a “blocks-based” interface for building apps and learning to program along the way. Thunkable seems to have inspired itself a lot from the approach of Scratch, as their main interface for building mobile apps is remarkably similar.
This gives you access not only to building mobile apps quickly but also helps you learn new tricks along the way. Basic applications are not as hard to build as one might think. That said, Thunkable is still a visual mobile app builder and offers a smooth Design interface.
The above image shows the interface you’ll be working with most of the time. The Blocks selection will show you how your app interacts with objects, similar to that in Scratch style. Very useful if you plan to learn mobile app programming yourself eventually.
Last but not least, the pricing is also extremely appealing. Anyone can use Thunkable to build mobile apps for free. The premium plan ($21 per month) will give you more storage space, as well as personalized branding options.
AppInstitute has grown from a hopeful startup to a full-fledged brand serving more than 150,000 customers worldwide.
Their intuitive mobile app builder services are tailored specifically for small business owners. If you’re a busy business owner, don’t know much about code, and need a mobile app – AppInstitute has plenty of enticing features to help you out.
One of AppInstitute’s successes is how easy it makes to build a mobile app for your business needs. The entire process is condensed into four short steps while giving you plenty of opportunity for customization.
- Choose a template. – You can bootstrap a fully functional application from a pre-built template. AppInstitute covers areas like events, sports, restaurants, service-business, and more.
- Add branding elements. – Once you have a template, you can go all out with adding branding elements. E.g., A custom logo, social media links, photos, and much more.
- Customize content. – Edit everything from page order to text. All changes can be added from a custom app builder interface.
- Publish instantly. – Apps are ready whenever you need them. As such, you can also publish your apps in the most popular mobile stores with a single click.
Last but not least, AppInstitute doesn’t charge you until you decide to publish your newly created application. The premium pricing starts at roughly $40 per month for the least expensive plan.
If you’re looking to build mobile apps and make money simultaneously, look no further than Andromo. This Android-only mobile app-building platform is one of the best in the world at what it does. Their seamless app-building interface provides a straightforward process for creating personal or business apps on the fly.
One of the reasons why Andromo is so successful is because of its native integration with socially-oriented design elements. It’s one thing to build an app that provides resources, but entirely another when your community can interact with those resources in real-time.
Whether you’re building a music library or a travel directory – Andromo strives to give you the necessary tools to do so. All without needing to write a single line of code. On top of that, each mobile application you create with Andromo is generated in the Native Android code. And can be published on the Google Play store without much hassle at all.
Lastly, Andromo is known for its making-money features. Everyone knows how popular the mobile market is these days. And as such, there is plenty of opportunity for earning money while publishing new apps. Andromo helps you in this department through its own advertising network and that of AdMob.
Building mobile apps without code
Can you build functional mobile apps without knowing how to code? Absolutely.
The apps listed here in this post exemplify that sentiment perfectly. And, the great news is that this technology is going to continue evolving. Expect more and more mobile app builders to support third-party integrations, which will make it more useful to create dynamic apps.
In conclusion, know what features you’re looking for in your mobile application. This will help you narrow down the platforms which can best serve your needs. And, likewise, understand your budget options for the foreseeable future. While some platforms can be costly, you have to remember that custom mobile app development can cost upwards of $50,000 or more.
Learning to code isn't necessary for app development. Anyone can build an app without coding. All you need to do is find the right app builder to accommodate your needs. Then it's just a matter of learning to use that platform, adding your features, and customizing the look and feel of the app with your own branding.How do you make an app from scratch in 9 steps? ›
- Establish a team.
- Conduct competitive research.
- Outline core features.
- Create mockups.
- Plan app security.
- Begin coding.
- Perform multiple tests.
- Gather and implement feedback.
- Create Your Wireframes & Use Cases.
- Test Your Wireframes.
- Revise & Test.
- Choose a Development Path.
- Build Your Mobile App.
- Test Your Mobile App.
- Launch Your Mobile App.
Best step-by-step tips to create your own app:
Build a Native app or a PWA, based on your needs. Make your app using the right method for your business. Create an app with an app builder (no-code option) Test your app on iOS and Android devices.
- Step 1: Choose your app name. ...
- Step 2: Select a color scheme. ...
- Step 3: Customize your app design. ...
- Step 4: Choose the right test device. ...
- Step 5: Install the app on your device. ...
- Step 6: Add the features you want (Key Section) ...
- Step 7: Test, test, and test before the launch. ...
- Step 8: Publish your app.
- Softr for complete beginners.
- Bubble for a balance between power and ease of use.
- Google AppSheet for leveraging AI and automation.
- Glide for creating simple mobile apps.
- Backendless for advanced control over your data and infrastructure.
Sure, if you just want to flex your coding skills and practice building a mobile application by yourself, you can certainly do so for free. And there's tons of online resources that can help get you there. Some app stores, like the Amazon Appstore or Samsung Galaxy store, even allow you to launch your app for free.How to create Android app without coding? ›
AppMaster is a necessity if you need to create an app without coding. This tool contains pre-programmed templates and easy-to-use features that you can use to customize and edit your app. An Android app developing flash form is a set of pre-programmed tools into templates.What are the 10 steps to make an app? ›
- Generate an app idea.
- Do competitive market research.
- Write out the features for your app.
- Make design mockups of your app.
- Create your app's graphic design.
- Put together an app marketing plan.
- Build the app with one of these options.
- Submit your app to the App Store.
- Planning and Research. The planning stage should occur immediately after you have imagined your idea for an app. ...
- Prototyping. Prototyping is the stage where you start rapidly producing wireframes and iterating on user feedback. ...
- Design. ...
- 4. Development. ...
- Testing. ...
- Release. ...
There's design and development work, coding, testing, refining, and finally, launch. On average, the whole process takes 12 to 18 weeks, and can require a sizable team, depending on what you're building. It's also the part of the project that requires the most specialized knowledge, in areas like UI design and coding.How many types of mobile platforms are there? ›
2.1 Platforms and operating systems
Examples of mobile platforms include Palm, BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile. Mobile operating systems provide tools that allow application to share data and services. Examples of mobiles OS includes Palm OS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X and Android.
- Swiftic. Swiftic is one of the best mobile app development frameworks available in the iOS platform. ...
- Xamarin. ...
- Ionic. ...
- Sencha Ext JS. ...
- Onsen UI.
- Flutter. ...
Free apps are monetized through various means, including advertising, in-app purchases, sponsorship, and affiliate marketing.How much does it cost to create an app? ›
The short answer is a decent mobile app can cost $10,000 to $500,000 to develop, but YMMV. Cost of a mobile app developed by an agency with US-based management and a distributed team: Offline standalone app cost: $12,000 to $25,000. App with moderate online connectivity: $5,000 to $45,000.How do apps make money? ›
The majority of top-grossing apps combine ads with in-app purchases for revenue generation. Purchases of in-app resources, subscriptions, and freemium upsell are among the highest-earning monetization methods. Transaction fees, online sales, or sponsorships may complement these.Which language is best for app development? ›
- To-do App. Classical to-do app. ...
- Notes App. ...
- Calorie Counter. ...
- FlipImage. ...
- Recipe App. ...
- Quiz App. ...
- Chat App. ...
Appy Pie is a great app builder that is very easy to use.
It offers a wide range of templates for different types of apps and businesses and users can build a basic app in a matter of minutes. Appy Pie also offers the option to build and preview a free app on their website without even signing in.
There are tons of no code tools out there. Glide, Bubble, and even WordPress are good examples. It's all a matter of what is important to you – freedom of design, integrations, amount of data… If you want to read more about which no code platform you should choose, check out our detailed web section.
To keep it short, yes, free mobile apps make money. You just need to apply a free app monetization strategy. Mobile apps don't need to be complicated to be profitable. You can build a free app and monetize it using any of the strategies listed above.Do app owners earn money? ›
While the application is free to download and use, you can still earn money based on the interactions on the advertisements displayed within your application. In-app advertising revenue model is highly considered and found to be profitable.
Apps can make anywhere from $10 up to $200 a day in average revenue from ads, and that's a conservative estimate for an app with only 1000 active users. However, the road to ad revenue is paved with bad ads, annoyed customers, and weak monetization strategies.Can I create Android app by myself? ›
If you have decided to create an Android app by yourself, you must know that in order to distribute it, you must register as a developer in the Google Play Store and wait for the approval. To make sure your application doesn't remain unnoticed, it's crucial to work on the positioning of it in the Play Store.Can I make my own app for Android? ›
Use Android Studio and Java to write Android apps
You write Android apps in the Java programming language using an IDE called Android Studio. Based on JetBrains' IntelliJ IDEA software, Android Studio is an IDE designed specifically for Android development.
- Step 1: Install Android Studio. ...
- Step 2: Open a New Project. ...
- Step 3: Edit the Welcome Message in the Main Activity. ...
- Step 4: Add a Button to the Main Activity. ...
- Step 5: Create a Second Activity. ...
- Step 6: Write the Button's "onClick" Method. ...
- Step 7: Test the Application. ...
- Step 8: Up, Up, and Away!
- Find a good idea.
- Create a soft design.
- Create a prototype.
- Create a hard design.
- Build your app.
- Go through user testing.
- Publish and begin marketing.
- 1 - Define your goals. ...
- 2 - Get a problem statement. ...
- 3 - Perform a competitive analysis. ...
- 4 - Decide your launch platform. ...
- 5 - Create (and test) wireframes. ...
- 6 - Map out user journeys. ...
- 7 - Pitch to investors using an app prototype. ...
- 8 - Create an MVP.
- Lifestyle Mobile Apps. Lifestyle apps have come on strong in recent years. ...
- Social Media Mobile Apps. ...
- Utility Mobile Apps. ...
- Games/Entertainment Mobile Apps. ...
- Productivity Mobile Apps. ...
- 6. News/Information Outlets Mobile Apps.
A typical Android app consists of top level and detail/edit views. If the navigation hierarchy is deep and complex, category views connect top level and detail views.
It will usually take 3 to 4 months to successfully develop an app that is ready for public release. When I say develop, I mean the engineering part of the process. This timeframe doesn't include the product definition or design stages of building a mobile app.How many people do you need to build an app? ›
And if you never managed a mobile development process yourself before, you will need to hire a product manager to avoid making a fatal error that will result in total project failure. So at a minimum, any project to create a successful mobile app really needs from 4 to 10 people on the team.How much money does an app make per download? ›
Interestingly, Android is the big winner on downloads for a given app but this is largely offset by substantially lower revenue, with the average app download bringing in around 2 cents to its developer; Apple fairs 5 times better, bringing in a dime for every one of the 40,000 potential app downloads a developer could ...Can you build a mobile app for free? ›
App creation is no longer just for professional developers. Now everyone can build mobile apps without programming using a free version of an award-winning low-code app development platform. Alpha Anywhere Community Edition is a free app development software that creates Android apps and iPhone apps with ease.How do I make a mobile app with no experience? ›
Use a drag and drop program.
Another way to create your app without having to learn how to code is to use a program that will write the code for you. These kinds of “drag and drop” solutions make it easy for anyone to put together a basic application, and are easily found online.
The short answer is a decent mobile app can cost $10,000 to $500,000 to develop, but YMMV. Cost of a mobile app developed by an agency with US-based management and a distributed team: Offline standalone app cost: $12,000 to $25,000. App with moderate online connectivity: $5,000 to $45,000.Where can I develop an app for free? ›
Creating your mobile app for Android and iPhone for free is easier than ever. iBuildApp app maker software allows building apps in a matter of minutes, no coding required! Just pick a template, change anything you want, add your images, videos, text and more to get mobile instantly.What skills are required to make an app? ›
- Product Management. ...
- Agile Methodologies and Scrum Management. ...
- User Interface and User Experience. ...
- Design. ...
- Writing. ...
- Business Analysis. ...
- Communication. ...
- QA and Performance Testing.
Apple and Android require different development procedure, UI/UX elements and frameworks to execute, so a business owner must research well about the nature of their business and their target audience before taking a final call. You also have to ensure your app works on a smartphone as well as tablet and other devices.How much does no-code cost? ›
You can go for a no-code platform such as AppMaster.io; the cost of this starts from $5 to $855 per month.
Incorporation Of Complex Functionality
No-code platforms are the best choice for building simple apps and solutions. They can't be used to create more complex or sophisticated products and hence you can't rely on them for each of your projects.
Subscriptions, in-app purchases, and advertisements are the top three ways to make money with an app. You'll have to decide which one works best for your idea.Is owning an app profitable? ›
Yes, free apps can generate money. The answer is in-app advertising, also known as affiliate marketing. Developers that use this kind of monetization make money based on user interaction with the ads displayed in the app. Remember that you need a lot of downloads to profit from a free app.