Top 14 Mobile App Development Tools for Building Apps

We are living in an era where apps are within arm’s reach to make our life comfortable. It is difficult to count the use cases of mobile apps as they are seemingly endless.

It is also predicted that in the year 2023, mobile app market will generate more than $935 billion in revenues from paid downloads and in-app advertising. Therefore, many people are attracted to build a mobile app to grow their business.

But don’t celebrate too early. Having an idea for the app is not enough. You still need to figure out the best mobile app development tools to build an app. And before you start to invest in any of the tools, you must know about them in detail.

Thus, to help you, we have covered every type of app development tool with detailed analysis. Let’s find out the best app development tool for you.

What is a Mobile App Development Tool?

Building a mobile app is not a simple recipe that you can create within some hours. For this, you need several things, and one of them is a mobile application development tool.

Mobile App Development Process

It is a mobile app development software that helps to make the application development process easier. It provides various IDEs, code-free developments, templates, API, data synchronization, and analytics.

This allows mobile app developers to have faster app development. It also simplifies the integration process with backend services, such as push notifications. An app development tool ensures a visual development environment and features like hardware compatibility and support in workflow design.

Now, we will know the various types of app development tools. So, let’s start with the native app development tools first.

Native Mobile App Development Tools

Native mobile app development tools are especially recommended when someone wants to create an app that is intended to work on only one platform. This means the following native app development tools will work only for the Android platform or iOS platform. This way, you can publish the apps on their respective app stores.

Want to Create a Native App?

Want to validate your idea? Want to get a free consultation from an expert?

Therefore, we have also compared the following app development software for beginners based on their reviews and advanced features to help them. Let’s check these native tools first for Android.

Native App Development Tools for Android

ToolFeaturesRatings(G2)PriceDemo
Android Studio
  • Code and iterate faster than ever
  • Fast and feature-rich emulator
  • Testing tools and frameworks
  • Configure builds without limits
4.5

376 REVIEWS
  • Free
No
IntelliJ IDEA & Android SDK
  • Offers in-depth coding assistance
  • Follows the approach of developer ergonomics
  • Testing tools and frameworks
  • In-built development tools
4.6

1678 REVIEWS
  • IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate – USD 499
  • All Products Pack – USD 649
No

Takeaway: Being free, Android Studio is the perfect choice to develop Android apps. However, IntelliJ IDEA got the best ratings.

  1. Android Studio
    Android Studio
    Why Choose Android Studio?

    If you are looking for a stable IDE and want to accelerate the mobile application development process, then you must choose this app development tool.

    Android Studio is helpful to develop native Android apps. Not only fast, but it also offers tools to develop apps for all types of Android mobile phones. This ensures that you build a highly productive and efficient app to work on.

    It uses a highly integrated Gradle build system which enhances the experience of an Android app developer. It also offers a graphical user interface. This makes it easy for Android app developers to use drag-and-drop appropriately.

    Famous App: Netflix

  2. IntelliJ IDEA & Android SDK
    IntelliJ IDEA
    Why Choose IntelliJ IDEA?

    If you want to manage all your routine and repetitive tasks, then IntelliJ IDEA is the best choice to help you in focussing on creative work only.

    IntelliJ IDEA is a native mobile app development tool that focuses on enhancing the productivity of app developers. It is for the JVM language and helps developers in code completion, static code analysis, refactorings, and self-managing all the tasks.

    It is a multi-platform IDE, making it easier for you to develop apps on different platforms, such as Windows and macOS. Also, it supports various languages, including Java, Kotlin, and Scala, that you can compile into the JVM bytecode.

    Android SDK ensures you build the best Android apps using IntelliJ IDEA. You can configure Android SDK, which has a collection of tools and libraries. All these help to provide a smooth process in developing Android applications.

    Famous App: Lyft

Native App Development Tools for iOS

ToolFeaturesRatings(G2)PriceDemo
Xcode
  • Use the single-window interface
  • Offer various testing options to remove bugs
  • Offer a closed environment
  • Get complete documentation
4.1

775 REVIEWS
  • Free
  • USD 99
No
AppCode
  • One IDE for many languages
  • Built-in tools & integrations
  • Intelligent code assistance
4.3

17 REVIEWS
  • AppCode – USD 199
  • All Products Pack – USD 649
No

Takeaway: Xcode is free and the most used native app development tool for iOS apps.

  1. Xcode
    Xcode
    Why Choose Xcode?

    Xcode comes with debugging tools that help you to resolve problems faster. Also, it becomes easy with management tools to manage image assets and code files.

    You can create apps for various operating system platforms using Xcode, such as iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. If you have planned to build an iOS app or macOS, this official tool is the perfect choice for you. You can develop as well as publish the app on App Store.

    Xcode comes with various essential tools that you need to create an app, including a text editor, a compiler, and a build system. This makes it easy for the iOS developers to write, compile, debug apps, and also help you to publish the app. It also offers the best mobile application development environments to build an app.

    Famous App: Uber

  2. AppCode
    AppCode
    Why Choose AppCode?

    It is a smart integrated development environment that can easily simplify the code management tasks in a very efficient way to save more time.

    AppCode is an IDE and can be used with various programming languages, like Swift, Objective-C, C, and C++. AppCode is built on the IntelliJ IDEA platform and can be used by installing plug-ins or writing their own plug-ins.

    Moreover, it helps developers to automate some routine tasks, locating and fixing the errors. This way, increase your productivity to build native iOS apps and give an equal asset to a business.

Create Your Own iOS App

Get free consultation from an iOS app expert.

Cross-platform Mobile App Development Tools

Cross-platform tools are also known as hybrid mobile app development tools. These tools are intended to work for various platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows. This is the main reason, people are more oriented towards using cross-platform tools to develop mobile apps.

Therefore, we have also listed some of the best cross-platform tools and created a detailed analysis based on their ratings, price, and advanced features. Let’s get started with the comparison first.

ToolFeaturesRatings(G2)PriceDemo
React Native
  • Code and iterate faster than ever
  • Supports C++, Java, Swift, Objective, and Python
  • Up to 80% of sharable codebase
  • OTA updates
  • Plug-n-play custom templates
4.3

45 REVIEWS
  • Free
No
Flutter
  • Offers in-depth coding assistance
  • Expressive and Flexible UI
  • Native Performance
  • Rich motion APIs
4.5

20 REVIEWS
  • Free
No
Ionic
  • Free and open source
  • Library of mobile-optimized UI components
  • Touch-optimized gestures
  • AOT compiling
  • Vanilla JavaScript
4.5

20 REVIEWS
  • Free
  • Launch – $42 per month
  • Growth – $102 per month
No
Xamarin
  • Free courses, tutorials, videos
  • Forms UI with XAML
  • Xamarin.Essentials & SkiaSharp for native APIs
4.4

55 REVIEWS
  • Indie – $25 per month
  • Business – $999 per month
  • Enterprise – $1899 per month
No
Unity
  • Bolt Visual Studio
  • Launch on 17 Platforms
  • C# Job System
  • 2D animation
4.5

220 REVIEWS
  • Free
  • Business – $999 per month
  • Plus – $399/year
  • Enterprise – $200 per month
Available

Takeaway: Being the most favorite choice, React Native tops the list in all the cross-platform tools. It is not only free but also has the best features.

  1. React Native

    React Native
    Why Choose React Native?

    It offers the best user interface to reduce the load time, makes it faster to develop apps without compromising the quality and functionality.

    React Native is the best choice to develop mobile apps. The reason being that it supports various programming languages, like Java, Swift, and C++. Moreover, React Native uses up to 80% of a single code base.

    React Native Statista

    Source: Statista

    This is the highest sharing percentage any other tool can offer you apart from React Native. Apart from that, it provides OTA (Over the Air) updates to make it easy for the developers to share the updated version. This will help them to share the updates with firewalls and improvements over the air.

    Famous Apps: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest

  2. Flutter

    React Native
    Why Choose Flutter?

    You can develop mobile apps at the best speed, as you can write code faster for all the platforms to save time and money. You also get ample libraries and excellent documentation.

    Flutter is a mobile development tool that lets you design the same UI for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows. It gives the ability to developers to use its expressive and flexible UI toolkit.

    Instead of sharing a code-base, you can develop apps using Dart languages that have the same performance as native apps. Moreover, you get the rich motion UPIs to work with and to let your apps use data from other apps on any device. This also ensures the best user experience for the customers.

  3. Ionic

    Ionic
    Why Choose Ionic?

    This advanced tool lets the browser render the code without compiling an app and makes the whole app developing process easier.

    Being an open-source tool, you can use Ionic for free to develop mobile apps. It comes with a comprehensive library of mobile-optimized components of UI. This way, it becomes easy for you to give a better UI even than the native apps.

    To make the application development easier, you can use the JavaScript programming language. Ionic is the perfect tool for developing web, iOS, and Android apps. Also, you get top-notch touch-optimized gestures and AOT compiling with Ionic.

    Famous Apps: MarketWatch, JustWatch, McDonald’s

  4. Xamarin

    Xamarin
    Why Choose Xamarin?

    With this advanced tool, develop apps using a single language C# and class library to run on various operating system platforms, like Windows, Android, and iOS.

    Xamarin is owned by Microsoft and one of the most popular tools. This is an open-source mobile application development platform that helps to build high performing Windows, Android, and iOS apps with C# and .NET.

    Xamarin comes with various tools, programming languages, and libraries to make it easy for you to develop mobile apps. You can also use the existing data access and business logic layers across different platforms. Here are the things that are included in this .NET platform:

    • The C# programming language with its compilers
    • Base libraries to help you working with strings, dates, files/IO
    • Get the editors and tools for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Docker

    Famous Apps: The World Bank, Alaska Airlines, American Cancer Society

  5. Unity

    Unity
    Why Choose Unity?

    This tool is very effective in rendering 2D and 3D scenes. This is the best cross-platform development tool for gaming apps.

    Unity is the best tool to develop gaming apps because it gives the premium quality of graphics to give a rich user experience to your customers. You can use the advanced Bolt Visual Studio for creating logic for games or applications without writing code.

    It has visual and node-based graphs that a non-programmer can also design the final logic easily. Moreover, it can be deployed to over 17 different platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, PlayStation, Linux, Xbox, Wii, Web. You get the maximum benefits and easy access to push notifications.

    This makes Unity the first choice to develop 2D/3D games.

    Famous Apps: Shapes, KavTek, Grib

image
Find The Complete Guide of Cross-platform App Development Tools
  • Detailed analysis of cross-platform app development tools
  • Cross-platform mobile development comparison
  • Benefits of cross-platform mobile app development
  • Cross-platform vs Native Development

Low-code Mobile App Development Tools

According to the report of Forrestor, it is predicted that in the year 2021, a significant increase is to be shown in the adoption of low-code mobile development tools. Thus, we have shared the 3 best tools based on their reviews, price, features, and demo availability.

The reason behind using these tools is that they are easy to use, agile, efficient, and highly responsive while creating an app. Therefore, let’s have a detailed analysis of these 3 best app making software:

ToolFeaturesRatings(G2)PriceDemo
OutSystems
  • Allowing checking performance dashboards in the real-time
  • Help you to deliver scalable applications
  • Excellent security for the application
  • Easy to integrate with other systems
  • Offers various tools
4.6

399 REVIEWS
  • Free
  • Basic – $4000/month
  • Standard – $10,000/month
Available
Appian
  • Appian offers drag and drop editor tools
  • Get native AI services
  • Easy to integrate enterprise data
4.5

97 REVIEWS
  • Free
  • Standard – $60/month
Available
Alpha Anywhere
  • Access controls and permissions
  • Easy deploy management
  • Code refactoring and debugging
  • Offer collaboration tools
4.9

13 REVIEWS
  • Professional – $99/month
  • Department – $399/month
  • Business – $750/month
Available

Takeaway: OutSystems would be the best choice to develop these types of apps if we compare every tool based on their prices and reviews. OutSystems is free as well as has good ratings compared to Appian.

  1. OutSystems

    OutSystems
    Why Choose OutSystems?

    OutSystems is a rapid mobile app development tool that accelerated the delivery of mobile apps. Use a single IDE to cover the entire development lifecycle from its development to deployment and management.

    OutSystems is a platform that comes with various tools you need to create an app and also to deploy mobile and web applications. This will also help you in managing omnichannel enterprise applications.

    Many prominent companies like WB (Warner Bros) and Hewlett Packard (HP) use OutSystems to build applications because it enables the rapid, agile, and continuous development, delivery of all the apps. This is the reason OutSystems is one of the best choices.

    Famous App: An AI app by Deloitte

  2. Appian

    Appian
    Why Choose Appian?

    It helps to build business process management (BPM) applications, as its features include case management and application integration.

    Appian is known for the combination of an intelligent automation platform and a low-code platform. This way, it easily reduces the complex challenges and makes the app development faster. All the pre-built connectors and APIs will make this easy for you.

    With that, you can also build highly functional mobile applications for improving the efficiency of your business process. Once the design part is complete, you can also deploy enterprise apps across all mobile devices with the help of Appian.

    Famous App: Domino’s Pizza

  3. Alpha Anywhere

    Alpha Anywhere
    Why Choose Aplha Anywhere?

    Create offline-capable business apps that can be easily integrated with existing databases and web services, including the best security.

    Alpha Anywhere is known for the unified development of mobile and web applications, which comes with various components. With this advantage, you can develop mobile apps in less time as it comes with Alpha TransForm’s built-in programming language.

    Not only develop, but you also deploy the app securely that can integrate with data sources, applications, and workflows. It helps in optimizing the productivity of citizen developers while allowing developers to hand-code at will.

image
Find The Complete Guide of Low-code App Development Tools
  • Get to know the importance of low-code app development
  • Detailed analysis of low-code app development tools
  • Advantages and disadvantages of low-code tools
  • Low-coding vs traditional development

No-code Mobile App Development Tools

We have shared a list of the best mobile app development tools without coding requirements. If you are a non-programmer who has no prior coding experience, then the following tools will help you to build apps. Let’s check both the tools one-by-one:

ToolFeaturesRatings(G2)PriceDemo
AppSheet
  • Data integration
  • Multi-platform support
  • Data visualization
  • Hybrid cloud enablement
  • Automated workflow
4.8

251 REVIEWS
  • Free
  • Premium – $5/month
  • Pro – $10/month
Available
BuildFire
  • Offers in-depth coding assistance
  • Simple and intuitive app builder
  • Limitless functionalities with SDK
4.6

97 REVIEWS
  • USD 189/month
Available

Takeaway: Comparing these 2 no-code tools, we can conclude that AppSheet would be the best choice to develop no-code apps based on the ratings and price.

  1. AppSheet

    AppSheet
    Why Choose AppSheet?

    Despite having integration with Google Cloud, it really works well with other tools, including AWS DynamoDB, Salesforce, and Office 365. It is easy to use and for developing applications.

    AppSheet provides users with no-code tools using data sources like Google Drive, a cloud-based spreadsheet, and database platforms. This tool is used to manage various complex challenges of a business, like managing projects, field inspections, and personalized reporting.

    Now, you can easily create apps without having experience of coding with AppSheet. Its features like multi-platform support, data integration, and data visualization make it one of the best choices for developing no-code apps.

    Famous Apps: Husqvarna, TigoUne, Arrivage

  2. BuildFire

    BuildFire
    Why Choose BuildFire?

    Most of the interface app builders have a set of templates that you can’t change, but BuildFire lets you change as well as create what you need.

    BuildFire is a very simple and intuitive app builder, which requires no coding to build an app. It is a DIY platform and one of the best app development tools for non-programmers. Business users can easily build a custom app without investing much time.

    Just drag-and-drop your way through all the parts of the app from scratch, or you can also customize one of the pre-built templates.

    It is powerful and flexible to meet all your business needs and currently supports more than 10,000 apps.

    Famous Apps: Game Id, Stretch Affect

Are you looking for some more answers to your queries? Try reading the most asked questions that we have shared next.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best mobile application development tools?

  • Xcode
  • React Native
  • Alpha Anywhere
  • AppSheet

Why use app development software to build apps?

App development software helps you with the visual app developing environment that makes the whole app developing process easier and faster. It also comes with various features like hardware compatibility and assistance in workflow design.

How can I select the best mobile app development tool?

  • Check Your Requirements: Whether you want to build a native app, cross-platform app, or a low/no-code app, you will need to identify your business needs first.
  • Explore Features: Before you explore the features of a tool, ensure you have complete information of your business requirements and based on that sort the list of mobile development tools.
  • Find Their Online Reviews: This is the best way to find more about the tool and its performance. You will get an idea of the tool and also get to know what to expect and what to not.
  • Try with Demo/Trial: To measure the performance of the tool, you can get started with the demo and trial.
    Choose Free vs Paid: We have shared a list of the best development tools. Some of them are free, and some are paid. Based on your preferences, you can choose any of the ones.

Which tool is the best for Android app development?

  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • React Native

Conclusion

We have shared almost all the information that is essential to select the best mobile app development tool. We hope that the selection process will be simpler for you now.

In case you want help from professional developers to build a unique and high performing app, then get in touch with our expert team of developers.

Being a leading mobile app development company, we have experienced in developing more than 3500 apps for our clients. We will help you in finding the best solution for your complex business needs.

Author Bio
Jigar Mistry
Jigar Mistry
Designation: Vice President (Technologies)

Jigar Mistry is Vice President (Technologies) at Space-O Technologies. He has 14+ years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and on-demand.