In the recent past, there has been a sharp shift from the use of computers/desktop systems to handy mobile devices. From simple cellular phones or multimedia handsets to smartphones and iPhones, the journey of the mobile industry has been quite fast and revolutionary. We reached an era soon where everything can be done with a single click on the mobiles, from ordering food to booking spa services, renting a place to riding a cab, learning new things to meeting new people! So, what attributed such a monumental change in the mobile usage pattern over the last few years? Obviously, mobile apps development. Mobile apps are the miniature replica of desktop applications that are designed to run on smartphone devices to provide specific utilities to the users.
Mobile apps basically originated in 2008 for information retrieval and general functions like calendar, calculators, weather information and email. However, the scenario changed in a little as the developers started going beyond such generic applications to create more useful and pragmatic apps serving countless purposes. Gradually, there erupted a separate mobile app market, encapsulating billions of apps, app developers, smartphones users, and companies like Google and Apple that are driving the app ecosystem. Gartner earlier predicted that apps will be game for both Google and Apple in the next years with their respective app stores accounting together 90% of total app downloads in 2017. While the recent statistics on mobile app downloads reveal a similar scenario with total nearly 150 billions of app downloads in 2016, the increasing prominence of Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Stores is apparently due to their richer ecosystem and active developers community support.
Although the prime distribution channels for mobile applications are app stores, the key idea of penning this article post is to bring into limelight the major mobile app development platforms (MDAP), which are the stepping-stone to the success of mobile applications. Thus, here’s discussing in and out of some of the prominent mobile apps development frameworks that presently trending among the developers all around the globe to weave stellar applications for mobile users.
It comes as a sophisticated cloud-based application building framework that empowers developers to create apps for multiple OS including iOS, Android and Windows. By combining integration middleware with mobile’s backend functionalities and a browser-based development framework, Appery.io paces up enterprise mobilisation. One added advantage of such a framework which runs in the cloud is that they did not need to be installed or downloaded and hence it is uber easy to get started. One can further create custom plugins for additional functions or complement powerful functionalities with the help of Appery plugin catalog.
Being a powerful and visual app builder, Appery.io has been noted to serve a host of multinational companies “to quickly ramp up their enterprise mobility”. The reasons for deploying Appery.io are:
- Has in-built support of prominent frameworks like Apache Cordova, JQuery which makes apps equally proficient as native apps
- Helps in building exceptional user experiences with BootStrap, HTML5, Ionic, JQuery Mobile within the visible editor.
- Drag-and-drop visual data mapping editor which allows binding of services to the user interfaces
- Provide custom UI components and allows writing of custom JS and CSS
- Allows the use of over 30 distinctive themes or create custom ones
Popular apps created with Appery.io: ESPN, USA Today News, Best Buy, Jabong, Aetna GoodRx, CarePass Sync.
Identified as one of the leaders in the province, Xamarin has crossed the threshold of 1.4 million developers and supports app development of about 15,ooo companies. It seamlessly empowers the users or the app developers to craft native Android, iOS and Windows apps with a single C# code base. Xamarin has some of the exceptional mobile life-cycle products that helps in delivering best-in-class app solutions for varied industry segments. With powerful tools for modern programming languages, it bears the power to deploy any created application across different mobile ecosystems.
While C# is contemplated to be the best language for mobile applications development, Xamarin lets users do all those things in C# that they can do in Java, Swift or Objective-C. Further, apps are built with native user-interfaces in the platform which imparts premium experiences to the users.
Few prominent reasons to use Xamarin:
- Ships native app packages on the apps stores
- Can access any Android and iOS API
- Capable to call existing codes (of Java or Objective-C) from C#
- Competent at crafting Android wear applications and Apple WatchKit apps
- Stays updated with all Android and iOS upgraded versions
Popular apps created with Xamarin: Pinterest, Aviva, Alaska Airlines, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, HoneyWell, Cinemark.
#3 Mobile Roadie
As mobile apps started exploring wide spectrum of areas, Mobile Roadie came to the forefront in 2009 as a bespoke tool for every app developer and owner seeking to create a robust iOS or Android application. Being a perfect platform rendering app development tools along with effective mobile marketing services, it hails in countless industry segments including media & entertainment, retail, sports, education, and hospitality. By uniting apps creation with marketing into a single mobility solution, Mobile Roadie empowers the modern-day businesses to get their unique app crafted in a flick. On being asked what makes the apps built with Mobile Roadie beat others contemporary ones, Michael Schneider, the co-founder of the platform replied,
Mobile Roadie apps are mostly on the preference list of mobile users because of their plain-sailing yet customised functionalities. Further, there’s enough potential to draw more users owing to the buzz created by existing user base on the social media like Facebook or Twitter. So, why you should use Mobile Roadie for transforming your mobile app idea to real one?
- It comes with unbeatable features for applications in Photo, Audio, Media categories
- Through free add-ons, it allows developers to preview apps in advance
- Powered with features that enable developers to interchange the content between the company site and app
- Having support for all media categories, it empowers businesses to create media-rich apps that are integrated with social media.
- There’s a presence of a sophisticated dashboard along with analytics support in the backend to help companies evaluate the performance of their apps and usage pattern.
Popular apps created with Mobile Roadie: Universal Studios, San Diego Zoo, Adele. SAWC, Official Dallas Mavericks
As the applications built in PhoneGap can be run on multiple platforms, it hence manifests the sureshot notion “build once and deploy everywhere”. It also provides the support of an application server that can be run from any machine to host applications over the network. If the all-round benefits of PhoneGap are recounted, it is the ultimate choice for both developers and app owners. It allows them to rule over all mobile platforms with a single set of codes.
Facts that make PhoneGap an encompassing and desirable platform:
- Apps created are hybrid ones and separate them into three units UI, application logic and server interaction which helps in seamless running in any OS platform.
- Brings in many libraries that make development way more easier and time-saving task as it effortlessly helps in incorporating different functionalities as per app’s purpose.
Popular apps created with PhoneGap: Localeur, TripCase, Sworkit, Untappd, Metar Reader, FanReact
#5 Appy Pie
Like the name suggests, developing an app with Appy Pie is as simple as pie with cloud-based and sophisticated DIY tools that do not require users having too much technical and coding knowledge. Having the support for different mobile OS platforms, it enables creating of apps by just dragging down pages. Since the platform’s closed beta release on 2013, there has been near about 1.5 million of apps developed and launched with it.
Being utmost simple to use, the software platform allows anyone to craft fully-functional, far-fetched and customised mobile apps in a vast spectrum of categories, from games, photo editing, e-book readers, booking apps to navigation, health, fashion and entertainment.
The advantages of the platform are remarkable and it’s simplicity makes it one of the remarkable platforms to the users. “ Appy Pie saves users time, frustration and most importantly, money by allowing them to build apps with maximum functionality and minimal experience.” , the CEO of Appy Pie, Mr. Abhinav Girdhar was quoted saying. He further assured that App builder of the platform makes each aspect of app development simple to create personalised apps and augment the user experience.
The reasons behind increasing fame of Appy Pie in a gist:
- Comes with the support for multiple platform. Developers can literally create any type of apps for any OS platforms, either iOS, Android, HTML5, Blackberry or Windows.
- Offers step by step guidance with interactive directions to help the developers create apps without complexities or hassles.
- Allows the option of drag and drop which removes the need for software installation and helps in making apps online.
- One is able to send away push notifications, check app analytics, enable GPS for location tracking and even monetise ad with it.
Popular apps created with Appy Pie: Loreal, Nike, Pinnacle, Accenture, NHS, Deloitte, Foxtel.
It comes as one of the best-known frameworks for the apps meant for any corporate organisations or any corporate events. TheAppBuilder can create a range of apps for the use of employees, executives, customers and event organiser because of its suite of application features that empower the developers with additional designing capabilities.
With its own SaaS tooling, TheAppBuilder furthers expels the risks associated with the development of custom enterprise apps. It is uniquely built to meet specific requirements of business organisations and corporate events in creating mobile apps, specifically ‘enterprise apps’ for all Apple, Android and Windows devices. Aimed mainly at the enterprises, the framework has been building modes for employee apps as well as outward facing software applications and have gained impressive client base.
So, what makes apps development with TheAppBuilder highly worthwhile?
- Though competent at building simple consumer apps, it bears tools that are specifically designed to craft enterprise apps and enhance functionality for organisations.
- Known in the developer communities as one of most secure, flexible and reliable platform as it encrypts all enterprise data on the devices, servers and where they are transmitted.
- The platform brings in a range of features that provides extraordinary design capabilities, for both private and enterprise apps
- Helps organisations create in-house apps meant for their employees or client base with far reached functionalities like time tracking, loyalty schemes, project management and so forth.
- Being compatible with Google Analytics, it makes things easier for app owners to trace day to day performance of their apps.
Popular apps created with TheAppBuilder: Sodexo, Heathrow, FirstBus, VISA, British Airways.
To put in a nutshell, mobile app development platforms are like a single and all-encompassing environment that possess every required tool that developers need for shaping a full-fledged mobile application. There are countless platforms like the ones mentioned above that are equally functional and geared to developing apps for iOS, Android and other OS platforms. Thus, app makers and owners need to consider key differentiators for choosing the befitting platform for their ideas such as compatibility with devices and OS, flexibility and integrations, scalability, security, maintenance, server support and so forth. While the statistics reveal that the demand for apps building frameworks are soaring with the increasing urge among businesses owners for apps development, which frameworks will dominate the market is worth seeing.