What Are the Top Mobile Development Tools?

Posted on July 12, 2018 | Updated on November 14, 2022

If you’re already developing mobile apps or thinking about creating something fresh and exciting, you’ll want an arsenal of mobile development tools to complete the job. While you can certainly code apps by hand or with older tools that take more time, why would you want to when there are easier — and faster — ways to get up and running?

There are approximately 178.1 billion apps downloaded annually and 3.8 million mobile apps available in Google Play. The easier app development becomes, the more apps get developed. If you want to stay competitive as a mobile developer, then you need to figure out how to get your product on the market before anyone else and release new apps on a regular basis.

Mobile development tools allow you to skip some of the basic steps and go right to the market with your idea. Get ahead of the competition by using tools that speed up the entire process and allow for better app delivery. Below are nine mobile development tools you have to try.

1. PhoneGap

If you’re looking for a free option, PhoneGap is an open-source software free of charge. It is a cross-platform development tool, allowing you to create an app for Android, Windows and iOS mobile. You can easily work in coding languages of CSS, JavaScript and HTML. The team who created PhoneGap is the same team that created Apache Cordova. With the PhoneGap service, you can upload your app in the cloud and get app-store ready apps to share with the world.

2. Xamarin

Xamarin is an environment where developers build iOS and Android apps. It’s one of the best solutions out there for cross-platform app development. One of the key benefits of building via the Xamarin Cloud service is the ability to test apps on hundreds of different devices at one time. This gives you the certainty of knowing your app will work for the widest range of users possible. Make sure to take their online classes, which teach users how to gain the biggest benefit from their platform.

3. Appcelerator

Appcelerator’s tagline is “build great mobile experiences faster.” If you’re looking for a quick way to get your apps on the market, then this is an excellent choice. Use their JavaScript codebase to build a new app. Probably one of the biggest benefits is their real-time mobile analytics, allowing you to ascertain how effective your apps are. The system helps you create apps for iOS, Blackberry, HTML5 and Android.

4. iFactr

If you have a mobile workforce, then consider using iFactr to build apps that allow those workers to stay in touch throughout the workday. The company offers in-depth training, but also states that anyone can learn to use their platform in just a few days. One of the biggest benefits of using iFactr is the ability to quickly create a prototype of an app you’d like your employees to try. This saves time because you can see if the app will work for your purposes or if you need to find another solution.

5. NativeScript

As an open source software, NativeScript allows you to create apps for free. It lets you create apps for iOS and Android devices with JavaScript. To effectively use NativeScript, you will need to understand command-line and how to work with a text editor to complete some basic coding. If you aren’t quite sure if you have the skills, the company offers extensive details on how to create an app using their software.

6. Kony

Due to the many options the software gives app developers, Kony is worth mentioning. Kony offers a wide range of mobile tools for developers. This includes the ability to use JavaScript from their library or import third-party libraries. The platform is easy to use, with simple drag and drop features. Deliver your app via a public cloud, hosted private cloud or on-premise storage. This allows you to create an app that is scalable if it suddenly takes off and thousands download it at one time.

7. Monocross

Monocross is another open source solution for cross-development. This program has a wide offering of possible coding languages, so if you know one language, you won’t necessarily have to learn a new one to code an app. You can create apps with .NET, C# and the Mono framework. Like many of the other app development tools, they offer documentation to walk you through the process.

8. Alpha Anywhere

Alpha Anywhere is another possible platform to develop apps. Not only can you build apps for most mobile platforms — iOS, Android and more — but Alpha Anywhere also allows you to build apps for PCs and Macs. Use JavaScript snippets or HTML5 to develop apps. Keep in mind that this is not a free platform. However, you’ll gain support for offline apps, allowing your mobile workforce to use an app without an Internet connection and in areas where mobile reception is poor.

9. EachScape

EachScape offers a very user-friendly, drag and drop environment for app building. The program is cloud-based, which allows you to do a web preview and receive mobile back-end services. Build iOS, Android and HTML5 apps. You can get started free, but if you choose to publish you get charged based on how many people download and use your app. This allows you to scale your app according to how popular it is.

Mobile Apps

These nine tools are a great place to start if you want to build mobile apps. However, there are many other tools out there. The best one depends on the functions you need and the types of tools you’d like to develop.

Whether you are a business owner and wish to give your employees apps to use in the field, or you have an idea for an app that the public would enjoy, you can get your app out quickly and efficiently using any number of platforms.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at www.eleanorhecks.com.

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