Best App Makers Showdown: Appery.io vs Swiftic

It’s that time again for two of the top app builders to step into the Thunderdome and see who exits as the superior mobile development tool. Last time, we saw iBuildApp muscle out AppMakr for a victory. Today’s App Maker Showdown will test Appery.io, a more sophisticated and detailed platform than some of the contenders we’ve seen so far, and Swiftic, formally known as Como, an app builder responsible for 1,000,000 apps in the past few years alone. Each brings their own unique approach to mobile development, but which approach will give that extra edge over the others?

With the marketplace for affordable mobile development solutions becoming increasingly more crowded and clogged, it is important to evaluate the most popular app builders to see if they are truly what they claim to be, or just another flawed, DIY solution that doesn’t deliver on making intuitive, professional-looking mobile apps. Additionally, evaluating the top mobile app builders gives us some insight into what features and characteristics are most important and sought after by today’s consumers.

For this showdown series, our primary focus is on five categories, which are ease of use, design/flexibility, integration of social media, features, and support. These traits serve the two key objectives of app builders: accessibility and quality. A great DIY app solution has to be accessible and useable by anyone, no matter their skill level or prior knowledge, while still producing a quality app that can stand against the competition’s mobile offerings. Ease of use and support lend a hand towards promoting an app builder’s accessibility, while social media integration and features fall on the side of quality. Design/flexibility falls somewhere in the middle, serving both objectives.

Thus, it is these five parameters that we will judge Appery.io and Swiftic. If this is your first App Maker Showdown, here’s a quick explanation of how it works. We go through each of these five traits as if they were rounds in a boxing match. At the end of each round, we decide who has the edge. After all five rounds are completed, we determine an overall victor.

 

Round 1: Ease of Use

Part of the allure of an app builder, especially for smaller businesses, are their low cost. They achieve this low cost because they don’t require a company to invest in a mobile development firm or broaden the responsibilities of an existing IT department to include mobile development. The idea behind app builders is that they should be easy enough to use that you don’t need to be a mobile developer or programmer to use it. While some app builders may have a steeper learning curve than others, most of these tools are designed with ease of use in mind.

Appery.io is an interesting case, when it comes to ease of use. Of all the app builders that we’ve compared so far, Appery.io is perhaps the most complex to use. But, they own it. Whereas other app builders set out to be easy, but end up creating a platform that is very unintuitive and confusing to use, Appery.io doesn’t pretend to be easy. Even their website is full of jargon that would likely be foreign to a first-time app builder. This is all very intentional and part of their philosophy that anyone building an app should equip themselves with a little bit of knowledge. Thus, it isn’t impossible for a greenhorn mobile developer to use Appery.io, but they have to be willing to learn more than just the basics of app design. This mentality makes for a better overall end product because, as the user learns more and more, they can utilize more of Appery.io’s features and open-code platform.

If you don’t feel like going back to school with Appery.io, Swiftic is a more immediately accessible app builder that is more in tune with what we’ve come to expect from these solutions. Their app editor is easy to navigate and to use. The only small hiccup is once you’ve built your app up and added some features; it can become a little confusing to find one feature in particular that you want to edit. You may find yourself spending too much time scrolling through your list of features looking for a particular component. The other benefit of Swiftic is that it is free to use until you decide to publish the app. This means you get full access to all the bells and whistles and can spend as much time as you want to develop the app, without paying a cent until you decide to make your app available to customers. Furthermore, Swiftic only has one pricing plan, so you know exactly how much of an investment you are looking at.

Round Winner: Swiftic – this is a tough round because Appery.io is intentionally designed to be harder than most app builders and its difficulty turns into a benefit for those that are willing to put the work in. That said, at the end of the day, this round is about out-of-the-box accessibility, which Swiftic simply has more of.

 

Round 2: Design and Flexibility

One of the significant sacrifices that companies make when they decide to develop an app through one an app builder service, instead of hiring an actual mobile development team, is design freedom. When you build an app from the ground up, you have a lot more control over the appearance, layout, features, etc. that your app has. With app builders, on the other hand, you are often limited by the number of design options they include. A platform with too few templates or layout choices makes it tough to make an app that stands out among others created by the same builder. Thus, if your competitors are also using the same service for their mobile development, it may be very hard to create an app that distinguishes itself from theirs.

Luckily for users of Appery.io, this isn’t so much a problem for them. Because the service is designed with the intention that users will primarily build apps using some of the more advanced features, like accessing the source code itself, there is much more freedom granted to developers to make their apps how they want them. That said, Appery.io does have some initial layouts and templates to get the budding developer started. From there, you can choose how you transform it into your brand’s unique mobile experience. In total, they currently offer 30 different templates, which is a moderate amount compared to other builders that offer only a handful. You can also upload your own template.

Swiftic is one of the platforms that seems to be lacking in the template department. First, they let you pick a category that describes the type of app you are trying to build based on your business/industry. From there, they give you a minimal number of templates/themes to pick from. So, while in theory, it is nice to have a template designed for your type of business, it means any competing business using Swiftic has only the same couple of template options. This increases the chance of you making a near-identical app. The flexibility of this app builder is also lacking. There is little you can do to change the layouts, save for uploading your own picture as a background.

Round Winner: Appery.io – the shining customization option of Appery.io is that its users have the ability to code their own adjustments or tweaks to the design of the app. But, even without that feature, the 30 initial templates of Appery.io are more than enough to trump the severely lacking design elements of Swiftic.

 

Round 3: Social Media Integration

When your app is ready to be published and used by your customers, a lot of businesses use social media to get the word out and encourage customers to download. So, it only makes sense to integrate your apps with the social media platforms that your users are active on. Social sharing isn’t just useful to get the word out; it is a function that users expect from today’s apps. Some app builders just stick to the major powerhouses (Facebook, Twitter and sometimes Instagram), but others make it possible to integrate feeds from even the less popular or niche social media channels.

Like many app builders, Appery.io focuses its attention on the major social media platforms. That said, because of its open-code philosophy, an experienced user could incorporate other social media channels and feeds into their app with relative ease. According to their community forums, some users have even created their own social networks within the mobile app. A standout feature of Appery.io, regarding social media integration, is their social network login ability. While many apps require the user to make an account and sign in to use the service(s), Appery.io’s apps let the user login with an existing Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. account, which means one less username and password that the customer has to remember. It’s worth mentioning, given the complicated nature of Appery.io,  that this feature is very accessible and doesn’t require much training or coding to implement.

Swiftic’s social media integration tools also cater predominantly to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If your business produces a lot of photos or video content, they have additional integrations options for platforms like YouTube. You can also incorporate an RSS feed that links to your blog page, so content updates appear on your app as well. If your business is event-based, you can integrate Facebook events directly. Similarly, there is scheduling integration for popular services like Booker or Setster.

Round Winner: Appery.io – both app builders focus their attention on the main channels, as do a lot of platforms, but Appery.io at least makes it possible to integrate less-known social media networks. Plus, their utilization of existing social media channels for login credentials gives it another leg up over Swiftic.

 

Round 4: Features

Social media is a great way to get people to hear about and find your mobile app, but it is ultimately the features that make them want to stay. This is where your app gets the opportunity to stand out and shine. Generally, app builders all try and offer the popular features like an app-based loyalty program, push notifications, E-commerce and the like. Some apps, however, find features that no one else offers in the same way and are thereby able to provide a mobile experience unlike anything else. Unfortunately, many builders limit developers to only a short list of available features — another shortcoming of DIY mobile development.

Again, Appery.io’s unfettered access to the app’s coding means that you won’t be limited to any set number of features. For newer developers that don’t want to code each feature, there is a library of API plug-ins that can be added to your app. These allow you to incorporate some features directly into your app, with little-to-no-coding involved. If you can’t find a certain feature, however, you might have to resort to doing some coding. Luckily, they have a wide library of helpful articles and tutorials to get you started coding whatever feature you want.

Swiftic stands out among other app builders because it offers such strong loyalty program features. Not only can users choose from a variety of different types of programs (frequent shopper club, digital punch cards, scratch cards, reward points and others), but each program has its own set of unique options, which allow the user to customize the various prizes rewarded. For E-commerce, Swiftic also has a lot of different choices. You can integrate an existing page from Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce and others. Or, you can create an entirely new shopping interface in the app, which allows customers to pay via PayPal. They also offer unlimited push notifications and a newsletter tool. Unfortunately, the newsletter tool doesn’t integrate with an existing service like MailChimp.

Round Winner: Swiftic – there may be more possibilities with Appery.io, but the time it takes to reach that point gives it a disadvantage from the option-rich features of Swiftic.

 

Round 5: Support

Support is a colossal area of concern for app building platforms. While it may not directly affect the final product, support certainly reduces the number of headaches on the journey to reach that finished result. No matter how easy to use and intuitive an app builder may be, problems and questions can still arise, as they do with many DIY projects. Being able to have these issues answered or problems resolved quickly, so you can get back to developing your app, is critical. This is especially true after your app has been launched and there is some unforeseen error or bug that is causing your app to malfunction. You want such an issue resolved as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t interrupt any of your users for very long.

Given Appery.io’s steep learning curve, support is incredibly important for this platform. They offer the full gamut of support options, including an expansive Frequently Asked Questions site, in-depth articles on how to use and create various features with step-by-step instructions, a YouTube channel with tutorial videos and more. The one drawback of their many tutorials and help resources is that they don’t hold your hand regarding the jargon used; they expect that you understand some coding language or, at the very least, have gone through the very basic tutorials and guides first. For additional help and support, they use Zendesk customer service software to quickly and thoroughly respond to user questions. While they don’t have phone service, the speed of this email support is very comparable. There’s also a very active community forum where other members gather to help troubleshoot and bounce ideas off one another.

Since Swiftic is much easier to use, they don’t need quite as many resources as Appery.io. They still have a good offering of video tutorials and a ‘knowledge base’ that has some quick guides and answers to common problems. For live support, Swiftic could do better. They only have email support, and some users have cited that they didn’t receive a response for over 24 hours. If there is a serious problem with your app (for example, your app has crashed, and your users can’t log in or access their accounts), 24 hours is far too long to wait for a resolution.

Round Winner: Appery.io – you could argue that Appery.io has to be great at support because of how difficult their platform is to use, but Swiftic still misses the mark big with their long response times.

 

And the Winner is…

Going by rounds, Appery.io has the advantage over Swiftic, but the final decision was difficult to make because Appery.io is not for everyone. If you are looking to get from point A to point B (point B being a finished mobile app) as quick as possible, then Appery.io doesn’t achieve this. It is a platform that requires effort, learning and time. However, you’ll ultimately get a finished product that is closer to the mobile apps being produced by professional development teams. This high level of quality means sacrificing some accessibility.

On the other hand, Swiftic is very accessible. You can produce an app quickly and experience perks like rich loyalty benefits, unlimited push notifications and more. This may be all you’re after, in which case, Swiftic is an obvious winner over the complicated Appery.io. But, this platform doesn’t do anything to standout. It’s an average builder with pretty typical features and offerings that are handcuffed by limited design elements. Other services have the same level of accessibility but produce higher quality apps with far more design elements.

Thus, despite not being very easy to use, the winner has to be to Appery.io. They are doing something different and offering a platform that is unlike the majority of other mobile development solutions for small businesses. Whereas most solutions scale with the user’s needs (you pay for a more robust plan as your needs develop), Appery.io grows with the user’s ability, which means the more you put into it, the more you’ll eventually get out and the stronger your mobile experience will be.