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What Are The Top Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tools?

April 4, 2017
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What Are The Top Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tools?

Cross-platform mobile app development approach abides by the concept of Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) that simply means you write a single code which has ability to run on multiple platforms. This is just a perfect way to create mobile apps for businesses which have little time or fund to spend over multiple platform-versions of a single app.

Cross-platform apps are based on a code-base with the attribute of reusability. There are a number of tools available in the market which let mobile developers easily design, develop and implement cross-platform applications. Here are the 7 best of them. They can be used to build apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS mobile platforms.

  1. PhoneGap

Every mobile app developer is aware of the worth of PhoneGap. It has emerged as one of the most popular cross-platform tools which leverages on existing web technologies. The PhoneGap best suits for those mobile apps which do not substantially depend on the native features of phones. With this framework developers are able to package an app within a native container which lets JavaScript access device-level APIs as similar as a normal app does.

Pros:

  • It is a perfect tool to develop hybrid apps based on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.
  • The single code-base can be used to implement an app for multiple-platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Firebox Os and more.
  • Its plug-in-able architecture has access to device’s native APIs. There are other modular ways to extend an app accessing more features.
  • Also, PhoneGap allows making an app with in-app purchase and payments and these transactions can happen via stores.

Cons: The biggest disadvantage of choosing PhoneGap is its poor performance for graphic-intensive apps.   There is no short of plug-ins to fulfill your requirements but often them they are seen outdated and unsupported on all targeted platforms.

  1. Appcelerator

Appcelerator is another good tool allowing developers to build multiple platform-versions of an app just by deploying single JavaScript code-base. The web content is provided in a native app to make sure that the code isn’t wrapped around web container as many available solutions do.

Pros:

  • It’s a perfect tool for quick app development. Developers can prototype in lesser time and efforts.
  • Its scheme-less data store known as ArrowDB that allows developers implementing data models with zero setup-efforts.
  • If there are existing delivery systems like SCM and MDM, Appcelerator can provide seamless integration to them too.
  • It comes with some pre-built connectors for MS SQL, Azure, Salesforce, MongoDB, Box and several others.

Cons: Appcelerator is complained for being too much buggy and apps created using it are also experienced to be laggy. Also there isn’t responsive support available for its developer community.

  1. Xamarin

Xamarin uses the single code base of C# for multiple platform-versions of an app. The language C# has all the capabilities for which developers use Objective-C, Swift and Java. Also, Xamarin allows the same IDE language and APIs everywhere. Furthermore, Git integration is built directly into the Xamarin Studio.

Pros:

  • Xamarin comes with various sample apps which help developers rapidly start with a project.
  • Xamarin also allows sharing nearly 75% of developed code across all major mobile platforms. This feature of the tool decreases the cost and lets developers quickly launch an app in market.
  • It provides functionality testing and quality assurance for numerous devices to ensure seamless integration (and even offers its own Android emulator).

Cons:  Xamarin is good tool but it does not allow developers using a number of open-source libraries for iOS and Android app development due to compatibility issues. The free version comes with limited number of features.

  1. Sencha Touch

Sentcha Touch is another popular cross-platform mobile app development framework. It can be used to develop such apps which make use of hardware acceleration techniques. Sencha Touch also allows developers adding quality to an app with using well-tested, tightly integrated UI components and libraries. Sencha Touch can even be applied at large business app development projects.

Pros:

  • It comes with built-in-native like themes for almost all major platforms
  • It can be used to create apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and more
  • It comes with an agnostic backend data package for working with data sources
  • It also has supports to PhoneGap/Cordova integration for native API access and packaging

Cons: Although the tool offers native-like themes but they are available in limited numbers.  Also, it’s difficult to understand it commercial licensing.

  1. Monocross

If you need creating beautiful apps for the smartphones and tablets running  on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Webkit-enabled devices, then nothing is better than Monocross. The platform is based on C#, Microsoft.net and the Mono framework as well as allows developers to build app supporting multiple platforms.

Pros:

  • With Monocross, developers have access to the full power of device’s native APIs even while coding in C#
  • When there is need of deploying an app with best security features, Monocross gives access to several APIs to do that
  • Developers only need to know C# and .Net to use Monocross for mobile app development

Cons: There is shortage of documentation, resources and support for Monocross. This is why using this framework isn’t easier.

  1. Codename One

Codename One is also a widely used tool for cross-platform mobile app development. Codename One is a simple platform for rapidly developing apps with deep integration and highest possible native speed. The app in this tool is created in java.

Pros:

  • Codename One provides supports to all popular IDEs like NetBeans, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA and more
  • Based on a lightweight architecture to allow UI seamlessly supporting across all platforms
  • With build servers developers do not need Mac for iOS app, Windows PC for Windows apps and so on.
  • It also uses ParparVM which provides full compatibility for the future versions of iOS

Cons: The default visual themes are quite primitive and graphical UI builder may not also be suitable for large app projects.

  1. Kony Mobile Platform

Kony Mobile Platform is an integrated, cross-platform development tool for mobile apps. It can be used to develop universal apps. Top features include automatic coding, app preview, API connections and lot more.

Pros:

  • It has several pre-built apps which help developers rapidly start a project
  • It comes with unified mobile infrastructure services to support backend systems
  • The visualiser acts as front-end  to its powerful multi-channel JavaScript APIs

Cons: When compared to other platform, there is no rich documentation and enough support available for Kony Mobility Platform.

Author Bio:-

Sofia Coppal is the Digital marketing head of Rapidsoft technologies  – one of the top Indian IT services provider company, offers a wide range of mobile and web application as well as website development services to clients from diverse industry verticals. She works in an iPhone application development company. Contact him if you’re looking for an expert Mobile App Developer.

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