Top 8 Mobile Application Development Platforms [Ultimate Guide]

Choosing the right mobile application development platform can make the difference between getting a quality product or a lower one. And not only that, but a developer can find that their life becomes simpler depending on the choice they make, having a frustrating or fluid and agile experience according to the option they choose.

THE TOP 5 MOBILE APPLICATION PLATFORMS

Currently, there are very interesting tools to create mobile application software, which we analyze and compare. Here we present 8 of the most recommended mobile app development tools that can help you with your next project. Have a look!

1. Appcelerator Titanium

Appcelerator is one of the best mobile app development tools that provides complete mobile app development software with which you can create valid native applications for the three main operating systems: iOS, Android and Blackberry. The basic programming is done in JavaScript and the system is responsible for compiling or translating the programming automatically to the rest of the systems.

Advantages

  • The programming environment (interface) is characterized by being very clear and intuitive, so no programming knowledge is required.
  • Provides results at the same level as native applications in quality and performance.
  • It has the backing of a platform free code. Currently, more than two hundred million devices run applications created with Titanium and its community has almost 575,000 developers.
  • It offers multiple services in the cloud that allow managing all types of data and content: contacts, photos, videos, etc.
  • It provides the possibility of creating Apps interconnected with the software and certain hardware components of the devices, such as the micro, camera or GPS.
  • Furnishes the development of nodes that allow enriching applications with the latest technological advances, such as geolocation or augmented reality.

Disadvantages

  • With Appcelerator, it is complicated to design, since there is no initial HTML where to add the controls.
  • A part of the documentation and the tutorials are outdated.

2. Ionic

Ionic is an open source SDK that comes with JavaScript and CSS components by default. It is a good tool for cross-platform app development using web technologies such as SASS, HTML5, and CSS. Ionic Framework comes with more than 120 native device features, including Fingerprint Authentication, HealthKit, and Bluetooth. It also includes TypeScript extensions and Cordova / PhoneGap plugins.

Advantage:

  • Based on Angular
  • From a single source, we can reach the platforms supported by this framework (Android and iOS).
  • The main development is done in HTML along with CSS and JS, languages widely spread by the community of developers so that the implementation of this tool in the company will facilitate the development of projects in the most effective way even when the template of developers contain new additions.
  • Despite being relatively new, Ionic is able to support a giant framework such as AngularJS. This makes us consider how far they will be able to get, having in view to include other frameworks such as EmberJS or KnockOut for example.
  • If we already have a web app that we want to convert into a mobile application, in most cases we will have used JavaScript, so the code is reusable.
  • In the case of hybrid applications, we will have a single development and implementation process, an app for Android, iOS, and web.
  • Write the code once, run it on the platform you want.

Disadvantages:

  • The performance may be slightly lower than in applications developed natively, which should not be a problem unless the project is for the creation of games with detailed graphics or other applications that make use of large amounts of resources.
  • It is a “young” tool and it can be difficult to find modules shared by users, but, the community is growing by leaps and bounds and this inconvenience could soon cease to exist.
  • May have discrepancies between UI components you write and what is rendered on the native platform
  • It is not safe to work well on 100% of devices

3. React Native

React Native is based on React, the front-end framework created by Facebook and used on Facebook. React is Angular’s direct competitor to popularity, tutorials, and community. It is an excellent framework and very performative, as can be noticed using Facebook. In React, Native is no different, the applications developed with it do not present performance problems since they are native! React Native allows us to develop mobile applications with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The code is compiled into native code (Java, Object-C, Swift) delivering a native experience to the end user.

Advantages:

  • Has Facebook Behind
  • Based on React – Great community and tutorials spread across the internet
  • Apps with great performance on Android and iOS
  • Native experience for the end user
  • Maintenance of the code facilitated in more complex projects due to the organization of the same one
  • Native wheel, you write the UI components in React and they are compiled into native UI components

Disadvantages:

  • This mobile app builder is considered complex, i.e. harder to learn and get started
  • It is not hybrid. You need to rewrite the code for each platform
  • Write and keep different codes for the same app on iOS and Android

4. PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an open source mobile app builder widely known for the cross-platform development of applications. This system is used to create applications using exclusively HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, executed inside a WebKit component of the mobile. Web developers can use their knowledge of HTML and Javascript to start developing applications for mobile platforms, they also provide an add-on interface to allow a hybrid application if any native development is required which makes it a perfect tool for mobile application developers. The purpose of PhoneGap is to allow HTML-based web applications to be distributed and installed as native applications. It strives to offer a set of common native APIs, available for web applications, such as basic camera access, device contacts, and exposed sensors in the browser.

Advantages

  • It is the mobile app development tool that supports the most platforms.
  • Allows access to most features of the mobile such as GPS, accelerometer, camera, contacts, database or file system.
  • You can define the initial navigation through a browser such as Chrome or Firefox.
  • It has good documentation with many practical examples.
  • There are no modalities or prices, Adobe PhoneGap is free. Unless you want to access Adobe PhoneGap Build, the repository of apps from Adobe.

Disadvantages

  • Its use requires previous knowledge of HTML and JavaScript.
  • To work with each platform it is necessary to use a different system: Xcode in the case of Mac and Eclipse for Android.
  • Apps developed using PhoneGap don’t reach the levels of a native app in terms of quality and performance.

5. Flutter

A competitor of React Native is Flutter, developed by Google and launched in 2017.

Flutter is a cross-platform mobile development SDK (iOS and Android). Although it was released recently, Flutter has its own frameworks, tools, and widgets that make it easy to create interfaces for both platforms. Flutter is based on Dart, an object-oriented language also developed by Google, announced in 2011. Though it sounds bad to adopt a new language not widely used by the community, Dart closely resembles famous languages like JAVA, C #, and C ++, promising a small learning curve for programmers with some experience.

Advantages

  • Clean, clear and smooth documentation
  • Google support and strong community
  • The fastest development speed
  • Incredible native application performances
  • A wide range of expressive and flexible UI components
  • Status hot reload for faster change implementation
  • Accessibility of native SDKs and their resources
  • Modern, Enhanced and Flexible Approach to Coding
  • API support for 2D effects, animation, and gestures

Disadvantages

  • Although Dart is an easy-to-use programming language, Flutter requires Dart learning
  • Difficulties in component style as there is no use of JavaScript
  • Complex life cycle management compared to React Native
  • As it has been a year since the launch of Flutter, it is not mature as the React Native

6. jQuery Mobile

Part of the Open Source Software Freedom Conservancy project, jQuery Mobile is a good choice for organizations that need an open source, a cross-platform mobile development framework that will allow them to take advantage of jQuery’s capabilities. The framework offers the possibility of using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to build interactive mobile web pages for a wide range of smartphones, and can be used with PhoneGap to build hybrid mobile applications.

Advantages

  • Easy to use for users familiar with HTML programming.
  • It has very good documentation.

Disadvantages

  • The result is a Web App adapted for mobile devices, but it is far from achieving the results of a properly native APP.
  • It offers many functions, but difficult to customize.
  • The handling of CSS is too complex.

7. Appery.io

In the beginning, it was called Tiggzi, but it has been recently renamed. Appery is a cloud-based mobile application builder that allows you to create user interfaces for mobile applications, using open source technologies from other platforms such as JQuery Mobile or PhoneGap. Since the builder runs in the cloud, the developer does not require any installation on the local hard disk, and it’s easy to start working quickly.

Advantages

  • It allows you to easily build complete programming environments by dragging buttons and elements.
  • You can connect to any REST API and use it in your application, and immediately add a cloud database and back-end for your application if you need to store data.
  • Has the support for Apache Cordova to access the native functionalities of the different development platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
  • At all times, you can test the developed applications.

Disadvantages

The free version is quite basic, so if you want to develop an app with more features you have to buy its premium version.

8. iBuild App

iBuild app is a famous app development tool for non-programmers in which more than 1 million applications have been created and generated more than 30 million downloads. Although initially it only allowed programming apps for iOS, at the moment it is also possible to create applications in Android. Its system of predefined templates allows to create complex applications and with enough functionalities. Using this mobile app builder, you can incorporate a large number of functionalities into applications such as catalogs, e-commerce, coupons, reservations, calendars and events, and integration with social networks.

Advantages

  • It does not require just prior programming knowledge.
  • It provides data and statistics about the applications.
  • It has a good number of templates already developed, which makes the work much easier and more fluid.

Disadvantages

  • It is a paid platform unless you allow it to insert advertising in the application.
  • Although it allows PPPs to be equipped with a certain number of features, their possibilities are significantly lower than the more advanced platforms, such as Titanium.

These are the top 8 tools for mobile application development. Are you still confused about which tool to use and want further assistance? Worry not. Just hire Clustox and one of their experts will help you through your very important mobile application development project.

Which is the best mobile application development platform?

Here the answer is “depends”, yes, because according to the investment reality, term and scope of the application we can recommend one or another technology as best considering its characteristics.

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