Must-Have Mobile Development Tools That Are Free

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Mobile Development Tools

Mobile Development Tools

The advancement of technologies has led to a massive growth in mobile devices. The proliferation of devices like laptops, mobile phones and tablets has enabled business to reach their customers anytime and anywhere. It is clear that different users have different requirements and hence a mobile app developer needs to use the right development tools to develop the right type of application.

Moreover, it is important to select the tool that matches the programming skills and the knowledge of the programmer. There are many different tools that you can use to advance your skills. Here is a list of free mobile development tools that will give the developer an edge while churning a perfect application:

1. Xamarin
Xamarin is a popular framework that is used to build mobile apps for the enterprise segment. This cross-platform framework provides a C# codebase that can be used to develop apps that run on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The framework is developed by ‘Mono’, a subsidiary of Microsoft. Hence, developers can also use the .NET framework. Any application that is developed using Xamarin consists of a ‘core’ part and a ‘user interface’ part. This division gives scope for code reusability because the core code can be reused across different platforms. The user interface for different platforms is developed by C# code along with various native UI tools. This is the biggest advantage of Xamarin because the apps can incorporate native UI elements depending on the platform. Moreover, the apps can be tested using TestCloud. Today, Xamarin is the most popular framework and the support community is growing day-by-day.

2. GameSalad
Mobile apps are not only meant for enterprises but also for the enthusiast gamers. GameSalad is regarded as the best framework for designing and developing games for mobile devices. The framework enables gamers to use the ‘drag and drop’ facility to design games without having prior coding experience. The framework provides ‘In-App Previewer’ as an in-built testing tool that allows the program logic to be tested. GameSalad allows the designing and testing of games that can be played on diverse platforms like Android, Kindle, Nook, iPhone, iPad, Windows 8 and Mac. Additionally, it also supports Amazon’s Gamecircle.

3. PhoneGap
PhoneGap is the most popular framework for developing mobile apps. This is because it frees the developers from relying on platform dependent programming languages. The application can be developed using web development programming languages like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. Developers do not need to juggle between different native programming languages for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The app is developed by embedding the elements or code chunks for HTML and JavaScript. These web technologies are used to build interfaces called as ‘WebViews’ that can also call plug-ins for additional functionality. Developers can also use ‘PhoneGap Build’, a cloud based application, for compiling the app for separate platforms.

4. Sencha Touch
Sencha Touch is a free mobile app development framework that is based on the Model View Controller (MVC) design. The MVC framework is built in JavaScript and it is popularly used to create highly responsive mobile apps. Sencha helps create cross-platform applications that run comfortably on Android, Blackberry and iOS. The programs are coded in HTML5 format and they can be translated into native formats by using tools like PhoneGap. Sencha Touch provides a comprehensive library of UI widgets that help to develop faster applications.

5. Appcelerator Studio
Appcelerator Titanium is a cloud-based IDE for developing mobile apps. Appcelerator is perfectly positioned for helping newbie developers. It offers free license to individual developers who wish to develop their own mobile app. The cloud platform is JavaScript-based and hence developers can churn out professional mobile apps irrespective of the native languages. The toolkit also provides real-time statistics with regard to the usage of your mobile application. This means that you can track the overall engagement level of the app users.

6. Appsbar
If you are an aspiring mobile app developer with absolutely minimal coding skills then Apps Bar is the framework you must rely on. The framework walks you through the entire process, fromcreating the app to publishing it. Moreover, it guides you to design the app on the basis of your business category. The application builder can also be used on a mobile phone so that you can build apps when on the move. Appsbar helps to build apps for android, ioS, web and Facebook platforms.

7. Ionic
Ionic is basically a mobile app framework that comprises of CSS and JavaScript libraries. It is chiefly used to develop hybrid mobile apps using HTML5. The apps have to be developed by using Ionic along with Apache Cordova. This is because Ionic is primarily a UI framework that helps create a user interface that incorporates UI elements and layouts that resemble the elements of a native SDK. Ionic needs Cordova for translating the HTML5 app to native mobile app. Developers can test their native package build by using the AWS Device Farm. This will help test the working of the Ionic app before it actually runs on the native platform.

8. Dojo Mobile
Dojo Mobile is a popular web development framework that is used to create cross-platform mobile apps. It is a part of the Dojo Toolkit which is specifically a JavaScript library that enables rapid deployment of web apps. Dojo Mobile is an open-source framework that is available for free and also bundled with IBM’s WebSphere. Developers use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to develop mobile apps having interface resembling a native app that runs on specific mobile platform. With Dojo Mobile, apps can be built for iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone.

9. AppsGeyser
AppsGeyser is an online tool that can be used by developers to create applications for Android. The tool is particularly used by businesses who want to build apps that can be used as radio stations and video channels. These apps can be made available on Google Play Store as well as AppsGeyser’s own online store. The tool is so easy to use that one can create an entire app within five minutes. The entire process of creating the app is completed in just two simple steps. The app can be tested before publication and it also an API to call web services. The main benefit of using AppsGeyser is the opportunity to monetize the mobile app.

10. Appy Pie
Appy Pie is another free mobile development that can easily be used to create mobile apps that can be monetized. The apps can be created for various platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Fire OS. Like AppGeyser, Appy Pie also offers the apps through its own online store. The tool offers additional analytical capabilities by making use of Google Analytics along with its own analytical tool. Appy Pie comes in four versions and the free version is the most basic one. The only disadvantage is that the free version cannot be used to create apps for Apple mobile devices. On the positive side, the application enables you to include RSS feeds in your app.

The above list of popular tools reveals that developers need to carefully evaluate their requirements to select the right tool. Ultimately, selecting the right tool will not only enhance your career, but it will also help you work in a smart manner.

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