Last Updated: October 23, 2023
Top Mobile App Development Frameworks
Published On: October 23, 2023

Quick Summary: The right Mobile app development framework choice lays a solid foundation for building a powerful mobile app. Deep dive into the details of the top mobile app development frameworks to make a well-informed decision to build robust mobile apps for your project. Stay ahead of the game in the mobile world.

Have you ever wondered what goes into making such powerful and efficient mobile apps? Mobile app development frameworks are the tools that offer pre-built components and libraries for creating mobile apps. Mobile app development tools are critical for making great mobile apps.

According to Statista, with 46% of global developers using Flutter in 2022, Flutter is the most popular cross-platform mobile framework. The worldwide mobile application market is projected to reach $567.19 billion in 2030, as per Grand View Research.

As more and more companies understand the need for a solid mobile presence, these frameworks have risen in significance. The blog provides 15 best mobile app development frameworks for 2023, allowing businesses to choose the ideal one for making applications that connect with their intended audience.

What are Mobile App Development Frameworks?

Mobile app development frameworks are the prebuilt reusable structures or templates for creating mobile apps. These frameworks make the work of developers easier as they can avoid repetitive and time-consuming codes.

Mobile app development frameworks speed up the development process with pre-defined rules and tools while maintaining quality and efficiency. They facilitate developing apps that run seamlessly across multiple platforms while sharing a single code base.

Development frameworks often include software development kits (SDKs) and other critical components of a mobile app. These frameworks provide essential resources, including UI design tools, compilers, API tools, debugging utilities, code libraries, and prebuilt solutions.

Importance of Mobile Application Development Frameworks

Knowing the mobile app benefits and the world shifting to mobile-first, businesses are investing in developing more efficient mobile apps. Mobile app development frameworks are fundamental to creating quality mobile apps rapidly and efficiently to match the current demands. With the help of these frameworks, programmers can quickly and easily craft high-quality mobile apps packed with valuable features.

The frameworks help developers to create scalable, dynamic, and feature-rich mobile apps. The pre-developed structure helps reduce time spent writing the code from scratch each time. With cross-platform app development frameworks, companies can expand their customer base while saving time and cost.

So, developers can focus on more advanced and innovative coding to improve the user experience, security, and reliability.

Types of Mobile App Framework

Three main types of frameworks are used for developing mobile apps: mobile web apps, native, and hybrid frameworks.

1. Native Frameworks

These frameworks are optimized to build mobile apps for specific operating systems, such as iOS and Android. Native app development offers the finest speed and user experience.

Creating native mobile apps is expensive and time-consuming for developers. For example, developers use Swift or Objective-C to build native iOS apps while Java or Kotlin for Android applications.

2. Mobile Web App Frameworks

The primary goal of these frameworks is to facilitate the development of web-based applications accessible through mobile browsers. They’re ideal for ensuring that an app is compatible across platforms or can run on several devices. However, they may not have the same level of integration with the device’s hardware as native frameworks.

3. Hybrid Frameworks

Hybrid app development frameworks combine native and web technologies. Developers can use web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for user interfaces while using native code to create specific features.

Hybrid apps are more cost-efficient than native apps that need unique code for each platform. However, hybrid applications won’t operate as effectively as their native counterparts.

Most Popular Mobile App Development Frameworks

Frameworks Release Year Code Based On Examples
Flutter 2017
  • Dart
  • PostMuse
  • eBay Motors
React Native 2015
  • JavaScript 
  • Python
  • Shopify
  • Facebook
Xamarin 2012
  • .Net
  • C#
  • Aussie Weather
  • Tube Matte
PhoneGap 2011
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • Tripcase
  • Wikipedia App
Ionic 2013
  • Angular JS
  • Apache Cordova
  • Marketwatch
  • Sworkit
Native Script 2015
  • JavaScript
  • Clubhouse
  • Lakeside Fitness
Appgyver (Supersonic) 2014
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
Sencha Touch 2010
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • Kitchen Sink
  • Touch Style
Framework 7 2016
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
Onsen UI 2013
  • PhoneGap
  • Cordova
jQuery Mobile 2014
  • HTML5
Bootstrap (for mobile web) 2011
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
Corona SDK 2011
  • Lua
  • PKT Ball
  • Designer City
Kivy 2011
  • Python
RubyMotion 2012
  • C++
  • Objective-C
  • Java
  • Ruby

Using tools like compilers and testing software, modern mobile app development frameworks offer speed, efficiency, and a bug-free environment. Now, it’s critical to understand that working with a reliable mobile app development company streamlines the development process, resulting in applications that are faster, more responsive, and easier to use for the end user.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular frameworks we use for mobile app development:

Flutter

Flutter

Programming Language: Dart

Flutter is a free and open-source mobile UI that enables the creation of natively built applications for mobile, desktop, and online platforms from a single code source. You may use the same programming language and codebase to create two separate apps. The framework offers a wide variety of entirely modifiable widgets, speeding up the creation process of native apps.

Features:

  • Hot Reload
  • Single Codebase
  • Multiple IDE Support
  • Firebase Integration
  • Best Performance
  • In-Depth Documentation

Companies that use Flutter

  • Google Classroom
  • Alibaba
  • Google Pay
  • Spacex App
  • Tencent 

React Native

React Native

Programming Language: JavaScript

The Facebook-made framework is an open-source one that allows you to construct mobile apps for both Android and iOS. The goal of the React Native framework, which is built on top of React and JavaScript, is to facilitate the creation of native apps rather than hybrid ones that rely on a web view.

It’s a cross-platform mobile app development framework so that you can make apps for both Android and iOS with just one set of files.

Features:

  • Code Reusability
  • Native Look and Feel
  • Live Reload
  • UI Focused
  • Cost Efficiency
  • Third-party Plugins
  • Community Support

Companies that use React Native: 

  • Facebook
  • Walmart
  • Instagram
  • Bloomberg
  • Tesla 

Xamarin

Xamarin

Programming language: C# and .Net

Microsoft’s Xamarin is a free, open-source mobile app framework that works on several platforms. Xamarin’s mobile apps can provide their consumers with a one-of-a-kind experience because of their adaptable native performance.

Xamarin creates an ecosystem of several parts (backend, UI, components, etc.). Additionally, Xamarin simplifies integrating various tools, libraries, and programming languages to streamline application development.

Features:

  • Single Technology Stack
  • Flexibility
  • Simpler Maintenance
  • Cost-effective
  • No Hardware Compatibility Issue
  • Good Technical Support

Companies that use Xamarin: 

  • HCL Technologies Ltd.
  • Coca-Cola Consolidated Inc.
  • Olo
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Microsoft Azure 

PhoneGap / Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova

Programming Language: web-development languages like HTML, CSS, and JScript

PhoneGap is a mobile application development framework that is compatible with a wide variety of platforms. It is compatible with hardware components, including cameras, accelerometers, and geographic information systems.

PhoneGap is easy to pick up and use, letting developers build a single app that works across several platforms. PhoneGap can produce high-quality applications for platforms other than Android and iOS, including Windows, BlackBerry, Mac OS, Ubuntu, and Firefox.

Features:

  • Strong and Robust Backed
  • Open Source
  • Flexibility using web technologies
  • Compatible on all platforms
  • Ease of Development
  • Cost-effective
  • UI Libraries Improving the User Interface

Companies that Use PhoneGap:

  • NetSuite
  • eBay Inc

Ionic

Ionic

Programming Language: HTML, CSS3, and Javascript.

Ionic is a no-cost open-source mobile application framework. It uses Angular and Apache Cordova as frameworks. This framework allows programmers to write programs that run on several operating systems. Mobile applications developed with ionic are robust, feature-rich native applications that perform seamlessly on the app store.

Features:

  • It’s open-source and free
  • One of the best cross-platform app development frameworks
  • Intuitive UI/UX designs
  • Simple to test
  • Uses plugins for Cordova
  • It’s simple to make screens, tools, and border icons
  • Easy to integrate with apps

Companies that use Iconic:

  • Marketwatch
  • Honeyfi
  • Just watch
  • Sworkit
  • Diesel

NativeScript

NativeScript

Programming Language: JavaScript or any other language that transpires to JavaScript, such as TypeScript.

Descriptions: NativeScript is an open-source framework that facilitates the development of native mobile apps for iOS and Android from a single codebase, reducing the time and money spent on development.

NativeScript allows programmers to build native UI components with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while fully accessing the platform’s native APIs and features.

Features:

  • Extensible 
  • Hot Module Replacement
  • Easy to set up 
  • Helps in building rich animations & graphs 
  • Lazy coding

Companies that use Nativescript

  • Puma
  • Deloitte Digital
  • FinTech Consortium
  • Beachy
  • GeekyAnts

Appgyver (Supersonic)

Appgyver

Programming Language:

Supersonic presents a declarative strategy for building fast and responsive mobile app user interfaces. Supersonic provides a new set of native components to hybrid app developers by expanding the HTML5 syntax.

The border between web and native interfaces is blurred by this seamless integration of HTML5 and native UI, which achieves performance levels previously unattainable in hybrid app development.

Features:

  • Allow you to create Native components as part of your application
  • Data Integration
  • Scalability 
  • User-friendly
  • Community Support 
  • Security

Sencha Touch

Sencha Touch

Programming Language: Javascript

Sencha Touch is widely used by companies because of its versatile product range. Since ExtJS is the primary JavaScript utilized, the applications have a sophisticated appearance and excellent performance.

There are pre-built applications with Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. Also, it offers a visual app builder with a drag-and-drop interface for simplified programming.

Features:

  • Rich UI Widgets
  • Code Compatibility 
  • Flexible Layout Manager 
  • Robust Data Package 
  • Adaptive Layouts 
  • Native-Looking Themes

Companies that use Sencha Touch: 

  • Telstra
  • contuse
  • Applic8
  • Total
  • Reliance Industries

Framework7

Framework7

Programming language: HTML5 and JavaScript.

This open-source mobile app framework may be used to create hybrid applications for both iOS and Android. It’s a convenient tool for creating apps that use HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. It has a lot of unique options, including seeing numerous tabs at once, not being tied to a particular library, native scrolling, caching, browser history, etc.

This framework is also helpful for rapidly creating an app prototype. When it’s time to give customers a general notion of the project, it is a massive help for mobile app development businesses.

Features:

  • It has a similar syntax to jQuery, making it very accessible
  • It is really fast as it is equipped with its own FastClick library
  • Responsive
  • Dynamic
  • Use Native view 
  • Powerful visual effects animation

Companies that use Framework 7:

  • TikTok
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • PHP Enterprise 

Onsen UI

Onsen UI

Programming language: JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. 

Onsen UI is an open-source framework that makes creating PWAs and hybrid applications that look and feel natural a breeze. The crucial archive is developed entirely in JavaScript and is context-agnostic for any framework and supporting tools. Due to the methods’ optional platform-based auto-styling, a single codebase may support iOS and Android.

Features:

  • It takes no time to set up.
  • Easy to understand and implement
  • Economical and efficient growth
  • Explicit Grid Layout 
  • Platform, rotation, and gesture detection in an explicit grid layout

Companies that Use Onsen UI:

  • Caravelo 
  • Monaca

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile

Programming Language: Javascript  

JQuery is a popular mobile app framework written in HTML5. The major benefit of developing mobile apps using JQuery is that just a single version of the code is required and compatible with all devices.

Websites and applications designed with this framework perform equally well on desktop and mobile browsers, including Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows, Firefox Mobile, Kindle, Nook, and MeeGo.

Features:

  • Built on jQuery Core
  • Write Less, Do More, as it emphasizes efficient and concise code
  • Open Source and Cross-Platform 
  • Integration of Modern Technologies
  • Incorporates an Ajax navigation system

Companies that use Jquery Mobile:

  • Wipro Ltd.
  • Infosys
  • Accenture
  • Siemens AG

Bootstrap (for mobile web development)

Bootstrap

Programming Language: CSS and Javascript.

Bootstrap is a front-end development framework that can be used to build websites and online applications. Bootstrap is a syntax library for creating templates to facilitate the creation of mobile-first, responsive websites. Bootstrap allows web developers to focus on more advanced and less fundamental features, resulting in speedier website development.

Features:

  • Responsive Grid System
  • Pre-designed UI Components
  • Extensive Javascript Plugins
  • Bootstrap Themes and Customisation
  • Active Community and Support 

Companies that use Bootstrap 

  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • Udemy
  • Robinhood
  • LinkedIn
  • Postman

Corona SDK

Corona SDK

Programming Language:  Lua

Corona SDK is a mobile app development framework that uses the Lua programming language, which is noted for its lightning-fast development times. It is an excellent option for programmers who want to save time and effort without sacrificing app quality since it allows cross-platform development on Windows and Mac OS.

Features:

  • Optimized Performance 
  • Automatic Compilation  
  • Cross-platform development for various operating systems
  • Ease of Use 
  • Cost-Effective 

Companies that use Corona SDK 

  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • CVS Health
  • Upwork
  • Packt

Kivy

Kivy

Programming Language: Python 

Kivy, a free and open-source Python library, facilitates the rapid development of multi-touch apps. It works on several operating systems and is distributed under the MIT license. It benefits applications that use touch input methods like multitouch, gestures, and the like.

The primary purpose of the Kivy framework is to simplify the process of developing user interfaces (UIs). It provides a naturally intuitive interface (NUI) for performing tasks. 

Features:

  • Cross Platform
  • Pythonic
  • Multitouch Support
  • MIT Licensed
  • Extensible 

Companies that use Kivy: 

  • Lifebit
  • Intelli sense Systems
  • Zilogic Systems
  • Magna Power

RubyMotion

RubyMotion

Programming Language: Ruby

To create native mobile applications for iOS, Android, and macOS, Ruby developers may use RubyMotion, a cross-platform development framework. It is based on LLVM and employs Apple’s development tools, creating a streamlined and effective workflow. Your project will run smoothly and appear natural, thanks to RubyMotion’s support for the complete set of APIs offered by the platform.

Features:

  • 100% Compliant with Google Play Store and Apple iOS
  • Help developers to be more productive in every aspect of Ruby/Rails project development

Companies that use RubyMotion

  • ChangYou
  • Cybex International Inc.
  • Launch Academy
  • StreetEasy
  • Flatiron School

Conclusion

The world of mobile app development offers an array of frameworks to cater to your project’s specific needs and goals. Whether you prioritize rapid development, cross-platform compatibility, or native-like experiences, there’s a framework for you.

The key lies in understanding your project’s requirements and selecting the right tool from the top 15 mobile app development frameworks mentioned here. So, seize the opportunity, choose wisely, and embark on your journey to create the next great mobile application! Your innovation awaits.

FAQs

The best framework for mobile app development depends on the specifics of your project and the expertise and preferences of your development team. Factors like development time, code reuse, and desired user experience may also affect your final decision.

Apple's core user interface framework for all platforms is SwiftUI. SwiftUI provides a robust set of features with low overhead in terms of code. It provides a standardized set of tools and APIs for developers to produce visually appealing and uniform user experiences across all Apple devices.

Whether you should use React Native or Flutter depends on your project's requirements. React Native is a popular option for cross-platform development because of its robust community and rich third-party libraries. Flutter features a rapid reload capability that makes development times shorter and makes for more consistent user interfaces. Ultimately, it depends on things like the team's skills, the project's needs, and the growth goals.

Frameworks used in iOS app development: React Native, Xamarin, Alamofire, Swift, Flutter Onsen UI, Corona SDK, Ionic, NativeScript, jQuery Mobile.

When comparing an iOS framework to an SDK (Software Development Kit), the primary distinction is the former's focus on the iOS platform. An iOS framework is a group of apps and tools that work together and are not targeted to a specific platform. As opposed to this, a software development kit (SDK) supplies developers with all the frameworks, libraries, and other tools they'll need to create software for a particular platform.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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