You no longer have to be an IT geek, trained programmer or tech engineer to create an app—and by app, we mean a real app that you could buy… one that other people could use. Just think of all the businesses you could start, ideas you could test, world problems you could solve!
Curious? All you have to do is define your idea and pick an app builder. Below we have reviewed three of the top app builders out there to help you on your way.
But first a quick explanation of the two types of apps that most app builders offer.
A HTML5 app is a mobile friendly version of your existing website. It will serve as an addition to your website exclusively for users on Smartphones and Tablet devices.
A Native app is an app that users can download on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store (and potentially on the Window Phone Store), and can be completely independent of your website. A native app will also allow you to send push messages as well.
While you can create your own HTML5 app for around £5-15 per month, creating a native app is a bit more expensive. Most providers will require you to pay around £10-40 per month to have it listed in the Apple, Android or Windows Phone ecosystems.
GoodBarber has impressively beautiful themes. They also offer some of the most advanced features such as social networking, chat, Geofencing and iBeacons. The least expensive version for a native iOS and Android app is only €16 per month. Have a look at the extensive showcase of apps that have been created with their system
What we liked: Their templates are gorgeous and their pricing for native apps is very competitive. It also offers a lot of flexibility and cutting-edge features.
Where they should improve: GoodBarber doesn’t have its own online store. (That said, you can integrate Amazon, Etsy and Shopify.)
Shoutem is a very clean, intuitive app builder with lots of powerful options, one of which is the location-based directory for places.
Shoutem also offers integration with Shopify and mobile advertising support so you can make money from your new app - which you may find you want to do. It is £15 a month for the cheapest package, and if you want to publish to the Apple or Android app stores, you will need their £30 plan.
The templates are great—certainly worth checking out if you are serious about building an app.
What we liked: Shoutem has fantastic designs, location-based elements and is easy to use.
What they should improve: Like GoodBarber, it would be great if they had their own online store module instead of simply integrating with other stores.
Como DIY is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) app maker around. They provide a wide selection of building blocks such as a loyalty card feature, appointment scheduling integrations, ecommerce, user reviews and events. From what I can tell they are most popular with restaurants, bands and other kinds of organisations that run events.
Their pricing structure is straight forward: you can either pay monthly ($57 pcm), yearly ($48 pcm) or bi-yearly ($41 pcm).
What we liked: The editor is very well laid out and easy to use. Their features range is one of the most extensive available and their designs are excellent as well.
What they should improve: Nothing comes to mind!
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