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Adalo review

Even if you’re a programmer, it’s always good to have back-up solutions to help you get things done faster. And if you’re not a coder, tools that allow you to create your own applications without the need for extensive coding skills are really handy. They enable individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to launch custom applications quickly and efficiently.

What makes this new breed of tools special is that they have a visual, drag-and-drop editor similar to website builders AND offer a built-in database of dynamic content. Some go even further and allow you to publish your website to the Android and iOS app stores.

Adalo is one of these no-code app builders. As well as its visual editor, it comes with an extensive design library, so it’s easy for anyone to create apps. The apps even have chat and push notifications, accept payments, login, password reset and email verification.

Pros and cons of Adalo

With Adalo, you can easily build web and mobile apps for both Android and iOS without any coding skills. It gives you tools to create apps with

  • User registration and login
  • Notifications
  • Event management
  • Create forms
  • Payment collection
  • Scheduling
  • And more

Pros

  • Free forever plan
  • Publish your mobile apps directly to the Android and iOS app stores (you need a paid account)

Cons

Not for complex applications
Support isn’t really solid
Applications can become slow over time
Hidden fees
Doesn’t comply with GDPR
Limited functionality, so not for more complex apps

Who is Adalo for?

Adalo is aimed at freelancers, creatives, founders and individuals who want to create apps but do not want to rely on developers. You can use Adalo to build a wide variety of apps, so it’s not limited to any one industry.

Apps built with Adalo are known to slow down over time, which means they don’t really scale well. Coupled with its limited functionality, this means that if you’re looking to build large, complex applications that grow with you, you’ll be better off using a more powerful service such as Ycode.

How easy is it to use Adalo?

To help you get started, Adalo asks you a few questions, such as where you want your audience to access your new app. And just like traditional website builders, you start by choosing a template.

One of the templates is called Learn Adalo, which will help you learn how to use it

Don’t be put off if Adalo looks more complex than your average website builder – that’s the nature of the beast, you can do more with Adalo. However, Adalo has a simple and intuitive interface that will help you navigate and find what you need quickly.

Sleek and intuitive interface

Elements needed for your apps

When you build an app, you expect it to do more than just display your website. Of course, Adalo gives you this in the form of great design and UI components (things like buttons, lists, forms, text, etc). But if you want your app to behave like an app, you need other elements.

Dynamic logic

What happens when your user clicks a button or otherwise interacts with your app? That’s where Adalo gives you a collection of pre-built actions. For example, after a user clicks on a button, your app sends a push notification.

Adalo also offers a range of integrations with other services such as Zapier, Airtable, Make and Google Workspace. Together with its API, you can extend the functionality of your application beyond the original UI elements provided by Adalo. To use the API, you need to know how to code or have an IT department.

Database and user management

With a built-in database, you can create more complex applications that can store and manage your application’s data from within the Adalo interface. This means that you don’t have to worry about your application’s data and write database queries and scripts yourself.

Apart from the database, Adalo has built in a user management system. This allows you to add features such as account creation, login, password reset for your app users.

Analytics

Well, you might not agree with me here. In my opinion, having analytics allows you to create an app that better appeals to your audience. To share my view, Adalo comes with built-in analytics. This allows you to track how your users interact with your app and helps you understand which features are being used and which ones need improvement.

Publishing

Publishing your app is so much easier with Adalo and takes away all the headaches of creating an account with the different app stores or doing everything you need to do to publish on the web. Adalo does it all for you and all you have to do is click “Publish” when you’re ready. Granted, you do need a paid account to publish.

Use cases

You may still be on the fence about publishing your own app because Adalo can be used to create apps for many different applications. This list may give you a better idea:

  • Prototype to test ideas
  • Booking app
  • Productivity app
  • Online store
  • Chat app

Security and privacy

Adalo takes security seriously. It has secured its hosting with industry standard encryption. Adalo allows you to set up access controls so that only authorised users can view data, and you can set up password access to your application – or parts of it.

However, because it’s based in the US, you can assume that all its data is also stored in the US and you need to take that into account. In other words, it’s not GDPR compliant.

Customer support

If you hit a brick wall, you can submit a ticket to Adalo on its website, but you may find unflattering reviews of its customer service, and rightly so. Adalo suggests that you ask the community if you have a “how do I…” question. This may help you get your application up and running, but it may not be the best solution in the long run if you run into a bug.

Pricing

You can try Adalo for free, but you can’t publish your app in the app stores, only on the web. Given that Adalo is aimed at individuals, freelancers and SMBs, the prices seem a bit steep.

The higher plans unlock more features

Is Adalo right for you?

Adalo is the right place for you if you can answer yes to the following questions:

  • You want to build an app but don’t have the budget for a developer (or just want to save on development costs)
  • You want to validate your new app idea
  • You don’t have European users interacting with your app
  • You know your app won’t be complex or need to scale

If you still want to launch your own apps but need to comply with GDPR, check out Ycode.

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