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  • Created: Dec 16, 2022
  • 10 min read

What's Wrong with Popular App Clones and When You Need Custom App Development

What's Wrong with Popular App Clones and When You Need Custom App Development

Most of the confusion in the on-demand app development industry occurs when it comes to choosing between various stack options. There are two main alternatives: custom applications and app clones. As they are both appealing, choosing between them can be challenging.

According to estimates, the mobile app market will grow to over $935 billion in 2023. This is a huge opportunity for small businesses as it allows them to connect with their customers.

Due to the emergence of the on-demand economy, various techniques have been introduced to the app development industry. While some companies focus on creating applications for individual consumers, others have been able to disrupt the industry by developing knockoffs of established leaders.

So are you interested in developing an app similar to some of the popular apps like Uber, Netflix, Amazon? Check our article first to understand the benefits and potential risks of clone applications.

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What is a clone application?

After taking inspiration from existing online platforms, clone apps are built to make users familiar with them. These types of apps can also be used to meet the increasing demand in the market.

A clone app is a ready-made business solution that can be used to meet the specific requirements of your company. It comes with a pre-built code and architecture that can be modified to meet your requirements, and it can be done quickly and easily.

The scope of cloning goes beyond aesthetics. When two applications share the same code, they are considered clones, though the companies that own them are different. Cloning is different from reusing code since there are mobile apps that allow anyone to access their API libraries. An app that was created using a third-party API is not considered a clone if it has multiple versions. This is because its parent company would be the same for all of its versions.

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Benefits of clone applications

Benefits of clone applications

Cost saving

Unlike building an app from scratch, investing in a clone app development service is very affordable. This eliminates the need for businesses to spend a lot of money on the entire process, from the design to the development.

Tested solution

Since clone apps are imitations of famous brands, they are tested with multiple people at every stage. These include the developers, testers, and customers. Since there are already many apps in the market, entrepreneurs can use the clone app as a good security option.

Effortless

Before an app can be developed, it usually requires planning, execution, and market research. With a clone app, the initial work is done by the original developer, saving the developers time and effort. With a clone app, businesses can quickly deploy their services since it is a ready-made solution. In addition to the design and architecture, a company's name and logo are also included in the development process. Because of today's competitive environment, it can be considered as the best option for entrepreneurs.

Can be easy to maintain

If you purchase a clone script from an app cloning company, you are getting complete support, even after the sale. You can also request to extend the support period if needed. This makes maintaining your app incredibly easy.

Potential risks of clone applications

Low quality

The quality of the finished product is one of the biggest issues that businesses face when using clone app development. Quality depends on the company that you hire, as if they do not have experience with similar projects, their work may affect the result of your ready-made app.

Although some businesses that use clone scripts are successful, the quality of the code is not guaranteed. The owner of the cloned app is not in control of the quality of the app, as it is dependent on the white-label version of the app. Another issue that can occur is that the app stores reject low-quality apps, which can lead to huge losses for the owner.

Limited customization

One of the biggest disadvantages of using a clone app development is that it gives businesses little control over the app's design. They need to spend a lot of money to customize the app to meet their requirements. Clone apps limit the number of features that an app can offer, which can negatively affect the experience of its users. Because of this, customers are more likely to search for unique or tailored solutions which can quickly catch their attention.

For instance, if you are planning on adding advanced payment options, such as digital wallets and push-up notifications, the apps might not be useful. Before you decide to adopt a cloned script, make sure that the features are available in the app.

Restrictions for potential growth

Although the use of clone scripts is restricted to a certain number of users, one cannot be sure if a business will grow quickly enough to require the use of additional software. For instance, if a company has an exponential growth rate, it might not be possible to alter the architecture of the app in a cloned one. Also, the scalability of the app might be an issue if you decide to use a cloned script.

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What is custom app development?

Custom application development is a process that involves creating software that fits the needs of an organization's users. The various languages used in developing mobile apps are based on the users' preferences.

Unlike the traditional applications that other companies use, a custom application is designed for the specific needs of the original company. This type of application can be handled by full-stack development companies, which have the necessary access to it.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of custom applications.

Pros and cons of custom app development

Pros:

Pros of custom app development

Specific 

One of the biggest advantages of custom software development is its ability to create software that fits to your specific needs. This is very helpful when you have a unique set of requirements and want to customize the software. Moreover, a custom application is a type of software that focuses on the needs of an independent business. It differs from other types of applications since the details of the domains and industries are considered during the development process.

Updates and Control

When you choose a custom software that has been designed with the needs of a wide range of people in mind, it will likely be updated to meet these needs. You can decide when and how new features and updates will be implemented in the software. This allows you to keep up with the changes and ensure that your application is still functional. You can also work with the developers to implement fixes and other changes as needed. This ensures that your app can scale up. 

No additional licensing cost, and total ownership

Most off-the-shelf sites are hard to monetize due to the lack of ownership over the program. With custom app development, it won’t be an issue for your company. And remember that licensing fees can be significant.

Even better security measures

Because of how easy it is for hackers to find vulnerabilities in off-the-shelf software, they are always looking for new ways to attack their targets. With custom solutions, they embed special security measures into the code of their websites, which makes them harder to break into.

Additionally, your development team will have an alert system set up to notify you whenever someone tries to access your site.

Cons:

Although there are many advantages to using custom solutions, there are also some disadvantages that can be considered.

Cost 

One of the biggest disadvantages of using custom software is its higher cost compared to the off-the-shelf options. Although this may seem like a huge issue, the savings that you and your staff can make by implementing the customized software will quickly offset the costs.

Time

It can take a lot of expertise and time to determine the needs of your company and the requirements of the project for custom software development. So the development of custom software can take longer than the implementation of off-shelf solutions.

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Clone app vs. custom app development-which is better for your business?

Often customers who come to us think that:

1. Custom development only for large companies.

2. Clones of applications are made for less money and faster.

But each option has its pitfalls.

From our experience, we would like to emphasize the most important detail. Before coming to a decision, it is important to answer one question: What is a valid reason to create an absolute clone of an existing application? 

For example, customers want a clone of an app like Netflix.  It seems to them they understand what kind of service it is and what functions it should have. Behind the facade of such a huge app, there is always a huge amount of work, internal mechanisms that are not freely available, algorithms, and infrastructures. And you will never find all this information in the public domain. You can't just copy out a working business model with all the internal processes, technical stack, and operations inside the application. As a result, the development of a clone definitely will take longer.

Another pitfall is that the situation is much different for those who think a clone will help with marketing. On the contrary, it will take a lot of money. You will, in any case, have to win your place in a niche that is already occupied by more successful apps with a reputation, a name, and an established performance. And in fact, it comes out that it's also energy-consuming. Since the app doesn't have to be one-to-one, it has to be similar. And it is already a development from scratch or custom app development.  

On the other hand, custom development can be cheaper because the customer doesn't need all the features of a similar app, so there's no need to maintain them in the long run.

If you doubt what is better for you, a clone or custom development, contact our experts, and we will help you. We will find the best terms for you and provide the best expertise to meet your business needs and budget.

Bottom line

Clone app development is relatively easy to carry out, making it a viable option for many startups that are looking to bring their ideas to market. Compared to cloned applications, custom-developed ones are more important. These types of applications can help businesses improve their customer relations and efficiency.

But resort to cloning an application only if you have an answer to the question: Why do it? Are you ready to make concessions in quality and customization? Yes, launch time is at stake, which is advantageous for startups, but the time spent on a custom app makes more sense and benefits in the long run.

FAQ

If you are trying to copy an app or website using the same techniques, it is legal. However, it is important to note that the similarities between the two solutions might be due to their respective IPs, copyrights, and trademarks. 

Can any app be cloned?

In theory, any application can have a clone. Although the cloned app will still look similar, it might have different features.

What is Apple’s app store law about clone apps?

In 2016, Apple launched a process known as App Store Improvements, which involved removing apps that did not add value. The company has since removed millions of these apps from the store.

When the Wordle game became very popular, many developers released games that were similar to the original, which were misleading to the users. Apple removed several of these apps from the App Store. Before you start developing an app, make sure that you only use high-quality content and avoid using standardized templates.

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