Development Tools for Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

Mobile Development Tools for Cross-Platform Apps

To build a great mobile app, you need to use the best mobile development tools. For starters, here are the top choices available for seamless cross-platform mobile app development.

When it comes to building a mobile app, companies immediately think of using cross-platform mobile development tools. Why? It’s because cross-platform technologies work simultaneously on platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows. 

Generally, the developer tools to use will depend on the mobile platform where you want to develop your app. You need separate tools designed especially for Android, iOS, or Windows. So, If you’re planning to create an app exclusively on Google Play Store, then Android Studio will be suitable for that. On the contrary, you’ll use Xcode for iOS mobile applications

But wouldn’t it be great if you could build an app that runs flawlessly on all platforms? It’ll be easier for developers since they don’t need to repeat the same process on each platform.     

Moreover, another primary concern for businesses when building an app is budget. Natives apps are expensive to make as it takes longer to produce. This is why cross-platform apps have emerged as a great but affordable alternative. 

With that said, let’s find out the factors to help us choose the right mobile development tools for building cross-platform apps.

How to choose the right one

So many tools, so little time. With so many mobile development tools out there, which one is right? Here are the major factors to consider before developing cross-platform mobile applications.

Functionality

The top hybrid mobile development tool must be functional with an impeccable User Interface (UI)for all mobile apps, regardless of the platform, you’ll deploy it on.  These mobile software tools enable developers to use the best functionalities in the mobile app. Additionally, your mobile app should be able to use its native functions as much as possible.

Compatible Platforms

Of course, your app development tools must be compatible with most platforms. It’s worth noting that there are frameworks that support specific platforms. However, most mobile development tools today work seamlessly on Android, iOS, Windows, etc.

Usability

Simply put, usability means the level of quality that confirms a user’s experience when interacting with software, applications, or websites. Hence, a mobile app built using mobile software tools should provide a superior experience for its users.

Security

Yes, anyone who has ever used smartphones understands the importance of security while online. A reliable cross-platform mobile development tool smoothens all sorts of security vulnerabilities on mobile apps. It protects users from possible security breaches and other nefarious online activities.

Scalability

As your business grows, so should your digital assets like mobile applications. That’s why it’s essential to choose app development tools with scalability in mind. Your mobile apps should align with the company’s long-term goals while adapting to changes in resources.

Workload

A major reason why most developers choose cross-platform tools is to reduce their workload. Essentially, cross-platform mobile development tools minimize the workload requirements since it only uses one codebase. It means that you’ll need fewer developers to work on an app, which is cost-effective in the long run.

Recommended Mobile Development Tools

To help you get started, we’ve narrowed down the top mobile development tools designed for cross-platform mobile apps.

Flutter

Flutter is an open-source software development kit (SDK) for creating applications through cross-platform development. As a Google UI toolkit, developers can create feature-rich and natively-compiled applications for web, mobile, and desktop using a single codebase.

In addition, Flutter supports these features:

  • “Hot Reloading” – allows developers to view changes in code within seconds 
  • Mobile 2D rendering engine support for text 
  • Command-line tools to develop, test, and compile apps
  • A complete set of widgets in Apple’s Cupertino pack and Google’s Material design. 
  • APIs (Application Programming Interface) for unit and integration testing 
  • Dart – an object-oriented programming language that’s easy to learn for most developers.

React Native

Initially built by Facebook, React Native is a robust open-source development tool to make applications for the web, Android, iOS, UWP (Universal Windows Platform). Its main feature focuses on allowing cross-platform mobile applications to exhibit the capabilities of a native platform. It uses JavaScript as its programming language in building these apps. 

It comes with a host of other powerful features such as:

  • Seamless UI that focuses on mobile app development and design 
  • Easy integration with third-party libraries 
  • NPM (Node Package Manager) – a command-line tool to install, update, and uninstall Node.js package
  • Synchronous image editing and video processing (which is otherwise not possible in other APIs) 
  • Live Reload – reloads apps when the JavaScript code has changed 
  • Efficient “Write Once, Publish Everywhere” workflow.
Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Xamarin

Launched in 2011, Xamarin is one of the most popular cross-application frameworks that solve the issue with fragmented native tech stacks. Microsoft, later on, acquired Xamarin in February 2016.  

The great thing about Xamarin is that it allows all mobile applications to look and feel like native apps. Moreover, it provides the application a boost on its platform-specific hardware to attain a nearly native app performance. 

Here are the other advantages of using Xamarin:

  • Runs on a single code as it accelerates the cross-platform app development process
  • Supports three major platforms—iOS, Android, and Windows
  • Allows developers to share up to 90% of their application across different platforms
  • Offers tools such as code editing, UI design, and debugging
  • Uses C#, a programming language compatible with Visual Studio
  • Works seamlessly on mobile SDKs in building mobile apps.  

Ionic

Ionic is an HTML5 mobile app development framework that allows one to build hybrid applications using one codebase and open-web standards. It provides a native-like feel to mobile apps by using CSS, HTML, Angular, JavaScript, and TypeScript. Its SDK primarily targets the look and UI interaction of an application. 

Ionic’s noteworthy features include:

  • OSS Framework – the main system built in the Ionic framework; it includes Ionic Studio and a visual environment to create fully functional apps
  • Pre-designed components, superior themes, typography, and interactive paradigms
  • Several sub-framework systems such as Angular JS, Compiler, Mobile DevOps, and Integrations.

Unity3D

Unity3D is one of the leading 3D game development frameworks known for its incredible graphics quality. It’s an easy-to-use platform that enables users to create interactive 3D content that is published on different devices. 


Essentially, the Unity3D tools allow you to build your content once and export it to up to 20 platforms like:

  • iOS 
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Xbox 
  • Linux
  • Wii
  • PlayStation  
  • Nintendo Switch
  • And other AR/VR platforms 

In addition, Unity3D has an active community called Unity Connect where Unity3D developers can connect and help one another on tech issues.

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Build a Mobile App with the Best Development Tools

In summary, choosing the proper mobile development tools is as critical as building the application itself. By using cross-platform solutions, you have the flexibility to manage all your mobile app development needs—regardless of the platform. 

When you decide to build a cross-platform mobile app, you can capture a wide target audience, mainly iOS and Android users. Doing so allows you to maximize profits since you’re not catering to one specific group of users. 

But to achieve that goal, you need to use the best tools designed for cross-platform applications. With so many options available, picking one won’t be easy. Hence, we made a list of the top mobile development tools to steer you in the right direction. 

Additionally, we recommend you hire top-notch mobile app developers who know how these tools work. At Full Scale, we hire top-tier developers and engineers with expertise in mobile development. Get your FREE consultation today so we can help you build an award-winning software team.

Contact us now to start building your team!