We asked anyPlant founder, Paul Wilson, about building an app that enables users to search for "any plant" and organize plants by information. Paul always wanted to create apps, but the idea of building something from scratch with code was intimidating. He chose Bubble because the no-code platform offers almost all of the customization options, features, and resources to build any app.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
So, I suppose the main reason for putting this app together was because both myself and the other half have a bit of a passion for plants really. I thought it would be a nice side project to come up with some sort of app that would allow you to search for "any plant" and then see a variety of images and information whilst also having functionality to do more advanced searches, saving plants into your own groups etc. Actually, we were hoping it might prove to be a useful tool for gardeners or students alike where they could create their own groups, maybe by soil types, colours, height etc all to help with planning.
How does your app work?
The interface is designed to be as simple as possible, so from a users perspective there's a clear search box to start with or if they want to, they can take a picture of a plant using their camera and the app will then attempt to identify that plant and return a list of successful matches based on the image they uploaded. It does this via the https://plant.id service which is a paid for service.
It has a Profile section that each user can access, it also includes a Forum (similar to the bubble forum) which has a variety of categories to choose from before posting any topics they wish to discuss. Admin members have access to a "sticky" category which are effectively read-only posts where no one can comment on. There's also a Groups section which will allow you to view all your saved plants in one place, add them to custom groups, move them around etc. There's plenty of scope to add more features in the future, but for the time being I was hoping to see the numbers on the hit counter go up a bit more or get some feedback in the forum section first. None such luck yet though, it's all very quiet!
The app's datasource comes via a number of API requests which point towards https://trefle.io, hosted by a chap over in France I believe. This is a database purely dedicated to plants and it's growing all the time. Sometimes the data isn't always available but I've been in constant contact with the developer and he's made a number of improvements to his API whilst I was creating the app.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
I've been using Bubble for a few years now, I forget exactly how I found you, probably through Google I should imagine as I've always wanted to create apps but it's tricky business building something from scratch all from code, so it just makes sense to use a service like you guys host as web apps pretty much run on anything these days. I would never move from Bubble to be honest, your platform is just too good and if you can think of it, chances are it can be done through Bubble in some way or other.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
I enjoy using Bubble and get great satisfaction when creating apps or anything on the platform really, even helping people through the forum is a pleasure. I've started using the plugin builder more recently though and I think going forward I may end up creating a few plugins for the community. I haven't really successfully created any apps which would help generate any source of viable income so since I work within a software development company anyway, I may see what I can come up with down that path at least until I think of my next app idea anyway.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
anyPlant is probably my most favourable app I have right now (not that I have many) and if I'm lucky enough to start seeing people use it then I shall certainly start spending more time on it, adding new features and improving the interface.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.