Today there are different services and online platforms that allow you to create products without the extensive knowledge that was required to do so. Such is the case of, for example, web pages, animations, video games or, as we will discuss here, mobile applications.
Of course, these are not incredibly elaborate mobile apps, or with the same level of detail, personalization or finishing as one made by a team of professionals. But even so, these platforms to create mobile apps without knowing how to program are a great way to get your business on mobile devices without making too big an investment – and creating it all with your own hands, which always brings personal satisfaction.
First of all, it is important to clarify one thing: the difference between mobile web applications and native mobile applications. The first are simply a “wrapper” created in HTML5 and specially designed for mobile devices, with a version of your web page or online service. They are the simplest, the easiest and also the cheapest to create.
The native applications, on the other hand, are independent products, such as you can download from the store corresponding apps, and also allow, among other things, send push notifications to users. They are a little more expensive, but logically also have more functions and facilitate greater interactivity with the user.
You may have noticed that we talked all the time about prices, and cheaper or more expensive apps. This is because platforms on which you can create apps without knowing how to program usually charge a fee (annual, semi-annual or monthly). In many cases, they also allow you to try them for free for a limited time, or even have a free usage plan, albeit with certain limitations.
Goodbarber is a mobile app building platform that puts the emphasis on an attractive design and a good user experience, starting with its own website. Just enter, you can create your user account in a few seconds, and you will quickly have access to the online editor.
According Goodbarber, creating an app is a matter of following three simple steps : you design the environment of the application, you add content and then test . In the design part you have a wide variety of themes to choose from as well as various options for customizing menus, toolbars, app sections, icons and more. In the content section you can add articles, images, videos, integrated social networks and more. When you have it all ready, you can try the app directly on your mobile, through the application of Goodbarber.
Goodbarber is really easy to use, and very flexible in terms of design and content of the application. Also, being able to test your app at all times, on your own mobile, is going very well.
You can try it free for 30 days, after which you will have to choose a payment plan (starting at 16 euros per month). And here you can see some examples of apps created with Goodbarber.
Shoutem is also a very elaborate application creation platform, with a large number of configuration and customization options. Its functions make it particularly interesting for small business applications, or related to social networks.
The first step in getting started is to choose a design template; Then you will have access to a complete online editor, divided into several sections from which to adjust to your taste the layout of elements, texts, colors, graphics used in the application and more, all with a surprising level of customization.
In fact, there are so many options that it may take you a while to explore all the possibilities, and at first it may even be a bit overwhelming. What helps a lot to see how everything is the real-time preview, and also the ability to test the app on your own device, as in the previous case.
You can try the publisher without having to pay anything , but if you finally want to publish your app, you’ll have to hire a payment plan. The cheapest is $ 19 a month, but only allows you to make applications in HTML5. To create native apps you’ll need to hire at least $ 49 a month.
In AppInstitute you have a service to create mobile applications very simply, and like in the others, without writing a single line of code. In this case, AppInstitute stands out by the electronic commerce functionalities that you can integrate easily in your app.
Again, the process is divided into three major sections : customize the look of the application, add your content and publish it in the app stores. The publisher, despite having a similar structure to the previous ones, is a bit more convoluted. Luckily, it has a great integrated help system; If you’re not sure how to use a thing, just click on the red dot that appears in many areas of the editor to see an article (and sometimes even a video) that explains how to use that feature.
Of course, you also have a real-time preview to see what changes you are applying. If you prefer, you can click on the mobile icon in the upper right corner and scan a QR code to see your app under construction directly on your device.
Another interesting feature of AppInstitute is that you can not only design the app itself but also the website promoting it, with a static image and links to the corresponding app stores.
You can try the publisher without obligation (except to create the account to do it, of course), but if you want to publish the app, you have to make a payment plan In AppInstitute you start from the most basic for $ 6 a month, which includes a basic Android app. To also have iOS version and push notifications you have to move to the next, for 27 dollars a month.
Mobincube is advertised as the platform to easily create apps and earn some money from them. The truth is that its editor is very simple design, the simplest we have seen so far, but also for some reason takes longer than others to load between section and section.
You can choose between several design templates (organized by categories depending on the type of app you want to do) or create a totally your own from scratch. Then it is just a matter of adding the various elements that you want to make your application (texts, images, graphics …) as well as customize the color scheme or the main image of the app, among other things.
Mobincube is a very interesting option for those who try this to create an app for the first time, since even their free plan allows you to create native apps that you can publish in the app store, with support also for push notifications (although they show advertising, that yes). For more advanced options, payment plans start at € 9.99 per month.
We leave to the end what looks like the most powerful app building platform, AppMachine. With it you have several possibilities at your fingertips: create a simple HTML5 app as a mobile version of your web, or create an authentic native mobile application – and within these, with the possibility of doing it directly extracting The content of your web or using the online editor of the platform.
Speaking of the App Machine editor, this is divided into several sections , and may be a bit confusing at first because of the number of options and customization possibilities it offers. The general structure of the app is shown as Lego-type blocks, and all sections (content, layout, settings …) appear in a side menu. On the right, as on other occasions, you have the preview in real time (although you can also do it from your own device).
Similar to other tools, AppMachine allows you to “play” with your publisher freely and without obligation, and only requires the contracting of a payment plan at the moment you want to publish your application. The cheapest goes for 39 euros per month.