Can you imagine that the iOS platform may somehow lose to the Android? No way, it’s unreal and may happen in the next 20 years or so. However, the statistics show the opposite.
According to the research from the past year, around 45% of all digital agencies prefer to implement both iOS and Android apps. While, if both of them are compared, the Android apps are utilized three times more often than the iOS apps. So that raises a good question: “What platform should you use? And what mobile app development tools should you use for it?”
To give you an answer we prepared this insightful article about various options that you have in the market space. So, let’s take a closer look at the best options that may have in your product development process.
What are mobile app development tools?
Mobile App Development Tools are the essential software pieces that are used to create a mobile application. They allow you to integrate and develop a whole range of different functionalities into your iOS, Android, or Hybrid app.
There are two main categories of tools for mobile app development that can be used to produce your software. Which are: native tools, and cross-platform tools.
- Native mobile development tools - These tools allow you to completely control your development process. You can utilize all capabilities from your mobile app and produce a high-quality product.
- Cross-platform mobile development tools – In contrast, cross-platform tools can cut your budgetary expenses and time, if you are looking for a fast development speed. However, the quality will be low compared to the native production and it may have lots of software bugs.
Depending on the current situation in your company headquarters, you may choose relevant tools according to your goals you want to accomplish. If you can’t afford to hire nor a local team, nor the IT outsource company, then consider going for no-code platforms. However, they will significantly limit your mobile app capabilities. On the other hand native platforms will allow you to produce efficient and user-friendly apps, available almost to everyone.
Apart from the other mobile app development processes we covered previously, in this article, we’ll cover the most notable mobile app development tools.
So keep your seats together, get your popcorn ready, and let’s review popular options for popular mobile app development tools.
Top Mobile App Development Tools Types
Native Mobile App Development Tools
Xcode is a mobile app development tool that Apple has developed to create iOS apps with a native programming language - Swift. The process of mobile app development is simplified with live rendering. As you can write your code and observe the changes that you make.
Developed and produced by Google, Android Studio is another wonderful free app development tool, used to build modern Android apps. Quick shortcuts, phone screen visualization, program rendering, all of that make it easy to use and to spend less time on coding. It provides drag-and-drop features allowing you to design the layout of your mobile app faster.
Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools
Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile app development tool. It can be used for both Android, iOS app development. All complex backend and frontend development is done via C# and.NET, integrated with the top APIs out there. It has many robust features, beneficial to software developers.
- Supports Type-Checking
- Uses PCL for backend interactions
- Works with mobile SDK to develop responsive mobile apps
- A solution suitable for most mobile app developers
Ionic is an easy framework that provides a fast prototyping process. It is mainly integrated with Angular, which makes this framework a flexible environment to build beautiful hybrid and simple web apps. More than that, it has an open-source toolkit for developing high-quality apps for a native mobile OS. And it is a free platform, so can try whether you’ll like it or not.
Onsen UI is a visual framework that has lots of UI elements (side menus, navbars, forms, etc.) to help your mobile app development process. Every dynamic animation and every component has been configured to be working on a wide range of mobile devices. The framework is easy to grasp, as there are lots of educational resources, tutorials, and documentation, which can answer most of your questions. And it is free!
No-Code Mobile App Development
Quickbase is a paid app builder that allows various business teams to create their app with no coding experience required. It has a huge variety of APIs, data integrations, web forms, unlimited reports, customizable home pages, and a lot of other benefits. And like any other no-code platform, there is, it is a pay-to-use one, which costs $500/per month.
Good Barber is a no-code native app builder capable of developing Android and iOS mobile apps. By utilizing most of the recent and modern app development methodologies, the platform is capable of creating advanced apps for any business industry. Additionally, Good Barber provides a free web version of your mobile application, apart from the Android and iOS versions you’ll be able to make.
Ninox is a cloud-based solution for creating custom-based database applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and web browsers. Every single aspect Ninox provides is both simple and customizable, you don’t have to worry about the creativity aspect. With the help of the visual formula editor, anyone can build any kind of app they want. It does cover such important app implementations as invoicing, CRMs, events, task &, meeting management, and more. The starting price begins with $8.33 per month and may go up, depending on the type of company you are running.
Factors for Choosing The Best Mobile App Development Tools
As you’re going to dive head-on into the app development, you’ll wonder: “How do I know which platform I should choose?”. Due to the huge variety of different tools for mobile app development, we compiled some hidden factors that you might want to listen. Because in any way, you’re going to be choosing the best mobile app development tool that will suit your needs.
Depending on the type of mobile application you want to create, the timeline, the costs, and the app complexity may vary. For example, to develop a common e-commerce hybrid app, you’ll need around 2 to 3 months at maximum. A health app need HIPAA guidelines, security policies, and a long testing of marketing campaigns may take 6 months of development or more. So the business field of your project affects some app factors that may play a significant role.
Publishing and Distribution
Your mobile platforms speak a lot about your business idea. Starting from the target market that you are aiming at the tools for mobile app development. When choosing the latter, you have to know how you can make your app public, accessible, and how it will attract your users. Do keep in mind that not all the mobile app development tools can and will support native or hybrid apps.
Besides, don’t forget about the publishing methods of your chosen platform. Some of them (like Apple guidelines) could be strict ones. That’s why you don’t want to mess up your development process, redo your application and end up with additional expenses or debts. Make sure that either your tech partner or you do possess knowledge about app publication and the right methods of doing it.
The price of your app development may vary depending on the several factors that both, directly and indirectly, impact your business product. Some include the development methodology, the architecture complexity, and the number of functionalities that you’re going to include in it. For example, if you want to create something simple it will be cheaper, than a project as big as another TikTok.
Don’t forget about the post expenses. Like maintenance, bug testing, new functionalities, app upgrades, server expenses much, subscription fees, and others. So try to assess your total cost, weigh down your app potential and compare your budget with your estimations.
App Builder Limitations
As we have illustrated some no-code platforms and the simplicity they provide, there is another side of their implementations. You see, while you are beginning to raise your app development from the ground, their platform will help you. However, as you will grow you might have some very awesome ideas that require a direct design or back-end changes. And this is a solid wall for your app development process. Think twice before you go on with the app builder platforms.
Another good point worth mentioning is your deadlines. Are you a small company that got sponsored by a group of venture investors and you have a limited time to accomplish your app? Or you are a stealth startup who is patiently and carefully developing a breakthrough app, awaiting the right moment of a strike? Think about your capabilities, weigh down your priorities and think about what you want to produce in the end. Depending on that, try to adjust your goals to the mobile app development tools you have in mind.
Each separate tool has its benefits, so you need to be careful while choosing the one that will benefit your business. It’s not a critical decision that could potentially change the entire flow of your product development. However, the earlier you will choose the most suitable option, the faster you’ll be able to continue with other important business tasks.
Don’t forget the other three essential elements that both compliment and assist your product development process. Which are the right business model, the modern UI prototype which can be create with proper UI/UX tools, and a talented dev team. Combined, they can produce a good amount of traction for your business. Therefore, pushing your early startup or young business company to a new level.