The mobile app development industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the tech world today. As the development landscape constantly evolves, new mobile app developer tools and software are continually introduced to help developers create innovative and efficient mobile applications.
But with so many options to choose from, you've probably faced the dreaded question of "Which tool should I use?" more times than you can count.
We understand that the fast-paced nature of the mobile app development industry can make it challenging to stay current with the latest tools and technologies. It can be overwhelming for mobile app developers to sift through the abundance of options and find the right tools that meet their needs and budget.
This is where we come in. We’ve prepared this guide where you will find a comprehensive overview of each tool, including its key features and pricing. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the necessary information to make an informed decision on which mobile app development tool you should pick for your specific needs.
What Are App Development Tools And Software?
App development tools and software refer to the various programs and platforms used to create, design, and develop mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. These tools and software can range from integrated development environments (IDEs) like Xcode and Android Studio, to frameworks and libraries like React Native and Xamarin, to testing and debugging tools like Appium and Charles Proxy.
The choice of tools and software will depend on the specific needs of the app development project, as well as the skill level and experience of the developer.
Now let's take a look at the best app development tools to help you create cutting-edge applications.
22 Best Mobile App Development Tools & Software for 2023
Here are the top 22 tools and software for mobile app development in 2023. We’ve divided all the tools and software into three major categories:
- Android App Development Tools
- iOS App Development Tools
- Cross-Platform App Development Tools
Let's dive into the details.
Android App Development Tools & Software
The Android platform is based on the Linux kernel which is developed by Google. Here are the top tools and software for the Android platform:
1. Android Studio
Android Studio is the official integrated Development Environment - IDE for Android app development. Developed and maintained by Google, it supports various features such as a visual layout editor, a code editor, a built-in emulator, integration with Google Cloud Platform, and support for a Gradle-based build system.
- A code editor with code completion, refactoring, and debugging tools
- A built-in emulator to test apps on different Android devices and configurations
- A rich set of tools for performance profiling and analysis. A range of plugins to extend its functionality, like Firebase, Kotlin, and Flutter
It is free and open-source software based on the IntelliJ IDEA platform.
2. Android Debug Bridge
Android Debug Bridge - ADB is a command-line tool that allows developers to communicate with Android devices and emulators smoothly. It is included in the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and performs various tasks such as installing and debugging apps, transferring files, and managing the device's file system.
- Viewing logcat output for debugging and troubleshooting
- Copying files from the host computer to the Android device
- Getting a Unix shell on an Android device to run commands
- Rebooting into Qualcomm Emergency Download (EDL) mode
Free to use.
3. Android Virtual Device (AVD)
Android Virtual Device (AVD) is an emulator that allows developers to test their Android apps on a variety of virtual devices with different configurations. AVDs are managed and created through the Android Studio AVD Manager and provide a way for developers to test their apps on different versions of Android and a wide range of device specifications.
- AVDs can support hardware acceleration which enables faster emulation and better performance.
- AVDs can be configured to emulate different types of Android devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and TVs.
- AVDs can be configured to run different versions of the Android operating system, allowing developers to test their apps on different API levels.
The Android SDK and its tools are available for free. But if you want to distribute your app through the Play Store, it charges a one-time fee of $25.
4. Firebase Tools
Firebase is an innovative and powerful set of tools for mobile app development teams. It provides various features like real-time data synchronization, authentication services, cloud storage solutions, and analytics. With Firebase, developers can quickly build applications with advanced features without spending time writing complex backend code.
- Interact with data stored in your Firebase database
- Import and export users to and from Firebase Auth
- Easily deploy code and assets to your Firebase projects
- Firebase provides offline data support so your app can continue to work offline
It has a Spark plan at no cost, if you choose the Blaze plan you have to pay as you go.
Buddy is cutting-edge software that allows you to quickly and easily create any application from scratch. Its advanced CI/CD workflow capabilities can handle complex processes in just a few minutes and deploy in an average time of 12 seconds. Its unique features, such as parallelism, intelligent change detection, all-around optimization, and state-of-the-art coaching, make it one of the fastest app-building software.
- Code Refactoring - A process of improving the code quality of an existing codebase
- Compatibility testing of an app or software on different platforms, devices, and browsers
- Code-free development that allows users to build apps or software without writing any code
- Free: Includes 5 projects and a 500 MB cache
- Pro plan: $75/month - flat rate
- Hyper plan: $200/month - flat rate
- Enterprise plan: $35/month/user
Swiftic is a top-rated app development software that enables users to create mobile apps for Android and iPhone devices and mobile versions. It simplifies the app development process by providing user-friendly navigation, support for six languages, the ability to develop apps in 27 languages, social media integration, and excellent customer support.
- Enables users to receive notifications in real-time
- Allows users to access the software from a mobile device
- Allows users to create apps without the need to write any code
- Enable ls users to create mobile apps for Android and iPhone devices
Eclipse, a well-established Integrated Development Environment (IDE), is considered the best option for Java developers, providing an integrated environment for development and the ability to expose APIs as war files. A wide range of plugins is available which makes it more convenient for businesses, as compared to other IDEs like NetBeans.
- Eclipse provides the ability to write in more than one programing language
- Users can customize the interface and layout to their personal preference, including options for theme selection
- Eclipse allows developers to manage individual software component files as a part of the greater overall project.
Is Open-source and free.
AppyPie is a popular app development platform that has helped users create nearly 2 million apps since its launch in 2014. They include a free version with ads and its ability to implement services like Uber and Tinder clones along with support for unique features like CRM and Augmented Reality.
- Builder and support available in 10 languages
- The "Custom Code" page can be added and customized by the user
- Geofencing and local push notifications are supported in all paid plans
- User-friendly interface, allowing for easy creation of basic apps in minutes
- Basic: $16
- Gold: $36
- Platinum: $60
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
iOS App Development Tools & Software
Now we will explore the best software and tools for the iOS platform.
Xcode is a customized integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Apple for creating apps for iOS, iPad, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It includes a code editor, user interface builder, debugging testing, and performance optimization tools.
- Intelligent source code editing with your highlighting and code completion
- Integrated debugging with launch options for iOS, watchOS, and OS X apps
- UI design with customizable objects and storyboard for app flow and scene transitions
Xcode is free to download, but app store deployment requires an annual Apple Developer Program membership at $99 and enterprise distribution at $299 per year.
Fabric is a mobile development platform by Twitter that provides a suite of tools for building and managing mobile apps, including Crashlytics for crash reporting, Answers for analytics, and Beta by Crashlytics for distributing beta builds.
- Real-time crash reporting and identifying the root causes
- Enables Beta by Crashlytics to distribute beta builds to testers
- Can be integrated with other mobile development tools and platforms like Xcode and Android Studio
It’s a free mobile app development platform with paid plans for additional features and usage limits which can be requested via the sales team.
Parse is another mobile app development platform that offers tools for creating and managing iOS mobile apps. It was initially developed by Parse Inc. and was later acquired by Facebook. After the platform was closed down by Facebook on January 28, 2017, the Parse open-source server is still being maintained by the community and can be self-hosted.
- Web-based dashboard for app management and monitoring
- Simple API for data storage and retrieval user authentication
Parse is free and open-source.
CodeRunner is a code editor and development environment for macOS that allows developers to write, test and debug code in various programming languages. The platform is widely used for iOS development and includes a built-in terminal, making running and testing code easy without switching to a separate terminal window.
- Supports multiple programming languages
- Offers code completion, syntax highlighting, and automatic indentation
- Includes a built-in file and project manager for easy organization and navigation
CodeRunner is a paid software available for $14.99 and also offers a free trial.
Appcode is a robust integrated development environment (IDE) for iOS, macOS, and Android app development, created by JetBrains. It also supports multiple programming languages such as Swift, Objective-C, C, and C++ and provides a wide range of features that make coding faster and more efficient. AppCode is designed to work seamlessly with Xcode and Android Studio.
- Detects and fixes errors and suggests code improvements
- It can automatically refactor code for better readability and maintainability
- Offers advanced code completion to reduce typing and improve efficiency
- Businesses: $199 for the 1st year and $159 for the 2nd year
- Individuals: $89 for the 1st year and $71 for the next year
14. Jamf Pro
Jamf Pro is a mobile device management (MDM) solution for businesses and organizations that allows IT admins to manage and secure Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It allows admins to automate device management tasks such as device enrollment, software updates, and security settings.
- Keeps an inventory of devices with detailed information
- Custom App management including distribution, updates, and custom B2B apps
- Provides security features such as password policies, encryption, and compliance
Starts at $3.33/month/device for iOS/iPadOS/tvOS and $7.17/month/device for macOS, with education and volume discounts available upon request.
Whether you are looking to develop an Android app or iOS, Aloa is the best company to hire mobile app developers. Our developers have a deep understanding of the latest technologies and industry trends and can deliver high-quality, innovative mobile apps that drive business growth.
Our commitment to ongoing training ensures that our app developers are always up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques, while their project management skills ensure that projects are completed on time and budget.
Cross-Platform App Development Tools & Software
With cross-platform development, you can create a single version of an app that can run on multiple mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android. Some of the best development tools for creating cross-platform apps are:
15. React Native
- Used by major companies such as Meta and Airbnb
- Developing iOS and Android with the same codebase
- Uses native components, resulting in a more performance
It’s an open-source framework, so it is free to use.
Flutter is a mobile application development framework created by Google. This cross-platform is used to create and develop Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows applications. Flutter uses the Dart programming language and features a reactive programming model, which allows for the creation of high-performance, responsive user interfaces.
- Supports both iOS and Android
- Offers fast developments with a “hot reload” feature
- Provides customizable and expressive UI with widgets
Flutter is free but you may need to pay for other costs such as app store fees and third-party packages.
Xamarin is a cross-platform app development framework created by Microsoft. It allows developers to use C# and the .NET framework to create native Android, iOS, and Windows applications. Like Flutter, Xamarin uses a single codebase to develop multiple platforms, saving time and effort compared to building separate apps for each platform using native languages.
- Allows for building mobile apps using C# and .NET framework
- It uses native UI, resulting in more performance-efficient apps
- It has a large community and a fast selection of available libraries
Xamarin is also a free and open-source tool.
- Has a large collection of pre-built UI components and plugins
- Has a very large community and a vast selection of libraries as well
- It allows developers to use the same codebase for multiple platforms
- Basic plan: $499/month
- Standard plan: $2499/month
- Enterprise plan: Customized pricing
- Allows developers to create visually stunning and polished applications than others
- The Ionic Command Line Interface provides helpful commands for starting building, running, and emulating ionic apps
NativeScript is a free and open-source platform.
20. Adobe PhoneGap
Adobe PhoneGap (formerly known as Apache Cordova) is a free and open-source framework that allows workers to use web technologies to create apps that can run on iOS, Android, and other platforms. PhoneGap uses a technique called “Wrapping” to package the web app into a native app, which allows the app to access native device features such as the camera and GPS.
- PhoneGap uses common browser-based skills, no additional inputs are needed
- PhoneGap backend system speeds up development and reduces developer effort
- It’s a win-win solution for developers and businesses, allowing for fast app development and market release
Adobe PhoneGap is open-source and free to use.
21. Sencha Touch
- Includes adaptive layouts, animations, and smooth scrolling for a better UX
- Flexible layout manager for data and content display on multiple mobile devices
- Offers customizable UI widgets with over 50 built-in options for mobile platforms
Open-source and free to use.
22. Titanium SDK
- Allows navigation bars, menus, dialog boxes another other native UI elements
- Offers special support for iPad-specific features such as split views and popovers
- Developers can use popular frameworks like Angular, Vue.js, TypeScript, React, etc
As mentioned, it's an open-source framework and free of cost.
There is a wide range of mobile app development tools to choose from, including both free and paid options. These tools help in a variety of ways ranging from mobile app creation to app deployment automation. But it can be difficult to know which tools are best for their specific needs.
Do your own research and experimentation. This can involve trying out different tools and software, reading reviews and user feedback, and consulting with other developers to get their opinions and recommendations.
One way to bypass the problem of picking the right tools is to use a development platform like Aloa. We have a rigorous vetting process that ensures that only the highest quality developers are allowed to work on your project. Our remote developers are the best in the industry so you can be sure that your app will be developed to the highest standards.
If you want to ensure that your mobile app development project is a success, get in touch with us at [email protected] and take the first step toward building your next mobile app.