AppGyver no-code IDE: first impresssions

Elsewhere on Indie Hackers I posted some comments on AppGyver, and was asked to elaborate. Here are some quick notes on my experience with the product so far. Keep in mind I'm still just exploring the tool, not using it for any projects.

About AppGyver

AppGyver Composer Pro is the best no-code, drag&drop app development environment I've seen. It allows you to create both web and mobile apps for Android (even Android TV) and iOS, packs tons of flexibility, and offers most of the best features in a generous free plan.

Under the hood it relies on the React Native JavaScript framework to generate native apps. You can write code to extend the functionality if needed.

In this space AppGyver is often compared to Bubble. It's been a while since I last played with the latter, but I get the impression AppGyver is more versatile. Last time I checked, for example, Bubble could make only web apps and had free and low-tier plans with some limitations.

What I like

Most of the good features are available in the free plan "For all indie developers and organizations with less than $10 Million (USD) in revenue or funding", as the pricing page notes.

I guess the enterprise plan, which comes with additional features such as a robust database backend, understandably has a less indie-friendly price tag. With the free plan you can use AppGyver's hobby database backend (and of course local storage) or any third-party backend via APIs, even in business apps.

Some AppGyver features I like:

  • large component library
  • creating composite components and manipulating them as units, for example a card made from a heading, an image, and a description
  • live app testing on mobile devices with real-time design updates
  • powerful interface generator for REST APIs, with an option to automatically and interactively create a schema from a request response
  • deploying and hosting web apps on AppGyver's infrastructure (but you can deploy to your own cloud)
  • support forum with frequent, regular contributions by AppGyver employees with an engineering background and very deep product knowledge

Learning and functionality issues

AppGyver has a number of issues common to the other no-code tools I tried.

The first is, even if it seems counterintuitive, AppGyver has a steep learning curve despite being a no-code tool, having a great design, and being a visual environment.

The piece of functionality a no-code developer needs at any given step is spread across a vast component library, logic flows, and long lists of object properties. This requires experimenting in advance with a large number of elements in the toolbox to figure what they can do and how to combine them.

Also, most of the AppGyver tutorials are available only as videos.

The tutorials on some key features are video-only and the reference documentation is not a good starting point. I'm not a visual learner and prefer written text, so this slows down learning. The vendor is aware of this issue.

Aother issue is a no-code app is like a chain you have to put together from its links.

If a single link is missing from the toolbox, it's a showstopper and the app can't be completed without coding. Or at all. This may happen more frequently than no-code vendors realize. With AppGyver, you can optionally add some React Native code for patching the missing functionality. But this requires coding skills.

  1. 1

    Hey - did you stick with appgyver for anything? How is performance?

    1. 1

      I actually set AppGyver aside because there are a few issues I'd like to understand more. AppGyver keeps producing video tutorials covering topics I'd be interested in but, as I mentioned in the post, they don't match my text learning style.

  2. 1

    looks like a very great work that you shared here i am also working on the similar type of project here on https://parimatch-betting.in/

  3. 1

    How is AppGyver's performance? Currently I am using Adalo and their service constantly has issues that directly affect their customer's apps. Since AppGyver is free, it seems worth it but performance is a deal breaker for me. Thank you.

    1. 2

      So far I experimented only with toy projects and examples where peformance isn't an issue, so I can't unfortunately comment on that.

  4. 1

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Indeed steep learning curve but it seems that there is a lot of logic applied there so once one gets that logic, things get simpler I feel.
    My worry as of today is the tool's ability to produce beautiful designs that load smoothly. Is the tool's design capability on par with Webflow or more with Bubble?

    1. 1

      I haven't tested the tool's design capabilities much. But, to get an idea of what's possible, have a look at the apps other creators make with AppGyver.

  5. 1

    Looks interesting, but honestly Id like to see something like this also compile to desktop as well. Clearly, once macOS supports iOS apps, that is likely a given.

    1. 2

      Hi @lynnfredricks! AppGyver actually already supports building MacOS apps. We have other desktop operating systems coming soon as well.

      -Esmeé from AppGyver

      1. 1

        Ill be interested in seeing Windows and Linux. While I am interested in macOS...macOS has an EOL coming. I imagine if you get x86 Linux, that supporting Raspbian on ARM7 wouldn't be all that hard (that was easy enough for us to support with our database and reporting tools).

    2. 1

      A good tradeoff for deskop operating systems is a web app. I haven't checked but AppGyver may already be delivering PWAs, or it shouldn't be difficult for them to implement this.

      1. 1

        Right, but that is a trade off, and that means someone is also likely to consider some other tool instead. I have seen a great many cross platform tools come and go through the years.

  6. 1

    Thanks for the review Paolo.

    I want to build a marketing calculator, and am leaning towards AppGyver (ahed of Glide, Bubble, and Adalo).

    1. 1

      You're welcome. AppGyver should be a good tool for making a calculator.

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