Are you considering making your own mobile app, but have limited budget? Contracting a development company requires big money, and there are literally thousands of them, so how do you choose? Luckily, creating an app now does not necessarily require huge investments, months of work, or even coding experience! We are talking about special app development software – mobile platforms to create apps on your own.
You may find them under various names: app builders, app creators, app makers, app building platforms, app builder software, mobile development software, etc. Basically, these platforms are there to allow anyone assemble various features, elements, design into one mobile app. And indeed, most of these online app makers create 2 types of apps: a) mobile app versions of a website, and b) native apps (fully functional standard mobile apps, published at Apple App Store and Google Play Store).
With regards to pricing, such app building platforms typically charge you a monthly rate while your project is running. Generally, the cost of making a mobile app could range from zero to millions of dollars. We went through dozens and dozens of services and now present you a list of top-20 app development software. In no particular order, #1 doesn’t mean better than #20… just in case.
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Nice and down to very basics of mobile app development, Mobincube offers straight up what you’re looking for in online app building platforms. There’s all you need: visual development interface, drag and drop, templates and customization, source code and Google Analytics, notifications. A quite unique feature that separates this platform from others is monetization capability through Admob service. It means the apps you create will comprise ads and banners, and every time a user clicks on it, you’ll get your share of income. What is lacking overall in Mobincube is user-friendliness in terms of design and sequence of actions.
Pricing: from free and basic version for 3 Euro/month, to 10/20/50/100 Euro per month plans.
Check out what is Mobincube and how it essentially works:
A mobile app maker capable of producing native apps (Android, iOS, Windows Phone), responsive web apps and hybrid apps (across all devices). Good news is that you don’t have to install anything, and you can start right away using a visual editor. Drag-n-drop options all way through, which is especially nice for non-coders and non-designers. Simply choose the components, or available app templates, and assemble your user interface.
Many additional functions for advanced development are also at hand. From back-end services like cloud database, push notifications, REST APIs, etc., multiple plugins for media, mailing, socials, to latest iOS11 support and technologies like jQuery, Angular.js, Bootstrap integrated. Free trial active for 14 days.
Pricing: Pro for $90 monthly for up to 3 apps, Team for $200 monthly for up to 7 apps, plus custom pricing.
Here is a platform features overview in detail:
3. Bizness Apps
A bit more advanced platform compared to other app builders aimed at small and mid-market level companies. This could be a good choice for marketing agencies, restaurants, beauty salons, real estate agents, etc. Among popular features are things like coupons, scheduling, geographic directions, service reviews and loyalty programs. It has a lot to offer: neat visual editor, multiple integrations (including 3rd party services), m-commerce features, music and video players, GPS-based directions and notifications, shopping cart, etc. Bizness Apps also claim life-long support, though we can’t neither confirm or deny that, for obvious reasons.
Pricing: $250 per month (paid annually), $299 per month (paid monthly), plus a single app plan for $99 per month.
4. Appy Pie
Although Appy Pie, a company from India, is an app development software that allows to build mobile-friendly versions of websites for free. That’s why it is quite popular, and pro-plans for native apps start at just $15 per month. They offer a plenty of industry-specific ready templates, for example, dating apps, church apps, restaurant apps, SMB apps. And they made the process clear and understandable for everyone: choose design, add features, publish. Really user-friendly! Check out a step-by-step guide on how to build an app in Appy Pie.
Pricing: Basic for $15/month, Gold for $30/month, Platinum for $50/month.
This app development software platform works for native (iOS/Android) apps, HTML5, but the prime focus remains on progressive web apps (PWA). A French company offering services for mid-size and smaller companies who not only want a mobile app but also the access to its source code. Lots of nice themes available, advanced features – like social networking, chat, geofencing, customization possibilities, push notifications, many plugins. Plus plenty of app management options, for example a CMS, audio/podcast features, event listings, user profiling, sharing/comments section, mCommerce integrations, etc.
Pricing: Free 30-day trial, Android app for 32/48 Euro per month, iOS app for 96 Euro per month, Unlimited native apps for 200 Euro per month.
A do-it-yourself mobile development platform with multiple templates to choose from and create Android, iOS or HTML5 apps. There are plenty of such design presets for healthcare/medicine, food and restaurants, education, nightclubs, hotels, charities, government agencies, etc. The platform provides integrations with social media, payment gateways such as PayPal and ePay, advertisement options via Google AdSense. And they do all the work to submit apps to app stores, which also helps a lot. 14-day trial available.
Pricing: DIY for $29.50 per month, Reseller for $99 per month, plus $870 to get an app built for you.
According to Clutch, Swiftic app maker works best for small and middle level companies who want to boost brand engagement and build an app with back-end database. In-app coupons, scratch cards, loyalty cards, deliveries and notifications, scheduling, customer reviews… you should catch the idea, right? There are about 7 different templates and UX/navigation styles, along with any colors, background pictures, building blocks to choose from. To promote their services, Swiftic offers 30-day money-back guarantee, but how it actually works we are uncertain.
Pricing: $48/month if paid yearly, $57 if paid every month.
Pricing: basic for $20/month, Advanced for $50/month, Unlimited for $120/month, plus custom enterprise tier.
Watch the introduction to a new version of Shoutem here:
One of the more expensive app platforms, Mobile Roadie with offices in the USA, UK and Norway, has its eye on large businesses and enterprises. Among their top clients are Disney, TED, Universal, which is impressive, for sure. Along with nice useful design features and templates, there are enough possibilities to tweak and adjust all you need, chats, music player and fan wall particularly hefty for artists. Plus serious stuff like content geo-targeting, digital commerce, analytics and app submission. The only drawback for most potential clients would be the price, probably.
Pricing: $49 per month, annual subscription, custom pricing.
The most prominent app development software platform in the UK, with lots of e-commerce, loyalty, booking/appointment features. Rich with content, videos, its own CMS, image gallery, listings and HTML, m-commerce options and much more. AppInstitute is mainly focused on creating apps with in-app ordering (food and drinks), event scheduling, maps and geolocation, customer loyalty programs. One handy feature that stands out is that you can specify a link to your website to automatically set a color scheme for a future app. All in all, a great service. Comes with 30-day trial period and various pricing tiers.
Pricing: $28/month for PWA, $49/month for Pro, $81/month for Pro+, and $340/month for Reseller tier.
Now, if you ever wanted to develop a more complex mobile app, say a game, this could be your entry point. With simple visual interface, where you can import graphics and assign scenarios for it, the platform’s role is to let people with no or little coding skills build mobile and web gaming applications. GameSalad lets you make games for iOS and Android devices, has lots of templates and demos for basic games. Those familiar with game programming can also perform multiple tasks with variables, loops, database structures, just like in any programming language. It is complex and simple at the same time.
Pricing: Basic for $19 a month, Pro for $29 a month.
Watch a tutorial on basics of game building in GameSalad:
12. Kalipso Studio
Kalipso Studio is a mobile application generator that enables users to program their own apps without having to deal with complex coding. The platform has a special focus on creating apps designed for mobile activity. It can be deployed to five main operative systems: Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Windows 10, Android, and iOS. The V4.1 of Kalipso now allows iOS deployment too. Kalipso Studio enables users to design and create professional apps for the major operating systems and devices without having to purchase extra software or licenses. With it, creating apps becomes easier and faster, which means deployment and implementation is immediate. No coding required, which equates to faster development and increased ROI.
Pricing: upon request, plus free trial.
Here’s a different kind of mobile app builder software by US company that offers a really simple way to make an app – use Google Docs and Google Forms. Just that, plus if you know Microsoft Excel and spreadsheet basics. To briefly describe how it works, you need Google docs/spreadsheet service or an Excel file, then you load it to Google Drive, Dropbox, or other cloud storage, and open it via AppSheet. The platform recognizes a file and allows you to turn it into an app in its visual app editor. This is of course, just for basic business apps, not a brand custom native apps with back-end. But overall, for just a few bucks you can have an app in few hours!
Pricing: Free prototype, Standard – $1/month per active user, Premium – $5/month, Pro – $10/month.
Another app creator with focus on business apps for tablets, involving lots of data. Good examples of their field apps include timesheet managers, construction/building log apps, travel and expense reports, inspection apps, fleet management/logistics apps, work order assignments, warehouse management, etc. For businessmen who seek speed and efficiency, Snappii offers a nice solution, with intuitive visual studio and over 200 ready templates they can build an app without trouble. All the basic app management features are there, from image galleries, audio/video, blog to events, catalogs, task management. Plus many helpful vertical features for specific business areas, like scheduling tools, food ordering, retail coupons, real estate listings, geolocations, charts.
Pricing: $15 per month per 1 active user.
See a short guide on how to create a database for an app in Snappii:
Want to create and publish a mobile app simply and affordably? Need an app for social events, business meetings, conventions, trade shows, etc.? Yapp platform offers anyone with no coding skills and using just online editor (with templates and drag-and-drop) to build their own apps working on every device – iPhone, Android, tablets. A great feature is the upload option, where you can do a bulk import of .csv files with your business data right into an app. This tool is especially good for organizing events, as it has features like one-track/multi-track scheduling, lists, invitations, pdfs/docs upload, social feed, ticketing, polls, galleries, etc. One bitter fact, though, it is not quite as affordable as advertised.
Pricing: Basic for 1 app – $400 per year, Core – $500, Team – $600, Volume – $1167 for multiple apps.
For people looking for a cross-platform app development software good both for mobile apps and games, Appsmoment has a lot to offer. Visually pleasing templates for specific fields like sports, restaurants, business, events, music, games, etc., to create powerful PWAs, native apps for Windows, Kindle, Android and iOS. In addition, there are over 100 special game templates. In-app HTML code is available to edit, so if you have a developer team, you can then customize your preset app however you like, or copy the code to your site to make it more mobile-friendly.
Pricing: Publisher for $29 monthly, Starter for $49 yearly, Publisher+ for $197 years, custom pricing.
For those who have a website and want to turn it into a nice mobile app version, this app maker is the way to go. The golden principle of AppMachine is automation. It will automate as many processes as possible, you mention website’s URL and it will scan it, and import all that is relevant for a mobile app – from Facebook accounts to videos and images. Then a user simply selects a design and a skin, then content building blocks, play around with developer tools – if skilled enough, and then publish an app. All the changes a user makes are visible in real-time on the screen on the right within a browser. All neat and functional, a decent mobile app creator we can recommend.
Pricing: $49/69 per app per month, $99 for Reseller for 3 apps, $300 for Bundle for 30 apps.
Check out how to create an app in AppMachine:
Pricing: Refer to Appery.io.
With motto “Never code what you can automate”, Nevercode is a bit more advanced platform for skilled teams working with numerous projects and need to optimize. This service does automate processes like app configuration and setup, deployment, testing, code analysis, publishing to multiple app stores. Basically, it helps speed up the process of app development. It comes with automatic setups for iOS, Android, Cordova, Ionic and React Native projects. Development tools at play are Python, Angular, Celery, Bootstrap, Android SDK and iOS SDK, plus multiple 3rd party integration possibilities. There’s also a 14-day trial to check things out, and three-tier pricing plans for different needs.
Pricing: Startup for $99/month, Superstar for $299/month, and Unicorn for $699/month.
Their delicious promo about coffee and app creation at the same time:
Since 2011, AppYourself has been offering a useful tools to build native and pure HTML5 apps. But what makes it stand out among others, is their feature to also go backwards – from an app to creating a responsive website, synchronized to app’s content. What? Well, this feature appeared to be tested some time ago but didn’t actually materialize. Instead, with same visual IDE you can create a desktop website, as well as a mobile app or a web app. Basic paid plan includes e-commerce, booking, customer loyalty, image, streaming features. The interface is easy and nicely structured. There are 5 app layouts with various designs, with all elements adjustable.
Pricing: Starter for 20 Euro/month, Business for 40 Euro/month, Enterprise for 80 Euro/month.
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