Top Technologies Used to Develop Mobile Apps

How Are Mobile Applications Transforming Businesses Today

Business mobile applications are a must-have for reaching diverse audiences and making immense fortune in today’s digital-savvy market. Enterprise mobile apps help you achieve more than what you could with a run-of-the-mill website or a legacy desktop software. A mobile app built on the right technology stack improves your competitive advantage and drives ROI.
Mobile apps are changing the business and consumer landscapes like never before. More people are ditching their desktops and are solely relying on smartphones to access product data, compare competitors, and make purchases online. If the internet helped boost your brand’s global presence, mobile apps push you a step further by transforming the way you do business. Today, mobile apps are a platform to share information, collaborate with vendors and partners, and interact with customers located anywhere in the world. From the basic productivity apps like calendar, email, and contacts to the trendy AI-powered ecommerce apps and healthcare wearables, mobile apps have come a long way.
According to eMarketer’s analysis, the US adults spend more than 88% of their mobile time on apps and a large majority of them prefer in-app experiences. This is inspiring news for mobile app developers, publishers, and businesses. With a solid grasp of the top mobile programming languages, frameworks, and app development platforms, you can build world-class mobile apps that users will download and use.

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Five Major Programming Languages Used To Develop Mobile Apps Today

Five of the most popular programming languages for mobile app development are listed here:

Top Tools That Can Help You Get Started With Building Your Own Mobile App

These developer tools are perfect for building mobile apps from scratch and even offer multi-platform capabilities for reaching larger audiences.

1. Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) is a mobile application development framework for building hybrid mobile apps using the standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It enables cross-platform development which avoids the need for developing native apps for each mobile platform and OS. Applications developed using Apache Cordova use wrappers to execute the native functions of the targeted platform. Standards-compliant APIs are used to access each device’s data, sensor, and network status. This framework allows mixing native and hybrid code snippets which results in apps that are neither truly native mobile nor purely web-based applications. Cordova also helps develop a plugin interface between native and WebView components.

2. Appcelerator

Appcelerator is a leading open-source, cross-platform development framework that allows enterprises to build native apps for platform such as Android, iOS and Windows using a single codebase. In 2016, Appcelerator was acquired by Axway, a French-American publicly-held company that offers software and services for enterprises to manage their data flows. Appcelerator framework is cloud-based, supporting developers to use it from anywhere. It offers several built-in UI components and an Apache-licensed MVC app framework named "Alloy" to separate the user interface, business logic, and data models of mobile apps. Appcelerator framework drives your mobile app to success with real-time mobile analytics, an open extensible development environment, scalable cloud service, API Builder, and API Runtime.

3. RhoMobile Suite

RhoMobile Suite (formerly Rhodes Framework) is an open source framework that includes a set of development tools for creating cross-platform, data-centric, business and consumer grade native mobile apps. It uses standard web technologies, such as HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, and Ruby to build native mobile apps. Using RhoMobile, developers can write an app once and run it everywhere, including the most-used operating systems (iOS, Android, and Windows). RhoMobile Suite consists of Rhodes, RhoElements, RhoStudio, RhoConnect, RhoHub and RhoGallery. Tau Technologies Inc., the organization that currently supports and develops RhoMobile states that the framework can reduce the cost and development time of mobile applications up to 3 times.

4. WidgetPad

WidgetPad is one of the best open-source frameworks that provides a perfect development environment to create cross-platform mobile applications for iOS, Android and WebOS mobile operating systems. WidgetPad uses standard web technologies like CSS3, JavaScript, and HTML5 to provide a secure and open development environment. The framework offers developers a multitude of features like source code editing, versioning, collaboration, debugging, project management, and distribution to build powerful apps. WidgetPad reduces the complexity of creating native applications. You can easily add and customize the common widgets such as maps, social media feeds, forms, video players, and much more with a few clicks.

5. Solar2D

Solar2D (formerly Corona SDK), developed by Corona Labs Inc. is a free and open-source, cross-platform SDK, currently maintained by Vlad Shcherban. This software development kit is used by developers to build two-dimensional (2D) mobile applications for Kindle, Android, and iOS as well as connected TV applications for Android TV, Apple TV, and Fire TV, with just one code base. The framework also helps build desktop apps for Linux, macOS, and Windows devices. Solar2D kit offers plugins for all critical business needs, such as in-app advertising, analytics, media, and much more. Solar2D is based on Lua, an open-source scripting language which is lightweight, fast, and powerful. Solar2D Native is an operational mode of the framework that allows you to call any native library or API to extend the functionality of Solar2D.

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Types of Mobile App Development Frameworks

A mobile development framework is a software library or framework that provides an underlying structure to enable the development of mobile applications for a specific environment. In general, there are three broad frameworks:

1. Native Apps

Native mobile app frameworks enable platform-specific development. A native framework is designed to build applications for a specific operating system, such as iOS, Android, or Windows. For example, Java and Kotlin are used for developing native Android apps, while Objective-C and Swift are used for developing native iOS apps. Native applications take advantage of the device-specific hardware and software to offer highly optimized performance and results.

2. Web-Native Mobile Apps

This framework is an approach to promote cross-platform mobile development. Most cross-platform frameworks support developers to build mobile apps with the web languages they already know, reducing the learning curve and development cycle. Frameworks like Ionic, Xamarin, React Native, and Flutter enable organizations to build truly native mobile applications for iOS and Android as well as mobile-optimized Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

3. Hybrid Apps

Hybrid frameworks combine the features of both native and cross-platform frameworks. This framework offers plugins that allow developers to embed the code written using standard web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript) into a native application. For example, Apache Cordova offers plugins to connect its framework with native APIs like camera, GPS, notifications, and much more to deliver a native mobile experience. Ionic framework’s Capacitor plugin helps create web native apps which also run natively on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Leading Mobile Application Development Frameworks That Developers Should Explore

Check out the top seven mobile application frameworks that developers should be pursuing currently to build award-winning mobile apps.
Flutter is an open source, cross-platform software development kit (SDK) developed by Google. It extends a wide range of plugins backed by Google and allows mobile apps to be built for both Android and Apple iOS platforms. A trending mobile application development framework, Flutter allows you to build, test, and deploy natively-compiled stunning mobile apps for any screen (mobile, desktop, web) from a single code base. It uses “Dart” as a programming language instead of JavaScript which facilitates rapid and effective analysis, fabricates UIs, includes highlights, and fixes bugs in milliseconds. Flutter is a unique mobile app development toolkit that doesn’t rely on the web browser technology and the widgets shipped with each device. Flutter uses its own high-performance engine to customize widgets.
This JavaScript open-source framework is one of the most preferred native mobile app development technologies in recent times. React Native offers ample support to IDEs and other mobile app development tools to support the development of native apps for iOS and Android platforms. ReactNative allows native mobile apps to be built with JavaScript, using the same design as React. Native apps built using this framework are truly native, that cannot be distinguished from an app built using Objective-C or Java or Swift. React Native can be used to upgrade your existing iOS and Android apps as well as to create whole new native mobile apps from scratch. Developers can use React Native to share code across multiple platforms from a single code base. This can be done by creating platform-specific versions of the code components.
Ionic is a modern, cross-platform, open-source SDK for iOS and Android apps. It uses the standard web technologies – HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to build powerful apps for multiple platforms and supports creating their UI functionalities with ease, all from a single code base. Ionic mobile app development technology works on iOS’s UIWebView or Android’s WebView. Ionic is built on top of Angular JS and Apache Cordova, offering developers the easiest way to build, grow, and scale cross-platform mobile apps. Built-in CI/CD tools for testing and deployment automates app delivery by helping organizations publish their apps directly to the Google and Apple App Stores. Ionic’s cloud security safeguards and best-in-class mobile security solutions protect sensitive data.
Xamarin is a free and open-source, cross-platform app building platform for creating iOS and Android apps using .NET and C#. With the benefits of code sharing and extending access to native APIs, Xamarin builds applications that render exact native app experience. It is one of the most time and cost saving frameworks for mobile app development. Xamarin allows you to deliver native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with a single shared .NET code base. The framework offers access to the full spectrum of functionality exposed by the underlying platform and device, including platform-specific capabilities. Xamarin’s seamless integration with Azure Cloud Platform offers your mobile app a scalable, efficient, and versatile back-end, with storage, database, and intelligent services.
Originally developed by Progress (Telerik by Progress), NativeScript is one of the most desired open source frameworks to develop Apple iOS and Android apps today. NativeScript allows developers to build mobile apps using JavaScript or any other language that trans-compiles to JavaScript (eg: TypeScript). Native API reflection, Angular integration, and Vue.js integration are some of the notable features of NativeScript. The framework also allows developers to re-purpose third-party libraries from Maven, npm.js, and CocoaPods into their apps without using any wrappers. Cross-technology compatibility of NativeScript with JavaScript, Angular, or TypeScript promotes component reusability. The framework offers direct and complete access to all kinds of iOS and Android APIs.
Felgo (formerly V-Play Engine) is a popular native cross-platform development framework with which you can create flexible and modern apps compiled natively from a single code-base for Android, iOS, Desktop, Web, and Embedded platforms. Felgo uses Qt as its core framework which simplifies the development of high-quality mobile apps across industries, such as telecommunication, entertainment, and automotive. According to Felgo, developers can save up to 90% code with true cross-platform components, service integrations, and out-of-the-box native UI/UX. QML Hot Reload, Felgo Cloud Builds CI/CD, and Felgo Cloud IDE allow you to build, distribute, and publish your apps faster from the cloud.
Mobile Angular UI is an open source mobile UI framework that combines the best features of Angular js and Bootstrap. It provides the essential mobile components that are missing in Bootstrap. The framework offers fresh UI components such as navbar, sidebars, modals and overlays, switches, etc. to create world-class user interfaces that are optimized for mobile viewing. Since it makes use of Angular js and Bootstrap, it’s easy for developers to learn the framework and get started. Mobile Angular UI allows businesses to build HTML5 hybrid mobile and desktop apps with less effort. It is easy to convert an existing web application to a mobile application using Mobile Angular UI. Just include a CSS file and you will get a fully responsive, touch-enabled mobile interface that can be used from anywhere.

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Fingent’s Mobile App Development Case Studies

At Fingent, we specialize as an enterprise software development company. Our cutting-edge mobile apps are game-changers and life-savers for many of our clients, including the ones below:

1. Customized Mobile App for Travelers

Our customer is a real-time safety measurement and rating platform that enables travelers to gauge their personal safety level at any moment, from anywhere. Fingent helped them create a customized mobile app to assist travelers with personalized and quantifiable travel security content.
Fingent’s Solution: Highlights

2. VR-integrated Mobile App for a University

A leading university in the United States wanted to make their programs and courses more accessible to students from the underprivileged areas of the state. They wanted to develop a highly-interactive mobile app that could help students pursue learning and explore career paths without complications.
Fingent’s Solution: Highlights

How Can Fingent Help in Mobile App Development

Investing in custom mobile app development is the right way to match your business model to your key audience’s behavior. If you are an influential enterprise with an active mobile app in the market, your mobile app growth strategy should focus on improving your existing product with the latest mobile technologies and deliver more value to customers.
Fingent specializes in mobile app development and our experts can position your app for success, right from idea to launch. Leveraging insights from the above mobile app development tools and frameworks can help you get a leg up on the competition, cut costs, improve your brand’s visibility, and engage your customers in incredible ways. Contact us to know more.

FAQs on Mobile App Development Technologies

A mobile app development framework is a software development kit (SDK) or a library that provides the foundational structure to enable the development of mobile applications for a specific environment. Mobile frameworks are broadly classified into three categories – native apps, web-native mobile apps, and hybrid apps.
Ionic, React Native and Xamarin are some of the widely used mobile app frameworks today. Based on the app’s purpose and features, you can choose the best framework that fits your goals.
Consider these factors when choosing a mobile development framework:
  • >> Feature support and extensibility
  • >> Code-sharing and reusability of components
  • >> Speed of development
  • >> Application performance
  • >> Compatibility with third-party plugins and APIs
  • >> Development cost
  • >> Expertise in the chosen framework
Apache Cordova, React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, Corona SDK, Framework7, and NativeScript are some of the top frameworks available for Android app development.
Swift UI, React Native, Sencha Ext JS, Flutter, Swiftic, and Xamarin are some of the leading frameworks available for iOS mobile app development.
Java, Kotlin, Python, R programming, C++, HTML5, and C# are the major programming languages used for developing Android mobile apps. iOS mobile apps are powered by programming languages like Swift, Objective-C, C#, and HTML5.