Are you planning to create an app to reach a wide business or consumer audience? Choosing an app development framework might not be high on your lists of concerns – but it should be.

You may think about developing apps for the most popular mobile platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Building your app separately for each mobile platform can require a large amount of money. In many case, costs can be reduced by using a cross-platform development or hybrid application development framework.

Picture of Android, Windows, and Apple

Write Once, Run Everywhere


The “Write once, run everywhere” approach is getting more popular among mobile app development vendors. A hybrid development framework works sort of like an automated translator, accepting code in one programming language and outputting native apps for different platforms. Depending on the app’s functionality, up to 100% of the code can be translated, leading to faster development, lower maintenance cost, and better app performance.

Many hybrid app frameworks are available in the market – commercial, free, open source; bare software development kits (SDKs) to full integrated development environments (IDEs). We asked some of Zco’s custom software engineers about their picks for the best cross-platform development frameworks. This is what they said, in no particular order.

Xamarin


A world-class native as well as hybrid development framework that helps to create high performance, multi-plCross multi-platform app development softwareatform mobile apps. It supports iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OS X. Recently, Xamarin has announced their integration with Microsoft Visual Studio 2015, which eases the transition for Windows coders. It has full API coverage and up to 90% code sharing across platforms.

Building apps with Xamarin helps retain a native user interface (UI) across platforms. Its enhanced IDE provides automatic code completion, advanced solution management, an extensive project template library, and integrated source control. The Xamarin mobile library delivers an integrated

Application Programming Interface (API) to access shared resources from iOS, Android, and Windows Phone platforms.

Appcelerator Studio

Multi-platform app development

A framework created with the “Mobile First” philosophy in mind. Appcelerator Studio is exclusively developed in line with web standards to provide future support for mobile web apps. The framework allows rapid prototyping by combining code written in JavaScript with the Appcelerator API. Thus it reduces the development cost and lines of code.

Appcelerator has wide access to high level APIs and native UI interface components to offer device-specific features and functionality. The framework provides packages for enterprise-grade mobile security and distribution on each platform’s app stores. Sub-components like the Alloy MVC framework, Arrow backend-as-a-service builder, and Titanium SDK offer flexibility in building different kinds of applications for phones, tablets, desktops, and wearables like Apple Watch.

PhoneGap

Cross-platform app development software

PhoneGap, based on Apache Cordova at its core, is an open source mobile app development framework owned by Adobe. This framework allows you to build native mobile apps using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for many platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, HP WebOS, Symbian, and Bada).
 
PhoneGap’s powerful APIs allow your app to access native device features like camera, contacts, storage, media, accelerometer, etc. Developers can build the app once and then wrap it in the PhoneGap framework to make it work on different platforms.

Marmalade


An award-winning hybrid app development framework, Marmalade is one of the most popular toolsets that ensHybrid app development toolsures performance, portability and flexibility across all major mobile, desktop, and TV platforms. Marmalade offers developers a creative workspace to build and distribute highly interactive apps and games across multiple platforms, easily and quickly.

Marmalade consists of a powerful SDK that helps developers to deploy code across multiple platforms and devices using a single code base in C++, Lua, HTML, or Objective-C. The framework provides a set of powerful APIs to access smart devices’ features like  GPS, camera, accelerometer, 2D and 3D graphics, and more. Marmalade Web, a hybrid tool developed by the company, creates cross-platform apps with HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and Marmalade Quick.

Sencha Touch

Mobile web app development

A hybrid app framework with all the powers of HTML5 and CSS3. The tool packages HTML5 device APIs into mobile apps to make them compatible with multiple platforms. This framework supports Cordova and PhoneGap builds for native packaging.

Sencha Touch provides highly responsive touch features to allow users easily navigate through the app, including hardware acceleration and more than 50 built-in UI themes. The framework provides adaptive layouts (to switch from portrait to landscape instantly), fine scrolling, and animation features to deliver natural mobile app experiences to end users.

To get started with hybrid mobile app development for your business, contact our expert mobile developers at (603) 881-9200 or email us today!


Tags: cross-platform development software, hybrid app frameworks, Appcelerator Studio, PhoneGap framework, cross platform apps, Sencha Touch, hybrid mobile app development tools

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