As corporations increasingly move their businesses online, the demand for mobile app developers has exploded. But what if you don’t have the time or money to hire a developer?
Enter app builders. These sleek online tools allow you to create your own mobile apps without any programming knowledge, often using simple drag-and-drop interfaces to arrange components and add dynamic functionality.
In this article, we’ll perform a detailed review of the current best app builders on the market in 2022. You’ll learn about their features, benefits, and pricing models. Let’s get started!
Our Pick for Best App Builder in 2022: Appy Pie
- When choosing an app builder in 2022, you need something that can carry out all the functions of a quality app coder in a way that is intuitive, user-friendly, and cost-efficient.
- Appy Pie ticks all of these boxes with its simplistic design and straightforward functions. Plus, it’s incredibly cost-efficient at just $18 per month for the basic plan.
- You also won’t need any coding knowledge to use this app, as it does the heavy lifting for you — simply choose your color scheme and follow the easy prompts to add integrations and features.
The Best App Builder 2022: Top 15
Below you’ll find the top 15 best app builders in 2022, ranked according to popularity & functionality.
- Appy Pie — Best app builder for small businesses
- Bubble — Best drag and drop app builder
- Glide — Best internal tool app builder
- Wix App Builder — Perfect for Wix website users who want to scale their business
- QuickBase — Best app builder for workflow automation
- AppSheet — Best “true” no-code google app builder
- Retool — Best app builder made for developers
- Thunkable — Best app builder for Android and iOS native apps
- GameSalad — Best drag and drop games developer
- GoodBarber — Best app builder for progressive web apps
- Salesforce Mobile — Best app builder for Salesforce users
- Jotform Apps — Best app builder for multiple forms
- Buildfire — Best mobile app builder
- Zoho Creator — Solid app builder solution for small to medium businesses
- Microsoft PowerApps — Best custom business app builder for Microsoft Dataverse
These app builders span a wide ecosystem, and many of them are delivering new features weekly.
Best App Development Software Reviewed
Read on for a systematic, thorough review of each app builder.
1. Appy Pie — Best app builder for small businesses
Appy Pie says that their codeless platform can help you develop the next Tinder or Uber. That being said, if you don’t have sophisticated mobile app needs and don’t have the funds to employ a mobile app developer, Appy Pie is the most cost-effective way to create an app for your company.
With Appy Pie’s easy-to-use app maker, you can create dynamic mobile apps without any coding. Simply enter your business name, select a category, which device you want your app to be published on and choose a color scheme to get you started.
Appy Pie can connect with your existing online store and provide a seamless shopping experience for customers. The app allows you to create basic stores directly within it and payment can be processed through the App itself.
This capability, along with plenty more exciting features like pulling content from various platforms such as Etsy; Shopify; Magento, etc., Appy Pie makes building an e-commerce app for your business easy.
Appy Pie also offers a variety of amazing tools for small businesses, including a powerful website builder, LiveChat and Chatbot creation tools, and a fantastic PWA shop for purchasing PWA apps for Android, iOS, and Symbian. They also provide Appy Pie Connect, a workflow automation technology that may help you expand your website effectively.
- Secure in-app payments
- Appy Pie Connect
- Built-in publishing
- 24/7 Customer service
- Secure booking and in-app payments
- Robust templates for different industries
- Outstanding Customer Support team
- Offline capabilities
- Limited ability to upgrade
- UX has been described by some as ‘clunky’, but most think this is outweighed by their feature set
Pricing: Ad-free account starts at $16.00US/app/month
2. Bubble — Best drag and drop app builder
Bubble is a no-code visual programming tool which functions as the platform that delivers your application, and you design it using a drag-and-drop interface in the browser. This means that your web browser contains everything you need to create a web application — Bubble does all the necessary setup and provisioning for a web application to execute.
With Bubble’s intuitive UI builder, you can drag and drop visual elements such as text into its canvas. The resulting web apps are fully responsive in design, making them easy to localize for any language across devices or platforms.
Bubble takes care of delivering and hosting your app after you create it with the drag-and-drop UI builder. It also offers a version control mechanism that allows you to go back in time with your program.
Bubble provides graphs on server metrics like page visits and server capacity utilization, so you’ll know when it’s time to upgrade. The major disadvantage of using Bubble as a platform is that you can’t host your program on your own server.
- UI Builder
- Robust plugins
- Real Time collaboration
- Seamless drag and drop capabilities
- Excellent visual workflow editor
- Database hosted in the AWS cloud
- Automatic capacity scaling as the app grows
- Limitation when customizing elements as most templates are pre-made
- Hosted on shared server
Pricing: Starts @ $29.00/month per user
3. Glide — Best internal tool app builder
Glide is a web-based app builder that combines prebuilt components with Google Sheets approach to allow non-programmers to easily construct fully functioning, great-looking apps. It allows you to make changes to your app by editing the Sheet, which serves as your database, but the no-code platform only supports CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) interactions.
Glide’s user interface is one of the best because it gives you instant visual feedback when making adjustments. This means that even if your building skills are not as advanced, you can still teach yourself through trial-and error with this program and get better results.
Glide templates are centered on design even without any customization, so you’ll be able to utilize them to construct your own aesthetically beautiful apps with almost no work. It’s always wonderful to have something both useful and attractive, so that’s a bonus.
This takes us to our next point: Glide is extremely quick to use because it offers hundreds of ready-made themes. On the Glide platform, there are more than 400 templates accessible right now. You may pick and choose from any of them to develop an app right away.
- Modern themes
- Easy Collaboration
- Tablet mode
- Simple to use with a short learning curve
- Aesthetically pleasing templates
- Instant visual feedback
- Offers freemium account
- Limited customization flexibility
- No App Store publishing
Pricing: Offers free accounts; Pro App starts at $32.00
4. Wix App Builder — Perfect for Wix website users who want to scale their business
Wix’s Branded App gives you the opportunity to develop your company’s mobile app with full branding. In just one click, from WIX Account dashboard and through their Owner app for on-demand creation of features or content packages that can be tailored specifically towards members’ needs — you have ultimate control over what goes into this custom-made app.
You can track analytics in real-time to see how users interact with your app, as well as monitor user behavior, retention rates, and downloads. You can even create push notifications for events or updates.
With the Wix App Builder, you can build and manage your online store by effectively managing your inventory and upload product images seamlessly. Easily enable customers to purchase items on the go and receive real-time updates about their orders.
- Live store stats
- Inventory management
- Blog post manager
- Community forum
- Track analytics real-time
- Offers Live chat
- In-app payment processor
- Easily send email and marketing campaigns
5. Quickbase — Best app builder for workflow automation
When it comes to simple form-based app production, the Quickbase builder is unbeatable for speed and overall simplicity of use. It’s a feature-rich low-code solution that makes app development simple for both corporate users and developers.
Quickbase’s WYSIWYG builder is an easy-to use tool for streamlining your process, whether you are coding or not. With this drag and drop interface, it enables users with no programming experience to create custom solutions that can be put into action straight away. You’ll also find prebuilt apps available on the site, which make using these tools even more convenient.
Quickbase contains a feature called Dynamic Form Rules in the Form Editor that allows you to specify automatic app logic. It provides a guided rule development tool that allows you to “code” what occurs when data is put in a field.
It’s a form-based, interface-controlling automation that includes an expression editor that generates Boolean logic as you fill out the form. Among the products in our roundup, Quick Base is the only one with this functionality.
- Dynamic Form Rules
- Low-code development
- Quickbase Pipeline for integration
- High-grade security
- Fast app creation
- Easy to understand UI
- Offers pre-built apps
- With tutorials and app wizard
- Outdated UI
- No native mobile app
6. AppSheet — Best no-code app builder for Google
AppSheet is a cloud-based spreadsheet application, and is one of the best app builders for Google. It offers many features for developing custom apps, including a visual editor that makes it easy to create forms and reports, and a wide variety of built-in functions that you can use to calculate data or automate tasks and generate apps for web and mobile.
With Google Cloud AI and ML, you can use Google Cloud AppSheet to automate business processes like order approvals and user alerts, as well as develop actions and views based on user intent. AppSheet allows you to create a single app that can be used on a laptop, mobile device, or tablet.
You can also connect to a number of data sources and incorporate data from end-user devices such as GPS coordinates, photographs, drawings, barcode scanning, and character recognition.
It supports multi-platform design, allowing users to build apps for iOS and Android devices, as well as the web. You can also use it to develop offline-capable apps that will work without an internet connection.
- Multi-platform support
- Data Integration
- Robust selection of templates
- Hybrid cloud enablement
- No Coding
- Beautiful templates
- Offers workflow automation
- Easy to use UI
- Limited customization
- Advanced editor is a paid feature
Pricing: Offers free account and $5.00/month for premium users
7. Retool — Best app builder software made for developers
Retool is a low-code app development solution with a comprehensive graphical user interface and APIs that can connect to any database. Its goal is to speed up the internal process by simply creating tools for your company. Its built-in integrations allow you to gather and store data on a single platform.
It has a large number of forms, tables, and other capabilities that allow you to create highly customized programs. Instead of looking for the finest table library, spend some time getting UI in front of stakeholders. Then, in just 30 seconds, construct your app by dragging and dropping pre-built components.
You can quickly display and filter your data. Calculated columns, server-side pagination, and more advanced features are available.
- Drag and drop UI
- Connects to any APIs, database or tools
- Application deployment
- Programming code extending
- Easy coding and integration
- Straightforward UI setup
- Intuitive development interface
- Coding extensibility
- Complex pricing
- Limited role management
Pricing: Offers free account and $10.00/user for team accounts
8. Thunkable — Best app builder for Android and iOS native apps
Thunkable is a no-code platform for creating mobile apps that is loved by app developers and users alike. It offers a colorful interface and a wide range of features. With Thunkable, you can create custom designs for your app, add interactions and animations, and choose from a variety of components to include in your app.
With the simple drag and drop design canvas that gives access from any device, native application development becomes much easier and more productive. You also get to learn the development language simultaneously.
Thunkable’s Advanced Logic Module lets you add complex decision-making structures to your apps with just a few clicks. You can use this module to control how your app behaves based on user input, data values or time-based conditions.
- Advanced logic modules
- Device native
- Extensible integration
- Drag and drop
- Playful UI
- Supports native apps
- Easy to learn
- Excellent tech support
- Limited mathematical function
- Limited app customization
Pricing: Offers free account and $13.00 for starter account
9. GameSalad — Best app builder for progressive web apps
GameSalad is a free drag-and-drop game production engine for iPhone, iPad, Android, and HTML5 games. The GameSalad builder allows creators to test games on Apple devices (without coding) and submit them to the App Store. A comprehensive behavior library also powers the engine, giving game creators even more creative freedom.
GameSalad offers a robust testing tool, which can be used to test game logic and behavior sets. The In-App Previewer allows you to quickly input your code without having the actual app installed on device or PC; its web publishing system makes cross-platform development very straightforward by allowing developers to deploy games to the web with a single click.
GameSalad allows you to prototype your game quickly and smoothly, allowing for faster feedback loops. This is very important for game developers, as iteration is key to creating a successful game.
- In-app previewer
- Support cross-platform building
- Offers social features and monetization option
- Free-to-play model
- Easily create and publish your game
- Supports Android, iOS, Windows and Amazon Marketplace
- Excellent tech support
- Robust knowledge base for tutorials
- Limited code customization
Pricing: Offers free account and $17.00/month for Basic account
10. GoodBarber — Best app builder for progressive web apps
GoodBarber is a tool for creating apps that enables the development of sturdy and powerful apps with the greatest possible design and user experience. The goal of GoodBarber is to make its technology available on both smartphones and the web. With its intuitive interface and wide range of features, it allows anyone to create professional-grade apps without any coding experience.
This isn’t to say that GoodBarber is lacking in features. In reality, within most categories, there are a plethora of content integration you can choose from. These include social networking, news/articles, calendars, audio/video, and, most recently, an eCommerce specific app builder.
Their Progressive Web Apps have SEO descriptions as well as a responsive design that works across all browsers. Best of all, you don’t have to go via the App Store or the Play Store to publish them.
GoodBarber’s aesthetic templates are ever-present, allowing you to choose from multiple distinct layouts for each part — whether it’s for a conventional or ecommerce app. This, paired with a selection of more than 50 distinct templates (each with its own color scheme and font style), allows for a great deal of versatility in app design.
- No-code development
- Public API
- Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
- Workflow automation
- Aesthetic design template options
- Multi-role management
- Easy to navigate UI
- Very customizable
Pricing: Starts at $25.00/month
11. Salesforce Mobile App Builder — Best app builder for Salesforce users
Salesforce Mobile App Builder is a platform that enables business users to quickly create and deploy custom mobile apps. It provides an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for easily creating screens and flows, and you can use the built-in Lightning components or your own custom code to design the app. You can deploy the app directly to Salesforce or a third-party mobile backend as a service.
One of the best features of its Mobile App Builder is that it integrates with Salesforce data and processes. You can access data from any Salesforce object, field, or report, and you can use Apex code or Lightning components to interact with data and process it. This means that you can create sophisticated mobile apps that tap into the full power of Salesforce.
Another advantage of using Mobile App Builder is that it’s easy to keep your apps up to date. When you make changes to your app in Mobile App Builder, the changes are automatically deployed to the target device or platform. You don’t need to worry about redeploying the app or updating any settings; Mobile App Builder takes care of everything for you.
- Lighting Object Creator
- Lighting App Builder
- Lightning Flow
- Pro-code tools
- Easily create custom user interface
- Salesforce integration
- Offers pre-built components
- Not suited for small enterprises
Pricing: Starts at $25.00/month
12. Jotform Apps — Best app builder for multiple forms
Jotform’s app builder lets you create a fully customized mobile application for your company that can be downloaded onto any smartphone, tablet or computer. With 200+ templates available in various industries like e-commerce, healthcare and education, you don’t have to worry about coding at all; just drag and drop components from one page into another.
Easily build your app with powerful app elements such as surveys, data collection, online payments and more. You can make your app more interactive with these ready-to-use elements, as well as add forms, showcase images and data, or even share documents — all in just a few clicks.
With Jotform’s App Builder, you don’t need to create different versions of your app or spend time and money on the App Store & Google Play submission process. Best of all, there are no subscription fees!
- Deploy Forms in bundles
- 70+ App Widgets
- Ready-to-use Layouts
- Compatible with 30+ Payment Gateways
- Free to use
- Can connect with different payment gateways
- Offers pre-built components
- Easy customization
- Limited Integration between forms
13. Buildfire — Best all-around mobile app builder
Whether you’re looking to create a mobile app for your small business or you need a more complex solution for a larger company, BuildFire has you covered. The platform is easy to use, even if you have no coding experience, and you can create an app that looks and feels exactly how you want it.
Plus, with BuildFire’s extensive library of plug-ins and integrations, you can create an app that does everything you need it to. From managing appointments and taking payments to tracking customer data and sending out targeted push notifications.
The app builder includes an easy-to-use drag-and-drop UI design tool that lets you see all of your changes in real time, so you can fine-tune your app until it’s perfect. You can also choose from a variety of templates or start from scratch, depending on your needs.
The BuildFire SDK allows you to add unique functionality to your mobile app and interface it with internal and external IT systems and hardware. It truly takes your app to the next level with robust functionality and an entirely serverless architecture. You can easily integrate our tools for custom development needs, or let it create what you need from scratch.
- Interactive Emulator
- Over 150 plugins and integration
- Buildfire SDK
- Targeted Notification
- Drag and drop UI
- Allows back-end coding
- Content synchronization across pages & platforms
- In-app browser
- Limited e-commerce integrations
14. Zoho Creator — Solid app builder solution for small to medium businesses
If you’re looking for an app builder that can do it all, look no further than Zoho Creator. This comprehensive platform lets you build custom apps for your business with ease. With Zoho Creator, you can create forms, reports, and user interfaces without any coding knowledge. Plus, you can integrate your apps with other Zoho products to get the most out of your investment.
It offers 550+ integrations with other popular apps, so you can connect your business processes with the tools you’re already using. And if you need help getting started, Zoho Creator has a library of video tutorials and online documentation to get you up and running in no time.
Zoho uses AI app builder technology that lets you design custom apps without any help from developers. Predict outcomes based on millions of historical data points. Target the leads who are more likely to purchase, forecast what they’ll do, and provide them with the correct offers and content to move them through the sales funnel faster.
- Multi-app Device Creator
- AI App Builder
- Integration Creator
- BI & Analytics
- Drag and drop UI
- Marketplace deployment
- Awesome built-in templates
- Very affordable
Pricing: Professional Account starts at $25.00
15. Microsoft Power Apps — Best custom business app builder for Microsoft Dataverse
Power Apps is a set of apps, services, connectors, and a data platform — including non-coder tools — for building custom business apps that connect to data in Power Apps’ underlying data platform (Microsoft Dataverse) or other data sources (on-prem or in the cloud) like SharePoint, Excel, Office 365, Dynamics 365, and SQL Server.
Its Power App Canvas, which is a drag-and-drop interface, lets you quickly assemble custom apps with no coding required. You can either start with a blank canvas or choose from one of the many built-in templates.
You can also build model-driven apps that take use of the Common Data Service’s capabilities to quickly define forms, business rules, and processes.
Start with your data model, and work your way up from there, modeling forms, views, and other components based on the layout of your core business data and processes in the Common Data Service. Model-driven apps automatically generate a great UI that is responsive across devices.
- Drag and drop Power App Canvas
- Model Driven Apps builder
- Portals (no-code responsive websites)
- Built-in templates
- Robust selection of templates
- Integrations are available.
- Mobile capability
- Simple to use
Pricing: Starts at $7.00/user
Google App Builder
Google App Builders are a suite of tools that allow you to create and manage your own mobile apps specific to the Google ecosystem. There are many Google app builders to choose from, but the best ones are sleek, simple, and affordable.
Our picks for the best Google App Builder are AppSheet, Glide and Firebase.
AppSheet is the best overall Google App Builder because it is simple to use, yet very powerful.
Glide is a great choice for mobile app development because it is incredibly user-friendly – people with no development, database, or even Sheets experience can get started quickly.
Firebase is an excellent choice for developers who want to create sophisticated apps with lots of functionality.
Android App Builder
Android app builders are tools that allow users to create Android applications without any programming knowledge. Most of these tools use a visual interface that emulates an Android display, which makes it easy for anyone to create an app. Some of the more popular Android app builders include Appy Pie, Jotform and Buildfire.
Appy Pie is a sleek, easy-to-use builder that offers a wide variety of features, such as the ability to create both simple and complex apps, as well as the ability to add GPS and social media functionality.
Jotform is a very versatile builder that can be used to create both forms and apps, and it also offers a wide range of features, such as the ability to add custom fonts, create multi-page forms and integrate with various social media platforms.
Buildfire is a powerful builder that offers users a great deal of flexibility when creating their apps. It also includes a wide range of features, such as the ability to integrate with social media and other third-party services, create animated splash screens and add custom fonts.
Drag and Drop App Builder
Though many app builders exist on the market today, not all of them are drag-and-drop. Drag-and-drop builders are simple and intuitive; you just drag images and text boxes onto the screen, and the app builder takes care of the rest. The best drag and drop app builders in the market today are Salesforce Mobile, Zoho Creator and Bubble.
Salesforce Mobile allows you to easily create custom mobile apps without any coding required. You can choose from a library of templates and components or start from scratch, and the app builder will take care of packaging your app for distribution on a website, the App Store, or Google Play. It also integrates natively with SalesForce, which makes it useful for tracking sales & marketing-related information.
Zoho Creator is very similar to Salesforce Mobile; you can create custom apps without any coding, and it also integrates with other Zoho products. It’s slightly less expensive than Salesforce Mobile and offers a few more features (such as the ability to create custom forms), but it doesn’t have quite as many templates or components to choose from.
Bubble is a highly affordable drag-and-drop app builder that’s great for creating simple apps. Their starter plan is completely free; because of this, it doesn’t have quite as many features as Salesforce Mobile or Zoho Creator, but it’s perfect for creating basic apps without any coding required.
What is an app builder?
Simply put, an app builder is a software development platform that allows you to create mobile apps without any programming knowledge.
Most app builders use a drag-and-drop interface to help you easily add components and functionality to your app. You can also usually add your own custom code, which allows you to build minimum viable prototypes quickly and then later extend that functionality with professional development if needed.
What are the advantages of using an app builder or app maker?
App builders are beloved for a reason: they offer a slew of advantages over traditional methods of app development.
Here are some key benefits:
Affordability: app builders allow you to create an app for a fraction of the cost by streamlining the development process and hiding a lot of the technical difficulty under the hood.
Ease of use: with a few clicks, you can have your app up and running. Network requests and configurations are often optimized by the app builder, so you don’t have to worry about complex coding or compatibility issues.
Flexibility: increasingly, app builders allow you to introduce pre-built custom components and connect them to templated ones on their platform, which saves a ton of time.
Speed of development: app builders take a fraction of the time it would take to build the same app from scratch, as many app builders come with pre-built components and features.
Building your own app from scratch
Unless you have extensive programming knowledge, it can be difficult to create an app from scratch that looks and functions the way you want it to. App builders make this significantly easier, using simple drag-and-drop interfaces that erase the need for coding knowledge.
That said, there are some limitations to using app builders that you should be aware of:
- Most app builders are designed for creating simple apps with limited functionality, so if you need a more complex app with specific customizations, it may be necessary to hire a developer.
- App builders are often not as customizable as building your own app from scratch, so you may not be able to create an app that looks and functions exactly the way you want it to.
Whatever route you decide to take, know that one is not inherently better than the other — they’re both options best suited for different use cases.
How to Build My Own App On An App Builder: Tutorial Using Appy Pie
Building an app with Appy Pie is an incredibly simple process, as you’ll see in the steps below:
Step 1: Head over to Appy Pie
Firstly, navigate to https://www.appypie.com/ and click “Get Started” to launch the appmaker.
Step 2: Choose your app name and app category
The second step is to enter the business name you want to use for the app on Appypie appmaker. Don’t worry – this can be changed later on.
The next step is to choose the category of your app. This will help with receiving suggestions for layout and design.
Step 3: Pick your color scheme.
Step 3 is to pick your color scheme. The website has a range of options to choose from, as seen below.
Step 4 : Select which device you’ll be testing your app on
Step 4 is to select which device you’ll be testing your app on — Apple or Android — and then create an account to continue on to the app designer
Step 5: Create your account and verify your email adress
The next step is to create your account, provide more details and verify your email address.
Step 6: Customize your app
After doing so, use the App Design features to fully customize your app. You can change images, colors, font sizes, and more
Step 7: Start your free trial with Appypie Appmakr
From here, you can choose to start a free trial and test your app, after which you will need to choose a payment plan.
Step 8: Test and publish your app
You can now test and publish your app!
What if the app I want to build cannot be done on an app builder?
If you’ve done your due diligence, analyzed your desired app, and determined that it cannot be feasibly created on an app builder, then you’ll need to find a developer well-versed with the specific programming language required to build your application.
Unfortunately, the app development market is inundated with low-quality, hastily developed applications that often don’t meet the needs of the customer, or expensive apps that could have been made for far less.
Your best bet is to interview a host of developers, average their proposed features, timelines, and suggestions, and then use that average as the benchmark.
Once you’ve found a developer, they will work with you to scope the project and establish a timeline and set of features. Ask for consistent check-ins and a staging server (or account on which you can test the app) to make sure everything is going as planned.
Conclusion: what is the best app maker 2022?
In 2022, there are a myriad of app builders to choose from, many of which can help you to create a stunning app with minimal hassle or out-of-pocket expense.
Our pick for best app builder is Appy Pie — it’s affordable, intuitive, and one of the simplest builders you can find on the market.
What is an app builder?
What types of apps can be created with an app builder?
What are the benefits of using an app builder?
What are the drawbacks of using an app builder?
How much does it cost to use an app builder?
What are the best app builders?
How do app builders work?
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