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AppMachine
4.3

AppMachine, an app builder based in the Netherlands, is both a company and product, that exudes playfulness. From the lego-style building blocks of the editor, to its primary-coloured stylings, all the way down to their company ethos; AppMachine create a desire to be part of the fun.

Launching in mid-2013, they have helped create more than 200,000 apps so far. AppMachine do not propose to cater to a specific niche category of app, and looking at their demo apps they seem to be able to cover off most categories quite well. This is, in part, due to their relatively flexible ‘Pro’ blocks which (using ‘Excel’ and ‘Web Service’ functions) can allow for many interesting, and powerful, combinations. There are also a series of AppMachine tutorials and articles on their site to help people understand just how they can combine these blocks to create such functions. For example, how to create a travel app that can tell you the current weather in several locations at once.

AppMachine certainly looks like an interesting app builder from the outside. Let's take a closer look at their platform and discover its pros and cons:

$49/mo

Plus

Includes Android, iOS and Windows platforms, 'Plus' blocks, analytics and push notifications.

$69/mo

Pro

All in Plus tier, as well as iPad support and 'Pro' blocks such as custom JavaScript and Excel import.

Ease-of-use:

AppMachine is another very easy to use app builder. The navigation is smooth and, for a beginner, the experience is relatively intuitive. It’s also fun, which helps.

Pro options available in trial:

This should be standard amongst app builders, but some still fail to make all the tools available during the trial period. There are a few interesting blocks available for ‘Pro’ users, such as Excel and Java integration, and it’s also great to be able to see sample analytics data during the trial. In fact, you only start paying when you decide to publish, so you can have as long as you like playing around with designs and functions.

Design and templates:

AppMachine offer a whopping 92 templates to choose from. They’re also extremely flexible and offer some handy tools such as a photo-editing platform, powered by Aviary, and a downloadable photoshop design template to make it easier to upload the correct image sizes. They also offer around 13 navigable complete app templates which you can explore to help give you ideas for your own app, and how different types of blocks function.

Lacking HTML5 app:

There isn’t a web-based app option available yet, which might also be important for some people. It’s worth noting, though, that they have a service called ‘Impress.ly’ which seems to be a standalone HTML5 app creator, possibly a precursor to their upcoming project ‘Instant AppMachine’ which is currently in beta testing.

Some pro features are not ready:

There seems to be Pro blocks available/visible, yet on further inspection they are not ready to use quite yet. It might be better to keep them out of the builder section, or at least label them as ‘coming soon’ so as not to confuse.

criterion rating comments

Ease of use

Easy to navigate, and also enjoyable with their playful use of Lego building blocks to signify app features.

Design, flexibility and templates

Many templates to choose from, which are mostly modern and look good. Flexible templates, with options to change the overall design globally, or just for specific blocks. Sometimes a slight loss can occur when switching between things like menu styles. There’s hundreds of fonts to choose from too, which allows you to create a unique-looking app.

Languages

The interface is available in 10 languages. Something unique they are trialling, though, is that you can create a multilingual app on the pro version. This is a great addition.

Platform Support

iOS Android Blackberry

Windows

iPad support

Ok

Available on the 'Pro' plan.

HTML 5 App

Close

'Coming soon' to all plans.

App features

Ad support

Ok

AppMachine supports AdMob with the Plus and Pro price plans.

Push notifications

Ok

Available on ‘Plus’ or ‘Pro’ plans. They have also added support to allow you to send push notifications to users outside of AppMachine by using device tokens.

Location-based Services

Ok

Using the ‘Pro’ blocks, such as ‘Excel’ and ‘Web Service’ blocks, there are several ways you can create location-based features, such as showing restaurants that are near you, or viewing the weather from 5 different locations.

E-commerce

There is the option of both having either a ‘products’, or ‘list’, block, which allows you to add products and prices, as well as separate links to further product info. You can then add a ‘checkout’ block that links to your products and uses PayPal integration.

RSS feed options

Ok

A ‘News/RSS feed’ block is available.

Adding your own HTML code

Ok

AppMachine have a Javascript and HTML block available on the ‘Pro’ Plan. There is also a block allowing you to add XML feeds.

Social media integration

They have the regular Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter integration, as well as the ability to add a Google + timeline. There are also some interesting options for music, including a ‘Discography’ block which allows you to allow to import directly from iTunes, or a ‘Music’ block allowing the use of SoundCloud import or a direct media RSS feed.

Loyalty features

Ok

A ‘Loyalty Card’ block is available. This allows small businesses, or shop owners, to supply customers with a QR code that can be scanned in the shop to earn the customer points which they can redeem for discounts etc. They also have an added feature that allows you to track all transactions of your customers.

Newsletter tool

Close

No integration tool available.

Advanced Features

Team Management

Ok

You have the option to invite other people to your project within the dashboard. There doesn’t seem to a limit to how many team members you can have.

You can also define groups to give app users various access privileges. This makes it easy to customize the app based on who is using it by locking off certain areas.

iBeacons

Close

Not available at present.

API available

Ok

This is available on the ‘Pro’ plan.

Testing

Ok

There is a downloadable AppMachine Previewer and also an in-built simulator that works well.

Analytics

Ok

AppMachine have good custom analytics available, with demo data you can look at while in your trial. You also have the ability to add Google Analytics.

Reseller Program

Ok

AppMachine offer two reseller options, $10 or $33 per app depending on whether you buy a bundle of 30 or 3 apps, respectively. You get a dedicated CMS that your client can also access, free of branding and connection to AppMachine. You also get a previewer, which allows your client to follow your progress on, as well as marketing materials.

Support

The online knowledge base is thorough, and easy to navigate. Also the support via email is fast, friendly and helpful. The support team really seem interested in helping you out, even with beta features that are not available publicly yet.

Fun Factor

The design and use of lego blocks, which could come off as gimmicky, actually work well. As the editor is relatively fast and responsive, it makes for an enjoyable experience.

Overall rating

4.3/5

AppMachine have a good product, and while there are still a couple of features missing, they do follow through on their promise to add new ones regularly. The support is great and they have flexible designs.

AppMachine have done a great job with their builder and there isn’t too much to complain about really. It’s easy to use, enjoyable and it looks great. They’re a company that are still innovating, and it looks like they have a few things up their sleeve, so it will be exciting to see where they go next.

Their editor is well-designed, and apart from a couple of features that are currently lacking, they are at the top of the app-making game. They also follow through on their promises to enable new features, so once all of the ‘Pro’ features are fully functional, they will be hard to beat.

You just need to send a mail to [email protected] and they will help you. You can also do this within your account settings. There are no fees charged at all.

It’s good to note that for monthly plans won’t be charged starting the next month, and for yearly plans won’t be charged starting the next year.

As you must have an active account for your app to remain in the stores, once you cancel, your app will be deleted from the stores.

Arrow Up

Yes, you can easily do both. If you’re downgrading, though, as you don’t get a refund it’s best to do this right before the end of your monthly, or yearly, subscription date.

Arrow Up
steve lamattina
Steve's an avid app user, and content manager by trade. His career has spanned across areas such as film, digital media and literature, with the tech and mobile world remaining a personal passion. Now he’s interested in sharing that passion with mobile app makers at the beginning of their journey, through honest reviews and content.
Oh, and he’s Australian...but don’t hold that against him.
  • Michael

    It looks very sophisticated but at the end it’s very basic and standardized.
    A lot of features are promised ‘to be available soon’ but that’s more marketing than really the case.
    E.g.: the html version was announced in 2014 to be ‘soon available’. In 2016 it was there but not as a part of the app as promised but as a new plan you have to pay for. Windows ‘ available soon’ took them 2 years and is now stopped immediately. It’s more like a standard app that looks cheap (40 euro / month) but when you have your app for about let’s say 5 years, it will cost you 2500 euros at the end for a standard product. Most of the building blocks are the same with a different title or you need to have other things to ‘ read them into your app’, kind of solution. Not bad, but not as flexible as they say. When you look at the examples of their apps they’re all the same with a different image and color.

    • Steve

      Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. I have noticed that sometimes you do need to ask them about a feature and only then do they make it available for your app and I agree this is not ideal.

  • Steve

    Hi Mohamad, thanks for the comment! As far as I’m aware, AppMachine still don’t offer either of these. So I’d recommend trying out GoodBarber if these features are important to you!

  • Jose Ramon Perez

    Hey, does appmachine offer the same as shoutem? See I’m looking to start an app where I can send out financial investment tips but also build a community. Also, it won’t be a free app, it will have a free trial, and then charge a set amount a month.

    Any help?

  • Christian

    Hi, I am currently looking at making an app and have no idea where to start. I would like to include user registration, Location services, e-commerce, facebook and instagram integration. I expect to have several redesigns and would I be able to use my own images/graphics at a later stage. I’ve looked through the several apps you have reviewed what would you recommend as it seams that none have mentioned the ability to sign up a user.

  • AppMachine Team

    Hi, AppMachine recently released ad support (Google Admob), more info here :
    http://www.appmachine.com/blog/bring-in-those-advertising-bucks-with-admob/

    • Florian (Tooltester Network)

      Yes – we’re currently updating all the reviews as there are brand new versions of ShoutEm, GoodBarber and updates to AppMachine!

  • Bill

    Is it possible to make an app that can provide a link directly to a pre-existing Responsive Website that is viewed thru the app interface?

    • Florian (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Bill, all appmakers let you easliy link to websites through their own browsers. One interesting new feature of GoodBarber is that you can now create a native app and a web app that look exactly the same on mobile and on desktop. Hope this helps!

  • Christine Casey

    Just wondering could you recommend any app builder that allows for in app purchasing?

    • Florian (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Christine, we always recommend Swiftic for in-app purchases as you can easily set up a small store with all your products.

  • Jim S

    Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I intend to build an app or two that aggregates public domain data, such as voter registration, weather data, etc. The app will merge, analyze, calculate, etc… must searchable like a database app or google, i.e. show me all the republicans who live in zip code xxxxxx, or find John Doe. calculate CO2 in the atmosphere for my location based on available inputs, etc. graph the trend in CO2 in my location for the last year, etc.
    Which app builders would be best for this type application

    • Florian (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Jim,

      unfortunately app makers are not suited for handling big databases. You may refer to this blog post to find out more about their limitations.

  • TrueVideo Bash

    Hi. Thanks for this useful info.
    I want to develop an app having service provider functionalities. app may have at least 2 modules. one is for customer where they can see nearest online service provider, can request service and can rate and pay.
    second module is for service provider where they can be off/online and accept the requests and proceed the order.
    i also want to add and modify services later through my dashboard.. which app builder would you suggest for this purpose?
    i have a little experience of computer programming of VB6 but that is not my profession so i am not perfect in that.
    Thank you.

    • Florian (Tooltester Network)

      Hi, if you want to list different providers by location or other categories, the best solution is to create a directory app with AppInstitute or AppyPie. We actually have complete blog post o the topic here. please note that it’s quite limited for your “provider module”, as they will be able to submit information, but you will have to update it manually (or maybe get some custom coding to push it automatically to the app). Hope this helps!

      • TrueVideo Bash

        Thanks for your kind help.
        could not locate the link in your post.

        • Florian (Tooltester Network)

          It should work now!

          • TrueVideo Bash

            thanks. My purpose is to create two different but integrated apps. more like a taxi app.

            where service provider list them themselves with online offline option. and they can be seen/ accessed by user app. Please help. where can i get this functionality.

          • Florian (Tooltester Network)

            Hi, this is not supported I’m afraid. Even if you could link the two apps, updating the information based on what the providers submit will still have to be done manually.

  • Joe

    Hi Florian, does this app allow you to link to google maps and drop pins to save different locations on a map? I am looking for something where I can drop a pin to add a location as well as a 3 mile radius, does this or any of the other app builders allow you to do this? Thanks

  • Florian (Tooltester Network)

    Hi Joe. Yes, with AppMachine, you can add points to a map and let users find them based on their location. Please note that the users can’t add points themselves, but you may be able to take suggestions via a form if that’s what you need. You can find more information here

    https://support.appmachine.com/hc/en-us/articles/203645586-POI

    And perhaps this page about Directory apps can help you too.