Building business software using no-code and low-code web application builders has never been easier. But not all app builders are the same. If you've explored using Bubble for your web app needs, you might find yourself wondering about Bubble alternatives.
Bubble is a powerful tool — one of the most robust and feature-rich app builders out there. But its complexity can be a double-edged sword; Bubble can be harder to learn and require more software building experience than some other, more beginner-friendly app builders.
Ready to see what Bubble alternatives are out there? Read on to learn about Bubble, its pros and cons, and the five other app builders you should consider.
What Is Bubble?
Bubble is a low-code app builder that is able to support complex apps at high levels of performance, which is part of what makes it so popular.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement, which is empowering citizen developers to create their own software without needing to know how to code.
Why Do Businesses Use Bubble?
When businesses need software, they no longer need to hire teams of developers to create it — even beginners can create powerful software with no-code tools. And Bubble, as a platform, can create some of the most powerful software of all no-code and low-code app builders. Bubble allows its users to create interactive content like chats and news feeds, and to integrate their software with a wide variety of other apps using APIs.
Using point-and-click builders with drag-and-drop components, app builders turn software creation into a straightforward, user-friendly experience, and Bubble is no different. App builders like Bubble (and Bubble alternatives) make it possible to create anything from a simple app prototype to a complex marketplace or SaaS product — all without having to write a single line of code.
As one of the leaders in this space, Bubble has both pros and cons.
One of the main reasons no-code developers love Bubble is that it's packed with features and integrations. That's its main sell. With Bubble, businesses can tackle more complicated use cases than they can with many other app builders.
Bubble's biggest drawback is also its complexity, which is a double-edged sword. While it allows for creating sophisticated, customized apps, it also comes with a steep learning curve. Those with no coding knowledge whatsoever can take months (or longer) to get fully up to speed on Bubble. And those with no design knowledge may struggle to make the visual components of their apps polished and professional looking.
Why Use a Bubble Alternative?
Different app builders suit different business needs.
You might be looking for a Bubble alternative if you're new to no-code platforms, and want an app builder that's more intuitive, without a steep learning curve.
Or you might want a Bubble alternative if you need to create an external app that needs a polished, professional appearance — without a designer.
Or you might simply be looking for a Bubble alternative that uses knowledge you already have — more on that below.
The Top 5 Bubble Alternatives in 2022
Whatever your reason for looking for a tool other than Bubble, these are the top 5 no-code and low-code app builders in 2022.
For businesses looking to create powerful and beautiful apps from spreadsheets in just minutes — no coding required — there's Glide.
Whether your data lives in Google Sheets, Excel, or another source, Glide can quickly turn it into powerful mobile applications for both iOS and Android, or desktop-friendly web apps with our new Glide Pages feature.
What sets Glide apart from other no-code tools is that it's truly simple enough for anyone to use, with a fun, user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop components, and real-time data syncing whenever you make changes to your spreadsheet — or within your app. Glide also offers a robust catalog of templates to help app makers get their software up and running even faster.
Glide also beats out other no-code tools because Glide apps are beautifully and professionally designed on their front ends — and you don't need a designer; that's just the default for Glide. You can customize the look of your app, but no matter what, it will be polished and professional, right from the first time you launch it.
The only thing that might hold back some Glide users is that, like all app builders, there are limitations to how much you can customize your app. But millions of Glide users already know that this platform can power solutions to meet almost any business need.
- Incredibly easy to learn and use.
- Beautiful front-end by default — even with no design experience required.
- Robust library of app templates to choose from, including user-generated templates.
- Limited ability to accommodate extremely customized designs.
Glide’s pricing options offer affordable packages for every business type, including a free tier and a customizable one.
Adalo is another extremely user-friendly app builder, great for businesses that aren't the most tech-savvy, but want to get their new software up and running very quickly. Like Glide, Adalo uses drag-and-drop components to make it easy to create an app that looks polished and professional on the front end. Adalo apps can be published to the App Store and Google Play, or just used via a web browser.
What makes Adalo our No. 2 choice is the more complex features it offers, still with a lot of ease of use.
- Extremely user-friendly and intuitive.
- Active community forums can help troubleshoot any issues.
- Limited ability to accommodate niche features or extremely customized designs.
- More expensive than many other no-code app builders.
Adalo has a free tier, and paid packages start at $50 per month.
AppSheet is one of the pioneers of the no-code movement, and one of the first app builders to make it easy for anyone to turn a spreadsheet into an app.
Today, AppSheet has expanded on that original vision, and allows its users to connect and manage their data no matter where it lives: Sheets, Drive, Dropbox, Excel, AWS, Zapier, SQL, etc. AppSheet also has built in process automation that makes it faster and easier to build some pretty powerful apps.
As one of the earlier app builders, AppSheet created the foundation for solutions like Glide. But it still offers plenty of features of its own, and is worth consideration from businesses with software needs.
- Your data can live virtually anywhere.
- Varied and powerful features and functionality.
- Apps require a downloaded host app to work.
- Data syncing can be slow, and users report that it becomes unresponsive at times.
AppSheet packages start around $5 per user per month, and businesses can build a personalized enterprise plan.
For businesses that will have multiple people working collaboratively to build software, Kintone is a great pick. Not only is it intuitive and easy-to-use, its collaborative editing features, like workflow tools that allow you to assign tasks to colleagues, make it stand out. Kintone's visual editor also comes with a chat box, so users can work together at every step of the process.
But while Kintone is a great app builder for collaborative teams, it limits users on where their data can be stored, which makes it less flexible than many other app builders.
- Makes it easy to collaborate across teams.
- Large library of content accessible by users.
- Limited types of data sources that can be imported for apps.
- Limited ability to customize the front-end appearance of software.
Plans start around $15 per month.
Airtable is a spreadsheet-database hybrid and low-code platform that can power custom software. It's a favorite in the industry because it's powerful and customizable, allowing users to mold it to fit their business needs.
Airtable serves as a single source of truth for vital business data — as well as the backend for powerful web apps. And since Airtable is low-code instead of no-code, it's a more flexible platform than some of the other app builders on this list, able to meet a wide variety of business needs.
- Flexible and configurable.
- Easy to integrate with a wide variety of other tools.
- Free templates available for beginners making their first apps, dashboards, and databases.
- More difficult to learn than many no-code platforms, especially when it comes to its complex formulas (and lack of a formula builder).
- Per-user charges can quickly make this one of the more expensive app builders.
Airtable has a robust pricing system that includes a flat fee plus per-seat price, based on business size. Enterprise plans can be adjusted to suit.
For the Best Bubble Alternative, Build Your App with Glide
Whatever you're looking for — mobile software, web apps made for desktop screens, a sleek and polished front-end, a template for business software that can be up and running in minutes — Glide has it. That's why it's the best Bubble alternative for no-code web apps in 2022. See for yourself — start creating with Glide today.