The 8 Best Mobile App Development Tools

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Publish date:

July 8, 2022

Updated on:

June 18, 2024

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The 8 Best Mobile App Development Tools


The first step in making a successful and profitable app is choosing one of the best mobile app development tools. No matter how unique your idea is and how in-demand your services or products may be, you’ll never become a great developer unless you’ve got the right tools to back you up.

In the tech industry, things move fast. The best mobile app development tool this month could be completely out of date and surpassed by the competition next month. To help you create the best possible app, it’s important you use the latest technology and take advantage of the newest features.

So you can make the best start, we’ve put together a list of the best mobile app development tools to create amazing apps. From native tools such as Xcode and AppCode to cross-platform tools like React Native and Sencha, choose one of these tools and you’ll be on the right track.

Native mobile app development tools

A native mobile app development tool helps developers create apps that work on a single platform or device. It only works with a singular type of coding language. For example, software that can only be used to make an Android app would be considered to be a native mobile application development tool and would use Java or Kotlin as its language.

Although they’re generally considered to be more restrictive than cross-platform mobile app development tools, some developers prefer them. When used effectively, this kind of software can be used to make powerful apps on the platform for which they were intended. Here are the best native mobile app development tools to create a great app for a single platform:


Xcode is a type of software that programmers use to create apps for a number of Apple platforms. It can be used to make apps that run on iPads, iPhones, Macs, Apple Watches, and AppleTVs.

What makes it stand out from other mobile app development tools is the new way it encourages you to design and build software. Its SwiftUI allows for live rendering within the interface building, transferring your code onto the design canvas and instantly reflecting changes as you type.

Its newly-introduced team features make it a great choice for group projects. You can see comments from other team members inside the code and quickly compare two versions side-by-side.

  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Teams working on the same iOS project.

Android Studio

Built by Google, Android Studio offers a collection of super-fast tools for building apps that work on every kind of Android device. A great choice for developers working on their first app, it includes a number of features to speed up the app development process and have fun with your project.

Convenient components, such as basic pre-built templates, drag-and-drop capabilities, and the ability to preview layouts across multiple screens allow you to build and customize the layout of your app with minimal coding and effort.

  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Beginners who want to launch their first Android app quickly.


AppCode is a smart IDE for iOS/macOS app development. The software quickly learns to understand your code structure and takes care of repeated tasks, saving you time and effort usually spend on unnecessary extra typing. It’s one of the best mobile app development tools if you’re short on time and hate writing the same lines of code over and over.

The smart editor is the highlight of the software. It allows you to navigate through your project structure in no time at all, warns you of errors and suggests quick fixes, offers efficient code completion, and lets you improve your code with reliable refactorings.

  • Price: From $16.60 per month
  • Best for: Developers who could do with a helping hand.

Cross-platform mobile app development tools

Cross-platform mobile app development tools allow programmers to create apps for multiple mobile operating systems at the same time. By using this kind of software, you can use one code base to create an app that works on different platforms. This makes it much easier and cheaper to make and launch an app.

However, cross-platform mobile app development tools also have their downsides. Because a single code base is used across several operating systems, these types of apps tend to be of lower quality and are more prone to platform-specific issues than native apps.

But when all these potential issues are taken into consideration, you can create fantastic apps using this type of software. Here are the best cross-platform mobile app development tools to use:

React Native

React Native merges the best bits of native app development with React, one of the biggest JavaScript libraries used for creating user interfaces. One of the most flexible mobile app development tools, React Native allows you to create apps entirely from scratch or use it to add features to any Android or iOS app you’ve already made.

This tool was developed by the Facebook community and is open-source software. It lets you use a cross-platform tool and a single code base to create enhanced apps that look and work as if they were created using a native app tool.

  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Developers who want the flexibility of a cross-platform tool with the quality of a native app tool.


A mobile app development tool for building iOS and Android apps, Xamarin is an extension of .NET. It builds upon the libraries, programming languages, and tools offered by .NET with a series of tools and libraries specifically made from building apps compatible with iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.

Most developers use around 75% of their base code across platforms when using Xamarin. Although you’ll be required to rewrite roughly 25% for each additional platform, it results in a curated experience for better usability and reviews from your users.

  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Developers who don’t mind doing a little extra work for a great cross-platform app.


The mobile app development tool which boasts the fastest JavaScript grid, Sencha also features 140+ high-performing UI components you can use to build great apps. Not only can you use it to create apps for smartphones, but it also has the capability to make apps for tablets, desktops, and any modern device through its ExtJS product.

Sencha’s React Grid is the ideal enterprise-grade modern grid solution for React UI which includes over 100 fantastic data grid features. Its GXT allows you to create feature-rich apps with fully customizable high-performance components.

  • Price: Starting from free
  • Best for: Developers who want a comprehensive library of tools to make an amazing app.


An open-source mobile app development tool for building high-quality, cross-platform apps with native functionality, Ionic features a library of mobile-optimized UI gestures, components, and tools to help you create speedy interactive apps.

Ionic’s pre-designed UI components work well across all platforms and mobile devices. Keep things simple and stick with the basic templates or customize the layout to make the app your own.

Best practices such as touch-optimized gestures, hardware-accelerated transitions, and pre-rendering are built into the software to make your app smooth and fast. The best part is that it integrates with all the best frontend frameworks, including Vue, React, and Angular.

  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Developers looking for simple software to create fast-running apps.


One of the best mobile app development tools for total beginners, AppInstitute allows you to quickly build mobile apps without writing a single line of code. Simply choose a template, brand your app, add your content, and publish it.

The software comes preloaded with various templates suited to different businesses, allowing you to create your app in literally minutes. Useful features such as booking systems, loyalty programs, online payments, push notifications, and social media integration allow you to create a professional-looking app in no time at all.

If you want an even more hands-off approach and you’ve got some budget to work with, AppInstitute can build the app for you.

  • Price: From $59 per month
  • Best for: New developers who aren’t yet confident with coding.

Common mobile app development tool questions

If this is your first time building a mobile app, there’s no doubt you’ve got all sorts of questions whizzing around your mind. Here are a few of the most common questions and answers about mobile application development software that might just help you out.

Q1. What are application development tools?

Mobile app development tools are different types of software developers use to create apps. There’s a staggering number of tools available today, with more being launched frequently. There are so many app development tools to choose from because they each cater to different needs.

For example, some tools only allow you to create an app for a specific platform, while others work across multiple platforms. At the same time, some application development tools focus on security, while others prioritize making it easy for you to create an app.

Q2. Which tools are used for mobile app development?

The most popular mobile app development tools are:

  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
  • AppCode
  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Sencha
  • Ionic
  • AppInstitute

These mobile application development tools are generally considered to be the most efficient to use, most reliable, and come with the best features. But there are many other tools available to download and use, too.

Note: We would usually include Appcelerator on this list. But in 2016, Axway acquired Appcelerator and discontinued its services. If you’re interested, you can still access all the private source code of the Titanium SDK in the github repository.

Q3. Which technology is best for mobile app development?

AppInstitute is the best choice if you want a simple solution that doesn’t require coding, while Ionic is best if you want to create an ultra-fast app. Sencha is a top pick if you want access to every feature imaginable, while Xamarin is the go-to if you want an app that will work perfectly on all platforms. The best mobile app development technology really depends on your needs as a developer.


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Nicola Quinn

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Hi, I’m Nicola – a Brit living in Tenerife who can’t get enough of the frustrating parts of digital marketing that stress most people out.

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