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Shoutem
4.2

As you can read on Shoutem's About page, they are on a mission: "Currently, mobile app development is expensive, time consuming and a privilege of well-funded companies." Unsurprisingly, they claim to be the solution to this problem. Could they be right?

Looking at Shoutem’s builder, it provides a number of strong features, allowing you to create a well-rounded, category-specific app. The app maker's focus is in the social and small business categories, due to its loyalty features and user-profile options. They're also great for any type of event-style apps. Your app users have the option to log in to your app via email or social media, and once they have they can make use of features such as community walls, chat, check-ins and special deals.

The design of both the templates, and editor, are top-notch, except for one slight niggle. Only now, after using the editor for several hours, is the menu structure beginning to make a bit more sense to me. There seems to be an extra layer (or two) of information within the editor that makes adding menu content a little confusing.

An app maker can not be judged solely on its menu, though, so let us now take a closer look at Shoutem's hits and misses:

Find our fully detailed Shoutem review here: http://www.apptooltester.com/reviews/shoutem?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=video-review&utm_campaign=youtube-sho... Shoutem Video Review - Its Pros & Cons 2015-11-24 https://img.youtube.com/vi/t0zp1PdT4s4/hqdefault.jpg

Try out Shoutem now for free.

$19.90/mo

Basic

HTML5 app only plus regular features.

$49/mo

Advanced

Native Android and iOs app, push notifications plus regular features.

$119.90/mo

Unlimited

All the above, plus iPad app and API access.

Loyalty features:

Small retailers of all kinds will find Shoutem’s two loyalty features useful. First you have the loyalty reward program where customers can earn loyalty points by sharing check-ins via social media, or various other methods. You can also set up specific rewards for visiting certain places. The other feature is a ‘Special Deals’ section, that allows you to create highly customisable deals for users.

Support:

With over 100 knowledge base articles and videos, there’s a healthy amount of support available online. Email support is also fast and particularly friendly, offering sincere ongoing support if necessary.

Social media integration:

One of the highlights of the platform. Apart from the normal range of social media options, they also have the ‘Shout’ platform which allows users to login and create their own profile, post comments and upload content. This platform works particularly well for fan-based apps.

Multilingual app capability:

Shoutem have a unique section available which allows you to easily self-translate sections of the app into a language of your choice.

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.

Lack of eCommerce options:

With a platform as robust in so many areas as Shoutem’s, it’s disappointing to see only a couple of eCommerce options available. These come in the form of Shopify integration and a catalogue that requires external linking to finalise purchases.

Confusing menu structure:

It may sound trivial, but if something as simple as adding features to your main menu doesn’t make sense, then it turns you off the experience as a whole. It’s only now, after spending several hours using this app maker, that I’m starting to make sense of the separate levels of adding menu content. My advice is to make use of the video tutorials first before jumping in.

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Ease of use

You can easily play around with creating many types of apps for free until you decide to publish, and signup is simple. The main issue is the menu section, making the addition of features confusing and unintuitive. You really do need to spend a few hours figuring out the system, which is a shame because there are some great features underneath the confusion.

Design, flexibility and templates

You only have a choice of 8 templates, which isn’t a massive amount, but they do look good. To make sure your app is unique, though, you really do need to change quite a few of the elements, as each template has it’s own particular set of icons and background images that are quite distinct.
A new CSS editor will now allow even greater flexibility with design, and if CSS is not your thing, their design team are apparently able to help you out.

Languages

The website is only available in English, and this goes for the app editor interface also. Where Shoutem picks up some points is that it has a regional management section that allows you to translate the entire readable sections of the app into another language of your choice. Each language will need to be published as a separate app.

Platform Support

iOS Android Blackberry

Windows

iPad support

Ok

Available only on the 'Unlimited' plan.

HTML 5 App

Ok

Available on all plans.

App features

Ad support

Ok

Ad support is available via MoPub and DFP. They also offer 4 linkable home screen images, which could potentially be used for advertising.

Push notifications

Ok

Available on all except the ‘Basic’ plan. Includes scheduled and segmented push notifications.

Location-based Services

Ok

There are quite a few ways you can use mapping, or create local apps using these features. There is Foursquare integration too, allowing for users to check-in to places featured within your app.
Other features allow users to see events, or places, nearby using this integration.

E-commerce

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

Ok

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

Ok

You can add your own HTML code within most of the features that allow you to add written material, yet there is not a custom feature available unless you go with their ‘Enterprise’ option.

Social media integration

Shoutem have quite a good selection of social media integration. All the usual suspects are there, plus several features that allow for users to sign-in, share their social media photos with other users, post on their own wall and comment on others. Other, non-social media integration options include streaming podcasts or radio, food-related and event-related, such as Eventbrite and Songkick.

Loyalty features

Ok

Shoutem have a couple of loyalty options that are easy to set up. There is the straight-up ‘Loyalty’ feature, that allows a choice of a single- or multi-card offer to users. Or the ‘Special Deal’ feature, with several customisable options allowing you to choose days, products, discount amounts etc.

Newsletter tool

Ok

Integration options are available for both MailChimp and ConstantContact newsletter accounts, giving users easy access for signing up.

Advanced Features

Team Management

Close

Not available.

iBeacons

Close

Not available at present.

API available

Ok

This is available on the ‘Unlimited’ plan.

Testing

Ok

Shoutem have a downloadable previewer available for mobile devices called Mobilizer.

Analytics

Ok

You have the option to use Shoutem’s robust custom analytics, and also an option to integrate Google analytics.

Reseller Program

Ok

Shoutem has an Agency plan that lets you buy credit for a number of apps.

Read more about their reseller program here.

Support

The online help section covers most areas well, and there’s a few video tutorials to help with certain aspects of building your app. I’d recommend you watch these before you begin as they are genuinely useful. Email support were relatively fast and very helpful, going into a fair amount of detail, all the while remaining extremely polite.

Fun Factor

Even though this app builder is robust and full of great features, the menu navigation tips the experience over from fun to frustrating at times.

Overall rating

4.2/5

If you can get over the slightly unintuitive menu layout, Shoutem actually have a great range of features, allowing you to build a capable app within a number of different categories. It might be better suited for a small business that uses loyalty features, or perhaps even as an artist’s fan app, due to the social media integration available.

Shoutem does indeed make app creation attainable for non-developers or the bootstrapped company-type. There is a lot you can do with their CMS if you’re willing to put in some time learning to navigate the menus and watching a few of the video tutorials. They definitely score points for aesthetics and provide a host of handy features. I’d particularly recommend them if you’re interested in loyalty features for your small business, or want to try and create a musician’s fan page, due to the extensive social and media integration options.

If you need API access and iPad design, I’d perhaps recommend going with another maker due to the price difference and ease of use. With Shoutem you’re paying around $63 more for the same features. If not, though, then I’d recommend giving them a go due to the fact that you can easily create and test several apps without paying a cent on the Shoutem platform.

 

Try Shoutem for free.

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.

Arrow Up

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.

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.
  • is the pricing per app or is this like Adobe cloud? Can I create my app in a month or two and be done with it?

    • Steve

      Hi David, pricing is per app published. You will need to continue paying a monthly fee to keep your app up and running, as you’ll be using the app makers backend to make changes and do updates. They also house your content for you, so you’re paying for their service.