Businesses know the importance of being as close and accessible to their customers as possible. And what do most people these days carry around with them pretty much at all times? That’s right, smartphones. Apps are therefore valuable mediums, making app development software crucial tools to make your services available anytime and anywhere.
Mobile app platforms come in different formats, from drag-and-drop methods, non-coding approaches to metadata-driven and plugin options. Moreover, you want your app to adapt to the two major operating systems iOS and Android, also leaving room for cross-platform app development.
In a sea of a diversity of mobile app development platforms, you want to understand all its layers to make an informed decision of which software to use to get the most valuable results out of it.
In this guide we will present to you the various features of these tools and what to consider and look for when choosing from our carefully selected list of the top app development software out there.
What is an app development software?
Ranging from a variety of development capabilities, mobile app development platforms are a helpful tool to establish a more efficient app building and user interface (UI) design process for developers and programmers.
These software app platforms provide different features for front and back-end development as well as for security, data storage and monitoring layers, using low-coding approaches and an app building system that is user-friendly and far less complicated than if one were to take on the entire development process upon themselves.
An app development software is typically a set of multiple application functions that users can implement to build menus, lists, QR codes, various site sections, chat options, email and mobile marketing tools, including social media tools and more advanced features that can vamp up your app instantly.
Additional app building platform functionalities
When selecting your trusted app development software platform, app builders offer native and cross-platform application solutions. With innovative technological solutions spreading across major operating systems like iOS, Android and Windows, app development tools build qualitative apps, ensuring that your target users have access to your bespoke products and services.
Why do I need app development platforms?
With today’s world relying primarily on the wireless internet and digitized platforms, with smartphones, laptops and tablets being the go-to devices for the vast majority, applications provide great opportunities to reach your target audience effectively.
In this growing digital age, there are over 6.5 billion smartphone global users, which explains why the mobile app industry is expanding at a rapid rate. And this is no surprise, as you have surely noticed how attached people are to their phones these days.
But this is not too unusual, as many of us use our phones for work, leisure and for other daily chores. So apps are being used on a wider scale, with smartphone and app usage to grow even more in the near future. According to Statista, revenue in mobile apps is expected to increase by $613 billion by 2025.
As a specialized programmer and developer, you surely have several responsibilities and tasks on your agenda, and developing the app can be a tedious process and a challenging one too with too much already on your plate.
Partnering with one of the top app development platforms can therefore definitely make things easier, with the assistance of advanced tools and technologies to only get the best results from your newly created app, with easy and direct access to your services.
How do I select the best app development software?
When selecting the right mobile app development platform for your business, programmers and developers need to consider many factors that depend not only on the type of application they are looking to build but also the unique features of the business overall.
Overall, the best platform for app development will allow you to efficiently write, build, deploy as well as test, improve and maintain apps throughout its lifecycle. Productive middleware and back-end services are therefore vital to deliver a well-oiled machine that will only widen your presence in the app world.
When looking at individual app development software platform services, you want to choose an app builder that suits your individual requirements. Here are some features that you may want to consider when selecting software apps:
Low-code & code-focused developer tools
Low-code or codeless app development platforms typically use the drag-and-drop approach so that programmers and developers can easily integrate creative functionalities within a far less complicated and time-consuming software system.
This type of tool also enables you to implement metadata and model-driven as well as several other non-coding options, leaving room for more diversity and creativity when developing various app templates to match your users’ needs.
On the other hand, code-centric app development software provides a more in-depth overview of the structure and design of your app without having to make changes to the code. When the code is integrated into the software, you can track any changes and updates you make as you go.
Monitoring & data analytics
Monitoring and keeping track of your app’s performance is essential for really any business. So you want to make sure that you have effective app development platforms in place that specialize in analytics who will report back to you about this kind of data.
It would put a great amount of weight off your business’ shoulders when you use software applications that provide core back-end services as well for a much more cost-efficient and smoother app building process.
Back-end services include helpful functions like user management, push notifications, offline synchronization, sufficient data storage as well as optimal integration, API design and orchestration.
Another cost-efficient and productive service you want to look for when selecting the best app development software is DevOps support. They help accelerate the app development process, ensuring the qualitative results, by facilitating automation process and releasing management, and therefore decreasing the workload.
Security when using mobile applications is vital for enterprise customers. Therefore, you want to choose a mobile application software that effectively tackles and eliminates security vulnerabilities.
iOS vs Android
Last but not least, compatibility is a feature you want to prioritize with an application development platform. As discussed earlier, iOS and Android are the two main platforms in today’s mobile app market. Your program needs to be compatible, and therefore created on a platform that supports these two operating systems.
Optimally, you may want to opt for cross-platform development software, allowing users on more than one platform to have access to your products and services.
But let’s take a closer look at iOS and Android app builders, as they are the two most popular platforms, and you may want to be up to speed with the first and foremost.
iOS development tools
Apart from Swift and Objective-C being the main two coding languages for iOS applications, there are a wide variety of tutorials for the xCode IDE, editors, libraries, plugins and other resources that are vast and of excellent quality.
We have covered the tools and platforms in more detail in our iOS App Development Tools List.
Android development tools
While iOS seems to make a bigger statement, Android has been taking over the app market at a steady rate as well. Developers usually stick to Java and HTML5 when building Android applications, but can also benefit from a wide range of language resources, plugins and IDEs.
You can find a more in-depth run-through of these tools and plugins in our Android Development Tools List.
Which software is best for app development?
Developers within the cross-platform mobile development field, looking for the best tools and resources, and not just the IDEs and Editors but also top language and tutorials, can take advantage of the list of some of the top app development software below.
Find iOS and Android app builders, app makers, game engines, and other app development software and tools that provide a set of templates users can build upon with their own content.
Of course, it’s not always feasible to build a really complicated mobile app with all of the features using a single app builder. So you can develop several apps using a software application that has all of the features you need at hand to get the best value for your app.
List of app development software, tools and app builders
- 500,000+ registered users
- 10+ years on the market
- 10,000 + published apps
- Collaboration tools to build apps by a team
ShoutEm is a powerful tool to create mobile applications which asks no coding skills of the creator. From content to advertising, from e-commerce to social apps, the platform provides you with a simple drag-and-drop interface to create the application, and gives you the tools to preview it natively and in real time. While basic apps are coded in HTML5, the scaling price plans also allows for native apps in iOS, Android and iPad.
ShoutEm also offers analytics tracking for your application, keeping tabs on active users, sessions, shout outs, check ins and more data points, as well as including a content management system, a variety of modules to monetize your users such as promotions and advertising.
- Automated publishing to App Store and Google Play, free republishing and updates
- 4-tier price plan covers all levels of customization for your app
- High profile clients include T-Mobile, USA Today and Digital First Media
Native apps Progressive Web App Builder for eCommerce and Content Management.
GoodBarber is an app builder created in 2011, delivering a tool which allows to create robust and powerful apps, with the best design and user experience out there. With GoodBarber, you can make native iOS apps, native Android apps, and Progressive Web Apps, which are the latest, most advanced mobile technology. The platform can be used by a wide range of projects and organizations—from local businesses, to radio stations, to magazines, to non-profits, and more. Digital agencies are also a main user of the platform, taking advantage of the solid, reliable technology and flexible customization options to make and sell apps to clients via the white-label reseller program.
With 30,000 apps published with the platform, GoodBarber is a tool you can trust with your business’s digital identity. Not only will end-users enjoy the top-notch design options and a wide range of features that can be added to the app, but the app creator will be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use the back office to create and maintain an engaging application. Given the indispensability of a mobile presence, no business should have to decide between breaking the bank or having a low-quality app—that’s why GoodBarber’s mission is to give everyone access to the opportunity to create an exceptional product worthy of representing them.
- Allows to build a shopping app with offline payment system, local delivery by zip code, in-store pickup, time slots, store locator, push notifications, discounts, one-click checkout, permanent cart, quick share and more.
- 30,000+ apps are built with the platform
GameSalad is a free, drag and drop game creation engine for the development of iPhone, iPad, Android, Tizen & HTML5 games. Using GameSalad developers can test games on Apple devices (no coding required) and publish games to the App Store. The engine is also powered by a complex behavior library to enable creative freedom for game designers. Plus to business objectives, GameSalad team has a noble goal to enable anyone to engage with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and learn Computer Science through video game creation.
One of GameSalad’s main features is it’s testing tool, the In-App Previewer, which can be used to test game logic and behavior sets. Its web publishing system allows for quick and easy cross-platform publishing to supported targets including iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, Nook, Windows 8 and Mac desktop. Developers can also instantly publish games to the HTML5 powered GameSalad Arcade
- Create, test and publish iPhone, iPad, Android, Tizen and HTML5 games
- In-App Previewer to test game logic and behavior sets
- Cross-platform publishing available for ebook readers, Windows 8 and Mac desktop
Fliplet is an enterprise-focused app making solution designed to make mobile applications for your business without any knowledge of coding or programming. Once your app is designed with a simple click-and-edit browser interface and using a number of ready-made templates, it can be shared internally in your company or via the Fliplet Viewer application.
Fliplet’s pre-coded features are built around the needs of a company, and include sales and marketing features such as client proposals and project overviews, as well as suites of features for event organizing, project management, promotion and others. Apps can also link to external PDFs or websites and can always be customised to make navigation and use as easy as possible.
- Free plan to build an app for a small number of users
- Team plan (from 65 euro per month and up)
- Enterprise plan (from 1,300 euro per month and up)
- Manage privacy and access settings, deciding which employees can access which app
- Audio and video streaming supported, as well as visualization of charts and graphs
- Return to Office app built in collaboration with 25 customers that businesses to return to the office after COVID-19 lockdown.
Appy Pie is a mobile app-development software platform with the aim of minimizing the amount of coding you have to do yourself. The software is entirely cloud based and requires no installation. The Appy Pie team is on a mission to democratize mobile app development process and let small companies access quality app development building tools cheaper than hiring an outside app development team would require.
Its basic service is free, but will only produce games and apps compatible with HTML 5. The paid versions of the program will add iOS and Android support, remove Appy Pie branding from your application and include other features such as push notifications, real-time updates, and analytics, depending on the price plan.
- Drag-and-drop interface means no coding skills required.
- Four different price plans to only pay for the support you want.
- Paid version always provides customer support and one-time free submission.
- The entire app building process takes only 3 steps.
AppsGeyser is a web platform that allows converting any web content into an Android App in 2 easy steps. It is a Android-only codeless application development platform that lets users create template-based mobile apps based on content pulled from webpages. The AppsGeyser tool is easy to use and bundles social sharing, tabs, messaging and full support for HTML5 enhancements.
On top of the free plan, it offers 3 paid plans – Master ($10 / month to remove ads and get a number of extra features, including premium support), Business ($10 / month for the same features as the Master plan minus support) and Individual plan ($5 / month for the Master plan set of features).
- The platform can pull content from webpages, YouTube channels, RSS feeds and other sources
- Create an app in 3 simple steps and you’ll be ready to monetize it in no time
- Choose your own themes and templates from a wide selection
- On average 7,000+ apps being created with AppsGeyser daily
- To date 6,000000+ apps were created with the platform in total
Telerik Platform also provides analysis tools, such as crash reporting and monitoring, post launch as well as on-demand Mbaas services and ready-made templates in order to speed up app production as much as possible. The platform covers all stages of app development and even comes with its own management system for post-launch support and updates.
- Key clients include NASA, Fox and Sony
- Also supports Cordova/PhoneGap plugins
- Free trial and demo available