Mobile App Development

Top 10+ Cross-Platform Development Tools

Top 10+ Cross-Platform Development Tools

Bonjour Folks! Hope you are doing great! Whenever you will be reading the blog may be in the morning, noon or sometimes at night, I know you will say “Huh! What am I reading? Again the same blog?”  

But fret not! I am not going to bore you instead, will share interesting things about this topic.

Cross-Platforms! Umm… Before being a writer, I was a mobile app developer (Android and iOS) . Three years back, while working on an application, my colleague asked me for my Mac to test PhoneGap application. I was little surprised and asked him a question, “Why he needs my Mac for testing the application?” He answered casually and started testing. Then he asked for my neighbour’s PC who was an Android trainee. I again asked, but this time with a rage of gaining knowledge “Why are you testing the application in different operating systems?” He then answered, “I am testing cross-platform application developed using PhoneGap framework which will run on multiple devices.” The interaction went on for 15-20 mins and I got an abrupt idea about cross-platform development. I concluded with this one sentence, “If you will be developing cross-platform applications what are we doing here?” He smiled and walked to his desk.

Even though, after gaining basic knowledge, I was left with an unanswered question “Why cross-platform technology is gaining heights?" I did not take the pains to google for this question because wanted direct answers from the experts.

And today; when I am discussing this topic with you, I am wrapped with many replies and it seems that cross-platform development has a long stay.

# 1] Programming Language: Expertise in Javascript, Jquery, CSS, HTML5, C, C# is the basic requirement. The developers should also have a grip in trending frameworks such as Sencha, PhoneGap, Kony, Xamarin, etc…

# 2] Learning Curve: Learning span is short. An expert javascript developer can easily implement cross-platform application in 15-20 days time. The development time can be extended to months depending on the app idea or say concept.

# 3] Development cost and time: Compared to native or mobile web apps, the development companies charge less to develop hybrid apps. Now you may ponder “Why is it so?” The reason is: Write once, run everywhere. Edit once, update everywhere. This what makes it pocket-friendly technology.

# 4] Platform Independent: The programming languages including Javascript, C, C# are console programming languages and not platform specific that turns out to be a plus point for a developer.

Ok fine, Accepted! Cross-Platform is the best option for all business sizes and there is no halt to this technology. But, how the business will earn profit out of it?

-One app, compatible with multiple devices

-Touch of native

-Pocket friendly

-Easy app development and deployment

-Easy cloud integration

Nope, nope, native apps are also the best option for the businesses. Both have their standpoints. However, platform selection depends on the app requirement, use case, and the targeted audience.

If you still are in dilemma, lay your eyes below:

So, did you get a clear idea of cross-platform and native app development?

Oops! discussing native Vs cross-platform, I missed my focus from the topic.

Well! It’s true that 2016 is the year of cross-platform. For instance, many users who love playing games or scrolling the social media posts switch from one device to another in no time. And, to keep users connected with apps, it’s important that apps are compatible with all the devices they owe.

Take a look at the graph below…

If you look at the statistics, Google sites have larger cross-platform audiences. Whereas sites like Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon are accessed through mobiles only in huge number.  

With the advances in technology, the things change. We come across new advancements in the running apps or new apps with advanced features get deployed in the stores. Users also take a keen interest in knowing about the technology advancements. Is cross-platform new in the market? No, it isn’t? Therefore, there are numerous tools helping you to create extraordinary cross-platform apps.

Would you like to take a tour of those tools? If yes, keep reading...

10 Top-Rated Cross-Platform App Development tools you should not miss:

#1] Unity 3D: 

Are you a game developer? If yes, How can you forget Unity? It is game developer’s first choice and the largest game development platform. The rule “write once and deploy everywhere” apply here even. Surprisingly, it supports almost all the platforms we are and aren’t aware of. Besides, this game engine has a vast community and a huge asset store where you can pick and shelve your own asset kits for sale or make it free for others to use. But what matters the most is, Unity is dynamic and intuitive in nature helping you to create 2D or 3D interactive games using powerful visual effects and high-resolution graphics.   

Nope, it is not free. It’s paid. You can check out the price section or contact the Unity team to learn about it.

#2] Ionic: 

Great News! Ionic will now deploy apps for Windows Phone as well. Iconic is a cross-platform tool helping you to develop highly interactive native and progressive web apps using Angular Js.  This tool can seamlessly be integrated with Adobe Cordova (PhoneGap) and Greenhouse.

Worried about User Interface?

Efface that worry. Ionic adheres the standard native UI guidelines and even shapes the quality and performance of your app.

What Next? Feature rich app.  

It is possible. You can use Ionic’s powerful SDK built in Angular Js for developing robust and feature rich native-like applications.  

Indeed, it’s pricey and also available for free. The price is affordable. So, you can opt for the plan to get going with the premium features specially designed for enterprise.

#3] Sencha: 

Whenever a discussion takes place on cross-platform tools, Sencha is a talking point. It is the first choice for HTML5 and PhoneGap developers because it effortlessly design, develop, and test cross-platform applications. Backed by 50 inbuilt components, native looking themes, IDE plugins and three external frameworks, it helps developers to develop beautiful applications for multiple platforms. And to your notice, most of the hybrid application development companies use Sencha to build scalable, robust and interactive applications.

Sencha is a paid tool, but yes its trial version is available to let newbies acquaint with and use it to create powerful cross-platform apps.

#4] Greenhouse: 

Is developing cross-platform apps in your mind? Which tool have you opted for developing apps? PhoneGap or Ionic? No matter. Incorporate Greenhouse continuous integration server with either of these tools. Is it a DIY tool or coding tool? Umm… It’s a coding tool. But the wow thing of Greenhouse is, you can build, test and deploy your app for every single commit you make in Git, GitHub and Bitbucket repository. Besides, no installation or configuration worry, directly the build will be flashed on your device for you to test your app. Hey, the testing problem is also eliminated. Greenhouse supports both analytics and automated testing tools making it easy for testers to test the app.    

Impressed with the features of Greenhouse? If not, try the tool for free for 14 days and then choose the plan that best fits for your business.

P.S. Greenhouse has an awesome dashboard where you can find the builds of various applications ready to install on your device. No need to go to app stores and find your app.                                

#5] PhoneGap:  

Are you kidding? I mean you don’t know about PhoneGap. It is an open source tool to develop affordable apps helping you to reach your customers no matter whichever device they use. But yes, using Sencha with PhoneGap will help you enhance the quality and performance of your app giving it a complete native look. Features and functionalities and interactions, the whole user experience like native apps. The credit goes to its numerous hardware acceleration techniques.  Now, the developers can control source codes linking their PhoneGap build account with Bitbucket and Github. Isn't that great?

Yes, PhoneGap is a free tool and you can access to any plugins to develop cross-platform applications.

#6] Xamarin: 

Yes, Xamarin is a unique cross-platform tool. Though it’s available for free it delivers native applications i.e. Android, iOS and Windows. And, you know which programming language is used to develop apps? It’s C#. I know what you are thinking. Is Xamarin the tool that can help businesses interact with their customers? Yes. It is. You can implement advanced functionalities in the app using Xamarin packages for Android, iOS and Windows separately. And, to you, what matters is the native touch. The performance, quality and most important the user-friendly interface. Am I right? It says you can create a shared project and access your code anywhere across Android, iOS and Windows platforms.

NuGet is that one utility which helps you add high-quality components directly from IDE and integrate your app with a powerful back-end, in a way allowing you to develop your app faster with rich features and functionalities.

#7] Como: 

Hey! Love to travel the world just to meet your customers and invite them to visit your store? No… Then why to take so much of pains. Choose Como- the leading DIY app maker and create your own app in just 3 steps without writing a single code. There are different features available helping you impress your customers. Add them in your app and scale your business to a level. It’s the best option for small scale business looking for tools like this and making the benefit out the app.

Nope, it’s not free. Investment is involved. But you know Como is worth to have. You can contact the Como staff to learn about pricing.

#8] Mobincube: 

I think non-techy are more curious than developers. That’s why DIY tools are gaining grounds helping them build customised apps, “the way they want”. Mobincube is another DIY tool. Not a single line of code required. Drag whichever widget or feature you need and your app is ready to go to the store. Mobincube offers aesthetic and user-friendly interface allowing users to design apps effortlessly. If you haven’t tour to “make money” section then let me tell you, it is the section for you. You can monetize your own app by activating save money option and your app will automatically start showing ads. There is even Affiliate program corner which says bring new users and earn 15% of all the revenues generated by users brought by you.
If you don’t want to invest, Don’t. You can use this tool with limited utilizations. To learn more about pricing. Check out the pricing section.

#9] Mag+: 

Zest up your developing skills and create a few brochure or magazine apps instead. Mag+ helps you in creating stupendous digital apps using Designd plugin. Designd is a DIY tool so it’s you who’s gonna create your own brochure, magazines or say digital guides. Simply create a layout, drag and drop features and click the build button. In no time your app is ready to go the market and say hello to your users. There is another option for you if you don’t want to market your app, you can internally share it with your colleagues and check out how your app is garnering plaudits.

Well! Designd is free to use, just download and sail the creative world designed only by you.

#10] QT Creator: 

Hey, you are missing an excellent tool from your shelf. QT is a device creator tool allowing developers to create rapid embedded systems for various industries adhering prototyping and system designing principles. This is also a good tool to develop cross-platform apps as it supports all the platforms just like Unity. Performance, user-friendly and interactive interface, highly advanced features what else you need to create an exemplary user experience for your app? Addition to it, you can walk through various resources, examples, tutorials and different case studies which is helpful enough to build an extraordinary embedded system and apps.

Yup, it’s available as open source and commercial as well. To learn more on pricing do contact the staff or go the download section.

#11] Kony:

This is one of the amazing cross-platform tools you may haven’t come across yet. Kony is a one-stop solution for all elements; UI, UX, frontend, management, analytics, etc. It provides advanced features helping clients create an edge over competitors. Using Kony platform for developing cross-platform apps, it helps you visualize the app preview, reusability and provides you with the flexibility to implement that idea giving it a proper shape. That’s said, not all enterprise mobile management apps have same requirements, Kony gives you the platform helping you develop and deploy apps tailored as per your requirements. The backend is crucial, especially for every enterprise app. Kony has all the features that help in developing a robust app backend giving access to fetch enterprise data securely.

This remarkable cross platform tool is available for free as well as enterprise edition. Contact the expert team to learn about the pricing.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately the decision is yours. Which platform you want to select to get connected with your audiences. Though, developing native apps will bind you with a single language coding but will give you robust and scalable apps tailored according to your business needs.

On the contrary, Cross-platform technology is still in the enhancement mode to give you user experience like native apps.

Again, would say the decision is yours. Think twice. If you are looking for top hybrid application development companies or mobile app development companies, GoodFirms has a directory ready to guide you anytime.

If I have missed any tool which you use and think should be on the list, do let us know.

Responses (2)
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Mridul CP
October 11, 2016 06:33

Cross-platform tools are really useful as it gives the programmer the right to code once and run it on different platforms. Thanks for this informative article.

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Mridul CP
October 20, 2016 07:37

These tools listed here are really useful for developing cross-platforms apps.Thanks for thi informative article it helped me in completing my research

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