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Top cross platform app development tools for mobile developers

Mobiles have grown into the life fabric of all digital natives, and even though we are witnessing a technology downpour, we feel wonderful about the expansive reach mobility solutions. The smartphone community is blessed with a many mobile operating systems to choose from, and with so many wonderful options, the app developers are facing a torrid time in deciding which platform to opt for. Further, the mobile app developers are required to develop different versions of their applications to accommodate all major operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc.

The solution to the above mentioned problem is cross platform mobile development, which offers a convenient way to mobile app developers to build apps that cater to multiple mobile platforms. This means that without the need of extensive programming or coding changes for each mobile operating system, developers can now create apps that have a single source code and yet are able to run across different platforms. The market is replete with several high performing tools that can be used to develop cross platform apps for major mobile operating systems, besides offering added functionalities to those apps.

Through this article, we will cover some fantastic cross platform mobile app development tools and applications. What works for or against them, we will cover it all. 


Xmarin is an advanced cross platform app development platform that allows developers to deploy native APIs in their projects, mostly for Android and iOS. Xmarin is based on C# development package where apps are programmed for both iOS and Android devices. It’s popular for its advanced compiling on .NET framework at runtime, versatility and highly adaptive interface suitable for team collaboration. I personally admire its development team collaboration system where large teams can effortlessly work on the same project with seamless communication and project management.


Arguably the most popular cross platform app development applications available in the market, the Appcelerator is a fantastic FOSS tool that offers developers access to over 300 Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The FOSS tool already finds widespread application in web technologies, including PHP, HTML5, CSS3, Python, JavaScript and Ruby. The best part is its cloud based storage that is extremely helpful when you have an entire team working on a project.


Marmalade is a special C++ based cross platform app development tool that s becoming popular these days.  Apps can be programmed on web platforms like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, and not just development, Marmalade is ideal for porting apps across different mobile operating systems. It operates on Microsoft Visual Studio and Xcode as its IDE, and can be used to create apps for iOS, Android Blackberry and Symbian mobile platforms.


RhoMobile is a strong contender in this compilation and is easily one of the most robust and powerful tool for cross platform mobile app development. The application is designed on Ruby platform, and is ideal for a robust development environment for apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry operating systems. The developer needs to build the source code for one platform using this tool once, and the source code could then be used for all platforms without any further changes. Interestingly, the service is available in both cloud and dedicated server based environment. While RhoHub is a cloud server based app development environment, the RhoSync service is driven by standalone servers and thereby providing more robust options to the developers.


As mobile app developers, we yearn for an interactive tool that addresses bugs and fixes them well in advance. PhoneGap is one such application that I personally have used to render and build cross platform mobile apps. This tool performs extremely well in building apps for all major platforms, including Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Symbian and Blackberry. Further, PhoneGap comes trimmed with fantastic accessibility features for using a device’s advanced hardware components including camera, accelerometer, GPS receivers, etc. Phone Gap uses distributed system web development technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS3.


Created as a simple, no-frills attached mobile app development kit for budding developers, Whoops has an interesting aura surrounding it. For starters, it is clean and offers simple standalone features, such as dropping and dragging elements from the taskbar, besides ability to tweak from the code window itself. However, advanced and seasoned developers might find it lacking feature-wise owing to its simplistic make up and lack of high profile components provided with Appcelerometer or PhoneGap. In my opinion, Whoop is a great package for developers looking to learn and apply the basics of cross platform app development.


Widgetpad works best for low-end cross platform app development, available for Android, iOS and other mobile platforms. At present, WidgetPad is offered in its beta version to the developers, and is based on web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The useful application has several features working for it, including source code editing, error debugging, development team collaboration, app versioning, code distribution and overall project management.


Author BIO

This Guest Post has been contributed by Vijay Gaur who is currently working as senior associate for internet marketing with Moability, a company providing iPhone application development services.


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