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Alesia Traichuk
Alesia Traichuk

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In Search of the Best Drag-and-Drop App Builder: 10 Contenders, One Winner

If you’ve ever thought about creating a mobile app from scratch, you know that it takes some searching to find the right tools. Drag-and-drop app development is often a good fit, so let’s talk about how to find the best drag-and-drop app builder to get you started. But before we get into specific platforms, let’s ask and answer some basic questions:

1) What is drag-and-drop app development?
2) What are the advantages of drag-and-drop app builders?

Drag-and-drop app development is one of the easiest and smartest ways to create your own app from scratch. This method doesn’t require programming skills and includes pre-built services and templates to simplify the creation process. Drag-and-drop mobile app builders usually offer opportunities for further customization and state-of-the-art features. Although their popularity is skyrocketing, there are a few advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering.

Drag-and-drop app builders:

*Are an affordable app development solution. App development costs can be a barrier for many businesses, but the majority of drag-and-drop builders have several pricing options. This will give you the flexibility to choose a suitable price.

*Are quicker than a development team. Drag-and-drop app builders allow you to save time by keeping development in-house rather than relying on external development resources. This means that you are fully in charge of the execution of your idea, and there’s no need to work with a team that doesn’t share your point of view.

*Make it easy to create a mobile application. Customization can be difficult, but drag-and-drop app builders make it easy. With the help of pre-built templates available with a platform, you can customize and implement them without being a tech expert.

*Provide multiple features for different business niches. App development platforms are usually packed with a bunch of cool features and templates that meet almost every business need. Whether you’re a retailer or a small makeup studio, a drag-and-drop app builder will make it easy to achieve your goals.

*Have an easy-to-understand interface. You don’t need to worry about spending loads of time learning the basics. They’re built for people with minimal technical experience, which makes them easy to use and highly intuitive.

There are some disadvantages to drag-and-drop mobile app builders, but not very many. The most common complaint is that there is a limited number of features, which can prevent you from making your complex idea happen. You may also find it difficult to build an application that requires a lot of user interaction.

Now that you have an idea of what drag-and-drop app builders are like, let’s move on to a list of the best drag-and-drop app builders.

The 10 Best Drag-and-Drop App Builders

Appery.io

This is a cloud-based drag-and-drop app builder for creating hybrid mobile and responsive web applications. Since it’s cloud-based, you don’t need to download it or install anything, so you can start building your applications quickly. The drag-and-drop functionality and the power of Javascript can easily turn your idea into an application. The app builder is a web, PWA, and mobile app development platform which enables applications built with Appery.io to run smoothly and look cool on all popular devices and operating systems. Additionally, app data can be stored by instantly adding a cloud database and back end to your app whenever needed.

Other advantages of this UI builder include:

  • Ease of usage. Even complete beginners can grasp the basics and start using this app builder. Full-fledged developers can also work with the frameworks they enjoy.
  • Integrated back-end services such as server-side scripting, cloud database, push notifications, and authentication.
  • Easy integration of your own back end. This drag-and-drop app builder provides the tools to create RESTful APIs from various enterprise systems including Oracle, SQL Server, and more.
  • Collaboration made simple. You can share your project with developers, business users, and customers in real time.

The pricing plans are reasonable and are justified by great functionality and quality of the product: beginners - $25/month, pro - $70/month, team - $135/month, and ultimate - $500/month.

Appy Pie

This app-building platform is one of the leading drag-and-drop app builders in the world. It’s swiftly gaining popularity and now has over 3 million users across the globe. So what makes this drag-and-drop app development software so special? The secret lies in its step-by-step process for creating successful business apps and the kit of features it offers. Let’s take a quick look at them:

-API
-Access controls/permissions
-Alerts/notifications
-Application management
-Change management
-Collaboration tools
-Custom development
-Debugging
-Drag & drop
-Graphical user interface
-Mobile development
-Reporting/analytics
-Software development
-Web app development

Another bonus of Appy Pie is that they develop a wide range of tutorials for customers that explain the process of creating an application and guide users through each step. Additionally, the platform offers a three-step process for creating an application. All you need to do is enter your app name, add necessary features for Android/iOS, and publish the app on Google Play and iTunes. Voila, your app is ready!

The pricing plans are quite reasonable: basic - $15/app/month, gold - $36/app/month, platinum - $60/app/month.

Mobincube

It’s not easy to find a drag-and-drop mobile app builder which offers both value and an affordable price, but Mobincube is one of these rare pocket-friendly platforms. You can start building as many apps with ads as you want without being limited by space and at no cost. Other pricing plans include: small - $2.99/month, medium - $9.99/month, large - $19.99/month, XL - $49.99/month, and XXL - $99.99/month.

Although the editor doesn’t look as modern as some, it does boast of a unique set of features:

-Advanced customization
-Online store integration
-Monetization with in-app ads
-Navigation bars
-Database Integration
-Third-party solution integration
-Audio and video
-Remote content updates
-Push notifications
-Google Maps
-Google Analytics

Competitive prices and a wide variety of templates are serious bonuses that make this app builder stand out from other apps. While there is still room for improvement, this drag-and-drop app builder is definitely in the top ten.

Swiftic

This drag-and-drop app builder positions itself as a platform that caters to both big and small businesses. The main categories this platform suits best are retail and commerce, health and beauty, and professional services. Their platform and its layout are crystal clear with a combination of seven different templates that can be combined with six different styles of navigation. What makes it unique is that all the colors on the app and the icons can be adapted with your own artwork. Swiftic also provides a large number of features:

-In-app coupons
-Mobile store
-Push notifications
-Scratch cards
-Loyalty cards
-Deliveries
-Catalogues
-Menus
-Social integration
-Customer engagement (surveys, contests, and more)
-Branches (outlets)
-Scheduling

Their pricing plans are quite different from the previous drag-and-drop UI builders. They have one tier that has either a monthly ($57), yearly ($48), or biannual subscription ($29). Probably the most appealing thing is their six-month success guarantee, which means that if you were unable to achieve “any meaningful business result” with your app, Swiftic will give you six months of service for free.

AppInstitute

AppInstitute is another drag-and-drop mobile app builder for busy small business owners. The UI builder offers templates for more than 20 business types, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of! The process of creating an application is clear even for beginners and involves only four steps. First, you pick a template with all the features you need. Then brand your application, edit content (all without writing a single line of code), and easily make it live.

The range of AppInstitute’s features is promising. They include:
-Full brand control
-Calendar and booking system
-Rich media
-Drag-and-drop app builder
-Online payments
-Push notifications and messaging
-Social media integration
-GEO listings

This platform will be especially appreciated by eCommerce businesses, as it allows them to make payments from within the app, without navigating out of it for any reason. The apps built with this platform are available for a monthly subscription of $42 per month (PWA), $66 per month (PWA + iOS and Android), $84 per month (PWA, iOS and Android + iPad), and $340 per month.

AppMachine

This one’s name speaks for itself. AppMachine drag-and-drop app builder is impressive both in its design and functionality. The interface looks like a lego block, which makes the whole process of planning and constructing an application appealing and unintimidating. Although not every component is intuitive from the beginning, anyone can get the hang of it and eventually succeed. With AppMachine, you can use over 35 pre-coded apps to build your own. It also provides templates for schools, travel and tourism, music, sports, and restaurant apps.

The list of AppMachine’s features is impressive too. They offer:
-Web application builder
-Support for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices
-User-friendly interface
-Pre-built templates
-Easy publishing
-Free signup
-Multilingual interface
-Live app preview
-Connect to web services
-Auto submission to AppStore and PlayStore

In terms of cost, Appmachine offers two different plans, with Plus at $49 a month and Pro at $69 a month. By the way, they don’t charge any fees for monetizing your app. You just pay for your subscription and pocket all the revenue from app monetization.

BuildFire

BuildFire mobile app builder is definitely easy and user-friendly. It offers an easy-to-use dashboard and admin control panel that smoothes the whole process of releasing updates. A vast number of customization options allow users to make changes to the app on the go and test them in a real environment. The drag-and-drop app builder allows users to create fully custom mobile apps, business workflow, employee communications, eCommerce, fitness, and many other apps. The features kit is extensive as well. It includes:

-Drag & drop
-Reporting/analytics
-Access controls/permissions
-Compatibility testing
-Deployment management
-Mobile development
-Source control
-Design templates
-Feature library
-Visual interface

Their pricing plan is quite democratic. They offer a free plan and a premium plan that is available for $49 a month.

MobileRoadi

MobileRoadi is considered one of the most robust drag-and-drop app builders available on the market today. The platform offers a collection of nine categories for pre-built app templates. Among them are music, entertainment, events, sport, government and education, hospitality and travel, business, media, and religious organizations. The process of creating an application takes five steps and includes building, designing, managing, engaging, and analyzing. The interface of this app builder is professionally designed and planned, however it takes some time to adapt.

The range of features include:
-Push notifications
-Mailing list
-Chat wall
-API
-Social unlock
-Top users
-Polls
-Pop-up promos
-Geofencing
-Location and directions

Due to the wide array of features, their pricing plans start from a CORE plan at $149 a month and go up to their PRO plan at $799 a month.

Shoutem

A new version of the Shoutem app builder offers a lot of template designs with a vast number of options to customize them so that each app looks unique. This platform is especially suitable for communities because of its social wall where users can share photos and add comments. The process of building Android and iOS apps takes just four steps. First, you pick up a template, then brand your app, import necessary content, and publish it to stores. The number of features here is lower in comparison with other builders, but it should have everything you need to create an application. Among them are:

-Push notifications
-Location-based services
-A Shopify feature or product catalogue
-RSS feed options
-Ability to add your own HTML code
-Social media integration
-Loyalty features
-API available
-Custom analytics
-Testing for Android only
-Reseller program

Shoutem makes their code available to developers to involve more and more people in building additional extensions and developing more features. Shoutem pricing starts at $49.00 per month. They do not have a free version, but do offer a free trial. The cheapest of their plans that allow you to publish your app on the Apple App Store begins at $79.00.

iBuildApp

iBuildApp drag-and-drop application builder has a super easy drop editor, a built-in content management system, and over a thousand app templates to choose from. This platform is specifically designed for people with absolutely no programming skills. Although their website doesn’t inspire confidence, the builder does boast some great features:

-White label solution
-Reseller payment plans
-Environment setup
-Payment system
-Custom pricing
-Customer support
-Website localization and customization
-Custom templates for reseller website

They also offer a bunch of advanced features, including push and GPS notifications, mobile ads, social media sharing, mobile analytics, and eCommerce opportunities. In terms of cost, there’s a basic plan ($9.99/ month), a business plan ($39 per month), and an enterprise or agency plan ($99 a month).

Wrapping It Up

Choosing the best drag-and-drop app builder might seem a bit scary, and it does require a bit of effort. But once you determine your priorities and clearly define your business needs, it doesn’t need to be a complicated task. If you are a complete beginner who wants to try creating an application, Shoutem and iBuiltApp drag-and-drop UI builders might be a good option for you. However, if you’re a seasoned developer looking for new challenges or somebody interested in new functionality and a wide range of features, go with Appery.io or MobileRoadi.

Top comments (6)

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0prvona2lupchiq profile image
Liudmila Klimusheuskaja

Thank you for sharing this list ! I will have a closer look at what you've suggested ;)

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ancipov profile image
ancipov

Alesia thanks a lot for the great article. By my personal opinion appery.io is a best choose.

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katsia profile image
dhambum

Hi! Thanks for the useful information!

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valeriiy profile image
valeriiy

Thanks Alesia for the useful information. Appery are the best deal for the job.

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chetanam profile image
Chetanam

Vareniyam is also a good builder. Try it at vareniyam.vercel.app/
PS: I am author of Vareniyam.

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andrew_klubnikin_609150ae profile image
Andrew Klubnikin

Thanks for sharing the list Alesia! Definitely going to give the top 3 a try ☑️

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