The mobile app market is ever-expanding due to the increasing appetite of users for apps. The moment you consider investing in a native development solution, you’re immediately faced with a barrage of app builders in the marketplace. That’s why we are here to review the 8 best native app builder tools that can help you build a competitive native app cost-effectively and quickly.
Table of Contents
A quick look at native app development
Before going into details about the list of native application development tools, let us walk you through some core terminologies regarding a native app.
What is native app development?
A native app is a form of a mobile application built in a specific programming language, for a certain device platform, either iOS or Android. In particular, iOS native apps are written in Objective-C or Swift codebase and Android native apps are written in Java.
Whatsapp, Facebook, and Pokemon Go are prime examples when it comes to native application development.
So, how do you create a native app? The process varies depending on the languages that the platform in which a native application is built accepts along with the development tools to be used. Stay tuned as we will cover this part in the next section.
Benefits of Native Apps
In fact, most apps available in the marketplace these days are native ones. This is because native apps come with a number of significant advantages over the alternatives.
- Fast and responsive experience: With native apps, users are offered the fastest, most reliable, and most responsive experience, which is absolutely a competitive edge over their web counterparts. This can be explained by the fact that native apps are built for a particular platform, leading to their accelerated speed and higher performance.
- Easily tap into wider device functionality: Native app features allow users to easily access their camera, compass, microphone, accelerometer and swipe gestures for specific purposes.
- Allow matching app UI/UX to platform conventions: Building a native app for your business is an effective way to please your users as you can match the app’s various UI/UX to the platform conventions.
- More security and consistency: Native apps offer more robust and reliable security to businesses as the native app platform gets updated on its own.
- Availability across the app store: Most of the highly downloaded applications in the app store are native apps. This can in turn help businesses get more customers on board. Just by focusing on marketing efforts to make their app showcase perfectly when users conduct their search, businesses can enjoy huge benefits from their native applications.
Top 9 native app builder tools in 2023
App My Site
AppMySite is one of the most powerful and reliable mobile app builders in the DIY development space.
It essentially enables WordPress website owners to convert their sites into mobile apps. The platform syncs website content and data like posts, pages, categories, and menus to a native app interface.
If you have WooCommerce as a store-front on your website, AppMySite will also sync your products, product categories, and other related data to the app.
Once your app is ready, you can publish it to the Google Play and Apple App Store. The apps you build are powered by essential features like push notifications, social login, chat support, and so on. You can track essential app data like downloads, traffic, and popular screens on AppMySite too.
- Real-time sync between your website and app.
- Point and click options to design your app and add features.
- Support for custom post types and taxonomies.
Pricing plan: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $19/month
Developed by the giant tech Google, Flutter is a wise investment to make when it comes to native app builder tools.
This open-source application development framework is totally free to use. The codebase and built-in tools which Flutter opts mainly include C, C++, Dard, and Skia Graphics Engine. Furthermore, Flutter is also a commonly-used tool among developers thanks to its intuitive interface and great user experience. To gain such popularity, the toolkit has developed a set of fully-customizable widgets, hence, making the process of native app development super easy and quick.
- Fast rendering and flexible design process.
- Major native app items such as navigation, fonts, and icons in the widgets.
- A foundation library.
Pricing Plan: Free.
Now that you’ve grasped a sound understanding of native apps, let’s get down to business with our comprehensive review of the top 8 best native app builders in 2023.
As a well-known Magento business solution partner, Magenest has developed a wide range of useful extensions to keep up with the mobile app development trend. Among those, Mininest, the innovative Magento 2 native app builder for both iOS and Android versions has enjoyed a positive reception from global users.
Specifically, Mininest allows businesses to easily turn their potential website into a robust native mobile app. Based on Flutter, Google’s UI toolkit for high-quality mobile interfaces, both native app versions for iOS and Android guarantee a seamless experience for the users. On top of that, Mininest is totally free, which is a tailored solution for businesses of all sizes to open up various opportunities.
More unique features of Mininest include:
- Allow users to customize pre-made templates to suit their branding
- Support 6 main product types of Magento.
- Allow social login.
- Automatically send notifications, provide auto-suggestions, and voice search.
- Generate coupons and discounts.
- Support synchronization of data from the mobile app to the Magento 2 website.
- Auto-save when offline.
Pricing Plan: Free of charge.
NativeScript is best-matched for various professional products and services such as performance analysis, in-person training, troubleshooting reports, and coding assistance. In addition, this tool is highly recommended among users as it comes with a set of cross-platform tools to easily handle app building.
- Built-in themes.
- A theme builder for users’ visual customizations.
- Huge SCC styling system.
- Direct access to Platform APIs from the code.
Pricing plan: Free of charge.
>> Read more: Top 7 best Native App Examples for Merchants
Appy Pie is widely popular among native app development tools in the marketplace as it requires no coding and programming skills at all. Hereby, it is the best suite for the creation of simple and business-oriented native mobile apps.
In fact, the mechanism of the tool is quite straightforward and customer-oriented. First, the users are required to fill in a survey containing all their app’s needs and prerequisites. Then, based on the input, Appy Pie will get back with a multitude of predefined app templates and features with an enviable level of customization.
- Social media platform integration (Instagram, Flickr).
- Automatic push notifications and event calendar.
- Drag and drop feature for the creation of highly customized apps.
- No code and no technical knowledge are required.
- Integration with Google Analytics for real-time metrics.
Pricing Plan: 3 sets of pricing.
- Basic: $18/app/month.
- Gold: $36/app/month.
- Platinum: $60/app/month.
In addition, this toolkit also comes with a series of benefits for developers such as a drag-and-drop interface, native app preview, and local testing. Shoutem offers up to 200 layouts, and more than 40 built-in extensions and features, for example, APIs, user authentication, and content management system, and so on.
- Integration with Google Analytics and 3rd party integration.
- Ready-to-use library of extensions.
- Easy and cost-effective maintenance.
- Tons of helpful documentation and resources.
- Android only: $49/month.
- Standard: $79/month.
- Professional: $149/month.
GoodBarber is a good choice of native app builder which impresses users with its beautiful themes as well as tons of flexibility and cutting-edge features. With this toolkit, businesses can easily set up a native app for their products, and services, and turn their websites into the lucrative apps. What’s more is that they also develop the Shopping App product, a brand new builder for eCommerce applications.
However, start-ups and SMEs should seriously consider its pricing plan before opting for it as GoodBarber sets comparatively high pricing for each native app building requirement along with a monthly payment for using the tool.
- Advanced features such as social networking, Geofencing, and iBeacons integrations.
- Powerful push notifications.
- Chat functionality from add-ons to create a full shopping app.
- Full: $48/ Android native app/month.
- Premium: $96/month.
Developed by Google, Android Studio is a native application development software that exclusively fits the Android operating system. This native app builder stands out as it provides developers with design and coding shortcuts while allowing the dev team to reduce coding time with its easy-to-use editor.
In particular, Android Studio includes drag and drop functionalities in the project layouts section. At the same time, the intelligent code editor successfully accomplishes its task by providing code completion for C, C++, Java, and Kotlin languages. Another strong plus point is that Android Studio is a highly customizable toolkit, which allows bespoke coding to create various built versions for different devices.
- Visual layout editor with complex layouts for a better visual effect.
- APK Analyzer to reduce the final native app size.
- Fast emulator for the purpose of testing different configurations and features.
- Built-in profiling tools for real-time statistics/ metrics on memory, CPU, and network.
Pricing Plan: Free.
Last but not least, we have AppsBuilder, an Italian app creator for native app development. This technology impresses users with its easy navigation and an intuitive image editing tool. Thanks to these amazing features, AppsBuilder has become one of the most favorable tools for developers and has so far helped them create and develop over 500,000 apps universally.
- A wide range of modules is available for users to freely add to their apps, including multimedia, eCommerce, maps, loyalty tools, and calculators.
- Handy dedicated resource section, with lots of materials available for free.
- Tools for all popular social sites.
- Starter: $9/app/month.
- Pro: $19/app/month.
- Premium: $39/app/month.
How to find the right native app builder software for your business?
As listed above, each of the mentioned app builder tools comes with its own set of unique functions and advantages. So, how do you decide on just one and be certain that it will make a difference to your business? Follow our recommendations below to decide on the best-match native app creator:
- Consider the native app architecture: To choose the ideal native builder that allows you to build your desired architecture, all you need to do is to define the core functionalities to be integrated with your native app, then check whether they are easy or hard to implement to have proper adjustments.
- Evaluate the native app builder software’s integration capabilities: You need to examine whether the platform can integrate with external and 3rd party products or if it comes with built-in tools. These features will directly affect your marketing efforts afterward.
- Ensure the native app builder’s security: The most suitable native app design software should have a certificate of safety or any equivalent compliance standards to avoid possible lawsuits in the future.
- Know your audience: The target geography of your native app and other demographic factors such as age, gender or career play a vital role in your selection in which you should make an iOS or Android app. Hence, the choice of native app builders must be in line with these criteria.
- Understand the features: Every native app maker platform has features that are proprietary to that specific platform. To make the best out of the tool, you should visualize how its features can affect the final native app product that you will build using that tool.
- Think about ROI: For this criteria, we suggest you take time to consider the cost of investing in the native app builder software to choose the solution that best suits your set budget.
- Consult with a professional developer: Finally, it’s a good practice to look for advice from a consultant or a developer who is experienced in the field of native apps. They will be able to offer useful recommendations to help you with your decision-making process.
To sum up, we’ve walked you through some basic information regarding native app development and given you a thorough look at the list of 8 amazing native app builder tools in 2023.
It’s time to pick up the perfect tool to seize the opportunities of bringing your business to the next level and offer a closer platform to customers. If you are unsure of choosing or developing the native app by yourself, we are here to help you create and deliver a top-notch native app for your business.