Please note that due to Apple's new guidelines, all new app making is currently suspended with Shoutem.
ShoutEm started out as a niche social mobile-network app, back in 2010, after receiving a venture capital investment and spinning-off from parent company ‘Five Minutes’. A year later they moved into the app-maker market and haven’t looked back.
Their builder, now in its 5th version, offers decent features that cater to various types of apps. They are also hedging their bets on developers by opening their code so they can submit their own app extensions. The idea is to create a model similar to WordPress, where you users be able to completely customise their app through extensions.
A huge improvement over the previous versions of the platform is the user experience. Shoutem’s editor is a real pleasure to use, with clear instructions and a fantastic layout that lets you understand exactly how things will operate in your app. The templates are also sleek, modern and exciting, and the customisation options are top notch. So does that mean they are the perfect solution for your next app? Let’s find out below.
Please note that the video review is for the old V4 version.
Includes Extension Marketplace, CMS, developers access, automated app publishing, and push notifications
Adds support for iOS, Shoutem app review, analytics, notification center, and user management
Adds data importers and advanced Shoutem extensions like Social and Loyalty
Prices are for annual billing.
With a crystal clear layout and a sleek and modern platform, creating an app in Shoutem is one of the most pleasurable experiences we’ve had in a long time with app makers. The live preview is a bit slow at times, but we can live with that.
Shoutem has tons of ways to change the typography, colors, themes and layouts, and all the Shoutem designs are very, very good looking.
Great potential for features:
This is a bit of a bet, but we’re willing to say that in a few years, Shoutem will be hard to beat if developers start building extensions for it.
Since Shoutem completely rebuilt their platform, some features have been taken away. For instance, their newsletter or regional management features, which we loved in V4, are not yet available in V5.
Lack of interface languages:
It’s surprising that ShoutEm’s website and editor are still only available in English. Hopefully they will consider extra language support in the near future.
Ease of use
Design, flexibility and templates
With only a handful of options and themes, it might look like you don’t have much to go on with Shoutem. But they are so sleek and well-designed that it makes up for the lack of jump-off points. On top of that, you have all the customisation options you need to really give your app a unique feel.
The website is only available in English, and this goes for the app editor interface also. There used to be a multiregional function, but it’s currently gone in V5.
Like many other app makers, Shoutem have increased their pricing to publish iOS apps. This is to cover the cost of manual reviews due to Apple’s 4.2.6 guidelines.
You don’t get the option to create a progressive web app or a plain web app.
No ad support yet in this new version.
Available on all plans. You also get segmented push notifications with the Standard and Professional plans.
A soft yes. You can add points on a map but that’s about it.
Shoutem only offer two options: a Shopify feature, or a product catalogue. The latter only allows customers to purchase items externally via a link to a web-store.
RSS feed options
You can add RSS feeds for many features within Shoutem, including ‘News’, ‘Video’ and ‘Photos’. You can even add a feed to the bottom of their composite pages, a feature which replaces their folders.
Adding your own HTML code
No real option to add your own code. However, we should say that if you know a bit about coding or want to expand your app with a developer’s help, Shoutem are making things easy for you. This would make Shoutem an ideal start for a hybrid solution, where you begin with the platform and someone works on customising it for you.
Social media integration
ShoutEm’s social feature consists of a Twitter-like wall, where users can attach photos, write comments and like posts. You can also limit the amount of characters. It’s pretty neat, but you don’t get actual Twitter and Facebook integration. It’s also only available on the higher plans.
The robust loyalty feature lets users redeem points for store visits or by scanning a QR code. Sadly only available on the higher plans.
Another feature that disappeared with this update.
Not available at present.
Again, not quite available, but you can expand a lot of your app through code.
The previewer is only available for Android at the moment. No way to test iOS apps on your phone until you publish them. We were told by support that this feature is coming back soon.
You have the option to use Shoutem’s robust custom analytics, and also an option to integrate Google analytics.
Shoutem has an Agency plan that lets you buy credit for a number of apps.
The online help section covers most areas well, and there’s a few video tutorials to help with certain aspects of building your app. Unfortunately not all the support answers have been updated to reflect the platform’s revamp.
Building your app with Shoutem is super fun. Shame that the previewer is sometimes frustrating.
The new version of Shoutem is definitely impressive. Long-time users will probably be disappointed by the fact that it has less features than before, and the prices have also gone up. But the apps are beautiful, fun to create, and the few features available appear to be very robust.
There is one additional reason to try Shoutem: if you have a basic understanding of code, or if you work with a developer. The extensions marketplace is a great start, and by opening the code to developers, Shoutem hopes they can become the WordPress of app makers, which would allow you to have access to tons of extensions, modules and extra features in the future.
All in all, we’ll keep Shoutem as one of our highest recommendations for creating your first app. And if their bet pays off and the platform expands in the years to come, they will be hard to beat as the best app maker out there.
Yes, this can be done easily by emailing support before the next billing date. There are no charges associated. Keep in mind, though, that once you cancel your account, your app will become inactive.
Yes, it’s possible to do both. But, as with some other app makers, keep in mind that different tiers offer different features, so downgrading can lead to loss of these.
There are no charges associated with either upgrading or downgrading plans.
Yes, the prices are per app. If you want to create multiple apps (for yourself or to sell them), have a look at the Reseller option.