7 Best Cross Platform Mobile Development Tools

In today’s’ age and time, the mobile app industry is least concerned with building an app. Instead, the challenge is to build a mobile app for each platform. Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA) is a piece of code that is written once for a single platform but can be run on a number of different platforms. This allows developers to save time and effort thus helping them design mobile applications that work wonderfully on multiple platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows etc.

There are a large number of tools available to create cross-platform apps. However, the trick is to pick only the best ones that will not only increase your productivity but also offer you maximum benefits. Therefore, we have rounded up some of the best cross-platform mobile app development tools to help you create some of your favorite mobile apps with least effort.

1. PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an open source tool developed by Apache Cordova. It consists of a debugger and a compiler along with various testing tools. This tool works best for mobile applications that don’t make use of mobile phone’s native features.

Pros:

• It lets you create hybrid apps with the help of popular technologies that include HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3.

• It also supports in-store app purchases done on Google Play or iOs.

• With PhoneGap, you can deploy a single code base to varied platforms such as Android, iOS, Firefox, Windows and more.

• It further has a plugin-able architecture which allows developers access to native device APIs

Cons:

• Apps developed using PhoneGap are design sensitive which can result in a low performance for graphic-intensive apps

2. Xamarin

Xamarin allows you to develop apps for multiple platforms using the C# codebase. It further lets you work with native IDEs, languages and APIs. Moreover, developers will be able to build Git integration in the Xamarin Studio.

Pros:

• It makes app development a swift process

• Xamarin allows around 75% of the developed code to be shared on other platforms that helps cut down development cost to almost half

• It also allows quality testing and monitoring to help seamless integration

Cons:

• There is a compatibility issue which makes it difficult to use various open source libraries for Android and iOS.

3. React Native

Launched in the year 2015, React Native lets you write codes only once and use it for both Android and iOS. It is an open source framework and uses JavaScript and JSX (JavaScript-XML) to develop native apps.

Pros:

• It allows you to easily reload the code without any delay or hindrance which helps in saving development time

• Being an open source technology it allows an easy access to highly qualified developers and their vast knowledge base

• The simple interface along with a modular design makes it a favourite among developers

Cons:

• The limited collection of ready-made components limits developers create even simple and basic apps

4. Sencha Touch

A leading cross-platform mobile web app framework, Sencha Touch has a touch-oriented UI along with customizable and responsive design that allows developers to easily build efficient applications. It provides the necessary JS and HTML framework which makes it one of the most popular cross platform mobile app.

Pros

• It allows PhoneGap integration

• HTML5 and CSS3 offer greater flexibility

• Two different themes for iOS and Adroid

Cons

• Limited number of themes
• Complex licensing method makes it difficult to be used

5. Convertigo

Beingan open source mobile app development platform, Convertigo allows you to integrate mobile applications with backend applications or data sources at a lower cost and price. It offers complete end to end solution. The unique mobile application development platform (MADP) and Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MbaaS) allows you to integrate everything from backe-end enablements to mobile UI development tools.

Pros

• The platform consists of several components including Convertigo Server, Convertigo Studio, Convertigo Mobilizer and third party SDKs to provide all in one solution.

• It lets developers connect the enterprise data with various connectors like SQL database

Cons

• The free plans don’t include enough community and offline data support

6. Appcelerator

Appelerator helps create native applications with just a single Javascript code. It allows you to build native apps and comes with pre-built connectors for MS SQL, MS Azure, Box, MongoDB and many others.

Pros:

• It offers tools that helps in rapid application development of apps.

• The schema-less data store, ArrowDB lets you utilize data models with minimum setup efforts

• It further allows seamless integration to existing continuous delivery systmes such as MDM solutions and SCM

Cons:

• It is considered slightly buggy. There also has been a poor support from the developers which makes Appcelerator not so easy to use.

7. Nativscript

Nativescript is another open-source tool that allows building native cross-platform mobile apps. With Nativescript, you will be able to use every native APIs in Javascript of varied mobile platforms. With the help of NPM, you will be able to reuse existing plugins in NativeScript projects.

Pros

• It allows direct access to native APIs while also offering full access to the development libraries

• The cross-platform Declarative UI support, helps you create app’s UI once and resue it on other platforms.

• The app offers great support for Angylar.js 2 and TypeScript

Cons

• There is a shortage of in-depth documentaion on its various features

• Multi-threading is also a problem in Nativescript

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