Mobile users have significantly increased in numbers as portable devices give easy access to various online activities. While users prefer mobile devices for browsing and shopping, companies and corporations have leveraged the trend to generate better sales for their services/products. However, the development of a mobile app is a significant investment to consider for businesses.
For both experienced mobile application companies and those seeking to develop a mobile app, thorough market research, strategy planning, and an analysis of the existing mobile landscape are crucial for success in the highly competitive digital market.
Although native apps offer a superior user experience in appearance and functionality, they are costly to build and maintain. Additionally, maximizing customer engagement through native apps can be a challenge due to the many devices and channels.
As a solution, companies can utilize mobile app development frameworks to build a web-based, hybrid, or a cross-platform mobile app at a lower cost.
- Understanding mobile application development frameworks
- Popular frameworks for mobile app development
- List of no-code app builders
What are Mobile Application Development Frameworks?
A software framework designed for the creation of mobile apps is called a mobile app development framework, and it enables app developers in building their applications.
Mobile app development frameworks are pre-designed templates or structures that aid developers in building and optimizing apps. These rule-focused frameworks restrict developers in such a way that assists them in avoiding time-eating programming errors, resulting in faster and efficient work.
Suppose you intended to construct a building. If you were to do it manually, it would take a significant amount of time, and you would probably make numerous errors, resulting in an outcome that does not meet your expectations. On the contrary, you would engage mobile app development companies to avoid errors and utilize software tools to expedite the process.
A mobile app development framework operates similarly and is the “machinery” that accelerates the app development process. Every framework is developed and continually tested by software developers who are considered “experts” to ensure that it keeps app development process on track.
Understanding Types of Mobile App Development Frameworks
Android, Windows, and iOS are among the many digital operating systems available today. Mobile applications are available today in various shapes and sizes, not limited to specific areas such as purchasing or gaming.
However, mobile apps can be classified into three types concerning how applications function on a smartphone.
Type 1. Native Apps
Mobile apps are created to run on specified operating systems like Android or iOS. These apps utilize the device features like GPS, camera, and memory, to enhance their functionality.
Type 2. Web Apps
A web app is a software stored on a remote server and accessed through a web browser interface. Examples of web apps include email clients, online shopping platforms, weblogs, auction sites, and instant messaging.
Type 3. Hybrid Apps
Hybrid apps are mobile applications installed on smartphones like any other.
However, what distinguishes them is their unique combination of native app features and web app components.
The development of hybrid apps is either done through a native app or hybrid app development frameworks.
In terms of functionality and aesthetics, native apps are considered top-tier applications.
Nonetheless, developing native apps can be more costly, and achieving high customer engagement may prove challenging due to the multitude of platforms available.
List of Popular Mobile App Development Frameworks
Now that you understand what a mobile app development framework is and its types, let us share the list of top mobile app development frameworks that most professional mobile app developers in Houston prefer.
Framework No 1. Flutter
- Rendering engine with mobile-first 2D features and heavy optimization for text support
- Framework with new React styles
- Contains widget sets for design
- APIs available for tests and connection with 3rd parties
- Runs tests on different operating systems using headless test runners
- Tools to debug, test and profile an app
- Command line parameters for app creation, compiling, and testing
- Visually pleasing with native performance
Flutter is a free mobile app development framework by Google that allows developers to create native iOS and Android mobile, desktop and web apps from a single codebase. It is well-known for its ability to facilitate the rapid creation of aesthetically appealing mobile apps.
Flutter is a comprehensive framework that comprises a rendering engine, widgets, and testing with APIs to assist developers in building visually pleasing mobile applications.
Framework No 2. Swiftic
- Availability of push notifications
- Offers a loyalty card for recurring shoppers
- Builds a mobile store with in-app coupon features
- Easy communication tools and navigation
- Support for order, menu management, and customer engagement
- Social media support for the promotion
- Analytics tools and integration with 3rd party
Swiftic is considered one of the top mobile app development frameworks available for the iOS operating system. It boasts an interface that is easy to navigate. Opting for Swiftic is convenient as all its plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Moreover, it also offers a 6-month success guarantee, which means you will receive six months of service for free if you don’t achieve any results from using it.
Framework No 3. React Native
- Elements with reusability features
- Plugins for 3rd party integration such as Node JS
- Single code compatibility for all platforms
- GUI creation with component foundations suitable for the front-end applications
- APIs for predictive interface
- Live reloading and NPM installation
React Native libraries provide swift and satisfactory development experience for iOS and Android applications. Numerous well-known companies, including Airbnb, Amazon Prime, and Skype have employed the React Native mobile framework to develop their apps.
The primary advantage of React Native is its ability to provide a fast development and implementation phase besides other advantages for React Native front end development.
Framework No 4. Native Scripts
- Layout with native WebViews
- Access to operating systems (Android and iOS)
- Availability of cross-platform integration
- Mission-centric support for businesses
- Strong support for backend functions
Native Script is preferred over other frameworks because it reduces the required code and decreases the time it takes for an application to load on a device. Numerous prominent companies use Native Scripts because of its robust web empowerment platform.
Framework No 5. Xamarin
- Quick advancements
- Native app layout and appearance
- Compatible with multiple devices
Xamarin is a cross-platform app development framework that offers an alternative for building apps for both Android and iOS. This framework uses the C# language, which helps to reduce the number of line of codes needed for development. Developers can code more quickly. Xamarin makes transferring scripts to other platforms, such as Windows or macOS, easy.
While faster app development may seem to come at the cost of quality and build time, Xamarin-focused apps provide excellent native functionality concerning both efficiency and quality. Additionally, its integration with Microsoft Visual Studio enhances app development management.
In Xamarin, an intermediary layer manages the communication between the central system code and the regular code. By utilizing various frameworks, tools, and programming languages supported by a vibrant community, developers can create an ecosystem of APIs, components, backend, and other resources.
Framework No 6. Ionic
- Multiple-platform app development
- Consistent user interface and dashboard
- Performance enhancement with diagnostic tools
- User flexibility
Ionic is a framework designed to create Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and hybrid mobile applications. It is a user-friendly framework that leverages Apache Cordova (PhoneGap) and Angular to allow developers to build Android and iOS apps that work seamlessly.
The Ionic framework assists developers in building robust native apps that are full of features. The key feature in Ionic is its ability to allow programmers to use various components for UI present within the application core framework, such as inputs, filters, , easy navigation, views, and action sheets.
Framework No 7. Sencha Ext JS
- Manages huge chunks of data
- Analytics and layout with flexibility
- Data representation in visual form
- Modern Data-Driven Documents Page (D3)
Ext JS provides over 115 pre-installed and highly functional UI components, such as HTML5 calendar, grids, D3 adapters, trees, menu, lists, forms, toolbars, panels, windows, and many others. Furthermore, Sencha offers numerous user extensions.
Framework No 8. Apache Cordova
- Single source code
- Streamlined development process
- 3rd party app management feature and methods
By leveraging Cordova plugins, developers can access hardware features in a smartphone such as cameras or GPS and accelerometers to provide a native-like experience. Apache Cordova stands out for its ability to quickly develop apps using a single codebase and its third-party app management tools.
Framework No 9. jQuery Mobile
- Limited size
- PI compatibility
- Works with almost all the best mobile app development frameworks
jQuery Mobile employs an HTML5-based base and the Theme Roller feature to offer adaptable themes for web and mobile apps. The framework is available in two versions: a customizable framework and a stable, updated version.
Framework No 10. Framework 7
- Uses familiar syntax by jQuery
- In-built library
- Able to collaborate with React or Angular
- Rich icons, templates, and plugin sets
- UI elements and offers support for Vue.JS and React
Framework7 is a development framework that is comparatively easy to understand and utilize. It allows developers to create web, desktop, and mobile apps with a native user interface. It’s also a valuable prototyping tool that helps to display functional app prototypes quickly.
Framework7 offers a wide range of UI widgets and components, including popups, dialogs, action sheets, list views, side panels, tabs, layout grids, and many more, ready to use without extra effort. This is one of the major benefits of Framework 7.
Learn more about React vs Vue.Js for understanding how well it fits with Framework 7.
Which frameworks are the best for native app development?
There is no single “best” framework for native app development, as the choice of framework largely depends on the specific needs and requirements of the project, as well as the skills and preferences of the development team.
Some popular native app development frameworks include Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, and NativeScript. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate each framework’s features, capabilities, and limitations to determine the most suitable for your project.
Which is the best mobile app development framework?
Flutter has quickly climbed up the ranks to become one of the top Android frameworks, and it now holds the second position after React Native in terms of popularity. Other frameworks considered great for mobile app development include Onsen UI, React Native, NativeScript, and Ionic.
Examples of Top Mobile Development Frameworks
According to the list mentioned above, some of the most recommended frameworks by ClickySoft professionals are:
- React Native
- Native Scripts
- Sencha Ext JS
How to select the right mobile app framework?
If you want to select the right mobile app development framework for development, consider these features:
- Available support features in the platform
- Developmental costs
- Security features
- Efficiency and availability of updates after launch
Bonus: List of No-Code App Builders – Alternate to App Development Frameworks
A “no-code” app builder is a software that allows individuals to develop functional apps without requiring programming skills. Typically, these platforms utilize visual editors with pre-coded drag-and-drop elements.
With no-code app builders, users can create apps without relying solely on software developers.
Some of the benefits of no-code apps include the following:
No-code app builders are a cost-effective alternative to custom app development. They eliminate the need for multiple iterations and reduce the overall expenses involved in the process.
Reducing the production time is the most significant benefit of using no-code app builders since time is a crucial cost factor in app development, and these builders utilize previously coded blocks.
No-code app builders can facilitate the integration of teams (technical and non-technical), promoting greater feedback collection, collaboration, and innovation, as opposed to working in separate groups.
List of Popular No-Code App Builders
GlideApps is a tool that enables you to create mobile apps for iOS and Android without any coding skills by using data from spreadsheets such as Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. It provides a wide range of templates, and you can easily share your apps using a link or a QR code. The only requirement is the spreadsheet data.
2. Bravo Studio
Another no-code app builder that prioritizes design is Bravo Studio, which enables users to create apps for both iOS and Android platforms. With Bravo Studio, users can also connect their designs to external tools using APIs, allowing for the development of more complex applications.
Adalo is a no-code app builder that simplifies building web and mobile apps for Android and iOS. It provides a user-friendly platform that makes app creation as simple as creating a slide deck, which is ideal for individuals who don’t know how to code. It features a wide range of ready to use components like forms, lists, payments, navigation buttons, and more that integrates with 1500 other apps, including Zapier.
Bubble is a platform that allows users to create SaaS applications, CRM, and marketplace web applications without writing code.
It provides various features, including API connectivity, customizable UX logic, and dynamic content, and the apps developed using Bubble can scale up easily without requiring significant technical modifications.
We have compiled the list of top and most popular mobile development frameworks after careful consideration of factors such as development time, operating systems and others. Mobile application development is constantly evolving from a single platform to cross-platform applications.
As a result, there have been significant changes in mobile development trends, such as the use of code, script, platforms, integration, development methods, and deployment.
With the emergence of hybrid, native, and web applications, technologies like IoT, AI, ML, and Blockchain are being implemented to provide smarter, more secure, and improved user experiences. These technologies’ integration makes it exciting to observe how hybrid applications will become with their fast adoption.