According to Statista, by the last quarter of 2018, Google Play Store had over 2 million apps for download. With more businesses realizing that mobile apps are the best way to connect directly with their customers, the trend of developing mobile apps is only gaining more momentum. Through mobile apps, businesses can reach customers directly on their mobile devices, entice them to make purchases, reward them for their loyalty to the brand, gather feedback etc.
So essentially a mobile app allows businesses to
- Build their brands
- Stay connected with and engage their existing customers and new ones
- Easily create loyal customer bases
- Provide better support to customers and make things more convenient for them
Android App Development
With Android being the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, it’s no surprise that Android app development is a huge industry. Android developers practice a number of approaches when it comes to developing apps, with a more straightforward way being the use of Android Studio for development.
Android Studio is an IDE with all the necessary features to help developers build great apps provided they have the programming knowledge. Java is the most widely used programming language for backend development. Developers who are proficient in C#, C++, C or BASIC can use a number of SDKs akin to Android Native Development Kit along with Android Studio.
That said, this blog focuses on Android app development frameworks, and lists our pick of the top frameworks that every Android app developer should check out.
Xamarin made it to our list simply because of its huge popularity. It’s used by over a million users across the globe, and is the main framework of choice for C# enthusiasts. Xamarin offers a complete set of C# code base for app developers, both iOS and Android, to develop native applications. Xamarin for Visual Studio is also used by Android app developers to build native apps using .NET code base.
Ionic is a free, open source mobile app development framework that became a smash hit in the app development community for a number of reasons. Licensed under the MIT License, Ionic is a cross-platform framework that allows one to build both progressive web apps and native mobile apps. It also comes with useful documentation features; something that can make things easier not just for rookie developers but experienced ones as well.
While Java is the most preferred language when it comes to developing Android apps, it isn’t easy to master. So Kotlin was introduced as an alternative, or may be a potential replacement deeming from how it was received by the developer community. Kotlin is easier to learn, and is interoperable with Java as it uses a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) i.e. codes in Kotlin can be run as Java code.
Despite Kotlin reducing the time and effort it takes to develop an Android app, many Java enthusiasts are still reluctant to invest in learning it. However, the developer community for Kotlin seems to be growing which could be an indication that Kotlin is already on its way to replace Java for good.
Unity is technically a game engine developed by Microsoft, and is primarily used for creating 2D/3D games. However, it can be a great asset for cross-platform development as well. As its IDE is similar to Android Studio, many developers combine it with C# for mobile app development. Apps built using Unity are on a different league when it comes to appealing features.
Titanium may not be as popular as other frameworks in our list but it certainly has a dedicated following. The open source framework is all about mobile-first, and allows developers to create attractive apps that are native in look, feel, and functioning. The framework also provides free API Builder with Hyperloop.
The people who made Cordova apparently didn’t stop with that. They built the easy-to-use Adobe PhoneGap. PhoneGap is basically a Cordova distribution with a lot of tools and plugins included. The framework allows experienced web developers to easily transfer their skills to mobile app development, and build cross-platform apps with a single code base. It became popular simply because it made things easier.
TheAppBuilder is an online framework that allows anyone to build visually appealing apps without design knowledge. For an online app building framework, this one really does deliver. Apps built using this framework are appealing and interactive, and can sync instantly with almost every device on which the app user is logged on. App creators are also granted great insights on the app with the framework’s analytics features allowing them to retain features that users love and discard ones that are negatively impacting the app’s performance.
The selection of an Android app development framework is generally based on the preferences of developers, with the ultimate goal of creating a great app faster with the least effort. But just because a developer got the framework right doesn’t mean the app they build would be perfect in all sense. At AOT, choosing the right app development framework is just one of the first steps of crafting the perfect app. Contact us to learn in detail how our developers build apps.Image vector created by fullvector – www.freepik.com