Best App Creation Software: From MVP to a Full Project

In this article, we'll discuss the top five app creation software solutions and analyze them from the development standpoint while creating a minimum viable product (MVP) that will resemble a mobile movie app like IMDb.

No-code and low-code app builder platforms can help you create fully functioning applications regardless of your industry. But mobile app creation software options differ in terms of features they provide and the learning curve associated. How can you choose the best app creation software for your project when there are tons of app builders available? The only way to understand is to test your app creation software.

Mobile app creation software: Things to bear in mind

To replicate a complex movie app like IMDb (or to build any other application), ground your choice of app creation software on the following objectives.

Back-end concerns for app creation software

Back-end integration is key, since the back end will be storing your data and running your application logic. There's a lot of action happening behind the scenes. The back end makes all the features work as expected and keeps your data in a safe place, which is why you should decide if you need third party back-end services or if you want to leverage mobile app creation software that has them built-in.

Low-code vs. no-code mobile app creation software: What's the deal?

As the name suggests, no-code mobile app creation software lets you create an application with zero coding skills. You drag and drop elements and components and use existing templates to put an app together.

No-code platforms have their limitations, though. No-code app creation software lets you build simple solutions. So, if your idea has a unique feature set that goes beyond the features provided by the mobile app creation software of your choice, you should consider low-code app builders.

With low-code app creation software, you're also able to make a mobile application with no coding skills required. If you want to add unique features beyond the scope of those suggested by the mobile app creation software, you're able to do so, but it may cost you time and effort.

App creation software pricing issues

When you're looking at mobile app creation software, the figures can be misleading. Get a bird's eye view of the costs of hosting your application on different platforms.

You may find that, in some cases, your development costs may be low but your production stage can cost you a penny.

While a mobile app creation software platform may have a free plan for development, you'll likely have to purchase a subscription plan for the app to be published and go live. When you cancel the subscription, your app will stop working. Remember to bear the total cost in mind when analyzing which app creation software to choose.

Your app should have back-end services. You start paying for them as soon as your app goes live. When your user base grows, increasing your data storage capacity needs, you might be surprised at the costs. Make sure your mobile app creation software has back-end services built-in; integration with third party back-end services will most likely cost more.

With this groundwork laid, it's time to discuss the top app creation software options for our bespoke IMDb-like movie app and pinpoint their pros and cons.

Top app creation software options to put on your radar

Mobile app creation software should be as good as its landing page description. The following app creation software options stand out:
  • AppGyver
  • Adalo
  • Thunkable
  • Microsoft Power Apps

See these top app creation software options in action! is a low-code app creation software platform with multiple templates, plug-ins, and back-end services. You can extend the capabilities of your application at any time, since this app builder lets you add any code you want. Appery gives you access to three editors based on different technology: JQM, Ionic 4, and Ionic 5.

Getting started with

The first impression of this mobile app creation software may seem overwhelming. Once your eyes get used to the elements available in the editor, though, you appreciate the convenience of having everything in one place.

You can create your app by dragging and dropping elements from the Core Components palette. You can also extend each element with an image and icon, and add custom components like, in our case, a YouTube component.

Previewing and exporting

To see the results of your actions, Appery imitates how your application will look when live. You can also check out how your app will look on different devices.

The export option is a convenient feature in Appery. Not only can you export to Android and iOS binaries, but you can also export the code itself for further development (if you decide to move your app elsewhere).

As far as generating certificates, you can export to Android without having to go through a lengthy setup process. With iOS, you have to generate a certificate in your Apple development account.

Database back end

Back-end services in Appery are diverse, so there's no need to look for third-party services. A major comfort of this app creation software is that you're creating the database for the movie app (in this example) on the user interface level. In other words, all operations you do on this level translate into a comprehensive back end without having to code anything or fill the database manually, thanks to the file export functionality.

Database integration

Integration with the database is quite straightforward. You need to select the database, collection, and method from the list. Then you invoke the service by clicking the necessary tabs. For further clarification, you can easily find a text or video tutorial of that process by Appery.


Appery allows you to add the required level of custom features without coding them. With Appery app creation software, you can configure all settings and establish all connections within the platform.

Data mapping

Data mapping allows you to fill out your movie app. With, you visualize the entire mapping process. It can be confusing at first, but when you get used to the interface and iteration, it becomes a pleasure.

The verdict may be complicated at first glance, but the tutorials help you move forward with development. This mobile app creation software platform can help you recreate the IMDb application from the ground up with zero coding. Integrated back ends, preview and export capabilities, as well as data mapping really set the app builder apart.

The only difficulty you may encounter relates to integrations and customization. The app builder takes some time to get used to.


AppGyver is a free no-code app creation software without back-end services. Finding a good back-end integration solution on your own shouldn't be a problem, but it will cost you. The app builder is meant for simple application development with a chance to add some custom code.

Getting started with AppGyver

AppGyver is simple mobile app creation software. The video tutorial that comes with the app builder welcomes you and shows you around.

You use the editor to drag and drop elements and can edit existing components. If the app creation software doesn't include the functionality you need, there's a marketplace full of components that you can add.

Previewing and exporting

To preview the changes you make, you can use the browser or mobile preview with a slightly different look.

AppGyver lets you export your app to Android, iOS binaries, and web applications. There is no chance for you to download the code to change it or build something else manually. Additionally, you have to attain certification for both Android and iOS.

Database back end

Unfortunately, there are no back-end services in this app creation software platform. You have to find back-end services such as Xano (which we used for our review).

Database integration

Since there's no native support for Xano's back end, you have to create a REST API called "Data resource" and set it up yourself — but there's a good tutorial on how to do that. The service will be invoked automatically and every couple of seconds. So, you need to disable automatic updates to avoid paying for every request sent through the service. Again, you need to watch a tutorial to be able to do that.


The app builder has a drag and drop editor for custom logic, but you need to set up and link the elements between each other. In the case of our IMDb replica, you can manually invoke the back-end service and enable responses as variables. It can get difficult to add custom logic if you are making a complex app. You may also have to use the marketplace of actions and write code.

Mapping data

Data mapping becomes straightforward when you do your first actions in the properties panel, binding each property with the value. But note that you can only iterate through the list component.

The verdict

AppGyver app creation software is sufficient enough to build an MVP without major bottlenecks. The tutorials are quite helpful. The major disadvantages include the absence of a YouTube component and troublesome exporting issues. Additionally, there are no back-end services, and preview and export limitations can stand in the way of smooth development.


A completely no-code mobile app creation software, Adalo, has multiple templates and a basic back end. More capabilities unfold as you become a paying customer. With a paid plan, you can access third-party integrations and publish your app, as well as pay $50 a month to have your app in production.

Getting started with Adalo

The editor in Adalo is convenient: you can see all the screens without having to switch between them. If you want to move the elements between screens, you can do so easily. However, in Adalo's mobile app creation software, there's no alignment of components, which means you can't set margins between the elements of your mobile application. So, it will look different across all devices.

Adalo's app creation software gives you a set of ready-to-use components to craft a great design. If you want to deviate from the predefined combination of components, though, you'll find it challenging to combine components at will, ending up with a sloppy look for your app. You can find necessary components in a marketplace.

Previewing and exporting

Adalo's preview will be different from what you'll see on the actual screen with significant deviations from your intended idea. You have to buy a paid subscription if you want to export and install your app to see how it actually looks.

Database back end

Adalo's basic database back end is sufficient, and you can export and import data. You can encounter difficulties when creating filters, though. The workaround is to use Xano (or another back-end service), which ultimately means you will have to pay a third-party service on top of what you're already paying to Adalo.

Database integration

You need to perform a few regular actions: fill the URL, let it send the request, get a result, and map the needed fields to components. All the parameters will be static. The only problem is that you can't set up a response schema manually.


You may face unexpected outcomes as far as filters go. In other words, given the simplicity of Adalo's custom logic implementation, you may have to have a workaround (such as select boxes instead of implementing filters).

The verdict

Adalo is a mobile app creation software with a simple editor and mapping. The builder's limited customization allows you to create an MVP only, and won't let you scale if needed.


Thunkable is freemium app creation software with paid plans. If you choose the free option to create your application, you'll have to share the public copy with anyone willing to use it for rebranding or reselling.

As of writing this article, Thunkable has two editors: the "new" one and the "old" one. Since the "old" editor provides multiple tutorials and more functionality, it's recommended that you choose it for your MVP.

Getting started with Thunkable

The editor lets you access all elements from one screen. Nonetheless, you can't match the components at will, and there's lots of manual tuning to make things look good. As there are no plug-ins or marketplace, you won't be able to create an exemplary user interface and will have to find workarounds.

Previewing and exporting

You can preview your application both in the browser and on mobile devices. Thunkable lets you export your app to Android and iOS binaries with the option to publish the app if you upgrade to Thunkable's Pro plan.

Database back end

Importing data from Airtable or Google Sheets is easy, but you need to filter data locally. If you have thousands of items to import, the process can be really slow, unless you use a workaround such as Xano.

Database integration

Thunkable has a Web API component to integrate your database with the app creation software builder.


Thunkable's mobile app creation software becomes complex when it comes to building custom logic. You need to watch tutorials and be familiar with coding, so get ready to spend a considerable amount of time invoking the database service and doing data mapping.

Mapping data

Mapping data in Thunkable can be either simple or complex. You need to use the Blocks custom logic to map any variable to UI components property.

The verdict

Thunkable mobile app creation software has a simple UI editor. You can't create an MVP with zero coding but, when the app is built, you can easily export it and see how it looks live. Given the vast customization possibilities, the number of components is limited and the back end is basic.

Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code mobile app creation software powered by Microsoft Azure's back end. This app builder is meant for enterprises while giving you the ability to modify your application. The app reaction software costs $5 per month, but there's no back end included in the price.

Getting started with Power Apps

This app creation software builder looks like a Microsoft application and is not any different from other mobile app creation software options. Moving between screens is difficult in this app builder, but it contains all the components you need to make an MVP.

Previewing and exporting

With this app creation software platform, you can preview the app in the browser and publish it to the PowerApps application. There's no way for you to export your app to the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Database back end

Microsoft lets you choose which back-end service you want to use. You can find one that can help you store data or use third-party services which can be integrated through the app builder's connectors. Since using the Microsoft MSSQL database is too much for the MVP here, you can use Xano instead.

Database integration

Integration with the database is quite troublesome. You will need to establish a REST API connection through coding. You might face some issues with saving your changes, as this connection is based on a custom connector you'll create.


Templates provided by the Power Apps mobile app creation software are basic. You have to modify each one of them by writing code.

Data mapping

To map data, you need to add code as well, as the process is not straightforward.

The verdict

Microsoft Power Apps can hardly be called a no-code app builder. To fully recreate the movie review app used as an example here, you would put your coding skills to practice for custom logic and data mapping. The most obvious downside of this mobile app creation software is that you can't export it to the stores.

Top app creation software: Make your choice

Mobile app creation software platforms are numerous, but you have to consider your key objectives and how they align with each app creation software option. and Microsoft Power Apps let you create an IMDb-like application with all the features and the desired look and feel. The other app creation software platforms show note-worthy results, but not as impressive as Appery and Power Apps.

Author's Bio: Angela Beklemysheva is a Content Marketing Specialist at Exadel. She writes about technology and shares insights about app builders. Besides writing content, she loves playing old guitar tunes and watching meaningful movies.


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