You’re creative. You’re skilled. But you’re no developer. So? You can build a mobile app. No code platforms make it possible for freelancers and others to create robust applications without expertise or experience in coding.
Traditional mobile app development can be prohibitively expensive for a freelancer. The price for an average mobile app developed by third parties can range anywhere between $40,000 and $150,000. The total cost can depend on app complexity and other factors.
But, the rise of no-code app development platforms has democratized technology to the point where you can bring a great idea to life for much, much less.
No Code, Explained
So, what is no code? No code software is exactly what it sounds like tools for building applications without a single line of code. These tools let users build fully functional websites, native mobile apps, and more without any prior experience with coding languages. Using drag-and-drop elements to customize designs and functionality, you can learn coding concepts along the way. With no code platforms like Thunkable, you can quickly spin up a prototype and immediately see what works, or build in Figma and import your design.
For projects where you’re looking to get a solution deployed quickly with minimal overhead and little to no coding expertise, a no-code platform is a great option. The accessibility, functionality, and ease of use of the no-code approach make it compelling for delivering top-notch solutions quickly.
So, you don’t need to hire outside help to bring your project to life. And another perk of no code is speed. Quick fixes can be done on the fly to speed up review cycles, and pre-built components like navigation bars add functionality in a fraction of the time it would take to code the same feature.
Solve a Problem
Anyone can become a developer with no code. Australia-based music therapist Carlin McLellan was frustrated by the lack of apps designed for people with different ability levels. So, he built something himself with Thunkable, a no-code platform.
McLellan explained, “A lot of apps that are available, they’ve got so many flashy buttons. They’re really complicated, and they’re not accessible for people with disabilities.”
After spending time searching for an accessible app he could use in session with clients and finding nothing, McLellan decided to build something himself, stating, “I noticed that there was a big gap in apps that just weren’t accessible or inclusive. I thought, ‘We really need to create something here.'”
McLellan quickly got to work and built his first app, Pentatonic Piano. “It’s super simple. It’s five piano notes that are color-coded, and you tap on the note to play. Very easy to code,” said McLellan. “It’s very straightforward. Like when you press the button, play a sound kind of thing. Obviously, like, you have to think about the concept of how that works, but very easy coding.”
As McLellan’s coding skills improved, he began building more complex apps, still with accessibility and inclusivity in mind. “As I got better at coding, it opens up more and more possibilities,” McLellan said. “How can I connect blank spreadsheets? How can I do all these things? After I was coding for about a year with Thunkable, I started to make apps that started getting quite complex, and I was trying to figure out stored variables and all those kinds of things.”
Tinker and Create
Nathan Burley might be a scientist, but he’s not a software developer.
Burley sells, installs, and provides maintenance for equipment in the oil and gas refinery industry. But after hours, Burley enjoys tinkering with technology.
“Over the last year, I kind of persuaded my boss that we needed to start thinking quite carefully about where we’re going to go next and how we’re going to support going forward because new technology was coming online and we might be able to do more with less. I said, ‘Let’s look at getting assisted reality and augmented reality tech in the hands of the engineers because we might be able to train faster, we might be able to train better,'” Burley shared.
This inclination led Burley to Thunkable where he could utilize the RealWear Navigator 500 headset he uses for his day job to explore AI and see how it could improve workflow and efficiency.
Burley’s first breakthrough was creating a voice-to-AI app for capturing notes from the field. The app takes a voice command, captures five seconds of audio, converts it to text, feeds the text to OpenAI GPT-3 as a prompt, and bounces the output to Google AI Community’s text-to-speech API for speech synthesis. He built all this on a no-code platform.
Burley’s advice is simple. “Do it. Don’t be scared. Start small. Just press a button and have it say hello. That’s really easy. Once you do that, then you’ll get the feeling like, ‘I can do this. This is not that hard.’ Then, send me a message when you get stuff going. Seriously, do it.”
The app creation process goes like this.
First, design. Kickstart the user interface (UI) design process with templates or import your designs directly from Figma into the Thunkable platform. With Thunkable, you don’t have to worry about designing for multiple devices. Instead, simply create one design, add it to your app project, and our framework will adapt it for multiple devices.
Then, build. Teams of one or 100 can work on the app project, depending on team needs. The drag-and-drop app builder makes it easy to add components and functionality.
Finally, publish to Google Play, Apple App Store, and the Web. The embedded publishing wizard simplifies the publishing process, so you don’t have to worry about configuring your app for Android and iOS devices. You don’t have to slow down progress by making updates to adhere to Google and Apple’s compliance requirements. With Thunkable, in one click, your app will be compliant with Apple and Google marketplace requirements.
So, what will you build? (Remember: if you can think it, you can Thunk it!)