One of the most intimidating aspects about designing an app yourself is coding: Do you need to know how to code or is it best to hire a professional to design your app for you? With app-making software, though, the process is relatively simple.
With most platforms, you input content using the program's content management system, thereby bypassing coding. For people who have some familiarity with coding, most of the app builders we evaluated let you create or edit the program's code to customize it to your company (which isn't necessarily a bad thing; instead, it's a convenience intended for prospective app builders with some coding experience and who want more functionality with the software).
Rather than entering strings of code, most platforms provide a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) approach. This means that every change you make to your app through the software's dashboard, whether it's adding images or uploading content, shows up in real time on the respective app preview screen. All of the HTML coding happens behind the scenes.
These companies don't want to confuse novice app creators. Instead, the process of building each page for your app typically involves dragging and dropping icons or elements from the dashboard into the app preview page.
For the next phase of our evaluation process, we focused on the tools that made it possible to create an app quickly. In terms of customization, we checked whether there were multiple layouts available to design your app as well as the option of creating your app from scratch. We evaluated the themes and graphics in each program plus whether we could (and, if so, how easy it was to) add our own custom logo.
We also checked whether the program offered a walk-through or a wizard that guides users – especially a novice – through the program and instructs them how to use it.
If the thought of dozens of design tools is overwhelming, don't worry. We sought out software that does most of the behind-the-scenes work for you, especially with assisting you with submitting your app to Apple's App Store and Google Play, and helping you creating a page about your app.
Once your app is widely available, you'll want to stay up to date on its popularity and find out who your main customer demographic is that's downloading your app. All of the software programs on our list offer analytics, though it varies by each service.
Some software offers its own proprietary analytics, while others integrate with Google Analytics, like Appery.io and Appy Pie. While both options effectively alert you to who is using your site, we found that the programs that offer both provide more in-depth analysis.