The world of app development moves at a lightning pace. Take too long writing an app and you could soon be beaten to the marketplace by the newest app developer on the block (who’s probably 10 years old). Or, in the case of an internal app for an enterprise, entire workflows could come to a grinding halt while a team of developers work out the newest UI bugs. Who has time for that? This is why we have reviewed what we see as the best low code app development platforms for building mobile apps.
Picking from the best low code app development platforms may make your life easier. They make it simple to integrate with existing enterprise environments without developers having to write their own APIs or integrations. Database connections, user verification, directory services and more all bundled up into handy to use libraries. Simply drag, drop and you’re done. Many low code platforms even come with Google and iTunes app store integration, so you can immediately submit new versions of your app to the stores and get them out the door.
So which of the many low code app development platforms is best for your need? It depends – some of these platforms work best at the enterprise level with powerful built in integrations, some make it easy to quickly get a MVP out the door and some have their strengths in mobile and POS applications. So we’ve tried to create a comprehensive list, with what we saw as the strengths of each of these platforms.
But enough talk, let’s take a look at the industry leaders and some of our picks for the best low code platforms for building apps out there in the marketplace.
We could list dozens of reasons—hundreds, even— to choose App Press, but we get that you’re busy. So we’ve narrowed it down. Here are the 3 most important things you should know: App Press has been in your shoes, has experience you can count on, and is obsessed with technology. What makes App Press really stand out is their ability to keep abreast of the latest technologies and emerging trends, rather than building their platform on technology that is ten years old and approaching obsolescence. To that end, App Press offers an easy to use, low code platform for users looking to create, deploy and manage apps, without writing a single line of code. Their web-based platform can build native apps for both iOS and Android devices. In addition, developers can also use the App Press platform to publish their apps as well. Apps can be published directly to users, for example, as in a corporate environment, or can be submitted to both the Google Play and Apple App stores through the App Press dashboard with the click of a mouse. Looking for app analytics? No problem. App Press offers an easy, one step integration with Google Analytics.
Here’s a short demo of the App Press tool in action.
PRICING: App Press pricing varies. Single app creation starts at $900/year for a DIY app and goes up to $1,819/year to upgrade and overhaul your existing app. App Press also does app prototyping and custom app creation. The platform
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Betty Blocks sets its stall firmly out to attract Enterprise businesses requiring rapid mobile application development without the need to know how to code. The Betty Block platform is centered around the idea of reusing components and leveraging the integration with a variety of services to enhance its core product. Customers can either choose to take pre-made apps from the public “Block-Store” or the option to build components themselves and store these in their private “Block-Store”. There is also the option to then commercialize these own build “Blocks” by selling them to the rest of the Betty Blocks community. The big advantage of the Betty Blocks platform is its flexibility and the ability to quickly and easily build and rebuild apps using its Block Technology.
Betty Blocks is recognized as one of the leading Low Code No code platforms. For example, Forrester recently recognized them as a Leader in Mobile Low Code platforms for Business Developers, demonstrating their strong offering and their strong strategic vision.
PRICING Betty Block pricing starts from $1,000 per month for one application and then $1,000 for each subsequent unique application built on their platform. They price a little different from other low code platforms. They charge based on the complexity of the app rather than the number of users. You buy functional blocks that they call building blocks to assemble your app.
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Targeted a little more towards the less tech-savvy end of the app builder spectrum, AppInstitute offer a no-code solution to build both native iOS and Android apps and Progressive Web Apps. AppInstitute’s primary audience is the busy small business owner, whether that’s a restaurant looking to manage bookings or online food ordering, a coffee shop owner seeking an easy way to boost loyalty within their customer base, or a retailer looking for an affordable and manageable mCommerce solution. The platform is a drag-and-drop interface, that allows a user to either select from a range of business-oriented templates, or start from scratch.
There is a catalogue of free ‘tabs’ that can be added to the app with functionalities like food ordering, product shopping, loyalty cards and appointment booking. Publishing to the app stores is made simple with a step-by-step publish wizard, and there are 3 clearly defined plans to choose from, depending on budget and requirements.
If you’ve not got time to build an app with AppInstitute, they also offer a ‘hire-a-pro’ service, wherein one of their team will create it for you. Here’s a quick demo of the AppInstitute App Maker platform:
PRICING: Ranges between £24/mo and £63/mo (billed annually) based on the package chosen.
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Simplicité (pronounced simplicit-hey – they’re French!) is a low-code platform that allows users to create business applications easily and quickly – up to 10x faster than standard development cycles. That’s because with Simplicité, development is done via a visual modeller. Developers build data relationships with the click of a mouse or can choose from one of the many built-in templates to get started quickly. Simplicité makes it – ahem, simple – to find solutions without reinventing the wheel. Once the Simplicité platform is hosted on the PaaS or IaaS server, everything is done online. There’s no need to install heavy clients, .as long as you have a web browser it all works seamlessly. And because everything is in the cloud – you’ll always be developing with the latest version of the platform Simplicité exposes all its parameters, rules and business processes directly via the layers of APIs natively present in the platform. As a developer, you’re, of course, concerned about security – so is Simplicité – which is why it supports OAuth2, SAML, SSO, SSL, LDAP and thousands of security APIs by default.
PRICING: Simplicité pricing starts with a free, one month trial of its software, good for up to five users. After that, the charge is €20/month per user, with a minimum of 10 users. They also offer custom prices on-premise and bespoke versions of their software.
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Cotham Technologies believes that app development should be easier, faster and smarter and through this ethos are transforming and shaping the way apps are created. Their innovative, patent-filed FloFrame technology suite includes FloPro, a no-code integrated development environment (IDE). FloPro allows organisations to design frictionless user interfaces and experiences (UI/UX) enabling the delivery of smart native mobile solutions at speed and lower costs of ownership. For organisations in the business of developing apps the FloPro platform enables significant acceleration in the development life cycle process – from ideation to app store implementation. Cotham’s FloFlame platform is powered by their patented FloCore™ engine and developers can use it to write once and deploy a single FloFrame solution across multiple platforms (iOS and Android) and multiple smart devices (phones, tablets, wearables, Smart TV). Looking for integration at the back end? No problem. With FloFrame’s box architecture, apps can connect to applications, social media, databases, filestores, and IoT Devices (either on premise or in the cloud). FloFrame supports end to end app lifecycle management from ideation/concept to solution delivery. No more juggling development tools for different platforms. With FloFrame, you can create, integrate, and modify at breakthrough speed. And when it comes time to deploy, FloFrame includes a simple one click app store upload.
Here’s a quick runthrough of their patented technology.
PRICING: Contact Cotham to schedule a one on one demo of their software.
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For the last 20 years, Xojo has been enabling ordinary people to build extraordinary things with software. App development doesn’t have to be complicated and it shouldn’t have a huge learning curve, requiring an understanding of multiple programming languages and low level details of each operating system. Xojo is a cross-platform development tool for creating apps for the desktop (macOS, Windows, Linux), mobile, web and Raspberry Pi. It’s modern, object-oriented and powerful, but also easy to learn – attributes rarely found together in one tool. Xojo lets you be ultra-productive, so you can develop your app about 10 times faster than with other tools. Development with Xojo is straight-forward – you drag and drop your user interface controls and use one simple programming language to implement your app’s functionality. The compiled applications are completely native to each platform and very secure. With 335,000 users worldwide and counting, Xojo is perfect for every level of developer – from hobbyist and citizen developers to professionals and beyond.
The best part? Guess what language Xojo was written in? Yep. Xojo.
Here’s Xojo in a nutshell.
PRICING: Xojo offers simple pricing, with no royalties or other fees. Desktop app development packages start at $299/year, up to $699 year for a deskop and iOS app package. You can also purchase development packages for individual apps which range from $99 to $299/year.
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What was our favorite part of Omnis? The debugger. We’ve seen a few debuggers in our time, and we’ve concluded that Omnis has one of the best debuggers out there – debug code at any time, even during runtime, and then to edit it during debugging. What more could you ask for?
Here’s a sample of the Omnis debugger in action.
PRICING: No pricing information on the Omnis site, but they do offer a free trial version download of their studio software.
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If you want a customer-facing app for a coffee shop, bar, pub or restaurant, then Pepper’s solution is the clear winner. Their white-label, cross-platform mobile app development tool is dedicated to the needs of the restaurant and hospitality sector, enabling rapid creation and ongoing DIY management of own-brand mobile apps or the enhancement of existing apps by consuming Pepper’s APIs / SDKs. Pepper provides a true end-to-end solution built on years spent really understanding and aligning to this sector’s unique needs and challenges. Merchants using Pepper can activate any of the following features: location discovery, ordering, payments, loyalty, mobile marketing automation, data insight / analytics, customer service personalisation and the ability to connect into merchants wider tech ecosystem e.g. to their point of sale, CRM or business intelligence software. Many templated app builder solutions are having their apps removed or rejected from iTunes, while Paper enables high quality cross platform apps (both Android and iOS) that are held up as models of UX and UI excellence.
PRICING: As Pepper says on their website, the daily cost of using Pepper is less than a coffee with a butter croissant. Prices vary, with a one time setup fee, depending on the number of venues and then a low monthly subscription charge. Merchants can hire Pepper to build an app on a managed service basis, or agencies/in-house IT teams can use Pepper APIs/SDK to enhance an existing app.
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Here’s a short introduction to how Servoy works:
PRICING: Servoy pricing comes in three tiers: Community, Enterprise and ISV. The Community version is free for up to five users, the Enterprise version for unlimited users costs $249/month and the ISV version, with built in “Appsurance” support starts at $2500/month.
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Agilepoint NX allows developers to quickly build anything from simple eforms and workflows to complex, multi-tenant SaaS apps, IoT apps, and composite LOB systems – all without writing code. When it comes to deployment, Agilepoint more than lvies up to its name. Agilepoint NX can be hosted on your own on-premises server, functioning as a regular SaaS deployment but keeping your data safe within your firewall. You can also host Agilepoint NX in a private or public cloud. No matter which deployment you choose, you can build, deploy, manage, and monitor all your AgilePoint apps from one integrated portal. Services contained inside Agilepoint NX include an application services layer, a database layer and a web-based application development UI for building apps. The platform contains more than sixty controls (including Telerik) with a simple configuration.
Here’s a quick step through the Agilepoint NX interface.
PRICING: AgilePoint has a detailed pricing structure – starting at a cost of $25/month for single seat app development all the way up to $3950 enterprise level plans based on CPU cores. They also offer additional customer support packages as well.
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BEST LOW CODE APP DEVELOPMENT PLATFORMS
As you can see from our list above, there’s plenty of choices when it comes to picking the best low code app development platform for building your app. Which of them you will choose will ultimately depend on what type of app and your audience you have in mind.
But that’s enough from us, what do you think of our choices? Any of your favorite low code platforms that we missed? Be sure to leave a comment below or let us know on our Twitter or Facebook page. And thanks for reading! If you’re curious about Kumulos mobile app management platform, sign up for a free 30-day trial!