6 best Builder.ai alternatives on the market right now

Here are a range of Builder.ai alternatives to fit a variety of use cases

Team Builder

Editorial Team at Builder.ai
· 12 minute read
An illustration of Builder.ai alternatives highlighting logos of Builder.ai, bubble, Adalo and Buildfire

Who is Builder.ai?

We are on a mission to unlock everyone’s potential with the power of software! Our combined approach of AI, automation and talented humans means that your background, tech knowledge or budget will never hold you back.

Learn more about us

Builder.ai is an AI-powered app builder that takes care of the entire app development process from idea, to prototype, to build. We also help our customers launch and maintain their apps, giving them the best chance of achieving long-term success.

Natasha, our AI Product Manager, helps you choose from 650+ app features (things like Login, Shopping Cart or Notifications). We customise these features any way you like — and if we don't have a feature you need, we can build it for you. It's endlessly flexible and because you don't start from scratch, it's faster too.

This simple idea is why Fast Company voted us as one of the top 3 'Most Innovative' companies in AI in 2023.

However, there are many platforms on the market which are also worth considering. In this blog, we’ll look at all the best Builder.ai alternatives so you can make the best decision for your business.

Builder.ai pros and cons

We know you’re looking for Builder.ai alternatives, but first let’s see the pros and cons of our platform so that you can make an informed decision. 👇

Pros of Builder.ai

Cons of Builder.ai

No learning curve

Not a no-code app builder

Highly customisable

No free starter plan

Pay-per-feature pricing plan

Higher starting costs

No vendor lock-in (own your code)

Non-flexible tech stack

Dedicated project manager

Requires ongoing collaboration

Cons of Builder.ai

Before we come to the pros, we want to address the perceived cons of our platform head on.

Not a no-code app builder

Technically, Builder.ai isn't a no-code platform and offers a fully managed service. This means you can’t drag and drop features to build your app on your own.

Instead, you explain your app idea to our AI, Natasha, or our product managers, who’ll support you throughout the entire app development process.

This means non-technical people don’t have to waste time learning the intricacies of the platform, as is often the case with no-code app builders.

However, for technical founders who want to build their own app, there’s no DIY option.

No free starter plan

Although Builder.ai offers a free prototype for your app, there’s no free starter package.

This is because our platform focuses on delivering custom-built solutions that cater to your unique requirements.

Higher starting costs

While Builder.ai doesn’t have any hidden costs and provides guaranteed pricing before beginning the app development process, there are platforms with lower starting costs.

Pricing for Builder’s online starter kit, Studio Store, starts from $200/month. Also, pricing is available upfront for our custom app development platform, Builder Studio. Both packages bundle hosting and maintenance.

Non-flexible tech stack

Builder.ai’s 650+ reusable features are based on a React framework and hence only use React Native for the front-end. Similarly, the platform uses Ruby on Rails for the back-end.

Although both React Native and Ruby on Rails are dynamic frameworks designed for simplicity and productivity, you can’t create your app in another language.

Requires ongoing collaboration

For your app to be a success, we need you to take an active role in your project.

That means constantly collaborating with product managers and providing feedback on everything from app design to monetization.

These are some of the reasons why you might not want to choose us, and that’s understandable. But let’s take a look at the pros why you should still take us into account. 👇

Pros of Builder.ai

No learning curve

Builder.ai allows anyone to create high-performing apps regardless of their technical knowledge. We offer a fully managed service, meaning there's no learning curve and no drag-and-drop dread.

Highly customisable

Simply by sharing your app idea, you can get tailor-made apps with 650+ features to choose from as well as infinite customisation options.

Using the reusable features you can build sophisticated, custom functionality with us, in comparison to the rigid templates used by some no-code app builders.

Pay-per-feature pricing

When you work with us, your app development costs are guaranteed in a Buildcard before your project begins.

This is possible because of our pay-per-feature pricing plan, which allows you to truly tailor your app to your unique use case. You never pay for anything you don’t need.

No vendor lock-in

Where Builder.ai really comes into its own is in the freedom it affords its customers. There's no vendor lock-in, which gives you the flexibility to change providers if needed — something that could save you lots of time, effort and money in the long run.

This gives you the flexibility to change providers if needed — something that could save you lots of time, effort and money in the long run.

Dedicated project manager

Once you kick off the project, we assign you a dedicated project manager who makes sure your app is built to your exact specifications.

We also provide you with access to Builder Home, our all-in-one project dashboard. With it, you can track the real-time progress of your project and provide feedback at every stage of the app development process.

Plus, we don't just abandon you when your project is complete. We provide you with personalised guidance and actively improve our services to make sure your app succeeds.

Want to start your app project with us?

Book a demo

Speak with one of our product experts today.

By proceeding you agree to Builder.ai’s privacy policy and terms and conditions

The best Builder.ai alternatives

Now that you’re aware of the upsides and downsides of Builder.ai, we’ve listed six of the best alternatives on the market below. All information in the table and the content below is correct as of June 2024.

Trustpilot rating

Pricing

Technical skills required

Builder.ai

3.6

From $200/month

No

AppMachine

3.1

$15 - $159/month

No

BuildFire

2.4

$100 - $499/month

No

Bubble.io

1.9

$0 - $349/month

Yes

Adalo

2.8

$0 - $200/month

Yes

AppSheet

N/A

From $5/month

(Enterprise apps only)

Yes

Zoho Creator

4.3

$8 - $25/month

Yes

1 - AppMachine: Best Builder.ai alternative for beginners

App Machine website home page screen

AppMachine is a cloud-based mobile app builder. On the platform, you can design and publish native iOS and Android apps using a drag-and-drop interface.

AppMachine is a beginner-friendly platform, and, like Builder.ai, you don’t need training to use it. AppMachine’s smooth navigation and intuitive interface make it easy to use, even if you don’t have extensive technical skills to create apps.

What's more, you can simply connect your data from Excel or Google Sheets with the platform and it can turn your data into app screens.

Although the platform is beginner-friendly, it's better suited for simple mobile app projects. AppMachine is less suited for desktop or web apps, and on the platform, you might face limitations in terms of customisation and functionality.

For instance, if you want a unique feature with specific functionality, AppMachine’s pre-built modules may not be able to meet your requirements. Meanwhile, its range of integrations could be too narrow for those looking for scalability.

AppMachine offers two mobile app plans coming in at $63/month (Professional) and $159/month (Agency). The former doesn’t include dedicated support and you’ll need to pay an additional $10/month to remove AppMachine’s branding from your app.

Pros

  • 3.1 Trustpilot rating
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy app previewing and testing
  • Transform data into an app
  • Wide range of templates

Cons

  • Only for mobile applications
  • Limited feature blocks
  • Limited design customisation
  • No support for unique specifications
  • Manual bug fixing
  • Vendor lock-in

Our verdict

If you want a mobile-friendly platform that has a wide range of modules, then AppMachine could be the Builder.ai alternative for you. However, if you want a scalable app that works on different platforms and has unique features, then it may not suit your needs.

2 - BuildFire: Best Builder.ai alternative for social media integration

Buildfire website home page screen

BuildFire is a popular no-code app builder that allows you to create apps for Android and iOS.

The platform offers a wide variety of pre-built template options that help you build functional as well as aesthetically pleasing apps.

BuildFire has a click-and-edit app maker that's easy and intuitive to use. You can easily customise features and see changes on the screen in real-time.

The platform offers seamless social media integration through plugins. For example, the BuildFire marketplace allows you to connect your app with third-party platforms, like YouTube or Vimeo, and share your existing content.

BuildFire’s pricing is on the premium end of the spectrum, starting at $100/month and going up to $499/month. The $100/month plan is fairly basic and doesn’t offer advanced features like in-app purchases, app access codes and app analytics. More robust functionality is available, starting from $349/month.

Unlike Builder.ai, you don’t keep your code with BuildFire, making it challenging to migrate.

Pros

  • Click-and-edit app maker
  • Wide variety of templates
  • Easy integration of social media handles

Cons

Our verdict

If you want a functional app, don’t need extensive customisation and don’t mind paying a little extra, BuildFire is a solid Builder.ai alternative. However, if you want to avoid vendor lock-in and keep your app’s code, you may be better off with an alternative.

3 - Bubble.io: Best Builder.ai alternative for complex functionalities

Bubble website home page screen

Bubble.io is a flexible no-code app builder that allows you to make responsive, functional apps.

The platform uses its own visual programming language that can be used for creating full-fledged multi-user apps. As a result, you can drag-and-drop templates, place elements according to your preference and quickly create working prototypes.

As for plugins and integrations, Bubble.io excels, offering an extensive range that helps you create business apps with complex functionality.

This said, unlike Builder.ai, Bubble.io has a steep learning curve, especially if you want to add advanced features. You might find the platform overwhelming, which could leave you scrambling for training material and tutorials.

Bubble.io offers three pricing plans that depend on monthly workload units (WU). Monthly workload units are a metric that Bubble.io calculates to quantify how much work the platform does for your app (i.e. database operations, web interactions and workflows).

There's a $29/month starter plan with 175K WU, a $119/month growth plan with 250K WU and a $349/month team plan with 500K WU. If you overrun your monthly WU, then you have to pay $0.30 per 1K WU.

Pros

  • Extensive plugin ecosystem
  • Responsive design
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Cheaper starting plan

Cons

Our verdict

If you're looking to roll out your first idea and don’t want to spend too much, Bubble.io could be the Builder.ai alternative for you. But if you need a more scalable app, then Bubble.io can be very expensive, meaning other options may better suit your needs.

Unlike Builder.ai, Bubble.io has vendor lock-in, which makes it challenging to migrate your app to another vendor if it no longer meets your needs. And while you don't need coding skills to use the platform, you'll need to spend some time upskilling before creating your app.

4 - Adalo: Best low-budget Builder.ai alternative

Adalo website home page screen

Unlike Builder.ai, Adalo is a drag-and-drop, no-code app builder with a longer learning curve.

You can create nicely designed apps relatively quickly if you know what you're doing and are familiar with the platform. This is because Adalo requires a database for external sources and API knowledge on your part so you can import data from external sources.

When it comes to functionality, Adalo is a powerful platform and offers hundreds of pre-built templates as well as many external integrations.

Adalo also has a free starter plan, with a $200/month plan for enterprises.

Pros

  • Affordable packages
  • Wide variety of pre-built templates
  • External integrations

Cons

Our verdict

Adalo is a low-budget alternative to Builder.ai. You’re likely to get more value from the platform if you have some technical knowledge and are willing to spend time learning the platform. Non-technical people, however, will find the platform more challenging to use.

5 - Google AppSheet: Best Builder.ai alternative for internal enterprise use cases

Appsheet.com website home page screen

Google AppSheet is a little different from the other platforms on this list. That’s because it won’t turn your business idea into an app and is more focused on enterprise use cases.

Instead, it transforms data into fully functional mobile apps like project trackers, shift management solutions, task managers and more.

Once you upload your data, AppSheet leverages Artificial Intelligence to build your app using the rows and columns of your data files. It also adds screens to view your data and create forms for data entry.

So if you have existing data sources like Google Sheets, Salesforce and Excel, you can easily make a mobile app without having to code.

However, this platform isn’t suitable for creating SaaS or ecommerce apps. By contrast to Builder.ai, Google AppSheet has a very high dependency on data sources and requires high technical expertise to build even simple apps.

Pros

  • Suitable for enterprise use cases
  • Transforms raw data into a ready-to-use app
  • Leverages Artificial Intelligence

Cons

Our verdict

If you want to build a basic enterprise app that can help you and your team automate data, then Google AppSheet is a great Builder.ai alternative. However, if you’ve got a business idea for an app, look elsewhere.

6 - Zoho Creator: Best Builder.ai alternative for automation

Zoho website home page screen

Zoho Creator is a low-code platform that allows you to build mobile apps. The platform offers a template library and a drag-and-drop user interface so that you can design, develop and run business software.

One place where Zoho Creator excels is that it allows enterprises to create single-use tools with automation features. This helps them digitise their business processes and better manage data, projects and content.

That said, unlike Builder.ai, Zoho has a steep learning curve. You have to learn Deluge, Zoho’s scripting language and learn the intricacies of the platform, especially if you want to add advanced features. For that, you’ll either have to invest time to train yourself for the platform or get help from third-party experts.

Another drawback of Zoho is its difficulty in creating complex applications. This is because customising an app is clunky and requires you to have strong UX/UI design and product management skills.

Zoho’s pricing can also be rigid. For example, if a couple of features you need aren’t included in your pricing plan, you’ll need to switch to a more expensive plan.

Lastly, Zoho Creator operates on a vendor lock-in model. This means if you fail to pay the subscription fee, you won’t be able to use your app, while migration will also be complex.

Pros

  • 4.3 Trustpilot rating
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Wide range of third-party integrations
  • Ready-made templates
  • Provides security, data and users controls

Cons

Our verdict

Unlike Builder.ai, Zoho Creator is a low-code platform. So if you’re a technical founder looking to get your hands dirty, Zoho Creator is a great Builder.ai alternative. However, if you’re a non-technical person, the platform will likely be too hard to use.

Conclusion

By now, you should have a clear picture in your mind of which of these platforms is best suited for your requirements.

If you’re an enterprise looking for an app that your team can use internally, then look no further than Google AppSheet. It’s a straightforward platform that doesn’t cost much.

If you’re a small business owner on a shoestring budget, can spend time training and scalability isn't one of your prime requirements, then AppMachine and Adalo should be your top Builder.ai alternatives.

However, if you’re looking for a fully managed service with limitless customisation, no vendor lock-in and complete pricing transparency, then Builder.ai is still your best bet.

While Builder.ai doesn't offer a drag-and-drop interface or offer a free starter package, it’s a great app builder platform for entrepreneurs with limited technical skills and businesses who want to scale.

If that sounds good to you, book a demo below 👇

Want to start your app project with us?

Book a demo

Speak with one of our product experts today.

By proceeding you agree to Builder.ai’s privacy policy and terms and conditions

Team Builder

Editorial Team at Builder.ai

Stories published by the editorial team at Builder.ai.

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