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Best Software for Mobile App Development—A Complete Guide
Mobile app development has never been more accessible than it is today.
There’s a growing number of tools and software that make it possible for developers and non-developers alike to create an app.
These kinds of resources not only make it possible to create an app with little to no development skills, but it also makes it possible for those with a small budget.
If you already have a website, I explore how to create an app to complement it in this video.
In short, gone are the days where app development was reserved only for developers and big tech companies with big tech budgets.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the best software for mobile app development on the market today.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Mobile App Development Platforms
- Zoho Creator
- Appy Pie
- How to Pick the Best Mobile App Development Software
- App Type
- Ease of Use
- Publishing Your App
- Should You Be Using An App-Building Software?
- Save Money
- Fast Development Time
Chapter 1: Top 5 Mobile App Development Platforms
While it’s easier than ever to build your own app with no coding knowledge, a lot of the software for building mobile apps still has somewhat of a learning curve.
Some require some coding, some require no coding, but most will require that you learn how to use the platform to build what you need.
Just keep in mind that even with the impressive software and tools available, you’re still going to need to be willing to learn how to use them.
With that said, some are easier than others.
Let’s take a look at five popular software tools to get you started.
Before signing up for an app development software, consider first what kind of app you plan on building and what features are most important.
Appery.io is a cloud-based app development platform that was designed to expedite the app-building process.
Since everything is in the cloud, there’s no need to install or download the software, so you can get started quickly right from your browser.
You can develop native apps for Android, iOS, and Windows applications.
Here are some of the main features of Appery.io:
- Drag-and-drop editor tool
- Provides UI themes and templates out-of-the-box
- You can customize any UI elements with CSS
- Push notifications
- App tester
- Resources to get started, like tutorials and step-by-step guidelines
- Collaboration management
- App development and deployment
- Responsive app support
Ease of Use
Photo Credit: techcrunch.com
#2 Zoho Creator
Zoho Creator allows you to build apps with ease and quickness, and offers a low-code solution for both web and mobile applications.
One of the greatest benefits to using a software platform like Zoho Creator is that you don’t need to write hundreds of lines of codes to accomplish what you need when building your app. This platform offers a variety of great solutions that lets you get the job done quickly, and across multiple platforms.
Here are some of the main features of Zoho Creator:
- Third party integrations
- Payment gateway
- Offline mobile access
- Multi-language support
- Team collaboration
- Insightful reports and real-time analytics
- AI creator
- 550+ pre-built integrations
- Drag and drop elements
- Business process creator
Ease of Use
While some coding knowledge is required to get started with Zoho Creator, it considers itself to be a low-code platform, meaning you won’t need to code nearly as much as if you were building an app from scratch.
Their drag and drop components are especially useful for those with minimal coding knowledge to get started.
Unlike some of the no-code solutions on this list, Appian is considered to be a “low-code” development platform, meaning it does require some technical knowledge.
It’s geared towards creating apps for business process management (BPM). So if you’re building internal web applications, they’ll automatically be available for mobile devices.
When you make a change to your app, it’ll update on all platforms.
Here are some of the main features of Appian:
- Real-time management tools
- Out-of-the-box integration
- Drag-and-drop app-building functionality
- Complex event processing
- Native process repository
- Predictive analytics
- BPMN process solutions
- Intuitive user interfaces
- Task management
- Social collaboration
- Built-in enterprise mobility
- Dynamic reporting
Ease of Use
While some development knowledge is needed to take full advantage of their robust feature set, Appian does offer an intuitive drag-and-drop and point-and-click building tools.
#4 Appy Pie
Appy Pie is a cloud-based DIY mobile app builder tool that allows non-coders to create simple apps for any platform.
You can drag and drop pages, use different page themes, make revisions in real time and more.
Here are some of the main features of Appy Pie:
- No-code app builder
- Push notifications
- Integrates with social media, blogs, websites, and more
- Customer loyalty programs
- Easy, step-by-step directions
- App analytics
- Multilingual support
Ease of Use
Appy Pie is one of the leading no-code development platforms.
Their app maker lets you build an Android and iPhone app without any coding knowledge. All you have to do is pick a template, add your features, and publish it!
BiznessApps, as you can guess, is an app builder tool geared towards small businesses.
This software allows you to create native Android and iOS apps for virtually any industry, whether it’s a restaurant, school, community organization or other business without needing any coding knowledge.
Here are some of the main features of BiznessApps:
- Drag-and-drop builder
- Content management platform
- Mobile ordering
- Customer loyalty programs
- Messaging and in-app communication features
- Third-party integrations
Chapter 2: How to Pick the Best Mobile App Development Software
With so many options available, it can be hard to know which platform to choose when building your app.
Should you go with a no-code options? Low-code? Drag and drop builder? Or something more flexible?
When making your decision, you have to remember that it really depends on what your goals are for your specific app project.
Before choosing a platform, you should also consider things like how complex your app will be and what kind of features it will have.
Let’s take a look at what you should think about when picking the best software for building their app.
Budget is one of the first things you should consider when finding the right software to build your app.
Some of them are on the cheap side and others are pretty expensive.
In short, you’ll find that the costs vary wildly, which of course, depends on many factors.
Some software is fairly basic and limited in what you can customize when building your app and some software is incredibly robust and offers all kinds of features.
Which brings us to our next topic.
2.2 App Type
What kind of app are you making and how complex will it be?
Is it an app that needs to support ecommerce?
Will it need to leverage more involved technology like AR or VR?
Knowing what kind of app you have on your hands and what kind of functionality it’ll offer will make it easier to narrow down the list of software for building your app.
2.3 Ease of Use
For non-coders who aren’t very tech-savvy, it’ll probably be important that they use software designed for people like them—people with little technical knowledge and no coding skills.
Some software available for building apps makes the process incredibly simple by offering step-by-step instructions, tutorials, and drag-and-drop-style builder features.
But if you have skilled developers on your team, ease-of-use may not be as important when searching for the best mobile app development software.
2.4 Publishing Your App
Once your app is ready to go, how do you plan on publishing it?
Will it be published for the App Store, Google Play, both, or somewhere else?
The publishing process can be a daunting and tedious one and the last thing you want is for your app to get rejected.
Understand that some app building platforms will offer assistance and others won’t.
Every app building platform has their pros and cons.
They all have their limitations.
For example, easy-to-use software that offers out-of-the-box templates and simple interfaces will often be cheaper, but that’s because these platforms are very limited.
They typically don’t offer an abundance of features, like customization, access to code, and so on.
But if you have a small, simple app, this may be exactly what you need.
For others who have more complex needs, they’ll want a software that has less limitations and a greater abundance of offerings, which of course, will come at a higher price.
Make a list of what the most important features are to you in an app development platform, like analytics data, access to code customization, pre-built app templates, and so on.
Customer support is always an important factor when buying software to build an app, especially if you’re less tech savvy.
Creating an app, even the most simple one, is still a process with a lot of steps involved.
What is your level of comfort when it comes to facing issues that can and will arise?
How important is it to have fast access to technical support when building your app?
Chapter 3: Should You Be Using An App-Building Software?
At this point, you may be wondering, “Do I even need to use one of these app-building software”?
Keep in mind, these types of software exist to make the process of creating a mobile application easier.
That’s the promise, and some of the best ones on the market certainly deliver.
And there’s a wide range of potential users for this product.
It’s not just for small businesses and startups or those who don’t know how to code.
As mentioned, the software available to build an app can be as basic or as robust as you need.
There are no-code, low-code and custom options.
Individuals with just an idea in their head can use the software to build a mobile app with ease and large companies can use the software to create apps for internal purposes like business process management.
There are a lot of possibilities.
Let’s lay out some of the benefits to using mobile app development software:
3.1 Save Money
No matter which software you use to build your app, chances are, it’s going to be far cheaper than hiring a whole dev team to build your app.
The low-code and no-code options are usually the cheapest.
If you’re on a tight budget, using software for building your app could save you big money.
3.2 Fast Development Time
Another perk of using a platform to build your app is that they’re typically designed so that you can get the project done fast.
Of course, it depends on what kind of features and functionality you plan on having, but the development time will still be much quicker than if you had your devs creating the app from scratch.
When choosing software to build your app, a big question to ask yourself is, does it need to be user-friendly? Or do you have a skilled dev team who don’t need any hand-holding?
If you’re looking for something easy to use and something that doesn’t require extensive tech knowledge, an app builder might be your best bet. This type of software typically offers a drag and drop feature, easy user interface, and lots of resources to help the less tech-savvy move forward in their app development project.
When searching for the best software for mobile app development, you’ll quickly find that there’s something for just about everyone.
Whether you’re a small startup, a big company, or just a guy or gal with an idea and nothing else—there’s a platform for you.
App-building platforms make the development process easy in so many ways, but to find the best one, you have to first think about what your app will need so you can get it to where it should be—that’s where our Simple Starter package comes in to save the day.
Our Simple Starter involves three important steps you need to take before building an app: the first is detailed and technical documentation, next are wireframe sketches, and last, target user research and analysis.
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