Compare the Best App Builders


The majority of businesses, large and small, need a mobile app. Find out more about how you can develop an app using the best app builders in 2021.



There are many benefits to designing apps. If you are a business owner, it is almost a requirement to have an app to compete with other businesses. Previously, apps were something only larger businesses had to worry about, with smaller businesses getting by on a web presence alone. In 2021, the majority of customers are using mobile apps. For customers, apps are much more convenient than accessing a website. Everything the customer needs is right on the front page of the app, plus the app can easily be accessed on the go.

As the popularity of apps continues to grow, so does the software necessary to make an app. Previously, there were only a few tools available to develop an app. These tools required a specialized developer to use. In the present, apps are much easier to design. There are still some programs designed for advanced programmers, but the majority are designed for developers with minimal experience. Which app you choose largely depends on what you need from your app, as well as your own development experience.

Native vs. Hybrid App Development

Before you decide which software to use, you must decide if you want to make a native or a hybrid app. A native app refers to a program built for a specific operating system. Two of the biggest examples of native apps are the Apple App store and Google Play. These platforms run their own markets. When you complete your app, you post it onto these markets.

The biggest advantage is having your app hosted on a large market makes it easier to search for, but you must adhere to all the policies of whoever hosts the platform. Additionally, if something happens with the marketplace, you are entirely reliant on the platform owner to make repairs or changes. It is possible you may have to change your app later down the line to make it compatible with marketplace changes.

However, platforms run by Apple and Google have some of the best tech support teams available. As a result, these markets often have the best performance and security. There are also many built in tools to help developers. This is especially helpful if you have never developed an app before. These apps are often easier for other users to access as well, since the interface is so similar among all the other apps on the marketplace.

In comparison, hybrid apps are designed to work on a number of different platforms. You have much more control over a hybrid app, but it requires greater programing knowledge to design a hybrid app. Hybrid apps are often better for more complex apps. There are also more developmental tools available for hybrid apps.

BuildFire

BuildFire is considered one of the easier hybrid app development apps because it does not require extensive coding knowledge. Instead, the program utilizes a straightforward click and edit design platform. Creating an app only takes a small amount of time, though you are limited in how much you can do in development. BuildFire is especially helpful for simple apps, but it can support loyalty programs, integration with social networks and basic e-commerce or mobile shopping features.

BuildFire also has a number of packages available. If you are not comfortable making your own app, you can hire a team of BuildFire programs to assist you, but designing a basic app costs $7,500 as of writing. For development, there is a basic package available for $160 a month. Many companies choose the business package instead, which is $300 a month.

NativeScript

NativeScript is an open-source development tool compatible with the Android and iOS platforms. All of the apps are developed using JavaScript. NativeScript is most commonly associated with the mobile app for the streaming service Hulu. It is one of the better developer tools for more complex apps. Many gaming apps utilize NativeScript, since it can handle larger file sizes. Geolocator and other real-time apps also rely on NativeScript. Developing NativeScript apps is harder if you are not already familiar with developing Android or iOS apps.

One of the perks of NativeScript is the most basic package is available for free. This allows you to experiment with building an app, but it can only be downloaded by 100 users. The next step allows up to 400 users, and costs $19 a month. The highest price planned for businesses is $250 a month, which provides unlimited access. For larger corporations, there are custom plans available, but the pricing largely depends on the needs of the business.

Flutter

Flutter is an iOS and Android development app. For many, the biggest advantage of Flutter is the price. Because it is an open-source program, it is free to use. However, it uses a custom language, Dart. Dart is not difficult to learn, but if you have no coding experience, it may be challenging. Flutter has a number of widgets available, and flutter apps are considered some of the fastest on the market. Flutter is largely aimed at smaller developers with simpler needs.

Ionic

Ionic is one of the older mobile app programs, designed in 2013. It is intended for iOS and Android apps. Ionic was built using the Angular framework, but it is also compatible with HTML 5, CSS and JavaScript. Because it has been used for so many years, it has some of the best tutorials around. Many users find the UI easy to use, even with minimal coding experience. There are also more advanced features, which require development experience, but allow you to create more complex apps.

Developing a basic app on Ionic is free. If you want to launch your app, you must purchase a monthly plan. There are two basic plans available, launch and growth. Launch costs $42 a month as of writing. It allows you to put your app on the market and deploy up to 10,000 live updates every month. Growth is intended for businesses, allowing you to host multiple builds of your app and deploy up to 25,000 updates each month. There are also better collaboration tools. Finally, there are custom plans open to larger businesses, with the price based on what you need from Ionic.