If you're looking for another sign that low-code/no-code platforms are coming into their own, look no further than...
Guru Mann Fitness.
The app -- developed on a no-code platform called Appy Pie -- is only a few weeks old and it briefly hit No. 1 in iTunes downloads in its category in India. It has since fallen a bit, but that really isn't the point. It may be the first time a citizen developer has created an "iTunes successful" app for the mainstream consumer.
In the burgeoning low-code/no-code platform market, the emphasis has largely been on enabling citizen developers to create internally facing applications for their organizations. A recent survey from low-code platform maker QuickBase showed the number of consumer-facing applications is growing, but they're still a long way from mainstream.
Guru Mann, developer of Guru Mann Fitness, wanted to change that. Mann isn't a programmer or a tech guy. He's a fitness coach who wanted to give people a concrete training tool they could download. He chose Appy Pie because "it's pretty affordable and simple to use," he said in an interview via email. Although he said he isn't necessarily surprised by his success, he is thrilled and it's spurred his friends and family to try making their own apps.
This comes as no surprise to Abs Girdhar, the CEO of Appy Pie. The no-code platform was designed to attract people just like Mann, he said -- in other words, those with absolutely no coding experience who just want to be able to drag and drop features. "Simplicity is our key differentiator," he said. Appy Pie's customers range in age from nine to 85, and there are approximately 25,000 of them using the platform, Girdhar said.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the target audience, but larger companies, including Home Depot, have chosen Appy Pie for specific "quick hit" single-event type applications, he said.
The low-code/no-code platform, which has been around for about three years, began with a handful of what Girdhar called "cool" features and now offers 120 different options to customers including virtual reality. "Customers can take a panorama photo on their phone, upload it and then we can turn it in to a virtual reality tour," he explained.
Appy Pie is a way for smaller companies to get their message out there quickly and affordably, Girdhar said. But even he was surprised at the success of Guru Mann Fitness. "We've never seen our apps coming in at the top of the paid apps before. This is very exciting for us as well."
The rise of the citizen developer
The role of low code in the enterprise
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