An open source app builder is publicly accessible software that developers can access and modify in order to create mobile apps.
Open source app builder’s capabilities to add or remove features or change its functions according to the project requirements allow programmers to create versatile apps for all mobile devices and operating systems.
What Types Of Apps And App Design Software Platforms Are There?
The choice of your free app builders or open source software will depend on the operating system, the features and platform you wish to build an app for.
These are the most popular types of apps:
Native apps use specific programming languages and are designed for particular mobile operating systems and platforms. They are specialized apps that can take advantage of all features on their designated platform.
These apps can operate on multiple operating systems and platforms and combine the elements of native and web apps. They can contain operating system features and use cross-compatible web technologies.
Cross-platform apps are usually faster to develop than native apps and they need less maintenance.
While they are not as fast as native apps and tend to have more issues and lower quality compared to them, they can gain new functionalities on multiple versions of the app because developers can build them on a single base.
Hybrid apps use software like React Native, Sencha Touch, Ionic and Xamarin.
Best Free App Builders To Use In 2021
Whether you intend to build a native, hybrid or web mobile app, these open-source and free app builders contain the widest array of functionalities and have the best user interface for you to quickly turn your app into reality.
#1: Appy Pie Offers Attractive Templates For Business-Oriented Apps
Wildly popular among developers of simple, business-oriented mobile apps, cloud-hosted Appy Pie requires no programming skills at all.
In fact, this tool’s process of creating appealing and functional apps is the result of the producers’ survey which they used to understand their users’ needs.
As a result of that input, Appy Pie has tons of pre-defined templates and features that provide an enviable level of customization.
Users can integrate photo galleries from image-oriented channels such as Instagram and Flickr to add pizzaz to mobile-friendly website versions in a matter of minutes.
Built-in templates cover a range of different industries, such as dating apps, restaurant apps, church management apps and more.
Social media integration
Push notifications and event calendar
Drag and drop feature for building highly customized apps
No-code and no technical knowledge required
Google Analytics integration for real-time metrics
Appy Pie is a free app builder. However, there are also three paid versions that come with advanced features:
#3: AppstronautME Is A Mobile App Builder That Offers Great Customization Options
Using AppstronautME, developers and businesses can create apps within a matter of minutes. The platform requires no coding, however, you can personalize your app’s look and feel by editing its HTML and CSS.
All it takes is creating an account on the platform, uploading your own content and images and then publishing it.
What’s great about this app builder is that it offers great training and support and there is a well developed forum where members share different questions and answers.
Over 110 templates and 100 features
In app purchases
Videos displaying and sharing
GPS and locations integration
Scanning QR codes
Android and iOS
AppstronautME is a free app builder that also has paid options:
Regarded as one of the best open source frameworks, it’s a suite of professional products and services such as in-person training, performance analysis, troubleshooting reports, performance analysis and coding assistance.
This open source app builder is very handy for building apps for both iOS and Android swiftly because it comes with a set of cross-platform tools.
#6: Felgo Is An Open Source Cross-Platform App Builder
A free open source app design software that creates cross-platform apps for mobile platforms as well as Windows and Linux desktop systems.
A single codebase powers this software which is hailed by users as one of the easiest to master. Its time-saving framework and a high-end customer support service rank Felgo highly among app developers of diverse experience.
As it supports 3D modeling, it’s a very useful platform to create games with. User interface rendering reduces the interaction between the native layer and runtime environment.
Easy to use
Great for business and gaming apps
Android and iOS
Felgo has a free version for developers on a low budget. However, you can also choose from two paid plans:
Startup ($95 per developer/month billed annually)
Business ($295 per developer/month billed annually)
As a Java Script open source SDK for the development of hybrid mobile apps, Ionic has MIT license to vouch for it. It requires Node.js for installation and creates apps that operate on web code and native code.
The user interface of the app provides full access to native functionalities that allow building applications for Android, iOS and web with a single codebase.
A big community of developers using this tool acts as a support go-to for anyone needing assistance with the tool.
Ionic benefits from a very intuitive interface that makes the development process faster, as well as more than 100 native device features and preset elements
Easy to learn and use
Great integration capacities
Has MIT license
Allows Cordova-based app building
Android and iOS
Ionic has a free version but also comes with paid structures.
The app builder has three Appflow plans:
Scale (custom pricing)
To get Ionic Enterprise, you should contact the platform for a custom quote.
Google’s Android Studio is an app development software whose implementation editor is fit for Android developers. It provides coding and design shortcuts while the layout editor reduces coding time thanks to its easy to use editor.
Project layouts are using drag and drop functionalities during the design process while the intelligent code editor provides code completion for Java, C, C++ and Kotlin languages.
Android Studio is highly customizable and allows for bespoke coding to generate various build versions for different devices.
Visual layout editor with complex layouts
APK Analyzer that reduces the final app size
Fast emulator for testing different configurations and features
Build-in profiling tools for real-time stats on CPU, memory and network
This Cordova-based open source, cross-platform app builder lets developers use one code base and multiple sets of tech add-ons.
Thanks to a native API, they can be published on native platforms.
The process of creating an app using this software is remarkably similar to creating a website. Developers can store their working files either locally or in the cloud and plugins activate these files when a device runs them.
Quick debug and build cycles
Easy sharing of app prototype with colleagues and clients
Enables team collaboration through PhoneGap Build Projects
Android and iOS
Adobe PhoneGap is an open source app builder that is free to use.
#6: Buildfire Is An App Building Tool With A Free 14 Day Trial
A customizable app design tool, Buildfire is good for developing Android, iOS and web mobile applications.
This app builder supports over 10,000 apps. It is lauded among users for first-class custom development capacities. Its flexibility lets it scale and follow your business growth.
It has an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that makes it convenient for rookie developers as well as seasoned experts. Combining it with third-party software is easy thanks to API and pre-built integrations.
App building software with no coding needed
Plenty of advanced development features
Social networking capabilities
Third-party integrations and building of custom functionalities
How To Find The Right Open Source And Free App Building Software For You
As we’ve seen, each of the open source and free app builders comes with its own set of unique functions and advantages. So, how do you decide on just one and be certain you won’t regret the decision?
Consider software architecture: Define core functionalities your app should have and which of these are easy and which are hard to implement. Then check if the open source app builder lets you build the architecture you want.
Make sure support and maintenance are sufficient: You should be able to support your product adequately and fix code defects when it launches.
Look for developer experience: Find testimonials on software use by other developers. Was it hard for them to get used to it? How easy it is to build new features or import foreign code?
Learn about the tool's software integration capabilities: Can the platform integrate with external and 3rd party products? Does it come with built-in tools?
Think about business-level compatibilities: Consider the prospective app development software in the bigger picture that is your business. Can other programs you use integrate with this software?
Think about security: Does the app design software you’re considering have a certificate of safety or any other compliance standards? Does it use authentication and authorization?
Consider your audience: The target geography of the app and other demographic factors such as age play a role in the selection process whether you should make an iOS or Android app. This, again, narrows down the selection of app development software.
Regard the features: Every mobile app development platform has features that are proprietary to that platform. Think in terms of how this will limit or enhance the final app product that you built using that software.
Think about ROI: What is the cost of the platform and does the platform vendor have long term viability?
Takeaways On Paid & Free App Builders
Which of these, paid open source and free app builders you will choose depends on the level of development expertise you have, platforms you’re building them for and features you wish to implement.
All of them have user-friendly interfaces, pre-build templates and libraries of features that save time. A good deal of these app development programs even come with no coding required.
If you are unsure of developing the app yourself, you can always turn to specialized mobile app development agencies that can deliver a top-notch product for your business.
Browse through our collection of best app designs here!