The Best Mobile App Development Tools in 2022

The 21st century is experiencing the spiral growth of mobile app development as the industry keeps evolving to meet the needs of over 7 billion people who are now connected to the web. Currently, over 75% of businesses worldwide have adopted at least one mobile app development tool or platform to intensify their digital footprint. With the massive explosion in the usage of phones, laptops, smartwatches, iPads, wearables, the power of the metaverse, and the introduction of web3, many smart companies have started to harness the opportunities of mobile apps to increase the ease of access to their information or services for their customers.

The mobile app industry is huge, and with time it is only going to keep growing. In 2021, there are 3.48 million mobile apps available to download in the Google Play Store, 2.2 million apps in the Apple App Store, 475,000 on Amazon Appstore, and the Tencent Appstore with over 43,840 available apps. That’s not all, the global mobile app market is projected to reach $935 billion by 2023. But how will this happen? With mobile app development tools.

If you’ve always loved the idea of building a cool mobile app, this article is definitely for you, and here’s the kick, it doesn’t matter if you are a professional mobile app developer or not. I’ll highlight a few of the best mobile app development tools in the world right now and there are premium tools, cheap mobile app development tools, and free mobile app development tools that only require drag and drop. All you need to do is read this article till the end and don’t forget to share it on social media too. If you are looking for no-code platform to build your startup product, be sure we curated a list of that too.

Table of Contents

What’s a Mobile App Development Tool?

mobile app development tools
Image from Zymr

Mobile App Development Tools is a set of programs or Software designed to help in the creation of mobile applications with specific purposes. There are basically two types of mobile application development tools. 

  1. Native mobile app development tools 
  2. Cross-platform mobile app development tools

1.  Native mobile app development tools 

Native Mobile App is a program or software which enables a developer to create applications for use in a single particular operating system, platform, or devices, like Android, iOS, or Windows using its Software development kit (SDK), memory, gear, or other applications installed on a device.

Native mobile apps provide fast performance and a high degree of credibility which can help create professional apps that meet standard qualities.

Usually, a native app is specially made and coded for a specific mobile platform in its native programming language, for example Android (Java or Kotlin), iOS (Objective-C or Swift), Windows (C#)

2. Cross-platform mobile app development tools

Unlike native, Cross-platform mobile app development tools allow a programmer on one platform to develop apps for one or more other platforms or mobile operating systems concurrently. With this, developers can use the same code base for different platforms, without having to write a new code.

This is what makes it possible to create a single app that works both on Android phones and on iOS iPhones. Imagine the amount of time and resources that could be saved using cross-platform app development tools?

This category of mobile app development tools can also be split into three subcategories.

Types of Cross-platform mobile app development tools

mobile app development tools
  • Coding Platforms

    Coding platforms under the Cross-platform mobile app tools provide complete control over the entire development process. The mobile application developer writes the codes and encodes the software from scratch. To be able to use this, you need to have coding skills. This platform is one of the safest means of creating an app. 
  • Low-Coding Platforms

    Low-coding platforms allow you to save yourself some time. The platform is created to harmonize your development process, by reducing the amount of coding that is required to create an app. The platform has some already inbuilt features but also requires additional customization with coding. 
  • No-Coding Platforms

    As the name dictates, this is a platform that enables you to create an app with no prior knowledge of coding. Meaning you don’t have to be a professional developer before you develop a cool mobile app. These no-coding platforms provide you with services, such as a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to create an application without typing a single line of code. The downside of this is that you are limited with the customization and features you can make use of.

(A)- Best Native Development Tools

  • Buddy
  • React Native
  • Jamf
  • AppSheet
  • Long Range
  • NativeScript
  • Mobile Angular UI
  • Xamarin
  • Xcode
  • AppCode

1. Buddy

Buddy is one of the best native mobile app development tools that allows for seamless interactions within the app. You can build, test and deploy your Android or iOS app with a single click of a button. 

The tool has an intuitive and simple UI/UX design, with over 120+ actions, it has a Dedicated Android actions: (React Native, Ionic, Flutter, and more) and a Dedicated iOS actions (React Native, Flutter, Cordova, Fastlane, and more)

Buddy has AWS, Google, DigitalOcean, Azure, and WordPress integrations. It also has support for all major languages and task managers

2. React Native 

React Native is an open-source mobile application development tool created by Facebook and used for both Android and iOS. It combines the best parts of native development with React, which is a JavaScript technology for building user interfaces. 

React Native tool enables developers to build enhanced and native-like apps from scratch using a single code base or use React Native in their existing projects.

3. Jamf

Jamf is another native tool that enables you to connect, manage, and protect Apple apps, products, and corporate resources in the cloud. It basically offers a solution for business and education in the iOS operating system.

The tool has features that allow you to configure a VPN with your custom profiles. It also allows you to configure WiFi, email contacts and calendar with no stress. This tool also makes patch management of iOS, iPadOS and macOS possible.

4. AppSheet

AppSheet is a  powerful mobile app tool for iOS and Android apps that enable anyone to build directly from their own data sources. Eg Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Smartsheet. Once an app is created, users can then customize the branding and features offered, with a fully interactive emulator to preview the app. 

The tool offers both a basic editor and advanced editor features to customize apps. The features include app name, app logo, edit spreadsheet data, sign-in, etc. This tool is available for $5 per active user, per month while there’s also a limited free trial. 

5. Long Range

LongRange is another native mobile app development tool that has features like navigation, tabs, form views, and commands. You don’t need to have prior knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, or CSS before you code, you can only use RPG/ CL with DDS to execute commands on the tool.

You can use the tool to Utilize mobile device features like GPS, camera, audio, SMS, etc.

Automatically push app updates into the mobile device. It also requires an installation of the LongRange server.

6. NativeScript

NativeScript is an open-source platform that allows developers to create native iOS and Android applications, with one codebase, using web skills like (JavaScript and CSS) 

NativeScript has a free version and also a premium version which comes at a monthly fee of $19. 

7. Mobile Angular UI

Mobile Angular UI is a mobile app development framework used in designing responsive, fast, and mobile user interface applications. It is also used in converting desktop web applications to mobile apps. It relies on rich libraries like overthrow.js and fastclick.js to provide a better mobile experience.

8. Xamarin

Xamarin is a Microsoft open-source framework that is a relatively new but widely popular tool with a full spectrum of functionality which includes code editing, refactoring, debugging, deep linking, testing, and cloud-publishing. It also helps designers and mobile developers build native iOS, Android, and Windows applications using a single shared .NET codebase.

Xamarin tool is a great option for building high-quality Mobile apps on Android and iOS systems using C#. 

The platform offers a free trial version and a premium version of the tool at $25 per month.

9. Xcode

Xcode is another native mobile app dev tool that provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging.

The platform introduces a new way to design and build software using Swift, which is an innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch and, when combined with Xcode tools, makes programming a beautiful experience. 

Xcode includes everything developers need to create applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. The best thing about this tool is that it is free to use.

10. AppCode

AppCode is another native mobile app development tool for iOS/macOS development.

The AppCode tool works with Objective-C, Swift, and C/C++ programming languages, it also supports web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, XML, CSS, and more. 

AppCode helps developers save a lot of valuable time on finding and fixing errors, routine tasks, and increasing productivity. It has a 30 day free trial and a premium version at €8.90 per month.

11. Android Studio

Android Studio is an Android-based mobile app development tool built by Google. If you’re an Android developer, you should definitely try this tool out. Its simple implementation editor is very useful for creating Android apps. 

It also has shortcuts for coding and designing, with an easy-to-use layout, which helps reduce time spent on coding. Android studio also offers drag and drop features to design the layout of your projects faster. The best part is, that it is also free to use.

(B)- Best Cross-platform Development Tools

  • Appcelerator
  • Adobe PhoneGap
  • Alpha Anywhere
  • Sencha

1. Appcelerator

Appcelerator is a cloud-based cross-platform development tool that makes it possible for developers to create apps with fewer lines of code. 

The Appcelerator tool has everything you need to create fantastic, native mobile apps as a cross-platform mobile app development tool. You can build through a single JavaScript codebase and run native on any android or iOS device.

The platform supports iOS, Android, Windows, and browser-based HTML5 applications.

Appcelerator has a 60 day free trial and a premium version of $199 per month.

2. Adobe PhoneGap

Adobe PhoneGap is an open-source cross-platform tool that allows developers to build with one code base, but with a different set of technologies. The platform supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web APIs. 

PhoneGap is basically a collection of HTML pages sent out to native platforms via APIs. PhoneGap apps are usually very lightweight because of the nature of coding. Adobe PhoneGap also uses Cordova technology to function. You should also know that this tool is available for free.

3. Alpha Anywhere

Alpha Anywhere is a cross-platform web and mobile business application tool.

Alpha Anywhere is a low-code platform that can be used to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows, and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

The platform has a 30 day free trial for first-time users. 

4. Sencha

Sencha is a mobile app development tool that offers a comprehensive JavaScript framework for building cross-platform web and mobile apps for any modern device. Its Ext JS includes 140+ pre-integrated and tested high-performance UI components that offer a high level of responsiveness for the application.

The majority of the top 100 companies in the world use sencha to develop their apps. 

AR Augmented Reality Tools

  •  VuForia

Vuforia is an Augmented Reality software development kit that allows creation of Android and iOS apps based on Augmented Reality (AR) technology. It uses Computer Vision technology to recognize & track images and 3D objects.

  • Easy AR

Easy AR is an augmented reality-based app for Mobile app developers. It offers cross-platform support for Android/iOS/Windows/Mac OS systems.

AI TOOLS

  • TensorFlow

TensorFlow is an open-source software tool for Artificial Intelligence that makes it easier to incorporate special features for Artificial Intelligence.

  • IBM Watson

IBM Watson enables creation of Artificial Intelligence to integrate the world’s most powerful applications. It allows for storing and managing data, securely in the cloud.

Mobile Payment Tools

  • Braintree

Braintree is an open-source payment mobile app development tool for Android and iOS systems in 23 programming languages. It helps businesses of all sizes accept, process, and split payments to help maximize business opportunities and Productivity with a simplified API.

  • Card.io

Cardio is a benchmarking tool for data management strategy development. It allows users to choose the type of their credit cards by providing a click interface for manual card entry.

Push notification Tools

  • Urban AirShip

Urban Airship is a push notification tool that allows developers to deliver relevant, personalized, instant messaging and web notifications. It is a helpful tool for increasing user engagement and conversion.

  •  Pusher

Pusher is a push notification developer tool. It supports the most popular coding languages. It allows developers to distribute events to all others on the same channel while ensuring complete security and safety.

Advertising tools

  • Unity Ads

Unity Ads is a simple advertising tool that enables web publishers to incorporate video ads into mobile games to increase player engagement. It provides the highest average revenue of any global reward video ad network.

Things To Consider When choosing the Best Mobile App Development Tool

Price

Security

Integration

Framework

Customizations

lifecycle

Scalability

Usability

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