Mobile App Development Tools

Mobile App Development Tools

Mobile App Development Tools

Mobile App Development Tools

Having a mobile app for your business is becoming so important in an age where 95% of Indians own a mobile device.

Plus, in a world where you can build your app in mere minutes, you really have no excuse not to create one.

However, there are so many mobile app development tools out there today it can make your head spin. How do you know which one to use? How do you avoid paying too much for tools you simply don’t need? Do you need to become a developer to use them?

Don’t worry – We have you covered. In this post, we’ll give you a detailed description of the best mobile app development tools and which ones are right for you.

 

 

Mobile App Development Tools That Are Open Source

1.       BuildFire.js

BuildFire.js is a cross platform library used to build custom functionality in BuildFire’s platform. It allows unlimited customization with nothing but JavaScript, making it one of the simplest to implement frameworks. 

 

2.       Framework 7

Framework 7 used to be iOS only, but now offers Android support as well. If you want to develop an app that looks and feels like a clean iOS app even on Android, Framework 7 is for you.

 

3.       Ionic 

The Ionic Framework is based on the Sass CSS language. It’s also cross-platform, meaning it can run on multiple operating systems. It’s pretty easy to use and can also be integrated with AngularJS to build more advanced apps.

 

4.       jQuery mobile

Over half of all mobile websites are currently using jQuery mobile. It’s one of the oldest app dev tools out there, and has more functionality than most. It’s been called the “swiss army knife of mobile app dev tools”.

 

Cross Platform & Hybrid Mobile App Development Tools

1.       BuildFire

BuildFire is one of few high-performance do-it-yourself mobile app builders that supports Android and iOS phones as well as tablets. 

 

2.       Mobile Angular UI

Mobile angular UI is a free hybrid mobile app development tool which allows you to build HTML5 Mobile Apps with Bootstrap and Angular JS. It’s very similar to Sencha Touch and jQuery Mobile.

 

 

3.       Salesforce1

If you’re a Salesforce developer, Salesforce1 is for you. Regardless of your skill level, you should be able to find good options for building mobile apps based on your Salesforce site. It’s easily customizable with just a few clicks.

 

4.       Xamarin

Xamarin is a Microsoft-owned software company. With C# codebase, you can develop Android, iOS and Windows apps. One of Xamarin’s best features is that it allows code sharing in multiple platforms (aka cross platform mobile app development). Xamarin also has a cloud service, which allows you to test on any number of devices.

 

5.       Mag+

Mag+ is a nifty app SDK which allows developers to build on top of their core components, saving loads of hours of coding. They also have an iPad app which provides a fast and simple publishing platform for creating mobile-optimized content, no code required.

 

6.       Xojo

Xojo is an app development tool for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, x86 Linux, iOS, Raspberry Pi, and the web. They also allow you to create native apps and provide Xojo Cloud for easy, secure, and maintenance-free web app hosting.

 

7.       Corona Labs

Corona Labs supports all major platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows. While their app dev tool is specially made for building 2D graphics games and educational apps, it can also be used for developing other 2D apps.

 

8.       Cocos2D

Cocos2D is another 2D app builder that allows you to publish from a single code base to mobile, desktop, web, and console. You can also write in cocos2d-objc, cocos2d-x (which uses C++), cocos2d-JS (which uses JavaScript), cocos2d-XNA (which uses C#), cocos2d- swift (which uses objective C), and more.

 

9.       Unity

Unity is one of the most well-known game development platforms. You can use it to build high-quality 3D and 2D games, deploy them across multiple platforms, and even build AR/VR apps!

 

10.   GameSalad

GameSalad revolutionized learning through applied game development. You can craft your own mobile games with a drag and drop visual editor. It’s built to help graphic designers, animators, and game developers quickly prototype, build and self-publish cross-platform games and interactive media. 

 

11.   Cordova

Cordova allows you to write a single code base using HTML and JavaScript to be used to create apps for multiple platforms including: for Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Firefox, LG WebOS and FireOS. All from a single code base wrapped into an app container.

 

12.   Kendo UI

Kendo UI works in HTML5 or JavaScript, and is available in open-source or commercial versions (The commercial version starts at $999 one-time fee). The tool boasts tons of prebuilt themes with Material Design styling, as well as a theme builder for custom themes.

It also offers a wide selection of UI widgets and plugins, Angular and Bootstrap UI integrations, and performance optimizations. The only downfall is the complexity of the tool – it’s not quite as easy to learn as some of the others mentioned here.

 

13.   Appcelerator

Unlike others on this list, Appcelerator uses JavaScript to create native code, with claimed benefits in performance. It offers over 5,000 APIs for iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, and HTML5.

If you’re looking for performance and loads of features, Appcelerator is for you. It’s not the easiest tool to learn, but you’ll get plenty out of it once you do.

 

14.   Sencha Touch

Sencha is another mature platform available for free in open source or as a commercial version (which starts at $9,475 for 5 developers). With Sencha, you can prototype and develop, theme, code and debug, as well as test your web applications on any browser and on any device.

Sencha uses tools like Ext JS Stencils to enable native-like performance and make creating apps quick and easy. 

 

15.   React Native

React Native is a fairly new and emerging open source framework from Facebook that promises a “learn once, write everywhere” experience, using JavaScript as its main code. It enables quick prototyping and a very high initial velocity. Its basic features are also fairly easy to learn and implement.

It can also be extended with native code and native views. However, JavaScript code isn’t as efficient for calculation-intensive tasks and there’s an overhead when JavaScript is controlling native elements.

 

16.   Dropsource

Dropsource was built for developers to easily design, build, and launch iOS and Android apps right from the web browser. They use drag and drop features and allow you to connect apps with any RESTful API. They use automated programming to generate clean and concise source code for you.

 

Native Mobile App Development Tools

  1. Fastlane: It’s very useful to automate tasks. You set up a list of actions and anyone in your team can run these tasks from the console. It’s also very handy on CI because you can run these tasks and deploy the application directly from there.
  2. CocoaPods: It’s the most popular dependency manager on iOS. Most of iOS projects use it for fetching external dependencies and integrating them into their projects.
  3. Screenhero: You can do pair programming even being remote thanks to this tool. You can share the screen with another person and you’ll be able to control it with two cursors and keyboards.
  4. Sip: It’s a colour picker that integrates with MacOS on the status bar. If you want to get a colour and the representation in your favourite programming language you can just open the tool, click the colour, and you’ll get the values copied to the pasteboard.
  5. Zeplin: Very useful tool to use across designers and developers. Designers can share the designs with you by using this tool and developers can explore the designs online, get colours, fonts, sizes… without having to ask the designer.”

Rapid Mobile App Development Tools

1.       Alpha Anywhere

Alpha Anywhere is a database-oriented, RMAD tool that excels at creating hybrid mobile apps that work offline (allowing you to work on them on the go). It allows you to build good apps quickly, with strong performance and a native-like look and feel.

 

Mobile App Development Tools for Android

1.       Android Studio

Android Studio is Android’s official free IDE.

 

2.       Eclipse

Eclipse is a free open source Android developer tool and IDE. However, it also boasts an active forum and collaborative working groups to help you, should you encounter an issue you can’t fix.

 

3.       IntelliJDEA

IntelliJDEA’s goal is to make development an enjoyable experience. They have features like in-depth coding assistance, quick navigation, clever error analysis, and refactoring.

 

4.       Corona Labs

While mentioned above, I also placed Corona Labs here because it’s an excellent tool for developing Android apps and games.

 

Mobile App Development Tools with No Coding Required

1.       BuildFire 

BuildFire is a Web-based app creator that does not require knowledge of code. It targets iPhone, iPad, and Android applications.

BuildFire is free to build your app, you only pay when you publish to the app stores.

 

2.       EachScape

EachScape is a cloud-based drag-and-drop editor for creating native iOS and Android apps, as well as HTML5 Web apps.

EachScape is free to start, but you have to pay to publish.

 

Windows Mobile App Development Tools

1.       Xamarin

Xamarin, being owned by Microsoft, is perfect for developing windows mobile apps.

 

2.       Corona Labs

Corona Labs is also excellent for designing windows mobile apps, as mentioned above.

 

The Conclusion

There are more mobile app development tools out today than you can even count. They vary in price, complexity, usability, and a million other ways.

I hope you’ve found a great app development tool for your business somewhere in this guide. That said, sometimes developing an app – even using a simple drag-and-drop editor – can still be too time-consuming or too confusing.

If you don’t have the time or energy to build your app, don’t worry – we got you covered. You can contact us anytime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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