MobiLoud Canvas, a Simpler GoNative Alternative

Looking for a GoNative alternative? We’re going to compare the GoNative platform with our own, MobiLoud Canvas. The two are similar, but with important differences. They also have different ideal users. 

We’re going to take you through an overview of the two platforms, what both do, and the key differences. 

Ultimately, we’re going to argue that GoNative is solid for more hands-on, technical types that are looking for a “tool” – but Canvas has many advantages, especially if you want to make your life easier. Let’s get started.

MobiLoud vs GoNative – the context

MobiLoud and GoNative are both platforms for turning websites or web apps into iOS and Android apps. 

While GoNative is one platform, MobiLoud has three distinct app builder products. News is for WordPress-based digital publishers, Commerce is for WooCommerce stores, Canvas is for any website or web app. 

Canvas is the most similar to GoNative. So we’re going to focus on comparing that with GoNative in this article. 

Similarities between MobiLoud Canvas and GoNative

Let’s have a look at some of the ways in which GoNative and MobiLoud Canvas are similar. 

Both are a similar concept

Canvas and GoNative both work in a similar way. 

Unlike many app builder platforms, neither restrict you to pre-built templates. Both use a combination of web and native elements to create hybrid mobile apps. 

The apps are essentially your web platform, running inside a native “wrapper”. 

The wrapper functions like a dedicated browser that can be installed on the device. It is your website or web app, with native elements added to give a good user experience. 

Canvas turns any website or web app into mobile apps

The content is from the web, but the UI is native. In most cases, this is the best way to turn a website into a mobile app. 

It is superior to template-based app builders because you can recreate and reuse all your existing site functionality within the app, rather than being limited by a pre-built template. 

With both platforms, your apps will update automatically with changes you make on your site. 

Both share some key features

On the features side, GoNative and MobiLoud Canvas are similar in many ways. 

Both give you powerful features like push notifications, which are unlimited on all plans with Canvas and available for $200 with GoNative. 

Both give you native navigation and useful features like: location services, deep linking, custom splash screens and more.

There are differences in the features too, that we’ll look at below. 

Both are low risk. GoNative guarantees that your app will be approved by the App Store and Google Play. We also guarantee this, and will also refund you for any reason within 60 days if you aren’t happy with your apps.  

Differences between MobiLoud Canvas and GoNative

Now we’ve looked at some of the similarities between Canvas and GoNative, let’s have a look at the differences. 

Different Models

GoNative is an automated service. You put in a few details and add the URL of your site and it takes you straight into the builder. 

You don’t have any interaction with humans, and are thrown into building your app immediately. You’ll be able to get technical support if necessary, but in general it’s on you to make it happen. 

With MobiLoud it’s a little different. The process is still very fast, but there’s more of a human element.

It starts with a short demo call with one of our team. We explain the platform in depth, answer all your questions, and you sign up.

After that you configure the apps on our platform. The Canvas dashboard is simple, no-code, and for standard configurations you can do it easily yourself with no technical skills required. Of course, our team are on hand 24/7 to help you out with anything you need via email.

There’s also the option to join the majority of our customers in opting for Full Service, where we configure the apps for you.

GoNative is an automated tool. You’ll spend significant time configuring the apps on their platform. When you’re done though, you can push a button and the apps will be built in a few minutes. This is “faster” in a sense, one button push after the configuration and the apps will be built – but the configuration process itself is more challenging. We’ll speak more about this later.

With MobiLoud the configuration process will be easier. Then it takes up to 2 weeks for the apps to be built since there is more manual work on our end to prepare the apps for publishing. 

GoNative is more technical

In general, GoNative is more targeted at developers. While you do not need to be a professional coder to build an app with the platform, technical knowledge is advantageous.

Canvas is no-code, and a simple setup. If you do want to make some specific customizations, you can use our code editor to style the app with custom CSS. 

Canvas is more flexible and adaptable

Our code editor gives you a lot of flexibility. You can use it to style any element in the app with CSS, and have direct access to the JSON code that controls the app.

You’ll be able to control everything from our dashboard on the fly, and the apps will update automatically – whereas with GoNative you need to release a completely new version of the app any time you want to change anything in the configuration.

MobiLoud is more of a service

With GoNative it’s on you to build the apps, and some technical knowledge is required. Where GoNative is a tool for developers, MobiLoud Canvas is closer to a service for businesses. 

Canvas is perfect for turning any site into an app!

Our team will work alongside you to help configure the apps, and you’ll have easy access to us through email. 

In fact, most of our clients opt for our full service model, where our team handles the entire configuration and setup. 

Pricing 

MobiLoud Canvas and GoNative have different pricing structures. Which is more affordable depends on the level of service you require. Let’s have a look in more detail. 

Self-serve

As mentioned previously, GoNative can be fiddly for non-developers. If you are confident about using their platform – then the cost of a license is $790. 

This covers you only for using the platform, it does not cover any assistance from GoNative in configuration or publishing. 

MobiLoud Canvas also has a self-serve tier, starting at $80 per month (annually) with a $500 setup fee

The setup fee covers:

  • Extensive testing of the apps by our team
  • Generating all the necessary files, certificates and installation packages for App Store and Google Play submission
  • Submission to the App Stores, dealing with Apple and Google on your behalf
  • A guaranteed successful launch

GoNative also has a publishing service that covers similar ground and comes in at $650 – $150 more expensive than Canvas. 

It’s also worth noting that with GoNative, you pay extra for a lot of services that are included with Canvas as standard. Take push notifications for example. With GoNative you pay $200 for them – yet all Canvas plans come with unlimited push notifications straight out of the box. 

The pricing structure reflects the two different models, GoNative’s license is cheaper, but when it comes to service – MobiLoud does more, for less. This is even more obvious when it comes to full service – where Canvas is a far more affordable GoNative alternative.

Full Service

When it comes to configuring mobile apps on GoNative, it’ll take quite a lot of work. 

There are also other pieces that need to be prepared for a successful launch, including design assets like screenshots, icons, and splash screens. 

GoNative offers a full service package that includes configuration and design work. The cost is $4000. 

We offer a full service too, starting with a kick off meeting with our product manager and including:

  • Full configuration of the apps on our platform
  • Design of splash screens, icons, and App Store screenshots
  • Small customizations 

The price for the Canvas full service is $1350

Our full service is more comprehensive, including small customizations – and is more than 65% cheaper than GoNative.

This is a good illustration of the main difference between the platforms. MobiLoud Canvas is more of a service, GoNative is closer to a DIY tool. When it comes to service we do more, for less. 

You can read more about our pricing here.

WordPress sites 

Canvas works with any website or web app. So long as it is mobile responsive, you can make apps out of it with Canvas. Canvas has been used to build iOS and Android apps from sites based on Laravel, Bubble, Rails, Wix, Squarespace – and many more. 

That said, Canvas is particularly popular with WordPress sites – and it is more suitable for WordPress site owners than GoNative. Why? Because you can manage your apps straight from WordPress. 

Canvas integrates everything from WordPress, and works great with plugins like LearnDash!

Our Canvas plugin sits right in your admin panel – and you can use it to update the configuration of your apps on the fly, add custom code for customization, and send push notifications. 

With GoNative there is no specific WordPress integration, although it does work with WordPress sites in general. 

App Management

With both GoNative and MobiLoud Canvas, the mobile apps will automatically update with changes to your website. 

When it comes to updating or modifying the native elements of the app though – it is much more convenient with Canvas.

With GoNative – the apps are more “set” from the point that the platform creates them. To change anything the apps need to be rebuilt. The app configuration is contained within the app binary files themselves. The configuration that GoNative generates is “static”, whenever you want to change this you need to rebuild the app and issue an update.

This is a lot of work and effort for relatively small tweaks that you may wish to make. GoNative offers this as a possibility, on an unlimited basis (DIY) within the first three months, but after that you’ll need to be on a professional support plan. 

With Canvas you’ll have a dashboard that gives you full access to the settings and configuration of your apps – and you can change them any time you want for no extra cost. You don’t need to rebuild or relaunch anything, it updates in real-time. It’s much more convenient and flexible long term.

Canvas is Lower Risk

There are no long term contracts on either platform, and both guarantee approval on the App Store and Google Play. 

There are differences too though. 

GoNative has a 30-day refund policy if you are not happy with your app. MobiLoud Canvas has a 60-day policy, during which we’ll give you a full refund for whatever reason. 

Given the fact that the MobiLoud team is more involved in the app build, and the guarantee period is twice as long, we can safely conclude that MobiLoud Canvas is lower risk. 

MobiLoud Canvas = Better Service

GoNative do not put themselves under much obligation in terms of support, stating on the website that they “do their best” to get back to support emails. This is the nature of their model, they are selling software – not a service. 

If you want to get priority support, and have their team on hand to help you proactively, you’ll need to pay for the professional support plan – which may cancel out any initial savings you make with GoNative. 

MobiLoud’s support is different. Every app project is managed by our team – and we take responsibility for them running smoothly. We’re available 24/7 with personalized, fast support via email or Zoom if need be. You’ll know our team by name and see us as your mobile app partners. 

Why Canvas is a great GoNative alternative

Canvas is a superior GoNative alternative for many businesses. Let’s review the reasons why:

  • Canvas has much more proactive service and support
  • Canvas does more for you at a lower cost
  • Canvas is lower risk
  • Canvas gives you more control over your apps, letting you update them on the go

GoNative is great for developers who want to build a project or an MVP – but Canvas is for businesses that want their apps handled for them, and flexibility in managing it in the future.  

Full service is much more affordable, you’ll know our team members personally, and the responsibility for the apps is on us – not you. 

If you want a service, and a team of experts to guarantee the smooth launch and running of your apps – with minimal work on your end – it’s the clear winner. 

Ready to start building apps with Canvas? 

The best way to start the journey is by booking a demo call with one of our app experts. They will explain the platform to you in depth, answer all your questions – and if we’re a good fit we can begin the process (and launch in 2 weeks)!

Book a free demo today!

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