Thunkable App with over 1,200,000 downloads

I just want to say thank you for creating the Thunkable Classic Platform. I was a power user from day one, and I programmed apps on it for over a year. As soon as I saw the extra features right as it launched, I moved most of my apps over to it and loved it! Over the next few months I became prominent in this community and even became one of the first Power Thunkers which was super fun!

Life has been crazy lately and I haven’t been developing apps for over three years. I’m now into selling cars and real estate, but this was a really fun thing to do and it got me started thinking I could actually accomplish something. I started programming at 11 years old and it was one of my main hobbies until I was 15.

I just wanted to update you guys and I’m wondering if there are any other apps that have taken off with a magnitude similar to that of my app. With the new Thunkable X platform, there are more features that make it even easier to build creative applications. Please let me know how your apps are doing!

At this point, my app Dice by SeableApps has over 1.2 milllion downloads on the play store and thousands of reviews. People love it! And it wouldn’t have been possible without AppInventor 2 and Thunkable. I’m happy that I got to spend some of my time here.

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that is awesome!!!

you mentioned cars… you just got my attention again!

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Hey tysonseable, I’m brand new to this platform and have been looking for a platform that allows me to try out building iOS apps for free. Reading your post, though you don’t mention not having to pay to build and/or publish any of your apps, your post still makes this platform sound promising. Do you know if this platform does allow you to build and publish iOS apps for free (aside from the cost of getting your app into the app store)? It appears that Adalo allows you to do that also, but the tools it offers users are pretty limited. Thank you and congratulations on the success of your apps!!

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You can build your apps for free.

But you have to pay to make them private, publish them, and use ads, as well as get priority build time and Pro support. There may be some other differences but these are the main ones.

You can pay an annual fee or monthly. The former option is cheaper overall but the latter gives you an option to try the Pro features without committing any where near as much money.

EDIT: these are the differences between free and Pro:

If you want to pay monthly it’s $25 per month.

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Oh, you are good Dean_Artis! I hadn’t noticed that before! Thanks for explaining that. Have you published an app before on your own not using one of the no code platforms, like this one, and if you have, what are your thoughts on it? For instance, is it very doable for someone, who is computer savvy but a novice at coding, to take their “no code” built app (built on a platform like this one) and publish it on the App Store? Thanks!

I’ve published Android apps using AI2, Thunkable Classic, and Kodular.

I can’t speak for iOS apps but Android apps are relatively simple to publish.

I created a Google Developer account ($25 + cross border fee if outside the US).

I downloaded my apps as apk files and uploaded to the Google Play Console. There’s a bunch of stuff you need to fill in like descriptions, add screenshots, app rating, pricing etc. If you are a native English speaker then it’s straight forward. You won’t be able to publish the app until you have completed every section and the Console helpfully tells you what you have missed.

Adding Google Play features eg Achievements, leaderboards etc takes a few more steps and is a little more involved but not hugely so.

Fantastic. Correct me if I’m wrong, purely in terms of getting the app to Apple’s servers so it can be submitted for publishing, the big step that enables that is making sure you have the right file to upload to Apple? That crucial step, on the Thunkable platform, is accomplished merely by clicking on that icon labeled “Publish”, right?

screenshot_Thunkable

Yes.

When you publish your app it will be in an apk (Android) or ipa (iOS) format.

I haven’t used iOS publishing but from reading topics on here it appears you will be sent a link from where you can get the ipa file. So when you click to publish, the Thunkable servers will create the ipa file in the background and once it’s ready you will get an email with a link to it.

Just be aware that any projects you create on the free tier are public so anyone can take them and create and publish their own version. If your app is free and not monetised it might not be a huge problem. But if you’ve got proprietary algorithms and other “secret” stuff you don’t want to share you should upgrade to the paid tier.

From what I’m seeing, it appears that you have two ways to extract an .ipa file from the Thunkable servers, though I don’t know for a fact that the free way gives you access to that file. The way that doesn’t require a subscription has you hovering on the “Download” icon and clicking on “Download iOS App.” That gives you this screen

Or you can use the following method that requires a subscription. Hover on the “Publish” icon and click on “Publish to App Store (iOS),” and you get this window

What I’m trying to see if there’s another method or if the first way is enough for getting the proper file(s) so you can publish your iOS app.

Hello @wwfan,

I just wanted to let you know that when you fill out the required information in the “publish” as an iOS app window, Thunkable will automatically send that to your Apple Developer account and it will be waiting for you in your console. For more info on publishing an iOS app, please see the link below.

https://docs.thunkable.com/publish-to-app-store-ios

Please also note that to publish to the app store you need a Apple Developer Account, these are slightly pricy at $99/yr.

Best,
Ian

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Hi Ian, thanks for your comments. Can you please clarify what you mean by “in the ‘publish’ as an iOS app window”? I am only aware of the two methods that I outlined in my previous post. Were referring to either of the two methods that I had mentioned in my last reply? Thanks!

Hi there,

I am referring to the one where you go to the publish dropdown menu at the top and then hit Publish as an iOS app.

Best,
Ian

Hi Ian, thanks for the clarification! I am looking to use the non subscription based method to publish an app, but thank you for that info that you have generously provided! Do you know if the same thing that you’re saying would happen when going to “publish” your app would also happen when trying to download it instead?

Hello @wwfan,

No unfortunately, you can not publish to the App Store without paying the fee. If you download the app you will just be able to install it on your phone and you will not be able to distribute it.

For more information, see the link below.
https://docs.thunkable.com/download#download-and-install-ios-app

Best,
Ian

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Huh, that’s odd. So to be clear, if you select the downloading option, that will not give you the file(s) you need to upload to Apple’s servers so you can submit your app?

That is correct, selecting “Download” will generate the app only for your personal use.

But there must be some way to extract those files necessary for publishing? Right? After all, what’s the point of being able to build and even test an app only to have a paywall for enabling the ability to publish? If there actually isn’t, perhaps there is a way to export/extract your app project file(s) so that you can have the opportunity to do that on another platform.

The paywall is how Thunkable makes money. If you could publish your app for free not many people would pay for the service.

@wwfan - I just want to reiterate what Ian has already mentioned, but all Thunkable users can publish their apps to the App Store if they have an Apple Developer account.

@Dean_Artis, just to clarify in relation to your screenshot above, free users can no publish apps with PRO components to Android or iOS, but there is no restriction on App Store publishing in general.


Again, just to clarify here we do not (i.e. are not permitted to) send you a .ipa file. The email that you get allows you to install you app on your own device and is for testing only. The publishing wizard takes the necessary mobile provisioning profiles and digital certificates and sends everything directly to Apple where you then go through the same review process as anyone else who tries to publish to the App Store.


Again @wwfan , and I think Dean may have lead you astray somewhat here, there is no “paywall” on our side preventing any user from sending their app to the App Store. As others have mentioned, the app marketplaces themselves are walled-gardens so Google, Amazon, Apple etc ultimately have complete control over what gets published and how much it costs to access their market place.

One main advantage of paying for a Thunkable PRO subscription is that you can publish your project as a web app, instantly and without review. The app link can be shared to anyone you like and will work on both Android and iOS devices, no developer accounts needed!


Nope, we don’t have any prevent users with an Apple Developer account from publishing their projects. Let me know if you ever want a demo of Thunkable PRO @Dean_Artis - I’d be happy to arrange this for you.