10 Mobile App Development Tools (With Salient Features)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 November 2022

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Mobile application development tools help build, design, develop, test and launch a mobile app for different devices and operating systems. These tools are helpful for both novice and expert mobile app developers as they help improve development efficiency and app performance. Knowing about some popular development tools can help enhance your work and aid career development. In this article, we discuss the role and importance of mobile app development tools and list 10 popular ones to help you build better applications.

Related: Guide: How To Become A Mobile Application Tester (With Steps)

What Are Mobile App Development Tools?

Mobile app development tools are specialised software solutions that help create mobile applications. These tools help automate the process of adding different elements, buttons, screens, designs and functionalities by reducing the coding requirement. Specialised tools are available for designing, developing, testing, launching and optimising mobile applications. There are different types of popular mobile application development tools:

  • Native mobile development tools: These can help make applications specifically for one operating system and leverage the unique features of the system for maximum performance.

  • Open-source mobile development tools: These tools can help developers create applications using open-source code scripts and frameworks. Many open-source tools are available free of cost, although this may not be the case with every such tool.

  • Cross-platform mobile development tools: Such tools help create applications for different operating systems and platforms without developing separate code bases for each one.

Depending on the type of app and the tool used, you may require minimal to advanced coding knowledge. Most mobile application development tools have a simple interface that helps developers enhance the quality, features and performance of their apps.

Related: How Much Does An iOS Developer Make? (Skills And Duties)

Benefits Of Using Mobile App Development Tools

Here are some reasons why mobile developers use mobile app tools:

Higher efficiency

Mobile application tools help reduce the time and resources spent creating and testing an app. By automating processes and providing ready-made templates, code and designs, they help reduce the time of the app development cycle. Besides, as these tools help create applications for multiple platforms simultaneously and re-use code, they help companies develop, launch and migrate apps quickly.

API access

Cross-platform mobile app tools use application programming interfaces or APIs that help make the application suitable for different devices and operating systems. This ensures that the app performance and interface automatically get adjusted as per the device. It also reduces the time and resources that developers allocate to ensure optimisation and performance across different devices.

Easy integrations

Many mobile application development tools allow integrations and plug-ins with third-party services for sign-in, authentication and payment features. This makes it easy to add many features to the application without coding different elements individually. It is also easier to integrate cloud services and products using mobile development frameworks.

Open-source knowledge

Many mobile application tools are available at very low or no cost to developers. This is possible due to the availability of open-source code and data that helps make mobile app development extremely easy. People with minimal technical knowledge and coding experience can design, develop, test and launch a functional app using such tools.

Reduced cost

The cost of developing and testing a mobile application reduces significantly when using app development as compared to coding it entirely. This enables independent mobile app developers and small companies to create and launch apps without large teams or budgets. Reduced costs are a significant reason many app development companies and studios prefer using these tools to develop mobile applications on strict deadlines.

Related: Mobile Testing Interview Questions

10 Mobile App Development Tools And Their Uses

Here are some commonly-used mobile application development tools and their unique features:

1. React Native

React Native is an open-source mobile development tool by Meta that helps create applications for both Android and iOS based on JavaScript. You can make a new application or update an existing one using React Native with a single code base. It can also help make native applications that are usually faster and have better performance compared to hybrid apps. One of the most beneficial features of React Native is the quick prototyping and easy-to-use interface.

2. Android Studio

This Android-specific app development tool by Google allows developers to add complex features. You can create app layouts and designs quickly using Android Studio and access comprehensive resources to utilise different features effectively. Many Android app developers prefer using this tool as it offers enhanced stability, security and performance as it is Google's official integrated development environment. Android Studio has an intuitive layout, uses the drag-and-drop approach and offers many shortcuts that make it easy to use.

3. Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source framework by Microsoft that helps developers build mobile web apps for both Android and iOS. The most significant advantage of using Xamarin is that while you can build both Android and iOS apps simultaneously, they seem native to both platforms. By using C# and .NET, Xamarin allows users to create different versions of the same app using up to 90% of the same code. The Visual Studio tools in Xamarin help edit, refactor, debug and test code quickly.

4. XCode

Xcode is a free app development tool that can build mobile applications only for Apple products. It uses SwiftUI, which is a programming language specific to Apple's Cocoa and Cocoa Touch application environment. Designing, editing and changing applications are extremely easy with Xcode, as you can visualise the changes through live rendering while typing them in the UI code. By providing a unified workflow for different app development processes and devices, XCode makes it easy to create applications for iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple TVs and Apple Watches.

5. Sencha

Sencha is a cross-platform mobile app development platform with a JavaScript framework and uses techniques like Ajax, DOM scripting and DHTML to optimise application development for different platforms. Sencha is particularly helpful in building web application experiences and designs and includes powerful UI components such as Pivot Grid and D3 Adapter. Sencha allows users to build apps for smartphones, tablets and desktops.

6. BuildFire

BuildFire has a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to design Android and iOS applications. This JavaScript-based framework offers advanced development features, unlimited customization and open-source plug-ins. It offers more control to developers and has the flexibility to scale up as a company grows. The wide range of features, cost-effectiveness and ease of use are some of the major reasons why many developers are using BuildFire to make mobile applications.

7. Appcelerator

Appcelerator is a JavaScript-based tool that helps developers reduce the time to create mobile apps by simplifying cross-platform development and testing. Using a single code base for native and cloud-connected mobile apps, the tool offers more than 5,000 optimised APIs for different platforms. Appcelerator also offers real-time analytics that can provide valuable insights into user behavior and engagement. Although it may take some time for you to learn and use the tool effectively, once you know how to do it, you can develop a mobile application quickly with minimal or zero coding.

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8. Appypie

Appypie helps create feature-rich and advanced mobile applications for both iOS and Android without coding skills. The interface is user-friendly, and you can create a simple app quickly. With many templates and designs available, Appypie allows you to create a basic app layout and framework even before you sign up. Like other tools, you can add social media integrations, receive analytics reports and enable push notifications.

9. Alpha Anywhere

Alpha Anywhere is a database-oriented tool that comes with ‘no-code' and ‘low-code' components. With the Alpha TransForm no-code, you can create a functional mobile application from any form or web page. You can also add more functionaries using the built-in programming tools. The Alpha Anywhere low-code environments can help create advanced apps, integrate data and add complex features. You can use this tool offline as well.

10. Fliplet

Fliplet offers a drag-and-drop user interface to help non-technical users and developers create different types of apps. Many renowned companies use Fliplet to create apps instantly. If you opt for the paid version and license the tool, you can create as many apps as you want and use the many design templates and UI frameworks that the platform offers. Fliplet also offers robust customer support services and comprehensive resources.

Related: Top 10 Mobile Apps Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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