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25 Best Programming Languages for Mobile Apps & Top Mobile App Development Tools & Frameworks

25 Best Programming Languages for Mobile Apps & Top Mobile App Development Tools & Frameworks

By Snigdha | Last Updated on January 29th, 2020 10:48 am
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Here is the list of best programming languages for mobile apps:

Python

A high-level programming language, Python has found its use in web development, app development, creating desktop GUIs, analyzing and computing scientific and numeric data, and for software development. As the language has numerous applications in real life, Python is currently the most taught language at school, and even college level. Python as a language is beautiful, explicit, simple, sometimes complex but not complicated, and thoroughly readable. As it is an easy to read and easy to learn language, Python should be on your must-learn list.

The language has the potential to be used in developing android and desktop apps from scratch. Applications like Dropbox, Calibre, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, BitTorrent, OpenStack, Quora, Spotify, and so many more have been created in Python. If this doesn’t make you sit up and take notice, we don’t know what will. To make matters even more convenient, the language is one of the easiest languages and learning it is not really that big of a hassle.

Swift

Considered as the programming language of the future, Swift is the latest programming language to make their way into the Apple ecosystem and it is majorly because of its popularity in writing the code for Apple’s latest APIs, Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. The language was released for iOS, its supporting systems, and Linux. Today, Swift has emerged as the primary language to be used in the development of iOS and OS X, thus replacing Objective – C to an extent. Currently Swift is only available for iOS development, however, since it works on Linux and is open source, it can pretty much be used by anyone.

JavaScript

A high-level interpreted programming language, JavaScript is a multi-paradigm language that supports object-oriented and functional programming. It is not exactly a language that is primarily used for app development, but a language that is run by browsers and used to develop and control web pages. To use JavaScript for developing a mobile app only when it is used with CSS, HTML, and AJAX. The one key factor that makes developing apps on JavaScript convenient is that you only have to code the app once and it can be released on all the platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows.

Rust

Sponsored by Mozilla, Rust is a system programming language and is known particularly to be safe, concurrent and practical as a language which supports the functional and imperative procedural paradigm. Its syntax is quite similar to C++. The language was developed with focus on concurrency and safety of the system and creating and maintaining the boundaries that preserves large system integrity.

The biggest advantage in Rust is that the errors are caught at the time of compilation which allows the developers to write optimal code. The only disadvantage is that it can be a little hard and confusing to install on windows.

Scala

Scala is one of the newest programming languages in the market. Released as a stable version in 2019, Scala is a general-purpose programming language and provides support for functional programming and a strong static type system.

Scala is designed to address the problems faced by Java and finds a way around the criticisms of the software. Since it is essentially based on Java, the software provides interoperability with Java, so that libraries written in either language may be referenced directly in both software. Scala is object-oriented like Java but supports various functional programming features like currying, immutability, lazy evaluation and pattern matching.

Ruby

Influenced by languages like Perl, Effiel, Ada, and Smalltalk, Ruby is an object-oriented, dynamic, interpreted, reflective general-purpose programming language. It supports multiple programming paradigms that are functional, object-oriented and imperative.

Ruby has a dynamic type system with automatic memory management and offers a standard structure for web apps and mobile apps.

However, the downside of Ruby is that it has a low run time speed and it can be tough to find good documentation.

GoLang/Go

GoLang, also sometimes referred to as Go is a programming language that comes from Google. The one feature that sets it apart is the excellent support it provides for multithreading which is why it is being used by a number of companies that have a strong dependency on distributed systems.

In fact, it is so popular that it has attained the status of the go-to programming language for the startups in the Silicon Valley. Since it is a statistically typed language, it is definitely more secure, and the cleaner syntax makes it easier for people to learn.

The language comes with a comprehensive standard library offering a wide range of inbuilt functions for working with even the primitive setup. However, the more complex programs written with this language are a little less efficient due to the absence of a virtual machine.

Java

One of the most popular and preferred languages among android app developers, Java is the most searched language on the search engines all over the world for the current year. This object-oriented programming language which was developed at Sun Microsystems is now owned by Oracle and can be run in two different ways – in a browser window or in a virtual machine without a browser. It is this flexibility that is of great use while re-using the code or while updating the software. Java might not be of much use when you are developing iOS development, but is of special value and convenience while developing cross-platform apps. Java may be used quite smoothly to develop android apps, server apps, web apps, embedded space, big data technology, scientific apps, websites, and Games. Some of the most popular applications of Java include ThinkFree cloud office, NASA world wind, Blu-Ray Disc Association, and Ultra Mixer, but Android Operating System is probably the most important application.

R

This is not a wildly popular language currently but definitely has some potential. The popularity of this programming language with a monosyllabic name “R” is gradually growing not just in the U.S. but internationally as well. In fact, in a survey conducted by Stack Overflow it was termed the least hated language.

It is an open source programming language which is particularly great for UIs. The visual representation of data is important, and R can prove to be one of the best languages for creating beautiful animations, graphs and multiple other UI elements in the mobile app. The language can also be used for statistical computing. Additionally, R is compatible with different platforms and also supports cross-platform development.

C++

Pronounced as C Plus Plus, it is a general-purpose object-oriented programming language with low level memory manipulation feature. Inheriting its syntax from C, C++ is an extension of the language. If you have worked with C, C++ is not going to be a big problem, as both the languages share almost all the features except that C++ is more comprehensive. C++ is a powerful resource and has found extensive application and use in various sectors ranging from the financial sector, to the business of manufacturing, to the banking sector, and many such more.

It is for this reason that C++ has been in existence for a long time and has found its use even in mobile app development. C++ has been doing quite well in the mobile app development arena as it is does wonders in helping develop cross-platform mobile apps easily with its unified debugging experience and a powerful environment. The language is good for developing apps for Android, Windows, and iOS. C++ has potential well beyond mobile apps and can be used to create some of the strongest tools like Photoshop, Google Chrome. PayPal, Amazon and more.

C++ can be used to develop operating systems, new programming language, graphics & designs, game development, app development, web browsers, development of compilers of programming languages, medical, mathematical & engineering applications, enterprise tools, and computation platforms.

The language has the potential to be applied in creation of server applications, web services, to games to mobile apps to name a few. C# is supported by Unity3D which makes it one of the best languages when it comes to a game app. C# is versatile in the uses it has found for itself in industries other than mobile app development including business and productivity tools, enterprise, utilities, education & reference, games etc. C# has found its applications in developing software including AutoCAD, Office 365, Visual Studio, and Share Point.

PHP

Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP is a server-side scripting open source language that was developed in the year 1995 for websites. Today, however, the language has found its use more in general purpose development today. PHP is used for server-side scripting, command line scripting, and for coding applications. Primarily a coding language, PHP is used to create dynamic websites, however it can also be used to develop android and iOS apps. PHP as a language can help you create dynamic websites, web applications, and all types of mobile apps as well.

SQL

Structured Query Language or SQL is a domain specific language which is particularly useful for programming and is designed particularly for stream processing in RDBMS. With its foundation in relational algebra and tuple relational calculus, SQL has scopes like data query, data manipulation, data definition, and data access control.

This was one of the first commercial languages for the relational model and is particularly useful for retrieving large amount of data for database quickly and efficiently. The SQL database uses standards that are not only well established but also adopted by ANSI and ISO. It does not need you to write copious amounts of code to manage a database system.

C#

C# is for Microsoft, what Objective – C has been for Apple making it the most coveted language when it comes to developing mobile apps for Windows phones. Even though the Windows Phone platform could not make a lasting or impressive mark on the mobile app development panorama, the loyal Microsoft users, C# has proved to be the perfect language to help them create some of the strongest Windows Phone apps. Also known as C Sharp, the language is essentially a multi-paradigm programming language that is object and component oriented.

The language has the potential to be applied in creation of server applications, web services, to games to mobile apps to name a few. C# is supported by Unity3D which makes it one of the best languages when it comes to a game app. C# is versatile in the uses it has found for itself in industries other than mobile app development including business and productivity tools, enterprise, utilities, education & reference, games etc. C# has found its applications in developing software including AutoCAD, Office 365, Visual Studio, and Share Point.

Objective-C

A derivative of the programming language C, Objective – C is an object-oriented general-purpose programming language. Objective – C is the core programming language that was used by Apple for iOS and OS X development before Swift was developed. Swift might be on its way to replace Objective – C but Objective – C has still maintained its popularity among developers. The language seems to maintain its relevance even though new languages have entered the scenario because of two major reasons. The first reason is that there has been a lot of investment in the language in terms of the apps and secondly, the frameworks of the apps still largely rely on Objective – C even today. Choosing Objective – C, hence seems to be a good idea as it allows you to create all kinds of apps.

Kotlin

This one is comparatively a new object-oriented first-class programming language and is pretty similar to Java when it comes to the structure of the language. The new language is comparatively clean and has multiple advanced features as compared to Java making it better between the two. In fact, Kotlin is unique in the fact that it supports almost all the IDEs including Android Studio and SDK toolkit.

Kotlin is a platform independent language which targets all platforms and its native code runs on multiple platforms.

Kotlin is a statistically typed programming language that supports the Java virtual machine (JVM) and can also be compiled with JavaScript source code. It has quite a concise and perceptive syntax which eventually increases the efficiency of the entire team, and the best part is that because of the clarity and ease it offers, there are much fewer bugs to find in the code.

The only downside that developers may face with Kotlin is that the language has limited resources of learning.

HTML5

The fifth version of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), HTML5 is an ideal option for you, if you are planning to build a web-fronted app for mobile devices. Strictly speaking HTML5 is not really a mobile app development language, so when you are developing an app in it, it has to be used in combination with other languages like JavaScript. One of the primal requirements here is that a powerful framework needs to be used whether you want to create an android app or an iOS app. The mobile app can be created in HTML5 (CSS & JavaScript) or it can even be used in combination with APIs, the HTML5 apps in both the scenarios are quite responsive and smoothly work on all devices across platforms. It allows you to code just once and use on a number of devices. There is a great number of web apps coded using HTML5 that are considerably popular, some of the ones that you might be using even today are Google Docs or Google Drive.

HTML5 has been quite successfully adopted by mobile and desktop browsers and offer quite robust cross-platform support. It is because of this robust cross-browser support and high responsiveness that any application that has been created in HTML5 works on all the devices quite smoothly without giving much grief. HTML5 can be used to develop games with canvas tag and supports both videos & audios. Above all, the biggest advantage of HTML5 is that it consists of easy and clean coding.

jQuery

A cross-platform Java script library, jQuery is designed to support the client-side scripting of HTML. The syntax for jQuery is organized in a convenient format that makes it easier to navigate in the document, to pick the right elements in Document Objective Model (DOM), to manage events, to create animations, and to create Ajax applications.

The advantage of using jQuery is that you can easily eliminate a lot of cross browser java script issues. The java script operations that highly complicated can be performed with just a little code in jQuery. Not only can you add Ajax functionality to it easily, but it also comes with its own UI and effect libraries. The only downside is that some of the developers have reportedly rated it as a harder to learn programming language.

Lua

Lua is a light-weight multi-paradigm language that was primarily developed for embedded application. It’s a cross-platform language where ANSI C is used for the interpreter and C is used for API. The salient features of the language include speed, portability, extensibility and reliability which come together to make it perfect for embedded applications.

The language is particularly helpful when it comes to handling errors and managing them. Lua’s predecessors include the data description/configuration languages Simple Object Language (SOL) and Data Entry Language (DEL).

Corona

This one is more of a software development kit that is used for building 2D mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Kindle and desktop applications for both, Windows and OS X, in addition to connected TV applications like Apple TV, Fire TV and Android TV. It is built on the programming language LUA and works on a pretty simple process that makes it easier for the developers to build apps.

ObjectPascal

This is a branch of the object-oriented derivatives of Pascal and is essentially an extension of Pascal language. The language is comparatively easy to learn and understand due to wordiness and easy syntax and its compiler is faster than C and C++. The downside however is that it is useful only within a niche. Also, in this language you have to declare all the variables, types, constants and functions right at the beginning of the code. The annoying thing is that it contains some unnecessary syntax.

Perl

The language Perl is actually a combination of two different languages – Perl 5 and Perl 6. A high-level dynamic programming language Perl has a capability to use features from other programming languages like C, sed, AWK among others. The unique thing here is that both Perl 5 and Perl 6 run and evolve independent of each other.

The language is used in numerous fields including automation, bioinformatics, website development, app development, games development and many such more. CPAN or comprehensive Perl archive network is the most powerful feature in the language which makes it fat, reliable, and personal.

QML

Qt Modeling Language or QML is a declarative language, quite similar to the CSS and JSON making it perfect for designing user interface-centric application. The elements of QML was enhanced by Java script and the documentation includes a hierarchical object tree.

QML has a great material library and is the best language for mobile application development. The downside is that the app built with QML takes a lot of time to start up without a Qt quick compiler, but the catch is that the compiler only comes in the commercial version.

Scheme

A multi-paradigm programming language – Scheme is known for its functional and imperative programming. The language is even standardized in IEEE the official standard. Scheme is characteristically simple and a lot easier to implement compared to most of the other languages. The language supports first class procedures and uses strictly but dynamically typed variables.

The downside is that you can’t perform low level operations with Scheme and is not recommended to programming new bias.

ActionScript

It is an object-oriented programming language and a derivation of Hypertalk – the scripting language for HyperCard. Action Script is particularly great for developing the websites and software that target the Adobe flash player platform for web pages.

Action Script 1.0 and Action Script 2.0 can be run on the same machine and officially supports custom classes, making it a popular choice among developers.

Scratch

The name comes from the disc jockey’s technique scratch as the language Scratch allows the developers to mix different media together in creative ways. It is a virtual programming language that was created keeping children as the target users. Scratch is great as an introductory language because it is comparatively easier to create interesting programs in Scratch than other languages. The best part, however, is that the skills you learn while learning Scratch are applicable when you move on to basic programming in other languages like Python and Java. As the language targets children, it allows integration of interesting elements like storytelling, games, and animations.

Though the language is great for children, but it requires an email ID to work with and underage users have to use their parents’ email IDs.

In a recent research on app development market, we analyzed Google Trends data on developer language jobs to compile a list of the fastest growing developer jobs based on popularity and Google Search volumes. The research established a direct link between the search volumes on Google and the jobs available in the market.

Here are the top 17 developer language jobs based on data from the last 10 years:

Top 20 Mobile App Development Platforms and Tools
Flutter
CoronaSDK
Appy Pie
NativeScript
MobileAngularUI
LongRange
Experitest
HeadSpin
AppWatch
Vuforia
EasyAR
TensorFlow
IBMWatson
UnityAds
AppyJump
UrbanAirship
Pusher
KendoUI
OnsenUI
Firebase

Flutter

Flutter is an open-source mobile app development SDK. The SDK is written in Dart language. The platforms works the best for hybrid mobile app development. The platform uses a 2D rendering engine – Skia for developing the visuals.

The visuals are pretty similar to Material Design and Cupertino and testing your project is super easy on Flutter. The best part is that you do not have to restart the project in case of any mistake.

CoronaSDK

Known for being ten times quicker than any other mobile app development framework Corona SDK is one of the most popular on this list. The most critical characteristic of the platform is that it is supported by Lua which is known for being a light-weight programming language that offers great speed, amazing ease of use and flexibility for app development.

Corona SDK is perfect for those who want to code faster without compromising on the quality of the app.

Appy Pie

The perfect go to option for people with no coding skills, Appy Pie is a great app builder that lets you create apps for all the major app stores at a fraction of the cost. Creating mobile apps with Appy Pie only needs you to drag and drop features into your app and it is good to go. The platform is based on WYSIWYG approach and lets anyone with or without coding experience create their own apps for business.

NativeScript

An open source framework for creating native mobile apps with Angular, TypeScript or JavaScript and has been ranked as the one of the top frameworks for hybrid mobile app development. Using this platform can actually boost your learning curve when it comes to mobile app development skills. There are hundreds of plugins available for NativeScript that will empower the native mobile apps you are building on the platform.

MobileAngularUI

A mobile app development framework that relies heavily on rich libraries like overthrow.js and fastclick.js and offers an enhanced overall experience. Not only does it let you design a responsive, mobile user-interface but also lets you convert desktop web apps into mobile apps. You can even create some really unique mobile components and the interface is so designed that you can alter the browser window and see the desktop and mobile windows simultaneously. As an added benefit, you can even test the responsiveness and speed of your app.

LongRange

This is one of the most popular native mobile app development tools and has a number of components including navigation, tabs, form views and commands. This particular platform doesn’t need you to be an expert in JavaScript, HTML, or CSS and uses the native features on mobile devices like GPS, camera, audio, SMS etc. Also, it diminishes the expenses of maintaining and extending a mobile app.

Experitest

Experitest is one of the leading mobile app testing platforms that lets you build and implement hundreds of manual and automated tests parallelly on more than 1000 real android and iOS devices in the cloud. It offers you real-time interaction and live debugging. The platform integrates readily with your CI/CD tools and workflow while also giving you access to visual test reports and advanced analytics.

HeadSpin

HeadSpin offers great insights into your app user experience that are actionable and can help you improve the performance of the mobile app. Their Artificial Intelligence engine automatically organizes performance issues from largest to the smallest time impact. The platform offers you a setup on cloud or on-premise as per different requirements. Additionally, it also offers load testing and ensures 100% uptime on devices.

AppWatch

App Watch is a cloud based mobile analytics and security product that lets the users secure their mobile apps in case of a hack attempt or attack. In this manner, users will be able to trust you and your app and rest assured that the app will be safe. This useful tool lets you conduct a complete scan of the mobile app with 3rd party library and SDK scanning. It generates custom reports with modified descriptions, logo, comments and more. The identified threats and issues are verified with multiple techniques.

Vuforia

Vuforia is an Augmented Reality SDK which lets you create AR technology-based apps. The framework uses Computer Vision technology for recognizing and tracking images and 3D objects. It extends support for all the leading mobile phones, tablets and digital eyewear for both Android and iOS platforms.

Vuforia is known to offer the best-in-class computer vision while ensuring robust and reliable experiences in a variety of environments. It lets you add video playback, build 3D experiences and create virtual buttons that the app can see and interact with.

EasyAR

Easy AR is an augmented reality based app for mobile app developers and offers a cross platform support for app development. This tool comes with an Objective-C API for iOS and is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS and others. It is loaded with features like transparent video playback, QR code scanning, unlimited recognition times, cloud recognition support and 3D object tracking.

TensorFlow

An open source software library for Artificial Intelligence app development, TensorFlow was designed particularly with focus on mobile and embedded platforms. These software libraries make it easier to integrate unique features for Artificial Intelligence. The architecture of TensorFlow is flexible enough to make it possible to deploy computation in a desktop, server, or mobile device with a single API. This tool finds its application primarily for deep learning in practice and research.

IBMWatson

IBM Watson lets you create AI based apps and lets you store and manage data in the cloud. The tool helps you interpret and analyze a variety of data including unstructured text, images, audio and video. It gives out personalized recommendations on the basis of the user behavior, personality, tone, and emotions. With machine learning, it gains subject matter knowledge and then lets you develop, test and deploy bots for multiple mobile devices and messaging platforms. This means you can create smooth conversations between your apps and your users.

UnityAds

This is a great platform to help you integrate video ads into mobile games in a non-intrusive, engaging manner. The platform offers the highest Average Revenue per User (ARPU) globally. The ad network is pretty simple and easy to setup while offering a positive player experience. Offers the gamers an award for watching the video ads without interrupting the gameplay.

AppyJump

Appy Jump is popular because of the sheer variety of campaign options for you to start monetizing your mobile app traffic. They offer the best in industry prices, real time tracking and optimizing. It is really easy to implement; all it takes is three steps – sign up, select, and simply enjoy the returns.

UrbanAirship

Urban Airship push notification lets you send out and deliver targeted, relevant, personalized and instant messaging. It can come in really handy when it comes to boosting up user engagement. The push notifications sent out from this tool are personalized and these push notifications can easily be optimized on the platform to be used as web notifications. The platform allows deep linking, has real-time automation, and sends out engagement reports.

Pusher

Named appropriately, Pusher is a brilliant push notification tool that supports almost all the major languages and frameworks. It lets you deliver well drafted push notifications without compromising on data security. It allows flexibility in messaging, lends you access control and its Webhook feature lets you receive real time data about the user activities within the system. You can even setup alerts in Slack, send metrics to dashboard in Datadog, among other things.

KendoUI

Kendo UI is known as a framework that provides end to end mobile app development solution. The framework adheres to the modern web standards as it delivers highly modular app development solutions. The framework works seamlessly with Angular JS and lets you customize their web applications according to the screen size, whether it is a desktop, tablet, or a phone. If you have some experience with JavaScript, this is the easiest tool to begin with. The framework allows the jQuery data source component which gives you easy data binding for both, local and remote data.

OnsenUI

It includes a brilliant UI framework and set of tools that lets you create HTML5 hybrid mobile apps based on PhoneGap. This framework is pretty easy to catch up on and is quite a powerful tool for creating mobile apps. Known popularly as the fastest way to develop hybrid and mobile web apps, Onsen UI lends a look and feel of a native app while offering multiple ready-to-use components and automatic styling and has a convenient grid system for placing your elements on the screen.

Firebase

An established mobile app development platform, Firebase is compatible with web, iOS, OS X, Android and more. Not only does it bring down the overall development time, but also leaves the servers and data storages untouched.

As it is a cloud service, Firebase doesn’t really need any setup. The data on the framework is stored as JSON, which means that the users can see what they’ve stored. File storage on Firebase is backed with Google Cloud Storage and all data is encrypted for any transfer to ensure data safety. All the data is backed up in multiple secure locations ensuring that there is no chance of data loss. The time taken to create apps with Firebase is quite short as it integrates smoothly with frameworks like Angular JS.

14 Best Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tools and Platforms
IntelXDK
ReactNative
Ionic
Xamarin
PhoneGap
MonoCross
AdobeBuild
KonyAppPlatform
Convertigo
Qt
Appcelerator
RhoMobileSuite
AlphaAnywhere
Sencha

IntelXDK

A cross-platform mobile app development framework, Intel XDK has multiple plugins which can help you create some really meaningful mobile apps that are responsive and interactive for all devices. This goes a long way in simplifying the process of testing, debugging, and emulation after you have developed the app. The framework is known particularly for being compatible with futuristic technology like IoT and more.

The best part about the framework is that you preview your project live while you are still making the changes.

ReactNative

A wildly popular cross-platform framework, React Native comes from the social media giant – Facebook and despite the fact that it has only been around since 2013, the platform has become the go to option for developers. Essentially an open-source framework, React Native offers great support to the IDEs and a number of other mobile app development tools. The framework is known as one of the optimal JavaScript frameworks for creating native apps for both, Android and iOS.

Ionic

One of the most widely used frameworks for mobile app development – Ionic is available for free. Typically, Ionic is a client side framework which helps them build native-based mobile apps using a combination of HTML, CSS3, and JavaScript.

Ionic is known for supporting the latest mobile devices and preparing a solid foundation for the mobile app before it is launched in the market eventually.

The framework has elements of HTML5 in it that come in handy when it comes to building hybrid apps also. This, in fact is one of the best assets for creating Progressive Web Apps.

Ionic framework is quite compatible with other SDKs and works best with PhoneGap and Cordova.

Xamarin

Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile app development platform that is quite popular for native applications as well. Essentially a mono framework, Xamarin allows communication with mobile device APIs. The Xamarin Component Store is quite resourceful with UI controls, cross-platform libraries, and third-party libraries.

Xamarin characteristically produces fewer bugs reducing the time to market and also allows indexing and deep linking.

PhoneGap

It is an open source mobile app development framework which is available for free. As a cross-platform app development framework, it lets you develop a single app that works smoothly on all devices and OS. The framework works effectively on JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 and can integrate with multiple libraries to improve the app development process.

The framework incorporates plug-in architecture that allows the developers to stretch the functionality of the app they are building. Best part, it doesn’t require you to possess any special skill set.

MonoCross

This particular platform lets you develop cross-platform apps using C#, Microsoft.NET and Mono framework. The best part is that you can retain the coding of application, controller, and model for multiple platforms while experimenting with the platform container and the way it looks or the user interface. This is why the apps created with MonoCross deliver a native like experience on all the major platforms. To top it all, this also makes app porting a breeze letting the businesses cope with quick changes in platforms.

Since the framework supports a diverse range of APIs, it is easier to leverage the capability of the device in entirety. The development time on this framework is low as MonoCross supports third party APIs. This means that the developers do not have to worry about the low-level intricacies of each of the platforms. The only downside is the lack of documentation and support resources online, which leaves the beginners struggling with its usability and features.

AdobeBuild

Build is particularly known for the speed of delivery and the quality of deliverables because this cloud-based tool is compatible with PhoneGap. The one great thing here is that there’s no need to familiarize yourself with multiple native SDKs like Android SDK, iOS SDK, Windows Phone SDK etc. and the developers can work on any cross-platform app development project. The only requirements include a knowledge of web technologies or of languages like CSS3, HTML5, and Java.

Since the framework lets you reuse codes, it is easier to stick to stringent deadlines, making it the perfect choice for businesses and enterprises because they work with quite strict TTM and stiff competition.

Data processing and background processing is not as fast with JavaScript as it would be if you used a native language.

KonyAppPlatform

This one is essentially a low-code app development framework that has gained massive popularity among enterprises struggling with a rising demand of mobile apps. Developers who are skilled in JavaScript can use the platform and build native or cross-platform apps, as the need may be.

One of the most attractive benefits here is the ability to drag and drop features from the Kony Marketplace or their API libraries. The framework has numerous sample apps or pre-built apps to inspire the developers and help them understand the framework better. Kony supports a wide range of backend systems and has a strong visualizer.

Kony has one big drawback that there is lack of documentation and support which means it is a tough ride for the beginners.

Convertigo

Convertigo calls itself a mobile backend as a service or MBaaS platform and has a whole portfolio of products including Convertigo Studio, Convertigo Server, Convertigo Cloud and Convertigo Mobilizer which make the whole app development process easier for businesses.

The framework has fullsync data replication technology to help build apps with offline mode capability. The framework supports Cordova plugins and can use native features on device like the GPS, camera and other sensors.

Qt

This is a cross-platform SDK and offers affordable design, development, and deployment which lets the developers deliver the best user experience for all devices. The framework has enabler classes for windowing and rendering and has parser and compiler optimizations. Apart from that Qt supports opaque Private Keys and IPv6 and dual mode networks. The best part about the framework is that it offers workarounds for buggy SSL servers.

Appcelerator

Appcelerator is a great tool for cross-platform developers for building, testing, connecting and finally measuring the functionality of the app they are building. The tool favors JavaScript for programming and the universal code concept works here as well. Particularly well suited for rapid app development, the tool helps you build an app prototype in a quick and simple way letting you evaluate user interaction with the UI. ArrowDB, its schema-less data store lets you deploy data models with absolutely no effort setup. Another great benefit of using this framework is that it comes quipped with pre-built connectors for MS Azure, MS SQL, Salesforce, MongoDB and numerous others.

RhoMobileSuite

RhoMobile Suite is backed by Rhodes open source framework and is a great set of development tools that can be used to create data-centric cross-platform enterprise apps with a native user experience. The fun thing with apps on RhoMobile Suite is that they can be made compatible with mobile as well as non-mobile operating systems. The platform offers automatic data encryption helping the organizations with BYOD model ensure that the data security is not compromised. The Object Relational Mapper on the platform enables automatic synchronization of backend data and provides offline data accessibility and its synchronization with apps.

The only downside to it is that it restricts RFID plugins to Windows mobile. If this one hiccup was taken care of, this framework would shoot even higher in popularity.

AlphaAnywhere

Alpha Anywhere, a popular mobile app development and deployment tool is great for creating cross platform mobile and web apps for business. The platform offers enterprise-grade mobile data security and lets you publish from their own development environment. The platform takes care of offline sync and offers comprehensive back end data access. One great thing here is that the platform lets you access a number of pre-built sample apps that can be used as a reference or inspiration to model your mobile app after.

Sencha

Sencha or Sencha Ext JS is an MVC-based JavaScript framework that offers a high level of responsiveness in the apps that are built on the platform which eventually improve the levels of customer satisfaction. Using Sencha touch SDK the developers can code their mobile apps in HTML5 format and their code can be translated using a tool like PhoneGap. It also lets you scale your app to multiple resolutions so that your app is compatible with all the devices in the market.

Best 21 Mobile Game Engines & Development Platforms and Tools
CoronaLabs
SpriteKit
Unity
Cocos2D
Marmalade
AmazonLumberyard
CryEngine
NextPeer
Haxe
Gideros
Titanium
PowerVRGraphicsSDK
ProjectAnarchy
MonoGame
CocoonJS
GameMakerStudio2
UnrealEngine
Buildbox
AppGameKit
Construct2
Fusion

CoronaLabs

This is a great cross-platform mobile app development framework which can be used to create apps and games for both mobile and desktop devices. It is completely free and lets you build games for free in a fraction of the time you would take if you were to use any other method. This popular game engine lets the developers share their code as they are creating the games and publishing them on any of the platforms including iOS, Android, and even Kindle. Corona is optimized to leverage the hardware-accelerated features that enhance performances in games and apps.

SpriteKit

SpriteKit is Apple’s proprietary 2D game development framework that is compatible with both the languages Swift and Objective-C. This brilliant game engine offers you great convenience for easier scene management, manage and edit game objects or elements easily, and supports sound and developing custom codes. SpriteKit gives you immense flexibility for designing various levels and developing different particle systems. Navigation on SpriteKit is pretty easy as it uses Box2D as its physics engine and a built in camera. It is particularly a great choice for developers who are used to the Apple ecosystem.

Unity

A popular game development engine Unity supports C# and their own language UnityScript. It is a cross platform tool which has both free and professional versions and can be deployed on multiple platforms. The built-in editor lets you edit images and organize animations from the animator window and even lets you design particle system.

With its own physics engine and a built-in camera the navigation gets much simpler in the game world. The UI of the game engine has multiple components which showcases the features in an easily viewable format.

Cocos2D

An open-source framework, Cocos2D is available for free and can work great with both Swift and Objective-C and supports both iOS and OS X. If the coding is done with Objective-C plugins are available to help support the Android platform as well. It has a bunch of useful tools that can be used for effective scene management, finding animations, particle system and tile maps.

This game engine has OpenGL as rendering engine. Cocos2D is perfect for someone who wants to develop for multiple platforms and enjoy working on Objective-C and Swift.

Marmalade

Marmalade comes with a free set of tools designed particularly for easy game development and porting process. Known as a fast, high performance cross-platform engine, Marmalade is great for both 2D and 3D games. Marmalade SDK can be used to code in C++ and the Marmalade Quick version is great for app development that uses Lua. Marmalade Web on the other hand lets you create hybrid apps with HTML 5, CSS, and JavaScript.

A platform that has won multiple awards, Marmalade enjoys great popularity among top game developers due to its ability to create native games for mobile as well as desktop platforms. Another tool in the suite, Marmalade Juice makes it particularly easy to port iOS games to the Android ecosystem.

AmazonLumberyard

A free AAA game engine from Amazon, Lumberyard is based on the CryEngine architecture and offers multiple free tools. The platform delivers cross-platform functionality for developing high quality games. It has a bunch of free tools and cross-platform functionality for developing great quality games. The best part of using this platform is that you don’t need share your revenue with Amazon. The game engine has AWS integrated in it; hence you can even host multiplayer games on AWS cloud infrastructure.

The added advantage of this platform is the scope of marketing your games using Twitch to stream your video games online to a wide user base.

CryEngine

CryEngine is a popular game development engine when it comes to 3D games for console and Windows PC. This interesting game development engine is developed by a Germany based company – Crytek that can be used to build first person shooter games and more advanced games with C++, ActionScript, Lua Script and Visual Studio.

The platform offers both, paid and free models which can be used to develop different game assets spanning a huge gaming market.

The platform offers multiple features that make it brilliant and efficient, including Voxel-based global illumination, per-object shadow maps, multi-layer navigation mesh, parametric skeletal animation to name a few.

NextPeer

A multiplayer social SDK, NextPeer is known particularly for addressing the issue of multiplayer gaming on mobile and supports both synchronous and asynchronous gameplay. The games developed with NextPeer are known for achieving maximum user retention with the quality of the gaming experience and high engagement they offer. The game development engine supports real-time interactions and live rankings which makes the whole experience more interesting and pretty real. The platform has a delayed synchronous technology which means that the players can play the past sessions of other players. This truly unique feature is why NextPeer is a highly competitive mobile game development engine in the market. The engine supports game development and design on the native iOS and Android and extends support for Unity and Cocos2D-X

Haxe

An open-source, multi-platform programming language Haxe is a game development engine that supports both iOS and Android equally. Developers familiar with Java, C++, PHP or AS3 can easily learn the language in the toolkit of this engine. The platform is trusted particularly with the design and development of cross-platform games and offers a pretty smooth development process.

The compiler for Haxe produces cross-platform native codes and rapidly compiles thousands of classes for quick game development. The toolkit comes with a Haxe standard library which comes with a strong set of APIs and additional raw frameworks that can be leveraged to develop additional tools whenever the need arises.

Gideros

This one, like a few others on this list is an open-source game development engine that uses Lua Script. This platform extends support to and can import to multiple platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, OS X, Windows, and Windows RT.

Gideros has an advantage over Lua in the fact that it provides a class-based API letting the developers work easily and write clean codes that are reusable.

It has a bunch of features needed for mobile game development like scene manager, MovieClip class and GTween library that helps manage and manipulate objects within the game. Additionally, Gideros uses Box2D for physics and has multiple important tools like texture packer and font creator for enhanced gaming experience.

Gideros is a great choice for developers who are familiar and comfortable with Lua.

Titanium

With JavaScript as the programming language, Titanium is a popular, free framework among developers for building applications, but has also been proven as a strong game development platform. Though games can be developed for free on the platform, but a paid license is needed to publish them. The platform lets you change and animate views and images easily leveraging native controls from iOS and Android.

Titanium is a great framework for treating the games with some exceptional effects and developers can also download custom modules from its marketplace. If you are planning to create a game that has simple features and less complex objects in motion, this is a great choice.

PowerVRGraphicsSDK

A great platform when it comes to developing cross-platform graphics applications, PowerVR Graphics SDK is a comprehensive set of SDK made of PVRShell. Not only does it help streamline the entire process of writing applications but also provides PVRTools which is a comprehensive library of the most commonly used 3D graphics application functionality and supports iOS and android.

This is a great tool particularly when you need to simplify a lot of objects in complex game scenes. The best part about this SDK is that it comes with multiple manuals, useful white papers and training material that can come in handy to leverage the tool to maximum potential.

ProjectAnarchy

Project Anarchy is an end to end mobile game development engine from Havok, and is great for creating full fledged games for mobile devices. Developers using this platform do not need to pay because the platform offers free license for importing games on iOS, Android, and Tizen.

It comes with a complete set of tools including Havok Vision Engine and a set of critical development tools like Physics, Animation Studio and AI.

The platform lets you add FBX files to the asset manager and supports automatic script validation, particle lighting, and Scaleform & FMOD integration.

MonoGame

This too is a multi-platform game engine that uses class architecture. The platform uses C and Net languages. The platform lets you develop games for free and supports leading platforms including iOS, Android and Windows phone.

CocoonJS

CocoonJS is great for creating HTML5 games and the best part is that it is completely compatible with Cordova. It has a host of brilliant features and one of the most prominent ones is the Cocoon cloud which makes sure that you wouldn’t have to install SDKs. They also have a rich Plugins library which has just about any plugin you may need. The game development engine supports multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Amazon AppStore Plugin (Android), Nook Plugin (Android), Ouya Plugin (Android), and Android Wear.

GameMakerStudio2

GameMaker Studio2, a platform for creating 2D games comes from Yoyo Games. They have an amazing ‘Drag and Drop’ feature and an easy to learn language which together offer you an opportunity to design the entire game in a really short time. One distinctive advantage of the platform is that it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

The game development engine supports multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Tizen, Amazon Fire, and PS Vita among others.

UnrealEngine

Unreal Engine is the perfect platform for those who have no experience and are at the beginners’ level because it needs no programming skills and has a bunch of user-friendly features. Using this platform you can make as many changes and modifications to the game as you want, without any need of programming or coding. Also, the interface of the platform is quite easy to work with and even lets you test the game within the platform. The game development engine lets you design brilliant 3D graphics that can not just bring you gamers, but also get them hooked to it. The engine supports a great number of platforms including Windows PC, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, VR Platforms, Linux, Steam OS, HTML5 and more.

Buildbox

This one is yet another awesome no code platform that lets you design your own games in a jiffy. The platform is pretty simple to use and all you need to do is select images, import them and assign them roles and that’s it! Your game will then start. The fun part is that you can make changes and see it reflected in real-time! The game development engine currently only supports the iOS platform and is only available as a paid platform.

AppGameKit

AppGameKit is a great platform irrespective of the fact whether you are an expert or a beginner. The platform is known for being user-friendly and uses a coding language much similar to C++. The game development engine, AppGameKit is cross-platform, which is why the game you design with it will be available for all the different platforms in one go! It supports multiple platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.

Construct2

This is a great HTML5 platform that is particularly great for creating 2D games and is particularly easy to use. The platform needs no coding for creating interesting games. The platform is popular among game developers as it is loaded with features that let you develop games that are visually appealing. A unique feature of the game development engine, Construct 2 is that it has multiplatform export feature that makes sure that your project or the game you are creating is ready to be published on multiple kinds of devices in one go! Construct 2 supports multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and a number of Web platforms including Google Chrome, Kongregate, NewGrounds, Firefox Marketplace or Scirra Arcade.

Fusion

Fusion is an amazing platform for creating an event-based game and has a really easy to use interface. The platform can be used by anyone irrespective of their technical knowledge and programming skills, because it needs no coding. They have a rich library of graphics and the platform can be leveraged for creating 2D games. The strength of Fusion lies, however in creating static games. The game development engine supports multiple platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows.

Wrapping Up
If this is overwhelming for you and you just can’t seem to wrap your head around it, the perfect solution for you is to go with a no code app builder Appy Pie.

Appy Pie, the no code platform lets you create the entire app without having to write even a single line of code. Known as the fastest growing cloud based mobile app builder software, Appy Pie is a favorite among small businesses due to the ease of use and affordability. If you are planning to build an app and have no technical skills, Appy Pie can prove to be just the perfect choice for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get started with building your own mobile app right now!

About The Author ||
The Content Head at Appy Pie, Snigdha has had a passion for writing since she can remember and feels lucky for making it her career. With a total experience of 12 years, she has dedicated the last 6 years to hard-core content writing and management. She actively writes about all things related to Social Media & more. In her spare time, she would either love to read curled up on the couch or take a bag of necessities (including a good book) and drive off into the sunset.




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