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9 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

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9 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

Learn about some of the most popular tools and frameworks for developing cross-platform mobile applications, like Xamarin and NativeScript, and their pros and cons.

· Mobile Zone
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Mobile applications are no longer a luxury, but have become a necessity of day to day life. One of the biggest challenges that app developers faced before was creating applications that work well on multiple platforms. Not anymore; here we are sharing the top 9 cross-platform mobile app development tools that will help in designing cutting edge and productive apps in a short duration of time.

The latest app code supports the concept of write once, run anywhere (WORA). The developer writes code once on one platform, and runs it on multiple platforms. The purpose of such tools is to save time and effort on the part of the developer. Developers can reuse the code and can design apps that can work efficiently on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and many more.

9. Codename One

This cross-device platform helps in developing industry-based applications. The platform supports rapid application development. The developer can write code in Java and the application will be tested and verified with Codename One’s simulator devices and test automation tools. The framework supports popular IDEs like NetBeans, Eclipse, and IntelliJ IDEA. The most interesting feature about its build server is that the developer can build native iOS apps as well as native Windows apps without a Mac machine or Windows PC. The platform is recommended for developing iOS apps.

Cons: Codename's graphic UI does not match the requirements of large projects and its visual themes are not updated. Another major flaw is that all the event handlers are stored in a single file, which makes the development part more cumbersome.

8. PhoneGap

This open-source platform can make building cross-platform apps a lot easier. The tool works best for mobile applications that do not rely on the device’s native features for performance. A product of Adobe, one can use it to translate code from HTMT5, CSS, and JavaScript. The PhoneGap platform allows the developer to design app for platforms like iPhone, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry. This free resource is high in demand among developers due to its features and support that it offers.

Cons: The only limitation in this tool is it is not suitable for graphics-intensive apps.

7. Appcelerator

This tool makes it possible for coders to create cross-platform apps with speed. The tool deploys a JavaScript codebase. The plus point of this tool is it is extensible and open. The developer can create apps for platforms like iOS, Android, and BlackBerry; it even supports HTML5 and hybrid apps. The Appcelerator tool has an open-source SDK and supports more than 5,000 devices and OS APIs, Eclipse-based IDE Studio, and the MVC framework Alloy.

Cons: The only disadvantage that we have come across so far about the tool is its support team, especially the developer community, is slow in response.

6. Sencha Touch

The Sencha Touch platform is an ideal choice for a cross-platform mobile app framework. The framework allows developers to build cutting-edge apps

Cons: The native looking themes are limited. The commercial licensing feature is not easy to comprehend.

5. Monocross

If you want to build interactive and interesting apps for smartphones and tablets, then Monocross is the framework is for you. This open source, cross-platform framework supports C#, Microsoft, .NET, and the Mono framework. What makes this tool interesting is that it gives the developer full access to the native device APIs while still coding in C#.

Cons: The document and support for the Monocross framework are few in number on the internet, so developers may find themselves in a tricky situation while developing the app, as they don’t have enough resources to learn about the framework.

4. Kony Mobile Platform

Here comes the platform that is laced with features like automatic coding, app preview facility, and API connection, along with other various surprising features. This Kony Mobile Platform lets developers build multi-platform mobile applications. It has pre-built apps that make it easier for novices to develop an app easily.

Cons: The scarcity of documentation and resource support can create a peculiar situation for developers.

3. NativeScript

Here is another wonderful open source platform for building cross-platform compatible mobile apps. The framework provides native APIs in JavaScript. Developers can easily reuse the available plug-in npm directly in NativeScript projects. It provides support for Angular.js 2 and TypeScript.

Cons: The resources are not extensive; one may not find useful examples and documentation on each of its features.

2. RhoMobile

The RhoMobile framework offers application tools to developers for developing multi-platform, native mobile and enterprise applications.

RhoStudio comes along with a free Eclipse plug-in; it allows developers to generate, develop, debug, and test applications, even in the absence of other hardware or an emulator. Here, a developer can easily access an offline data with Rho Connects.

Cons: One of the biggest disadvantages with RhoMobile is Its RhoElements RFID plug-in is not freely available for Windows Mobile/CE.

And number one is:

1. Xamarin

Xamarin has made it possible for the developers to design native apps for multiple platforms using only C# code base. The tool allows developers to use the same IDE, language, and APIs everywhere. Xamarin cross-platform development has been adopted by big names like Microsoft, Foursquare, IBM, and Dow Jones. If a developer wants to use Ruby or C#, then it is one of the most suitable development platforms for them. Xamarin platform allows the developer to share code, which means an app can be created in less time and at decreased cost.

Cons: The free version of Xamarin offers limited features and it does not allow a developer to use open-source libraries due to compatibility issues.

Analysts agree that a mix of emulators/simulators and real devices are necessary to optimize your mobile app testing - learn more in this white paper, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Topics:
mobile ,mobile app development ,cross platform

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