Top Five New Mobile App Development Tools

For the creative developer, apps provide some of the most exciting opportunities in today’s rapidly evolving IT playing field. With open source development fueling the engine for even greater innovation and versatility, today’s apps are the precursor to a future world of limitless possibilities, enabled by cutting-edge development tools.

Fortunately for developers, consumer demand seems to be virtually insatiable. By March 2017, the world’s two leading app stores had more than five million available apps; specifically, Google Play with 2.8 million, and Apple with 2.2 million. Likewise, by 2020, mobile apps are predicted to generate $188.9 billion in revenues through in-app ads and app store purchases.

Added to this, recent statistics tell us that 95 percent of Americans own some type of cell phone, and 77 percent of these are app-capable Smartphones. Likewise, Americans are spending an average of three hours and 23 minutes of their Internet browsing time per day on apps.

With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that the market continues to be flooded with the rapid emergence of cutting-edge app development tools. Here are five of the latest and greatest, some free and open source with no coding needed, others requiring code and offering more custom functionality than ever before.

1. Appcelerator

Appcelerator is a one-stop shop for app builders, thanks to its amazing versatility. It offers more than 5,000 APIs for Windows, iOS, Android, HTML5 and BlackBerry. Working from a single JavaScript code base, Appcelerator creates apps that can run native on OS and any type of device. Extremely user-friendly for developers, Appcelerator provides pre-integrated cloud services so that you can test and compare during the creative process. In addition, it provides handy app usage analytics so that you can monitor adoption and usage, tweak performance, and detect crashes immediately. This versatility, coupled with real-time analytics features, makes Appcelerator a powerhouse tool for app builders and developers.

2. BuildFire

One of the greatest strengths of BuildFire is its versatility. It not only supports iOS and Android phones and tablets, it also has more than 45 plugins and pre-existing templates that you can build upon, as well as integrations to other customization/data services like Segment. It’s equally effective in building apps for media/entertainment content, corporate/business use, education, commerce and event promotion. It also claims to provide unlimited customization features so that the only limits are in the developer’s imagination.

One of its biggest selling points is ease and speed of usage. Enthusiasts say that you can build and launch your app in less than 30 minutes using only three steps. If you’re not a tech guru, no worries: BuildFire offers comprehensive tech support to walk you through the development process.

3. Mobile Roadie

Mobile Roadie, like the best of today’s app development tools, offers a multitude of solutions and features coupled with a sophisticated versatility. Equally user-friendly with iOS and Android, Mobile Roadie provides advanced media platforms for photo/audio/video usage, as well as platforms for live feed news posts, up-to-date event info and a realtime fan wall. You can also add extra features such as menus, a QR scanner, speakers, a store, a mailing list, links, shortcuts, image banners and a host of other extras. In addition, Mobile Roadie also offers app organization and user analytics features, plus marketing strategy and content entry services to help you launch your app into a waiting world.

4. Xamarin

Xamarin is Microsoft’s entry into the app development field, and it has proven to be another versatile and user-friendly player by allowing builders to use existing code and skills. Xamarin utilizes a C# codebase tool to produce native apps for Windows, Android and iOS, and it allows multi-platform code sharing for greater ease of usage, plus versatility. This means that you can use the same language, IDE and APIs across the board. In addition, you can distribute your newly created app to beta testers/users on iOS, Windows and Mac OS on demand.

Xamarin also provides cloud service, so that you can automate UI tests on thousands of devices, using hundreds of configurations. In addition, it offers an interactive dashboard that provides real-time usage and performance analytics.

5. The AppBuilder

It’s always interesting to discover new app tools created for specific industries, and The AppBuilder was designed to fill a specialized industry need. This innovative tool, which facilitates the creation of HR, employee and staff apps, has already been implemented by corporate entities as varied as London’s Heathrow Airport, VISA and Michelin.

TheAppBuilder creates apps that can provide real-time schedules and updates for employees, facilitate communications between departments, and organize HR data so that it’s immediately accessible. TheAppBuilder provides one-on-one online training and support, data hosting, security and live Google Analytics performance data, and posts everything under your own brand, graphics and imagery.

As the entire app ecosystem continues to grow and expand, developers are looking for tools that can make their apps more versatile and adaptable. Likewise, by mitigating the need for developers to learn extensive code, the best of today’s app development tools are paving the way for builders to create apps even more quickly — in some instances, within minutes — and effectively.