Creating Cross-Platform Apps: the 5 Best Development Tools

Over the past few years, the market for cross-platform app creation has started to take off. Large and medium-sized businesses are increasingly adapting to the mobile world as they feel the need to use cross-platform apps to improve access with tablets and smartphones for their business apps.

This will lead the app market to become increasingly important over the years to come.

When it comes to Cross-Platform Apps, a dilemma arises: do I have my app developed for iOS or Android? The truth is that there is no answer. It all depends on your budget and the type of app. So, another question arises. 

Why not both? 

Today you can! The performance of a cross-platform app is perhaps not comparable with the native one (written in the native code of each platform) in terms of speed and ease of navigation.

But if your app does not have particularly sophisticated features, the road of development on multiple platforms, as well as economic (both in terms of development times and costs), can represent a still technically valid alternative: a cross-platform app it offers you the opportunity to publish simultaneously on different sales stores.

So if you have come to the conclusion that creating hybrid apps is the winning solution in your case, here are some of the best tools for their development. Each of these platforms is focused on different content/features, for example, gaming, data security or a specific development language.

As always, there is no better solution than the other. The type of business will decide the right choice for your specific case.

We present those that we have encountered or used over the years to develop cross-platform applications and that we consider useful, each for its own individual peculiarities.

Xamarin

Xamarin was born quite recently, methodically building its platform and expanding its reach. After the release of Xamarin 2, the company has certainly emerged as one of the most important solutions for creating cross-platform apps.

It is a development tool that also includes a free starter version: it includes uploading to the app store, monitoring and testing the app with the possibility of carrying out virtual tests on more than 1000 devices.

Xamarin uses Ruby or C# and is considered one of the most solid cross-mobile development platforms: just to name a few it is used for example by Microsoft, Foursquare and IBM.

Ionic Pro

Ionic Pro is the most recent version of the Ionic Open Source development software and is a system that offers a truly extensive suite of tools.

Thanks to its immediate application sharing system it is a truly innovative software, it is also quick to update content and correct any bugs present.

Ionic Pro is a fairly simple and intuitive programming language and offers the possibility to perform tests to verify the operation of the app in real-time, allowing your app to enjoy a user experience of a level equal to that of a native app.

Cordova

Cordova is an Open Source software distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. It is a sort of container of Web application executed locally: the Cordova application is in fact executed in a web view that occupies the screen of the device, while inside it displays HTML and CSS and executes JavaScript code.

Thanks to JavaScript it is possible to access the APIs that allow you to interface with the device’s native functions, for example by accessing the address book, the camera or the geolocation systems.

Web view and API are the application components that depend on the specific mobile platform.

What Cordova does is to provide as many “empty” apps as the number of platforms for which it must be developed, all to be filled with the related HTMLCSS and JS code.

The developer is thus free to concentrate precisely on the standard code, without “worrying” about the single platform. Cordova can create cross-platform apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Bada, Tizen and Windows Phone. Not bad, right?

PhoneGap

PhoneGap is a free Adobe tool useful for building cross-platform apps, which developers can use to transform HTML5CSS and JavaScript code.

PhoneGap is basically based on the aforementioned Cordova, however making available more features in a paid version (from 50 to 100Mb of weight for the app, membership on Adobe’s Creative Cloud, access to plugins, etc.).

It provides SDK (software development kits) for each of the development platforms: the supported platforms are iOSAndroidBlackberry and Windows.

Once your cross-platform app is complete, you can share it with team members for a multi-handed review.

Titanium Appcelerator

Appcelerator is a focused business development platform that allows developers to write JavaScript with its MVC structure. Titanium is a true “Appcelerator”. Its SDKs, combined with the use of Javascript, guarantee to keep about 69-90% of the base code for all versions of your cross-platform, iOS or Android apps. A nice time saver, as many developers are already familiar with the language.

It is once again an open-source software and is among other things one of the most followed by the community of online developers, so there are constant and updated contributions.

It also offers a private cloud option for enterprise customers, great news if you are working with sensitive business data. The enterprise product is also equipped with analysis, performance management, and monitoring possibilities.

Conclusion:

These are therefore the tools that we liked best to create cross-platform apps.

Let’s not forget that in any case, beyond the single tool in use, the development of mobile applications is a complex and exciting art at the same time, which can generate great satisfactions or thunderous falls if you do not pay attention to everything that makes a mobile app a successful product.

Reason?

The great attention to the User Experience, the appeal of the design and of course, in support of sales, a good web marketing strategy.

If you also want to create your own cross-platform app, you can request a quote or advice by filling out the form on the page. ARKA Softwares team of experts will be happy to help you.

Author Bio:

Rahul Mathur is the founder and Managing Director of Arka Softwares. He is a driven leader and technology enthusiast who takes pleasure in helping modern startups and enterprises to grow with the help of future-ready IT solutions such as, next-gen mobile appsweb and marketing solutionsIoTCloud solutions, etc. Arka Softwares also lets clients hire Python developersJava developers,.Net developers, and many more.

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