Technology

7 Best App Builder Tools for Cross Platform Mobile App Development

7 Best App Builder Tools for Cross Platform Mobile App Development

In recent years, there has been a major rise in the popularity of creating your own apps and games without needing to know how to code. With intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built templates, app makers have opened up app development to a whole new audience. Now, anyone can bring their app ideas to life and publish them in app stores, even if they have zero programming experience.

Several factors have contributed to this trend. Firstly, the no-code movement has shown that you don’t need to be able to code to build powerful apps and accomplish complex tasks. Secondly, app creator tools like Swiftspeed have become incredibly user-friendly, abstracting away the technical complexity. Lastly, app stores like the iOS App Store and Google Play Store have made it easy for anyone to publish their apps and reach a wide audience.

For aspiring creators, app makers provide an easy on-ramp to turn their app ideas into a reality. You can quickly prototype and iterate without engineering resources. Many of the top app maker platforms also have large communities where you can get help and feedback. Overall, app makers have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for non-coders to unleash their creativity.

What is an App Maker?

An app maker is a tool that allows you to build mobile apps visually, without needing to write any code. App makers provide drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built templates that enable anyone to build their own apps, even if they have no programming experience.

With an app maker, you can create apps for iOS, Android, and sometimes web and desktop too. The app maker tool handles all the coding in the background, while you focus on the design, content, and user experience. Many app makers include rich libraries of UI elements, media, and templates to speed up development.

App makers empower people to turn their app ideas into reality fast, without needing to hire developers and learn programming skills. They are targeted at non-coders, entrepreneurs, small businesses, marketers and anyone else who wants to build and publish their own mobile apps. Leading options provide plenty of customization options while eliminating the complexity of coding.

Benefits of Using App Makers

Using app maker tools provides several key benefits for aspiring app developers and entrepreneurs:

Faster Development

App makers dramatically accelerate the app creation process. Rather than coding an entire app from scratch, app makers provide pre-built features and functionality that can simply be configured. This allows apps to be developed in days or weeks rather than months or years.

No Coding Skills Needed

App makers eliminate the need to learn complex programming languages and SDKs. Through visual drag-and-drop interfaces and configuration, anyone can build an app regardless of technical skill level. This opens app development to a wider range of creators.

Cost Effective

App makers are extremely cost effective compared to traditional app development. Rather than hiring an engineering team, app makers have no labor costs. The app maker tools themselves also tend to be affordable or even free in some cases. This allows bootstrapped entrepreneurs and small teams to build apps on a budget.

#1. Swiftspeed

Swiftspeed is one of the top free app maker tools for building games without coding. It supports both 2D and 3D game development, making it versatile for creating a wide range of games.

Swiftspeed is available on Windows and Mac, so you can build games on your desktop or laptop computer. It uses a simple drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to quickly build levels, add sprites, and program game logic and behaviors without needing to write any code.

Some key features of Swiftspeed include:

  • Large library of pre-made assets like characters, textures, and sounds to accelerate development
  • Built-in physics and collision detection
  • Support for animations and particle effects
  • Multiplayer networking capabilities
  • Options to deploy games to iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, HTML5

Swiftspeed uses a BASIC-style language called Swiftspeed Basic or AGK BASIC to handle the programming logic. This easy to learn language uses plain English words and syntax. Those new to programming can quickly grasp it to start bringing their game ideas to life.

With its code-free development and multi-platform publishing, Swiftspeed is a top choice for beginners looking to get started with game creation. Its expansive feature set also makes it suitable for more advanced users. Swiftspeed removes the need for coding knowledge, allowing anyone to start building and publishing their own games.

#2. Appbuilder24

Appbuilder24 is an easy to use app maker that doesn’t require any coding knowledge. It has a simple drag and drop interface that makes it easy for anyone to create an app.

One of the best features of Appbuilder24 is its built-in monetization tools. You can easily add in-app purchases, subscriptions, and ads to monetize your app. This makes it simple to start earning money from your app without needing to integrate third-party services.

Appbuilder24 also has thousands of customizable templates to choose from. So you can quickly build an app that matches your needs by modifying an existing template. The app builder is intuitive and has a WYSIWYG editor that lets you see changes as you make them.

Overall, Appbuilder24 combines ease of use with powerful monetization features. It’s a great choice for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and individuals looking to build and publish apps without coding. The drag and drop interface makes app creation accessible to anyone.

#3. BuildFire

BuildFire is a powerful app maker that allows you to create native mobile apps without coding. One of the key benefits of BuildFire is its ability to create apps that can be published directly to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Unlike some app makers that create web apps, BuildFire builds truly native iOS and Android apps. This means your app will have the look, feel, and performance of an app built with Swift or Java. Native apps can tap into device features like the camera, GPS, push notifications, and more.

BuildFire also makes it easy to integrate analytics to track user engagement and behavior. You can connect your app to industry-leading analytics platforms like Mixpanel, Google Analytics, and more. Key metrics like active users, sessions, retention, and funnels can be monitored to optimize your app over time.

The analytics integration combined with native app capabilities makes BuildFire a top choice for anyone looking to build and launch a professional mobile app. You get the power of native apps with the ease of use of an app builder.

#4. AppInventor

AppInventor is an open source app development tool created by MIT. It allows anyone to build fully functional apps for Android devices without writing code.

Some key features of AppInventor:

  • Visual drag-and-drop interface: AppInventor uses a simple block-based editor that allows you to visually design the app layout and program behaviors by fitting blocks together like puzzles. No typing code required.
  • Active community: As an open source project, AppInventor has an active community of developers contributing new features, extensions and tutorials. There’s a wealth of resources available.
  • Beginner friendly: AppInventor is designed specifically for beginners with no programming experience. The simple workflow and extensive documentation make it easy to build your first app.
  • Educational focus: AppInventor was originally created to teach programming concepts to students. Educators frequently use it as an introductory tool.
  • Full app capabilities: Despite the simple interface, AppInventor gives you access to many advanced device features like GPS, accelerometer, storage, multimedia and more.

AppInventor is a great choice if you’re new to app development and want an easy way to get started building real Android apps. The visual programming approach allows you to dive right in and learn by doing.

#5. Thunkable

Thunkable is a drag-and-drop app builder that allows you to create mobile apps without coding. It uses a visual, block-based interface similar to MIT’s Scratch programming language. This makes it easy for even beginners to build fully-functional apps.

Some key features of Thunkable include:

  • Code Blocks Based Programming: Thunkable uses pre-built code blocks that you can drag and arrange visually to build your app’s logic. No typing code required. The blocks snap together like puzzle pieces.
  • Active Community Support: Thunkable has an engaged community forum where you can get help and feedback. Since it’s been used by over 5 million people, chances are someone has already solved your problem.
  • Multiplatform Apps: You can build apps for both iOS and Android with the same project file. This saves a ton of time compared to native app development.
  • Live Testing: Thunkable has a companion app that lets you instantly test your app on your phone as you build. Very handy for quickly iterating.
  • Additional Components: Thunkable offers native features like camera/gallery access, push notifications, Bluetooth, etc. This expands what you can build.

Overall, Thunkable is a top choice for beginners looking to build real mobile apps without coding. The visual programming and active community make it easy to learn. If you have an app idea, Thunkable is worth checking out.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Tool

When selecting an app maker tool, there are a few key factors to consider:

Features Needed

Think about the type of app you want to build and what features it requires. Do you need advanced game development capabilities like 3D graphics or physics engines? Or a simple tool for building basic utility apps? Make sure the tool has the features to match your app ideas.

Platform Support

Most app makers allow you to export apps for both iOS and Android. Some also support Windows, Mac, web apps, etc. Consider what platforms you want your app to be available on.

Pricing

There is a range of pricing models from free to paid subscriptions. Free tools are great for simple apps, but may lack advanced features or monetization options. Paid tools offer more capabilities but cost more. Evaluate your budget and needs.

Learning Curve

Some app builders are designed for complete beginners, while others have steeper learning curves. Think about your current coding skills and how easy the tool is to learn and use. Simpler tools allow you to build apps faster, while more advanced options have more flexibility.

Choosing the right app maker involves balancing these factors based on your specific app goals, budget, and skills. Test out a few options to see which one best fits your needs. The most important thing is finding a tool that empowers you to bring your app ideas to life.

Conclusion

When deciding on a no-code app maker tool to build your game, it’s important to consider your needs, skills, and goals. The top picks we covered provide powerful features to develop high quality games without coding expertise.

Swiftspeed is a great choice for 2D and 3D cross-platform games with its drag and drop interface. Appbuilder24 excels at creating a wide variety of app types with plenty of templates and customization. BuildFire offers robust monetization tools and easy publishing. AppInventor from MIT has a simple block-based editor for education focused apps. And Thunkable delivers a powerful platform for mobile game creation with live testing.

No matter which tool you choose, be sure to thoroughly test your app before launch. Check for bugs, gameplay flaws, and overall user experience. Get feedback from friends and run beta tests with a small group of users. Refine and polish until you have a high quality game ready for the app stores.

There are many other great app builders out there beyond our top recommendations. Explore all the options to find the right match based on your specific gaming app vision and skills. With the proliferation of no-code tools today, anyone can become an app developer and bring their ideas to life.

About author

Carl Herman is an editor at DataFileHost enjoys writing about the latest Tech trends around the globe.