How to Choose Picking Between an App Builder Vs. Mobile App Development Company

A3Logics 09 May 2023


Mobile apps are a critical part of digital business strategies today. But when developing mobile solutions, businesses choose between two main options: using visual app builders or outsourcing to mobile app development companies. Each approach has advantages and limitations, making the decision complex. However, by analyzing project needs objectively and evaluating key factors systematically, businesses can determine the best fit for their goals.

Mobile app builders provide a visual, drag-and-drop interface for non-technical users to generate essential functional apps rapidly and cost-effectively. But they are limited in the complexity of features and customizations they can offer. On the other hand, outsourcing app development to an experienced custom mobile app development company provides the skills, processes, and resources for sophisticated, feature-rich mobile solutions, though at a higher initial cost. This blog will help you understand these factors and assist you in making the final decision. 


Importance of mobile apps in today’s digital world


Mobile apps are an integral part of today’s digital world. They have changed how we work, communicate, shop and live our daily lives. Here are some reasons why mobile apps are essential.

  • Convenience and accessibility- Mobile apps by the best mobile app development company allow access to services anytime, anywhere. We can book an appointment, order food, shop, or do our banking with a simple touch or click. This level of accessibility is highly convenient and efficient.
  • Productivity- Several productivity apps are available for tasks like mobile scheduling, note-taking, and organizing files and documents. These help boost efficiency and productivity, even on the go.
  • Time savings- Mobile apps help save time by automating routine tasks and providing needed information instantly. Apps for navigation, remote controlling appliances, and quick look-ups reduce the time spent on menial activities.
  • Staying connected- Social media and communication apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram ensure we always stay connected to people. The always-on nature fosters a sense of community.
  • Entertainment- Mobile apps provide endless options for entertainment while on the move. There are streaming services, games, news apps, and more to occupy us during any downtime.

In short, mobile apps have become necessities today. Their benefits in terms of accessibility, convenience, productivity, and entertainment make them pivotal to our digital way of life.


Understanding App Builders


App builders enable anyone to create an app simply and quickly without extensive coding knowledge. These platforms provide tools, templates, and features that make app development easy and accessible for non-coders. They speed up the app creation process and simplify building mobile solutions.


Definition and purpose


An app builder platform by the best mobile app development company allows anyone to create mobile apps without requiring extensive coding knowledge. App builders provide simple drag-and-drop interfaces and tools to configure app features visually. They contain ready-made templates and components for different app types. With an app builder, non-technical users can choose a suitable template, add content, and configure options to generate a functional mobile application.

The primary purpose of app builders is to make app development accessible to a broader audience. Coding mobile apps from scratch requires technical skills and a significant time commitment. With an app builder, business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs can generate their custom apps quickly and at low costs. They do not need to outsource development or learn how to code.

App builders simplify and speed up the app creation process by automating many aspects. Mobile app developers in USA benefit from faster iterations, as they can preview and test an app as they configure it. App builders also offer ongoing app maintenance and updates through the platform itself. It reduces the resource needs for app upkeep.

It can be said that app builders serve to democratize app development and mobile solutions by providing an intuitive visual interface and tools that anyone can use. They aim to make app creation as simple as creating a website or blog post without requiring coding skills.


Benefits of using app builders


Some of the benefits of using app developers are as follows- 


Speed and Ease of Development


The most significant benefit of app builders is their speed and ease of development. With drag-and-drop interfaces and ready-made templates, non-technical users can generate functional apps in hours or days instead of weeks or months. They do not need to spend time researching technologies, writing code, or debugging. They select the template that matches their app idea, add content and configure options. This visual development approach dramatically simplifies and accelerates the app creation process.


Low Costs


App builders allow businesses and individuals to generate custom mobile apps at a fraction of the cost of custom development. Since they do not require hiring mobile app developers in the USA or learning to code, app builders significantly reduce resource requirements. Standard plans for most app builders start from free to a few hundred dollars per month. It makes mobile solutions accessible to entities with limited budgets. Companies can save thousands of dollars using app builders compared to outsourcing full development.


Easy Updates and Maintenance


App builders also help reduce the ongoing costs of maintaining and updating apps over time. They provide in-platform tools for content editing, feature additions, and bug fixes. Users can make changes visually without writing any code. Platforms also typically handle the publishing of app updates through their stores. It simplifies and speeds up the process of modifying and improving apps. Businesses do not need to employ mobile app developers in the USA for app upkeep, like custom apps, continuously. Updates and maintenance are significantly easier through app builders.


Ready-Made Features


Many app builders provide ready-made app features that users can configure and enable. These include features like in-app payments, push notifications, geo-fencing, and integrations. Users don’t have to develop these features from scratch. They enable and configure the pre-built features in the builder interface. It cuts down development efforts and speeds up app creation.

Auto Generated Code 


Behind the visual interface app builders generate the required code behind the visual interface to create a functional app with the help of a mobile app development company. This code generation helps optimize the app for performance and compatibility across mobile devices and platforms. The auto generated code is also typically high quality since it comes from an established app builder platform. It ensures a robust and stable foundation for the generated apps. Many businesses find that the apps developed through visual app builders work better than bespoke coded apps due to the autogenerated, optimized code.


Limitations of app builders


While app builders offer many benefits, they also have some limitations compared to custom app development. Some of these limitations are as follows- 


Limited Customizability


Since app builders use templates and preset features, the level of customizability can be restricted. You are typically limited to configuring the available features and options. If you need highly customized, bespoke features, an app builder may be unable to provide that. Complex UI/UX and integrations can be difficult to achieve through app builders.


Performance Issues


The code generated by app builders is optimized to a significant extent. But it may still not be as performant and scalable as custom-coded apps. App builders use generic code that works well for most use cases. But for demanding apps, custom-coded solutions may deliver better performance.


Security Vulnerabilities


Though app builders aim to ensure good security, vulnerabilities can still affect the autogenerated code. Security is a lower priority for app builders than speed and ease of use. Custom-coded apps developed with a security-first approach may have fewer vulnerabilities.


Lack of Control


You don’t have complete control over the generated codebase with app builders. You are dependent on the app builder platform to provide features and updates. If the platform changes, your app could be impacted. With custom-coded apps, developers have complete control over the entire code and platform.


Understanding Mobile App Development Companies


Mobile app development companies specialize in building high-quality mobile solutions for businesses. They employ expert developers from IOS and android app development agency to translate app ideas into well-designed, feature-rich, fully-functional Android and iOS applications.


Definition and purpose


Mobile app development companies are software development businesses that focus on creating mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms. Their primary purpose is to help other businesses and organizations generate customized mobile solutions that align with their specific needs and goals.


A custom mobile app development company employs mobile app experts with the technical skills and experience to design, code, and deploy fully functional mobile apps. They translate a client’s business requirements and app ideas into high-quality Android and iOS applications with all the desired features and functionalities.


The end products developed by a custom mobile app development company range from essential functionality apps to complex enterprise solutions. The applications are tailored to achieve the client’s business objectives, like driving customer engagement, improving workflows, automating processes, and generating revenue through mobile.


Advantages of hiring a mobile app development company


Mobile app development companies can offer many benefits for businesses that outsource their app projects.


Expert Developers


Android and IoS app development companies employ expert developers who are specialized in building high-quality mobile applications. They have skills and experience in mobile technologies, platforms, architectures, and development processes. Their expertise ensures that the developed solution matches the best practices and standards for mobile app development. It leads to more robust, user-friendly, and secure apps.

Faster Development


Since mobile app development is their core business, android or IOS app development companies have optimized processes and workflows that help speed up development. They can scale developer resources based on project needs. They utilize tools, libraries, and SDKs that save time. All this allows them to deliver mobile solutions to clients more quickly than in-house development teams.

Higher Quality 


With their focus, expertise, and processes optimized for quality, mobile app development companies tend to deliver higher-quality end products. They employ best practices, perform extensive testing and utilize tools for quality assurance. The applications developed meet standards for performance, stability, security, and user experience. It leads to more effective and reliable solutions.


Ongoing Support


Custom mobile app development services offer ongoing maintenance and support for the apps they develop. They provide feature enhancements, content updates, bug fixes, and more during the app’s lifetime. It ensures that apps stay updated, secure, and functional over time. Businesses free up resources for their core work while relying on developers for app upkeep.


Cost Effectiveness


Outsourcing app development to the best mobile app development company is often more cost-effective than building an in-house development team. Companies only pay for resources based on project needs. There are no fixed costs for full-time developers. Budgeting is also easier based on project scope. All this makes outsourcing an affordable option for businesses.


In summary, app development companies can provide expert developers with faster timelines, better quality outputs, ongoing support, and reduced costs compared to in-house teams. They leverage their experience and optimize processes to translate ideas into high-value mobile business solutions effectively.

Limitations of choosing a mobile app development company


While outsourcing app development to an expert firm offers many benefits, there are also some limitations businesses should consider.


Loss of Control


Since an external app development company develops the app, businesses lose complete control over the process and final product. They must rely on the company’s timelines, resources, prioritization, and development approach. While businesses share requirements, the development firm decides how to realize those requirements best. It can reduce flexibility.


Communication Challenges


There is an inherent communication gap when outsourcing app development. Businesses must describe their vision and requirements to the custom mobile app development company, which then attempts to translate that vision into an app. Miscommunications, delayed feedback, and unclear expectations can hamper the process, causing delays and rework.


Difficulties Tracking Progress


Since businesses do not have complete visibility into the development work done by the external firm, it can be harder to track the progress. Development companies may not provide granular updates and insights. Businesses have to rely more on major milestones to assess progress. This lack of transparency can reduce confidence.


Inability to React Quickly


Even for minor changes and enhancements, businesses must go through the app development company‘s processes and resources. They cannot directly make changes to the codebase. It makes reacting quickly to evolving needs, feedback, or opportunities difficult. In-house teams allow for faster iterations and pivots.


Higher Costs Over Time


While outsourcing app development may seem more cost-effective initially, costs often increase for feature updates, improvements, and ongoing support over time. Long-term budgets can exceed those for building in-house capacity. Outsourcing also provides less flexibility to scale resources up or down as needed.


Factors to Consider When Making a Choice


App builders and development companies can create high-quality mobile solutions for businesses. But which option is a better fit depends on several factors.


Project Requirements and Complexity


App builders best suit more simple apps with standard features and functionalities. They become limited if your requirements involve complex customizations, performance-intensive features, or deep platform integrations. App companies can develop such demanding solutions thanks to their experienced developers. Consider the customizability and capabilities needed.


Budget and Cost Considerations


App builders offer a lower-cost option for simple mobile apps due to their visual development approach. Outsourcing to an app development company typically has a higher initial cost but can provide more value. Consider your budget, return on investment needed, and long-term cost trajectory for maintenance.


Timeframe and Project Deadlines


App builders facilitate rapid app creation, often enabling an initial app in days. But ongoing updates can take longer. App companies have faster timelines for complex projects due to their processes and resources. Determine the speed needed based on your goals and time pressure.


Technical Expertise and Resources


App builders provide tools for non-technical users but remain limited. A mobile app development company in USA bring specialized mobile experts and teams for complex challenges. Consider the technical skills and resources required to meet your needs.

Long-term Goals and Scalability


For simple initial apps, builders may suffice. But for growth, companies ensure continuity and scalability. They can evolve essential apps into sophisticated solutions. Determine your long-term vision and scalability requirements.


No single option is always better. Based on factors like complexity, budgets, timelines, skills needed, and future goals, one choice may align better with your specific context and objectives. Evaluate both options thoroughly against your business needs to determine the best fit. Then look for capable firms or platforms within that choice.


Get you app built by an expert mobile app development company


Making the Decision 

Deciding between app builders and outsourced development depends on weighing several factors specific to your project needs.


Weighing the Pros and Cons

The first step is to gain a clear understanding of the benefits and limitations of each option. Look into:

  • Development speed and ease
  • Customizability and capabilities
  • Costs for project lifecycle
  • Ongoing support and updates
  • Control over the process and the final product

Map out how each factor applies to your situation. Which pros are most critical? Which cons can you work around? This analysis will clarify which approach better meets your core requirements.


Analyzing Project-Specific Needs


Evaluate your project against key dimensions like:

  • The complexity of features required
  • Demanding integrations needed
  • Amount of custom development work
  • Performance and scalability essentials
  • The uniqueness of your mobile solution


The more complex and unique your requirements, the more an experienced app development company will likely be necessary. Consider your “must-haves” objectively to determine if an app builder will suffice or if a custom solution is required.

Conducting Research


Do thorough research into different options within each approach. For app builders, browse templates, features, pricing, and reviews from multiple platforms. For a mobile app development company in USA, explore portfolios, client testimonials, developer expertise, and pricing models. Look for:

  • Capabilities, experience, and success in building similar solutions
  • Transparency around processes, methodologies, and technologies used
  • Trustworthiness is seen in reviews, industry reputation, and more.
  • It will help you shortlist the most suitable options within your chosen approach.

Seeking Expert Opinion


If necessary, especially for more complex projects, speak to mobile app experts and consultants to gain an outside-in perspective. They can provide an objective assessment of the following:

  • Feasibility of your requirements within budget and timeline
  • Trade-offs between different approaches based on your specific needs
  • Recommendations for suitable app builder platforms or development companies
  • Additional factors you may not have considered


Their industry experience and exposure to diverse solutions can better inform your decision-making.

By following these steps, you can evaluate options systematically based on your business objectives and project specifics to make the choice that optimizes value for your mobile solution.



In conclusion, there is no single universally better choice. While app builders can accelerate simple app creation, development companies are needed for complex projects. Businesses should carefully weigh factors like requirements, budget, timelines, expertise needed, and long-term vision to determine which approach better meets their objectives. With a thorough, systematic decision process considering project realities and needs, businesses can choose the optimal solution to translate their mobile strategies into high-value, user-centric applications.


The final choice depends on your mobile app project’s specific context and goals. But by evaluating options objectively against your business requirements and seeking expert advice, you can make a well-informed selection that maximizes the benefits and minimizes limitations of your mobile solution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an app builder?


An app builder is a low-code or no-code platform allowing users to create mobile applications visually without writing any code. It provides a drag-and-drop interface where non-technical individuals can configure templates, add content and connect features to generate essential functional apps. App builders simplify and accelerate the development process by automating much of the coding work. 


Users must select options from built-in features to generate an initial app version in hours or days instead of the weeks or months that traditional development requires. However, app builders are typically limited in the complexity of customizations and features they can provide for more sophisticated mobile solutions.


An app builder is a visual, what-you-see-is-what-you-get mobile app creation platform that helps speed up development for more straightforward applications by automating code generation and reducing the need for technical expertise.

What is the difference between an app designer and an app developer?


App designers and developers have different but complementary roles in developing a successful mobile application. An app designer focuses on the visual aspects of an app to create an intuitive and visually appealing user experience. An app designer considers aspects like color schemes, layouts, interactions, graphics, and animations to create a simple, enjoyable, and aesthetically pleasing interface for users. In contrast, an app developer focuses on writing the code and implementing the functionality needed to make an app work as intended. 


An app developer connects the required backend systems, databases, and custom mobile app development services and writes programming logic to enable the app’s features, integrations, and dynamics. While app designers concentrate more on the visual UX, app developers handle the technical implementation. An effective app needs sound design and proper development to provide users with an intuitive, functional, and enjoyable mobile experience.


Is coding necessary for app development?


While coding was once essential for almost any app development, new no-code, and low-code tools are making it possible to create at least essential functional apps without writing any code. Technologies like app builders, drag-and-drop interface tools, and visual development platforms now allow non-technical individuals to configure templates, add content and connect features visually to generate initial mobile app versions. 


However, coding is necessary to develop sophisticated, highly customized, and complex enterprise apps. App builders and a mobile app development company in USA mainly facilitate the creation of simple apps with generic functionalities and standard features. They become limited when more intricate features, personalized integrations, or advanced performance are required. For capable apps that scale with business needs, coding remains essential to develop bespoke solutions that precisely meet requirements. 

So, while coding may not be essential for basic functionality apps, it becomes indispensable for robust mobile solutions that offer rich features, deep integrations, and high performance. The degree of coding required depends mainly on the complexity, functionality, and customization demanded by the specific mobile app project.

How do app builders work?


App builders are visual, drag-and-drop platforms allowing users to create mobile applications without writing code. They provide templates, features, and options that users configure through a graphical user interface to generate a functional mobile app.

Users start by choosing a template that matches the primary type of app they want to create. They select from various built-in features the app builder offers, like signup forms, push notifications, in-app payments, and social media integration. Users arrange and style these elements onscreen by dragging and dropping them where desired.

When users are satisfied with their selections, they generate the app. The app builder then automatically generates the required code – for both Android and iOS platforms in many cases – to match the configured options. The generated code integrates all the selected features and content to create a functional mobile application.

Users can then publish their generated apps to app stores. Many app builders also provide tools for analytics, updates, and maintenance so users can improve their apps over time based on feedback and evolving needs.

How much does it cost to develop an app?


The cost to develop a mobile application varies widely depending on factors like the type of app, features, platforms, complexity, development approach, and resources utilized. There is no single cost figure that applies universally for any mobile app development company in USA.

For essential functionality apps created through solutions like app builders, costs can start from a few hundred dollars. But for fully custom, feature-rich apps developed by in-house teams or agencies, development costs can easily reach between $10000 and $30000.

The key components that determine development costs are:

  • App features – More complex features like camera access, geolocation, payments, and custom integrations increase costs.
  • Platforms – Developing for both Android and iOS typically doubles costs.
  • Design – Professional designers and visual assets drive up expenses.
  • Developers – More senior mobile app developers in USA command higher rates, impacting costs.
  • Testing – Thorough testing for quality and compatibility is another cost center.
  • Maintenance – Ongoing costs for fixes, updates, and enhancements.