No-Code is a hot topic of conversation right now. Whether it’s to help you write content for a blog, create an image for your website, or even just remind yourself to put eggs on the shopping list via your smart speaker, you can't move for it.
AI is a hot topic of conversation right now. Whether it’s to help you write content for a blog, create an image for your website, or even just remind yourself to put eggs on the shopping list via your smart speaker, you can't move for it.
Which is why no-code app builders are now part of the conversation. But what are they? Is no-code app development difficult? Are they the right solution for your business? What are the pros and cons of them, and which are the best ones to use?
Climb into your virtual swimsuit and goggles, and let’s dive right in to find the answers.
Hey Siri, what are no-code app builders?
Writing the code is always the hardest part of building an app. Traditionally, only a software developer who understands the complex language of coding could do this, but a no-code app builder changes all that.
No-code app builders are able to simplify and speed up the app development process. All it needs are a few prompts from you, and AI will then write the code that builds the app. It does this by using pre-built drag-and-drop blocks, allowing you to build an app in a fraction of the time and cost. You can even use pre-existing templates to make the process even faster.
Brilliant! So you’re saying I don't have to spend a fortune on an app developer, right?
Ummm, not quite.
5 reasons why a no-code app builder may not be suitable for your business
While these no-code app builders are certainly impressive, they’re not right for every business. Here are a couple of instances where no-code app development might not be suitable for your business.
If your business needs to be able to handle a large volume of users, then no-code app builders can struggle with this.
They may not be able to meet specific compliance requirements.
If your business needs to scale rapidly and frequently add new features and functions, then a no-code app builder will struggle to do this.
If security is paramount with your app, a custom-coded application is far safer.
If your business needs to integrate with other systems, then you may find no-code app development highly restrictive.
So, what are the pros and cons of using a no-code app builder?
Like all methods of app development, no-code app-builders have their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them in a bit more detail.
Easy to use: Even for people with no prior coding experience, the drag-and-drop interface method used in no-code app development makes it easy to create and customise apps.
Speed: Because you don't have to spend time writing code, they can help you develop applications much faster than traditional coding methods.
Affordability: No-code app builders are typically much more affordable than hiring a developer to build an application for you, making them a great option for small businesses or individuals who don't have a lot of money to spend on app development.
Limited functionality: Because they’re designed to be easy to use, complex functionality can be difficult to implement with a drag-and-drop interface.
Not as customisable: No-code app builders are not as customisable as custom-coded applications because they’re built on top of a pre-defined set of features and functionality.
Troubleshooting: If something goes wrong with your app, then it can be extremely difficult to troubleshoot. This is because you don't have access to the underlying code, so you might not be able to understand what’s causing the problem.
Understood. Which are the best no-code app builders to try, then?
If you want to try no-code app development for yourself, then here are the five best no-code app builders that we’ve played around with.
1. Appy Pie
There’s a good reason why Appy Pie has had 10 million customers already. Specialising in mobile apps over web apps, this excellent no-code app-builder gives you access to some pretty impressive tools, including real-time interface edits, application testing and analytics, offline usage and updating, and the ability to code for both iOS and Android.
There’s a free option to get you up and running, and paid options start at just £12 a month for their basic package, rising to £48 for the top package.
With 3 million users and counting, Bubble is no slouch. Thanks to the large community that supports it (it recently raised over $100 million in crowdfunding!), you’ll find thousands of user-generated templates, making designing and building incredibly fast and cost-effective.
Simple to use and with affordable price plans, Bubble will host and deploy your app for you, so you don’t even need a web server.
There is a free version available, and monthly packages vary between $29 and $349, with discounts available for students and nonprofit organisations.
People have already created a whopping 4.4 million apps using AppSheet, which gives you an idea of just how easy it is to use. In fact, Google was so impressed with this no-code app builder that they bought it!
With How-To guides and videos included and the ability to scan barcodes, capture images, send emails, accept signatures, and generate reports, it’s no wonder it's as popular as it is.
Payment plans are either a measly $5 or $10 a month per user, with a maximum of 10 users per project, but you can start the building and testing process for free.
The name might sound like a fire engine siren, but make no mistake, Ninox is a powerful no-code app development tool. Designed specifically with SMEs in mind (though they have enormous customers such as Siemens on their books), Ninox streamlines your workflows on every device and cloud service that you and your company use, anywhere in the world.
With hundreds of templates available for meetings, events, contacts, timesheets, invoices, and more, you can create your app in record time and with a minimum amount of fuss. You don’t even need internet connectivity to use it.
It’s free to use for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Mac users, and it costs just £10 or £20 per month for their Starter and Professional plans.
Any company that uses a Lord of the Rings reference in their slogan is okay with us (One app to replace them all). With a huge collection of ‘Best Of’ awards, over a thousand customisable integrations to use, fifty action points to embed, the ability to import tools like Trello and Monday into the app, and 24/7 real-time help and support, ClickUp might just be the most well-rounded no-code app builder on this list.
A free version is available, but paid options start at just $7 a month per user, and the most expensive package is only $19 per user per month, so it’s also really affordable.
What does Foresight Mobile offer that no-code app builders don’t?
Don’t get us wrong, no-code app development definitely has its place, just as ChatGPT, Bard, Midjourney, and Alexa all have their respective places in the AI world. The tech has moved quickly, and they’re definitely more flexible than they were, say, five years ago. If you have no experience with coding, then they can be a gift from above.
But, like all those other forms of AI, they are prone to glitching, can be a pain to update, can be restrictive, and are the price that they are for a very good reason.
What we at Foresight Mobile offer is SDK app development and native iOS and Android app development, but more importantly, we offer the human experience; personal interaction, experience, teamwork, thinking outside the box, applying emotion and rationalisation, and the ability to troubleshoot. If you’d like to work with us on an app build, or if the no-code app builders you’ve used just haven’t quite lived up to your expectations, speak to our expert team, and we’ll be glad to advise you.