4 min read

App Builder Review: Appy Pie vs. Bubble vs. GoodBarber vs. BuildFire

App Builder Review: Appy Pie vs. Bubble vs. GoodBarber vs. BuildFire

Using an app builder has some advantages, but builders aren’t suitable for all apps. Here’s what you need to know about using an app builder, when you should consider it, top app builder reviews, and the best option for when an app builder won’t give you what you need to create your app.

What is App Builder Software?

App creator software is an application that aids the development process by providing templates and functionality to build a mobile or web app without knowing programming code. App builders help make development faster and easier using a visual development environment. They include features like workflow design, hardware compatibility, data synchronization, and analytics. Another benefit of app builders is that they often support integrations with services and other applications through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). 

App Builder Software Advantages and Disadvantages

As you might expect, there are pros and cons to using app builder software. You’ll want to evaluate these to see if using an app creator software is right for your situation.

Reasons to Use App Builder Software

  • Fast time-to-market — Using a builder can speed up the development process, letting you release your app to the market sooner. 
  • Programming skills are not required — You don’t need to know code to build an app, making the process relatively simple. Changes are shown in real-time so that you can see the results of each action immediately. 
  • Budget benefits — Development costs when using an app builder are generally lower than paying for a professional app development company. Of course, there’s a trade-off for the savings, as you’ll see.

Why You May Not Want to Use App Builder Software

  • Nothing but the basics — App builder software generally supports only the most basic apps. So, if you’re looking for something more complex with robust features, you may not be able to do what you require.
  • App stores don’t support — Many apps built by app builders are rejected by app stores, including the Apple App Store. This can have a tremendous impact on your app’s marketability, market potential,  and ROI.
  • Platform flexibility and app ownership — When you use an app creation software, you’re often tied to the platform you choose. The service owns your app and can restrict your ability to update it or even access it in the future.
  • No code edits — If you want full control or a custom functionality that the app builder doesn’t provide, you’re out of luck as builders don’t allow code edits.

When Should You Use App Builder Software?

But app builder software is a good choice for some use cases. For example, creating a simple app intended for use within your company or team or designing an MVP product for market testing are both use cases where an app builder may be a strong option. If you find an app builder with a template design and architecture that suits the needs of your project, it may be a good idea to consider using one. Just remember — if you get great feedback on an app you created with a builder and want to enhance your app’s functionality, you’ll be starting from scratch to create a new one. 

Appy Pie vs. BuildFire vs. GoodBarber vs. Bubble: Which App Builder is Best?

There are a lot of different companies that offer app builder software. Here are four of the most popular app makers available today. 

Appy Pie Review

This app maker is growing quickly and offers affordable plan options for web apps. There are several unique features and integrations, including in-app purchases, uploads for things like ebooks, database connections, and more. However, you need a higher tier for native iOS and Android functionality, and their customer service isn’t always as responsive as customers desire. Pricing starts at $16 a month though you’ll need the $60/month tier for both Apple and Android. 

BuildFire Review

This click-and-edit app maker is intuitive and easy to use, making it a rising star. In addition, it offers some excellent social features, which may be appealing for some. However, it is newer to the market, and with no live chat, support is lacking. Plans start at $159/month for an annual contract after a 7-day free trial, though you’ll likely need a higher plan that will run you between $299 a month and $424. And, if you want to white label your app for resale, it costs $1,500 a month.

Bubble Review

Bubble has an easy drag-and-drop builder offering responsive layouts and animations. There are many customization options for content, appearance, and user interactions. Functionality includes sending emails, saving and displaying data, and processing transactions. Bubble also hosts and scales the site as traffic grows, which is appealing for some. However, if you want to build a native app, you’ll need outside resources to do so. And the plugin list is limited but growing. Bubble offers a free limited plan running up to $475 a month with an annual contract, depending on the functionality required and the number of apps.

GoodBarber Review

GoodBarber has some beautiful themes to choose from and offers advanced features like chat, social networking, push notifications, and even an e-commerce app builder. They provide a great user experience with a lot of flexibility. However, costs go up significantly to publish to iOS. GoodBarber pricing starts at $25/month for an annual contract and goes up to $125 a month, depending on the functionality.

Alternative to Using App Builder Software

App builders do have limitations, and they won’t work for all apps. If they aren’t a good option for your needs, you’ll want to find an agency partner that can bring your vision to life. Look for a partner that can offer the guidance, expertise, and experience to support you through the process of building your app. You’ll want someone with the technical chops to ensure security and reliability as well as UX design expertise to ensure the app will keep your users engaged. It’s also smart to find an agency that will help you first create an MVP to validate market interest and iterate with development. 

Should I Use an App Builder or an Agency?

The answer to whether you should use an app builder or an agency to create your app will depend on the app functionality you desire and your plans for the app moving forward. Though there are situations where an app builder may make a lot of sense, if you’re looking at the long-term to create an app that users will love and to continue making it more useful, you may want to consider an agency partner.

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