Frequently asked questions


What is

down arrow is the next gen app development platform for every idea and company on the planet. Instead of managing developers, learning a low-code/no-code platform, or hunting for freelancers – you just order the app you need and we build it for you.

What is Builder Studio?

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Builder Studio is an app building platform.

You don’t need any technical skills to use it, just an idea.

It’s based on Building Blocks – our library of over 500 features (things like Login, Shopping Cart or Push Notifications) that stack together like Lego.
Unlike other app builders, we can customise these features any way you like. And we can build any other features you want. So it’s flexible and, because you don’t start from scratch, it’s faster.

This simple idea is why Fast Company voted us as one of the top 3 ‘Most Innovative’ companies in AI - 2023.

What is Studio Store?

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Studio Store offers pre-packaged apps for different small businesses.

You get all the app features you need, web, iOS & Android apps, maintenance and hosting for 1 low monthly payment (after 24 months, you own the code too). These apps won a CogX award because they get businesses online fast – apps are delivered in as little as 2 weeks.

We’ll set up all the integrations you want for SMS, payment & delivery providers. There’s no revenue share. You keep your profits (you’ll have to pay fees to your credit card provider but we don’t take a cut!).

You also get step-by-step support to set up, manage and grow your business. If you need extra features as you grow, you can add any you like, via Builder Studio.

What is Studio Rapid?

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Studio Rapid lets enterprise teams create industrial-grade applications – faster than any other platform.

Your in-house designers can create beautiful screens in our drag and drop app builder. These are automatically turned into frontend code. API mapping integrates this code with your existing systems. It’s 100% secure.

What is Builder Now?

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Builder Now is our prototyping tool. You can click through the screens of your app idea and see how they'll work together before any coding takes place.

You can edit how it flows, looks and feels. Once you’re happy with the prototype you can download and share it with investors, internal stakeholders or customers. We offer a free version, or in 5 days you can get a designer to create the screens for your custom prototype. Spotting improvements early could save you a huge amount of development time (and money).

What is Builder Cloud?

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Builder Cloud offers the cloud you need to run your app (or your business) from all the big providers at discounted rates. We get you better rates because we’re a Microsoft Tier 1 Direct Gold Partner and AWS Advanced Consulting & DevOps Partner.

Our cloud experts can help you with everything from migrating to the cloud to optimising your infrastructure. You can also use our AI to make sure you only pay for the cloud you need (it predicts your needs and switches off resources you’re not using).

What is Studio One?

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Studio One is a suite of tools and services that are included for 1 year when you build an app with us. It gives you 24/7 uptime & performance monitoring, collaboration tools, security patches and bug fixes. Updating the app you’re building – to maximise your investment.


How much does a mobile app prototype cost?

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You can create one with us for free right now (and we’ll give you a free prototype of your app after your spec call so you can see exactly what you’re about to buy). But if you want screens designed especially for your app by a designer and to have more control over the prototype, you can commission your own. This is more useful if you’re looking to secure app funding or get customer feedback, as it’s closer to what you’ll be building. We offer these custom prototypes from £1,900.

How long does it take to make a prototype?

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A simple prototype can take as little as a few minutes to create, while our high-fidelity, custom prototypes take several days.

How much does it cost to build an app?

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App development cost is usually a minefield, with apps ranging anywhere from thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how complex your app is, who develops it, your timeline and many other factors.

These costs can spiral but that didn’t seem fair. So our prices work differently. Small businesses often need to do similar things: sell online, book appointments, make reservations. So we offer cheaper, pre-packaged Studio Store apps – that solve these brilliantly.

If you’re doing something new, on a bigger scale, or need more flexibility, then Builder Studio is for you. Prices vary depending on the features you need but again, you’ll know exactly what you’re paying upfront.

You can find out more about our pricing here on our pricing page.

How much does it cost to build an ecommerce app?

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Lots of factors will affect your price: how complex your app is, who builds it, what you need it to do, where your development team is based and whether you want web, iOS or Android apps.

Other costs to bear in mind: hosting your app, maintenance, updates, and third-party integrations (you’ll need these to take payments and offer online delivery).

While you do your research, see if Studio Store suits you, the Starter Plan is £75 a month for 24 months and it includes a lot of these extra costs, so it’s easier to get a complete price upfront.

Does it cost money to put an app on the App Store?

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Yes and the prices for the most popular mobile app stores vary. To list your app on Google Play Store, the largest Android app store, costs a one-time fee of $25. To get your app onto Apple’s App Store costs a $99 annual fee.

Service fees Both charge 30% on apps and in-app purchases. This drops to 15% after your first year and if you earn less than $1M.

But that’s only digital goods and services, not physical ones (so you won’t have to pay if people order food on your app, for example).

How much does it cost to publish an app on the app store?

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Yes and the prices for the most popular mobile app stores vary. To list your app on Google Play Store, the largest Android app store, costs a one-time fee of $25. To get your app onto Apple’s App Store costs a $99 annual fee.

Service fees Both charge 30% on apps and in-app purchases. This drops to 15% after your first year and if you earn less than $1M.

But that’s only digital goods and services, not physical ones (so you won’t have to pay if people order food on your app, for example).

Can you create an app for free?

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Technically yes, but that doesn't mean you should. That's because the functionality and usability of any app you get for free will be seriously compromised. Alternatively, you can create basic apps that perform functional business tasks for a very low cost through platforms like Google Appsheet. Think an IT ticketing system, a survey maker or a project tracker. Meanwhile, if you create an app from scratch, you can keep costs to an absolute minimum. That said, you'll need advanced coding skills to attempt this.

What happens after 24 months with Studio store apps?

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Once you’ve paid for your app, you own the code. Your website, iOS and Android apps are yours – host them anywhere you like. Rebuild them. It’s up to you.

Unlike many other app builders, you’re not locked into our platform. If you leave, you don’t have to start all over again – you can walk away with your app.

We can carry on providing discounted hosting and maintenance (but that’s up to you).

Is there a free trial?

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Although we don't offer a free trial, you can use our prototyping service Builder Now to get a sense of the look, feel and flow of your app. Alternatively, you can speak with our team who'll give you a demo of our platform based on your app idea or business problem.

App development time

When should small businesses build an app?

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"Small businesses tend to build apps to start generating online revenue, when they’re looking to scale their processes, or to become more efficient through automation. Or simply to help them reach a wider audience and build loyalty with existing customers.

How long does it take to get my apps built?

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A more complex app takes longer to build. Our fastest apps are Studio Store, these are pre-packaged apps for different small businesses. You can customise your branding but not which features you get – and they’re delivered in as little as 2 weeks.

An enterprise app that needs to do new complex things and integrate with legacy systems will obviously take much longer. Most of our customers are somewhere in between.

But unlike most other app builders, you don’t have to cross your fingers about timings. We use AI (who uses every app feature we’ve ever built to spot patterns) to get you an accurate timeline, before you start.


What is a critical issue? What’s the standard response and resolution time for them?

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Critical issues affect the working of your app (like a service down emergency) so naturally, they’re time sensitive and need sorting asap. Luckily all our apps come with 1 year of Studio One, which proactively finds and resolves these kinds of issues.

Included in your app price is a commitment to a 4-hour response and 8-hour resolution time. Upgrading to a Studio One+ plan gives you a priority response. That’s a 2-hour response time and 4-hour resolution commitment.

What are the channels available to a user to flag concerns?

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Let us know about any issues on our website, over chat or email.

Can you help with provisioning – for the cloud I need to run my app?

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Yes, we take care of cloud provisioning. So you can access all the cloud services you’ll need for users to enjoy your app.

We’re a Microsoft Tier 1 Direct Gold Partner and AWS Advanced Consulting & DevOps Partner – quite a mouthful but what it means is our experts can help you with every technical cloud question you have.

You’ll be able to use our AI services to ensure you’re not wasting money on cloud you don’t need. Our AI can predict how much you’re likely to need each month too.

Does Studio One support third-party API/SDK updates?

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Yes, third-party API/SDK updates are included for all standard features. So if, for example, Facebook changed their login, instead of your app falling over, we’d make sure your users could log into your app before, during and after this change. If you’ve added custom features as part of your original Buildcard, these will be covered too.

Do you offer scheduled system maintenance for infrastructure running my app/website?

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Everyone gets 24/7 for uptime and performance monitoring – this gives you immediate support for crashes. Upgrade to Studio One+ plan or our Enterprise plans and you’ll also get Infrastructure and application performance monitoring (APM).

Custom features

Personalisation vs custom app – what's the difference?

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In app development, personalised and custom are 2 different things. Simple and affordable apps allow you to personalise them with your branding, inventory and product descriptions. But you have limited control over how the features work and which features you can add.

Custom apps give you total control over how your app works. This also means you can offer each user a more personalised experience. For example, you could add our Recommendation Engine feature, this allows your app to suggest products customers are likely to want, based on their behaviour.

Can I customise my Builder Studio app?

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You’ve got complete freedom to customise a Builder Studio app. It works 2 ways. We have a library of over 500 features and you can customise these any way you like. And if you want something that’s not in our library, we can create any custom features you need too.

Can I customise my Studio Store app?

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In Studio Store, you can personalise your pre-packaged app by adding your branding, inventory and product descriptions. While you absolutely can add custom features, these are not included in your original price.

How to build

How can I create my own app?

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You can use an online app builder, development agency or freelancer – or you could try and code it yourself.

We’ve created this guide: How to create an app from scratch

You could skip this and just have a quick chat to us. Explain what you want your app to do and who its target audience is and we can project manage everything for you. "

How do you make a prototype for a mobile app?

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Builder Now is an easy way to create your clickable app prototype, you don’t need any tech skills and a simple app can be done in 10 minutes. For something more bespoke, our tailor-made prototypes are ready in 5 days and your screens are created by a professional designer. You can download and share your prototype and let customers, clients, your team or investors click through your future app – and improve it!

Is it hard to create an app?

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Not anymore! Our founder found it really difficult to get an app built so he decided to change the way apps are built. All you do is explain your idea. We’ll help you pick an existing app template to use as a base. Then you add or remove extra features (things like login, push notifications or shopping cart). We’ve already coded these and they work together, like a Lego set. Once you’re happy with what you’ve ordered, our network of designers and developers customise all your features for your own unique app.

There’s no learning curve, no coding and no hassle – you’ll get an expert who’ll manage everything from that first call to a successful delivery.

How can I create an app without coding?

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App builders help you create an app without coding. However, most app builders use drag and drop templates – so although they’re faster and cheaper than traditional developers, you can’t customise them very much. Builder Studio is different. You get the ease of no-code app builders and flexibility to add as much customisation as you need to make the app uniquely yours (just without the massive price tag)

How do I start an app business?

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First up, research – find a gap in the market or a way your app business can offer something better for your potential customers. Try our free prototyping tool to see how your idea might work and get feedback from friends, potential customers and investors. Then choose your app development team – we’d obviously suggest but whoever you choose make sure you get exactly what’s going to be delivered, how long it’ll take and how much it’ll cost, nailed down before your start (our prices are guaranteed, upfront).

We’ve put together some handy guides to help you:

How to create an app from scratch: the exhaustive 11 step guide

How to increase app downloads (23 tips for world domination)

Starting an online business - PSCM method

How do I build an ecommerce mobile app?

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You've a wide range of options from listing on online marketplaces to going to a software development agency or freelancer, you'll also find online app builders that let you drag and drop to create an ecommerce app. While you're researching, check out our award-winning Studio Store ecommerce app. It’s a package of 44 essential ecommerce features (things like filtered search, shopping cart, payment gateways and notifications) but it also includes app maintenance and hosting too. It’s like a digital pop up shop.

Who is

We are on a mission to unlock everyone’s potential with the power of software! Our combined approach of AI, automation and talented humans means that your background, tech knowledge or budget will never hold you back.

Learn more about us

Want to start your app project with us?

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