Top 5 Mobile App Frameworks for 2021

Gone are the days when developers depended on complex programming languages that took them months to eliminate bugs while building mobile apps. 

If you want to build a native or cross-platform mobile app, then it is essential that you need basic knowledge about CSS, HTML, and JavaScript for high performance.

Now you may ask, why is it essential to use frameworks for developing mobile apps? Well, the answer is simple. Developing your mobile app with the best framework helps developers use the best code and libraries. Also using the correct framework helps save time and effort.

With the majority of people using mobile apps rather than web apps, the demand for these frameworks has increased.

This increased demand has led many mobile app development and software development companies to release their own frameworks for Android, iOS, smart TV, web, leading to a lot of confusion over which one to choose.

In this post, we will explain the top mobile app development frameworks that are the most useful and widely used.

Before we do that, let us first see what mobile app frameworks are and their types in the following.

What is a Mobile App Framework?

It is a software framework that is designed to support mobile app development. To be precise, it is a library exclusively designed to help developers build mobile apps. It not only makes the app development process faster but also reduces cost.

Classifications of Mobile App Frameworks

Right from the evolution of developing mobile app development to this era of advanced digital technology, there are 3 types of mobile applications.

  1. Native apps
  2. Web apps
  3. Hybrid apps

Native App

A native app is designed specifically for one platform.

If a mobile app developer develops an app exclusively for 1 platform, either Android or iOS, it is called a native app. Generally, developers use the following programming languages to develop a mobile app.

Android: C, C++, Java, and Kotlin

iOS: Objective-C & Swift.

Web App

It is a web application designed to deliver web pages on different platforms and web browsers. You can view it on any mobile device like Windows, Android, and iOS. It also works on PCs and tablets.

Hybrid App

Hybrid apps work on both Android and iOS. They have cross-platform compatibility. And the same code can be used on different platforms and devices reducing development time and cost.

To make your app successful in this competitive world, it is vital to choose the most appropriate framework that best suits your needs.

Top 5 App Development Frameworks :

1. Flutter

This well-known mobile framework is basically an open-source mobile app SDK (Software Development Kit) launched by Google. Flutter's Google's UI toolkit helps to develop highly-intuitive and natively compiled apps for mobile, web, desktop through a single code base.

It also has the capability to compile to native code fully allowing developers to give a truly-native feel. This is made possible by Google through Skia, a 2D graphics engine built by Google.

Flutter uses Dart as its primary programming language and can develop cross-platform mobile apps across platforms like Android and iOS capable of running on any device. 

Examples of Apps built with Flutter: Alibaba, Cryptograph, Google Ads

Advantages

  • Flexible user interface
  • Lighting fast speed
  • Native performance
  • Fast development
  • Own rendering engine
  • Strong widget support

2. Ionic

Ionic is used to develop cross-platform apps. It is a free and open-source mobile framework built with Angular and Apache Cordova, allowing app developers to build an app for Windows, Android, and iOS.

If you want to develop a robust and feature-rich native application, use this framework.

The best part about using this framework is mobile app developers can use many UI elements in their app design. If a developer is well-versed with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, then the Ionic framework will be a good choice.

Examples of Apps built with Ionic: Market Watch, Amtrak, Instant Pot, GE transportation

Advantages

  • Fast execution
  • Near-native performance
  • Cordova plugins
  • Intuitive UI components

3. React Native

React Native is a well-known JavaScript library used to develop Android and iOS applications. It was created by Facebook and is an open-source cross-platform framework used to develop native apps for all devices and platforms.

It uses JavaScript which allows for developing rich and intuitive apps. Developers can build high-performance apps and deploy them much faster with this framework.

Examples of Apps built with React Native: Facebook, Airbnb, UberEats, Instagram

Advantages

  • Less development time
  • Fewer lines of code
  • Supports third-party libraries

4. Xamarin

Xamarin is a cross-platform app development framework based on the C# language. It takes a slightly different approach than the rest of the mobile frameworks. Microsoft bought this framework from its founder in 2016, and has made this framework open-source ever since

For example, it allows code sharing, which saves a lot of developers' time in building mobile apps across all platforms.

Besides, it comes with an intuitive native UI, allowing businesses to build truly-native apps that give their customers the best user experience.

Examples of Apps built with Xamarin: Azure mobile app, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft news app

Advantages

  • Native UI
  • Single code on multiple platforms
  • Easy API integration

5. Adobe PhoneGap

It uses HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript to build mobile apps for all major operating systems such as Windows, Ubuntu, Blackberry, Firefox OS, Mac OS, Android, and iOS.

They offer best-in-class performance, enabling app developers to build apps without encountering any hardware problems/restrictions.

This framework also supports using inbuilt hardware features like Storage, Accelerometer, Camera, GPS, Phonebook, etc.

Examples of Apps built with Adobe PhoneGap: Wikipedia, Buildr, TripCase

Advantages

  • It supports almost all primary OS
  • Uniformity across platform
  • Robust support
  • Ease of development

Conclusion:

This article should have given you a general idea of what the top frameworks are and what they can do. Choosing the right framework is important to make your mobile app development project a success.

It's up to you to decide which framework to use -- based on your idea, the features it would require, budget, development time, the skillset of developers, and scalability. If you still can't decide, get in touch with an app development company to discuss you're requirements -- and make a much more informed decision. 

Author Bio: Pravin is a content writer at Inoru, an on-demand app development company. He spends most of his time writing about mobile apps and marketing.