Adalo Review

Overview

Adalo is a NoCode tool for creating both web and native applications. Their stated goal is to make creating apps as easy as creating a slide deck. The editor uses a simple drag and drop interface that lets you create pages as though they are slides. Adalo was founded in 2018 by David Adkin and Ben Haefele.

Target Platforms

Adalo allows for building web applications as well as native apps that are deployed to the Google Play and Apple app stores. It essentially has 3 target platforms and is somewhat unique in this regard. Adalo takes a mobile-first approach to development. With mobile-first your primarily and initial focus is on making an application that will work well on mobile devices, where there is less screen real estate. Traditionally most development has been desktop-first leading to poor mobile user experiences as developers have tried to make their apps work on smaller screens.

Common Use Cases for Adalo

Adalo lets you build many types of applications.

  • Browsable content such as courses, events or other things.
  • Marketplaces
  • Podcast Apps
  • Event Calendars With Booking Functionality
  • E-Commerce Apps
  • Workflow Management Systems

Adalo Editor

The Adalo editor has a slick drag and drop interface that makes it easy to design visually appealing apps.

Education and Community

Adalo has an active community and solid documentation. The community is less active than those for Bubble and Glide.

Boot Camps

There are no boot camps for Adalo.

Forums

Adalo runs a Discourse forum. The forum has almost 6,000 users so it’s about half the size of the Glide forum and around 12% of the size of the Bubble forum. It should be noted that both Adalo and Glide were started in 2018.

Documentation

Adalo has clear and extensive documentation.

Mentoring

This site (NoCode Guides) was created with the goal of helping people obtain personalized mentoring. A growing category on this site is Adalo.

Pricing

Adalo offers a free plan that allows you to build unlimited apps. These apps are published to an Adalo domain and include the Adalo branding. Most importantly free apps are limited to having 50 records each.

Extendibility

Adalo is extendible with apps being able to utilize templates and components. Anyone can create components and templates.

Components

Components are functional units within Adalo and are things such as text, buttons and images. Adalo has a marketplace for components. Any developer can create components using JavaScript. Components are written using the React JavaScript framework. Creating Adalo components is more intensive than creating JavaScript plugins with Bubble. However, the Adalo components are used across three target platforms (web, Android and iOS). There are less than 100 public Adalo components which is far less than what Bubble has.

Templates

Adalo has templates that allow you to jumpstart your application development. So if you have a similar use case to one of the templates you can start with it and then just modify according to your unique requirements. Adalo also provides user interface kits that help you get a start on having a specific look and feel. Interestingly there are only 12 of these. Their list of templates and kits is curated so it’s possible that many more of these are submitted than get approved for display on the web site.

API’s

Adalo paid plans provide an API that allow you to retrieve and update the data in your apps database. Adalo is also working on a feature that will let you trigger push notifications to native apps on Adalo.

Paid Options for Building on Adalo

Adalo has both freelancers and agencies who work with the platform.

Apps Built With Adalo

Unlike many other NoCode tools Adalo maintains a showcase of apps that are built using it. The following are some apps that were created using Adalo.

Chara

Chara is a marketplace, built using Adalo, for finding holistic health and wellness providers. The app lets you find massage therapists, midwives, personal trainers and other wellness providers.

Joy Blossom

The Joy Blossom app was built on Adalo and helps users meditate and practice mindfulness.

Doorclub Contractor

The Doorclub Contractor helps connect tradespeople with local landlords who are looking for help.

Alternatives

  • Glide: An app builder for creating progressive web applications which look like apps but run in a web browser.
  • Bubble: This NoCode app builder can create responsive web applications so that they render well on mobile devices. However, if you need to build a native app you’ll jump through more hoops to accomplish this with Bubble.
  • Thunkable: A platform for building native apps for ioS and Android, this may be a good alternative if your only target platform is mobile.

Summary

If you are looking to create a native application that is installed via the Apple Store or the Google Play Store then Adalo is a solid choice. There aren’t many options when it comes to using NoCode to create native apps and your other options would be to use Glide to create a progressive web app or to use Bubble and then use a tool or service to build a native application from it.

The following table summarizes this Adalo review.

CriteriaResultDetails
Use CasesAdalo can be used to create marketplaces, e-commerce applications, workflow management systems and many other types of applications.
Target PlatformsWeb, Native Android and iOSAdalo is one of the few NoCode platforms that allows building both native and web based applications.
Offers Free Tier / TrialYesThe Adalo free tier is pretty limited but can be enough to get through development before onboarding live users.
Community3/5Adalo has a Discourse forum with around 6,000 users. It’s nowhere near as active as the forums for Bubble or Glide but there is a community. There is also an Adalo Facebook group.
Educational Resources3/5Adalo maintains detailed documentation on using their tool. Nobody on YouTube is focusing on Adalo and most of the videos are high level introduction ones.
Extendable Via CodeYesAdalo allows for building components using React. Creating components for Adalo is more work from a technical perspective compared to creating plugins with Bubble which only requires knowledge of JavaScript.
Component Ecosystem3/5The Adalo component marketplace is not as extensive as the components for other NoCode tools.
Template Ecosystem3/5There are a limited number of app templates and user interface kits that are available for use.
API5/5Adalo has an API that allows you to manipulate the data in your application. They also allow for making API calls from your applications to connect to external data sources.
Freelance Developers and Agencies Specializing in ToolYesAdalo does have a number of agencies and freelancers working with the platform but it is certainly more limited than what are available with Bubble and Glide.
Founding Date2018David Adkin and Ben Haefele founded Adalo.