7 Best Frameworks for Mobile App Development

By admin, 8 September, 2020

Since smartphones went into mass production over ten years ago, the mobile app market has been continually expanding. Figures from Statistica show that mobile app revenues worldwide have grown from $97.7 billion in 2014 to $581.9 in 2020, and are projected to reach $935.2 by 2022. This massive rise in interest is putting more pressure on businesses to equip themselves with a mobile app. A recent survey has shown that 55 percent of businesses owned by millennials have a mobile app, compared with 13 percent of businesses owned by baby boomers.

Taking on the project of mobile app development is easier than ever before, with more frameworks deploying low-code technology, and others enabling apps to be developed in basic programming languages. Many of these are interface-driven and highly customizable. There are various mobile app frameworks to choose from, the most prominent of which are listed below.

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1. React Native

This is a popular framework and JavaScript library that can be used to develop applications for various platforms and devices for both iOS and Android. It was created and is owned by Facebook, which also introduced the community-driven JS library in 2018. It provides a series of native, platform-specific components, such as views, images, text, and all in the same building block. It also enables the development of high-performance apps on a budget and with shorter build circles. React Native has low-code features, declarative APIs for predictive UI, and it is compatible with third-party plugins. It has been used to create apps such as Facebook, Airbnb, and Instagram.

2. Swiftic

Swiftic is a leading no-code mobile app development framework for the iOS platform. It is easy to use with an intuitive interface that makes it possible to create, manage, publish and promote apps from the control panel. Apps can be built quickly, and the platform provides advanced analytics, third-party integration, and various promotions. It is possible to build custom applications for specific business requirements, such as an e-commerce or food delivery business. Swiftic has flexible payment plans as well as a success guarantee scheme that offers a free service if an app is not successful within 6 months.

3. Ionic

An open-source, cross-platform platform for mobile app development, Ionic is easy to learn and it uses the Cordova plugin to access features such as camera and GPS. Developers are able to use default UI elements in their design, such as action sheets, forms, tab bars, and navigation menus. This makes app development easier as less attention is needed for UI components, but familiarity with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS also makes the platform easier to use. It is built on AngularJS and it supports all operating systems from Android 4.1 and iOS 7. This framework has been used to build the apps of Sworkit, Amtrak, and MarketWatch.

4. Xamarin

Another open-source framework for cross-platform mobile app development, Xamarin is owned by Microsoft and it uses both C# and .NET for building Android, iOS, and Universal for Windows apps. The platform uses Microsoft technology and it has a community of around 1.4 million developers. It has a fantastic native UI that enables developers to build apps more easily and with more control. It also has native API access and easy API integration, as well as native UI support. Some well-known apps that have been created using Xamarin include UPS, Azure, Outback Steakhouse, and the Microsoft News app.

5. Flutter

This framework from Google benefits from Google's UI toolkit. This is complete with fully customized widgets that help to create native apps more quickly. Flutter is a cross-platform framework and can be used for building apps for both mobile and web applications. It uses a single code base for both Android and iOS app development and is based on Dart, a language developed by Google. For an improved native experience, it has decent platform features like navigation, scrolling, and icons, and it has a built-in material design widget for the creation of better user interfaces. Notable apps that have used Flutter include Alibaba and Google Ads.

6. PhoneGap

Originally built by Nitobi but then acquired by Adobe, PhoneGap is a cross-platform mobile app development framework. It is powered by an engine from Apache Cordova, but which operate as separate entities, leaving two cross-platform frameworks. Developers can build applications in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which makes the framework more accessible. JavaScript helps to provide backend logic for applications. PhoneGap is easy to use for development, it is flexible and available across all platforms. It was used to create mobile apps for Wikipedia, Buildr, and TripCase.

7. JQuery Mobile

This is a user interface system built in HTML5 that is touch-optimized and can be used for building applications that are fully responsive. It is aimed at allowing developers to code less and create mobile apps in shorter time periods. The framework allows you to develop branded websites, it has a readily available JavaScript library and there are plugins for features like popup boxes, content sliders, and image sliders. There is also ThemeRoller which offers customizable themes for mobile apps. JQuery Mobile makes it possible for a single app to be used across platforms and devices.

There are different ways of approaching mobile app development, but in most cases, a single development framework will be settled on for convenience. Some frameworks offer more features, intuitive components, or app performance. Learning to use different frameworks can also be beneficial for the insights it can provide in finding the best development process.