If you are running on limited resources and time, there are some great frameworks available that can help you build cross-platform apps using a single codebase. Being a leading mobile app development company, we have collected and listed the top ten mobile app development frameworks of 2020.
Note: To view each mobile app development framework with its features and app examples, click on the particular framework. After clicking on each app development framework, three sub-menus will be opened like Intro, Features, and App Examples. Happy Reading!
- React Native
React Native Intro
React Native is developed by Facebook and gaining a lot of traction in recent years. This framework significantly reduces the development time and help you build reliable, powerful, and quality applications in less time.
Moreover, as you can use the same code base for both Android and iOS, React Native helps save a lot of resources which can be further used in promotion and up-gradation of the applications.
React Native Features
Reusable Components: React Native allows the developers to reuse the components. Using it one they directly compile the blocks with the native app. Both Android and iOS are having their counterparts in React, that delivers the fast and consistent results across all the platforms.
Ease of Maintenance: When it comes to maintenance of React Native projects, there’s nothing difficult or to be worried about. As React Native requires you to only maintain a single code base for both the platform, companies can assign a single team for both the versions of apps.
Here’re the examples of apps built with React Native framework:
Talking about the latest version, it’s using minimal DOM for better performance efficiency. It provides mobile-optimized components as well as native APIs using Cordova and Ionic Native. It has its own command-line interface tool which makes development quite easier and faster.
Platform Independent Framework: Ionic is capable of recognizing the platform-specific advanced CSS that is proportional to the native look and feel on different mobile operating systems. It reduces the code changing requirements and it gives the codes of mobile-optimized HTML, JS, and CSS components. Apart from this, it incorporates into AngularJS and provides a robust structure with a more manageable code.
Cross-Platform Mobile App Development: Ionic takes less time, resources and efforts to build an application for multiple mobile platforms simultaneously. It helps deploys standard tools with a solitary codebase.
Based on AngularJS: It’s is a broadly preferred framework for developing mobile and web applications. The Ionic framework utilizes AngularJS to offer a bunch of center functionalities to the designer. They can easily incorporate alluring components into the application.
Utilizes Cordova Plugins: Plugins play an important role in Ionic application development. Ionic framework application development utilizes Cordova plugins and helps developers accessing different components of the framework such as camera, GPS, etc easily.
Here are the top Ionic app examples:
Flutter is the portable user interface framework used for building beautiful, natively-compiled applications for mobile, desktop and web. It’s developed by the search giant Google who allows you to target a wide range of users with a single code base.
As it’s yet to become popular in the market, the community support is less but more and more people have started using it in recent times. It’s a free, open-source and backed by Google. So, I don’t think there’s any reason to not try it out.
Native Performance: Flutter strives to provide full native performance by incorporating all critical platform challenges such as scrolling, navigation, icons and fonts as widgets.
Fast Development: Flutter comes with a Stateful Hot Reload feature that makes application development really fast. You don’t need to build everything from scratch. It has a rich set of fully-customizable widgets to create native interfaces in very little time.
Expressive and Flexible UI: Flutter is already popular for making development fast. It allows you to add features focusing on the native end-user experiences. The layered architecture allows you to customize the application in almost every possible way which further speeds ups the rendering and result in results in expressive and flexible designs.
Check out top mobile apps that are developed on the Flutter framework:
Xamarin is also among the popular open-source names for developing cross-platform mobile applications. It was founded in 2011 and acquired by Microsoft in 2016 with an aim to make application development simpler and easier. It comes with almost all the essential tools required to build apps with native features.
Just like other frameworks, the application shares the common codebase and thus reduces the development time and cost.
Xamarin is available to download with Visual Studio. A large amount of code is already written in C#. Hence, there’s no need to learn Java, Objective-C or Swift to build apps. If you already know C#, then going with Xamarin will help you make apps for more than one platform in no time.
Native User Interfaces: Xamarin is equipped with native user interface controls. Apps built on this platform look standard and behaves just like other apps built on other platforms.
Native API Access: Xamarin allows apps to have access to all the functionality available in the underlying platform and device. This also includes platform-specific features like ARKit and Android Multi-Window mode.
Native Performance: Hardware acceleration is like magic which helps your application to come out from critical situations. As the apps are compiled for native performance, they can easily leverage platform-specific hardware acceleration.
Target All Platforms: Xamarin allows you to use a single codebase for Android, iOS, and Windows. You can use the same language, data structures, API for more than 75% parts of your app code. This helps a lot in the maintenance of the code.
Here’re the examples of top mobile apps built with Xamarin framework:
The World Bank
PhoneGap was initially launched as ‘Apache Cordova’ introduced by Nitobi. But later Adobe purchased Nitobi and renamed Apache Cordova as ‘PhoneGap’.
This framework strives to bridge the gap between hybrid apps and native apps of mobile devices. PhoneGap wraps up the web apps with native apps and enhance their functionality.
The final application is wrapped within a platform-native ‘WebView’ browser object, and ultimately becomes a stand-alone application.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: PhoneGap is compatible with all the popular mobile application platforms such as Android, iOS, etc. It just requires you to write the code once and it will run on various platforms seamlessly.
Robust Support: PhoneGap has a robust support system. They provide beginners' guide for freshers to understand the project easily. Its development community is also one of the largest and most active communities in the world. You’ll see a lot of examples to clarify your understanding. If you are trying something new, then this feature helps a lot in speeding up the process and reduces your efforts.
Here are the top PhoneGap app examples:
- Intel XDK
Intel XDK Intro
The Intel XDK is a complete cross-platform development environment for hybrid mobile apps and web apps development. The main highlight of this environment is it enables the developer to cost-effectively create, test, debug, build and deploy HTML5-based hybrid apps at a very less cost.
Apps were created using the IDE then exported to Adobe PhoneGap for compilation into a native code app. Targeting different platforms using the same code is not difficult but it’s not recommended to use Intel XDK for heavy feature-rich applications.
Furthermore, It also supports the developing future-oriented Internet of Things and NodeJS apps that uses the Intel maker board.
Intel XDK Features
Code Assistance: Intel XDK is well versed with all the features that make a developer’s life easy. The code hinting and automatic code completion help in speeding up the development. Here, the developers don’t need to remember the entire syntax, they can just start typing and IDE will suggest the relevant lines.
Device Testing: Developers can test their code via the Intel App Preview Mobile app. It helps them ensure that their code is bug-free and won’t cause any real-time issues.
Cordova and Third-Party Plugins: Intel XDK supports Cordova and third-party plugins and helps developers implement features without writing code from scratch.
As per the company’s policy, they don’t reveal the names of companies of users who use Intel XDK. So, there’s no information available about the apps built on this platform.
Corona is an open-source and cross-platform framework used to create apps and games for all mobile devices such as Android and iOS, desktop systems such as Windows and macOS, tablets, Amazon Fire and even TVs such as Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV.
It’s free, powerful and allows you to write code once and publish it on all the platforms. Corona is a Lua based framework, which is a leading open-source scripting language. It’s lightweight, fast and powerful already been utilized in popular games like Angry Birds, Warcraft, etc.
Corona leverages the OpenGL graphics and allows your apps to be compiled at the build time. This helps in streamlining for performance and stability at every core level.
Plugins Availability: There are numerous plugins available for Corona for features like analytics, media, in-app advertising and more.
Native Library Support: If the features you’re looking for is not available in the core or supported by a plugin, don’t worry. Corona allows you to call any native library of C/Java/C++/Obj-C or API using Corona easily.
Priority Support: The support provided by Corona is really good. Their team is ready to solve your queries on the community Slack channel and email.
Here’s the list of mobile applications that are developed on the Corona framework:
Fun Run 2
The Lost City
If you’re good at web development, you can quickly build fully native feature-rich mobile apps and leverage any native platform API.
Appcelerator allows you to reuse up to 90% of code if you are targeting multiple platforms. You can even extend its capabilities with hundreds of marketplace modules. Appcelerator also comes with cloud capacity limits and the options to on-premises and Virtual private deployment.
App Designer: Appcelerator comes with an app designer through which you can visually design and develop apps for Android, iOS and other platforms. It supports drag-and-drop components that generate quality code following the best practices. Developers can even see the UI changes across the Operating systems and devices.
API Builder: Appcelerator comes with a lot of useful features for API management. You can assemble APIs, models, and connectors to access data with exceptional speed. It allows you to combine and Check out the top mobile apps that are developed on the Appcelerator framework:
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
You just have to use your web skills to write and deploy awesome mobile apps for Android and iOS from a single codebase. NativeScript is preferred by developers who want application development for multiple platforms in less time and cost.
Cross-Platform: NativeScript allows you to create apps for the Android and iOS platforms using a single codebase. Developers can also use Angular or Vue to share the existing code.
Extensible: With NativeScript, Developers can directly access all the Android and iOS APIs. They can use Android SDKs, CocoaPods along with the free templates, plugins, and samples available on the Marketplace.
Strong Backing: NativeScript is backed by Progress (NASDAQ: PRGS) having decades of experience in providing software for developers. So, whatever issue you will face, a robust support system is there to help you.
Have a look at the mobile apps built with NativeScript framework:
Map My Photos
- Mobile Angular UI
Mobile Angular Intro
Mobile Angular UI is a mobile UI framework that combines the implementation of the Bootstrap and Angular framework. It simplifies the app development process so that you can build the apps using HTML5.
If you know already know AngularJS and Twitter Bootstrap, you won’t face any difficulty in using this framework. Mobile Angular UI is available under MIT License and so you are free to use it in your projects.
Mobile Angular Features
Lightweight: It doesn’t require you to add jQuery dependencies or bootstrap js or any other heavy dependencies. Just use a few angular.js directives and you’re good to go.
Move from Desktop to Mobile or vice versa with smallest efforts: Mobile Angular UI retains most of the Bootstrap 3 syntax. This makes it quite easy to convert an existing desktop or web app to a mobile.
You will also get a small CSS file to do the opposite. You just have to include it in your project and you’ll find the responsive touch-enabled interface is ready for you.
Here’s the list of mobile apps that are developed on the Mobile Angular framework: