If you have been following the mobile app development scene closely, you might have noticed that no-code mobile apps are quickly gaining popularity.
It is paramount that businesses try to reach out to their customers over platforms that the users prefer; with users becoming increasingly mobile-oriented, companies must figure out and deliver mobile solutions to serve their customers better. However, it’s not always feasible for every business to build a mobile app. Medium to small businesses face all kinds of challenges, from lacking time and resources to falling short of the developers when it comes to building their apps. Within such a market, no-code apps have emerged as a faster and cheaper alternative to traditional app development in order to make mobile app development more accessible to the average business.
But what are No-code apps?
In simple terms, no-code apps are those that do not require any code to be built, no brainer right? But how can you create an app without writing any code? These apps are built using no-code platforms, which allow users to build the app’s UI by dragging and dropping pre-built components together. I think of the no-code revolution to be very similar (if not the exact same) as no-code web development. No code app platforms are doing basically the same thing for apps that platforms like WordPress did for websites. They made development easier, mainly centered around a visual, drag and drop style of building, allowing even non-technical users to build apps and websites. As a direct result of this, we saw a huge increase in the number of published websites. Today, virtually anyone can build a stunning website even with zero development skills or knowledge.
A similar future awaits mobile apps. As Chris Wanstrath, GitHub’s CEO, states: The future of coding is no coding at all.
Surveys have suggested a significant lack of developers globally compared to the number of positions available. On top of that, software products continue to grow in popularity and demand. No and low code development is suggested as one possible solution to bridge this talent gap. Equipping average consumers to become citizen developers may be the future of app development, and it would be interesting to witness how no-code development affects the business potential of mobile app development companies USA and worldwide.
All of this hinges on the no-code apps being able to perform in much the same ways as traditional apps. It is a general assumption that no code apps are generic, cookie-cutter copies of each other with very limited functionality. Lets us now have a good look at what no-code apps are capable of in 2021, what key advantages and drawbacks they offer over traditional apps, and should you consider building one for your business.
Major advantages of no-code development
Faster build times
One of the most significant advantages to no-code app development is that it allows the user to build the app significantly faster than traditional development. Because most components are pre-built, developers simply have to put them together in place without having to develop them from scratch. The drag and drop style of building an app also allows the user to get an instant preview of how the app would look on various devices, further cutting back on development time.
Using no-code development platforms is significantly cheaper than custom mobile development mainly because app development is demanding, and developers continue to get expensive as demand grows and supply shrinks. Custom development is expensive primarily because developers charge on an hourly basis and building apps from scratch takes a long time. Not to mention the additional time for testing, bug fixing, polishing, and updating the app. By opting for a no-code option, the need for a developer is almost entirely eliminated, and so is the cost associated with it.
Lack of developers is addressed
For those involved in the world of software development, you might be aware of the fact that finding good developers is a challenge in and of itself. One of the most ambitious promises no-code development makes is that it presents itself as a potential solution to this growing lack of talent in the world of software. No-code solutions are programmed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, intended to make software building accessible even to the most non-technical users. Relying on a no-code option frees up your organization from having to hunt for skilled developers. Instead, current employees with a basic understanding of web development will be able to develop the required application.
Integration with other services
No app or business can work in isolation. Regardless of what type of an app you build, you’ll be working with a ton of other products and services to make the best out of your application. And thus, your app needs to be well integrated and compatible with the third-party products you’ll be relying on. Most no-code platforms allow you to build apps that are easily compatible with popular third-party services.
Major disadvantages of building a no-code application
The biggest drawback to no-code apps is their limited functionality. Because most of the app is pre-built, it is impossible to get novel features or a custom-designed app that fits your needs specifically. Sure, there are many pre-designed templates available, but the variety simply cannot make up for the lack of a tailor-made solution.
Customisability depends on the platform
And it doesn’t end with limited functionality, but even the look and feel of your app will depend on your no-code platform. Most platforms let you tweak your UI down to the very details, but there isn’t much room for any complex and custom UI elements. Also, the more control a no-code platform offers over your app, the harder it can be for an average user to master it. Given the steep learning curve, chances are that most users won’t even be able to make full use of all the customization options available.
Scalability and migration are difficult
Once your app gains popularity, it can be a struggle to retain and serve a large user base. Your app could slow down and can be difficult to scale up given the modular nature of the code. It even becomes difficult to migrate your project to a React or Swift codebase. Both of these problems might require app developers to step in and rework entire sections of the app, something we were trying to avoid from day one.
No-code apps are gaining a lot of traction as developing software becomes a necessity for most businesses. However, it is still worth noting that no-code isn’t for everyone.
No-code is the best option for businesses looking for a quick and easy solution to develop a simple application. Its agility and speed to market make it really good for idea validation, building prototypes, and delivering well-built but straightforward apps for a relatively small user base. However, for businesses intending to develop complex applications with novel features and custom UIs, a no-code solution simply cannot work. For such companies, it is perhaps best to outsource their development projects. Goodfirms has curated a list of top development companies from around the world that can help you built a custom app that fits your needs.
For the rest of us who are simply looking to get our foot in the door with a simple, easy, and quick to develop option, no-code development is a solid choice. What type of an app would you like to build without writing a single line of code?