Our Top Tools for Mobile App Development
Did you know there are over three billion smartphones in use across the world? Between them, Google’s Android operating system, and Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone, make up 99% of that global market. And with revenues from mobile apps predicted to hit $9.35bn (roughly £6.85bn) by 2023, mobile apps clearly offer a lucrative way to build a brand and sell products and services for any company willing to make the investment.
Much like the smartphone market, the world of mobile app development is forever growing and evolving. At DCSL GuideSmiths, we constantly keep abreast of those developments. Because of that outlook, our team are always skilled to create intuitive, secure and easy-to-use mobile applications which work on the vast majority of current handsets. That leaves us well placed to develop mobile software that can solve problems, make life easier, and set a business apart.
But what tools do we use to do that? Or, to be more specific…
What are the best mobile app development tools for Android & iOS?
Whether you’re considering building your own app, or looking for a software partner to do it for you, having a handle on the best mobile app development software can give you a head-start on building the best app possible.
With that in mind, these are our top tools for mobile app development in 2022.
Created by Apple in 2014 and now used heavily by iOS developers, Swift is incredibly easy for developers to read and write, and highly safe from the standpoint of data security. It’s also open source, meaning developers can flex their creative juices by modifying the language to make it do what they need it to – an approach Apple is not only enabling, but empowering, by working with developers to add features.
All of this makes for a programming language that can create truly forward-thinking mobile app software. In fact, if you’re focused solely on iPhone and Apple Watch, we’d go as far as to say that Swift is arguably the best mobile app development software tool you could learn, and a crucial skill for any mobile app dev team to have in 2022 and beyond.
While Swift is an iOS-specific dev tool, with Xamarin we have one designed to help developers working across multiple platforms. Used to develop iOS, Android and even Windows apps, Xamarin’s big benefit is that it allows app creators to share up to 90% of their code across those platforms. This can considerably speed up app development and fits especially well into our preferred agile way of working.
Like Swift, it’s also open source, making for a flexible and powerful tool built on Microsoft’s .NET developer platform. Xamarin is only one way of working cross-platform, with another being the very popular React Native framework.
However, with Microsoft now transitioning to the impending release of its new cross-platform MAUI framework, Xamarin is set to be transitioned into legacy status. Here at DCSL GuideSmiths we’ll still be using Xamarin to support older apps built in that framework, though we’ll also be expanding our MAUI knowledge base as and when it moves from preview to full launch.
3. React Native
As already mentioned, React Native is similar to Xamarin in that it allows developers to share the vast majority of code between different platforms. In fact, React Native is even more prolific in this sense, giving devs up to 95% of shareable code – making it amongst the best mobile app development software any developer can be trained in.
The big benefit is that anyone using React Native can effectively build iOS and Android apps at the same time. This, of course, means that whether you’re developing in-house, or producing an app for a third-party client, you can turn around two apps in double-quick time, saving everyone time and money in the process.
Another interesting aspect of React Native is that it’s fast enough to ensure that apps built in it perform practically as well as native apps (ones developed in the operating system’s own platform). That’s because it’s optimised for mobile and mainly uses the hardware’s GPU (graphical processing unit) instead of its CPU. It’s also incredibly flexible and transparent, with features like ‘live reloading’ allowing coders to see changes they’ve made immediately, and exporting from React Native to other frameworks is fast and hassle-free.
Because they are essentially rivals, many software companies tend to favour either Xamarin or React Native. But because we’re skilled for both, we’re able to use either avenue in delivering fully-featured Android and iOS apps to sometimes incredibly tight timelines.
Like Xamarin and React Native, Flutter allows developers to share code between iOS and Android development. Unlike its competitors however, Flutter allows devs to share all of the codebase, while also building apps for web, desktop and more besides.
There are features that, for us, make Flutter some of the best mobile app development software around:
- The ‘hot reload’ function lets devs make changes to an app’s code and see it in real time, allowing them more flexibility to experiment and fix problems
- Custom widgets allow developers to create fantastic and unique visual interfaces for apps that automatically adjust to different devices
- Flutter’s use of the open source Skia Graphics Library meanwhile, means an app’s UI redraws itself every time a view changes, making for a silky-smooth in-app experience.
Flutter also has the benefit of being the most recent of the programming frameworks we use here at DCSL GuideSmiths, making it one of the very best mobile app development tools for Android & iOS for the present, and many years to come.
Considering building your own mobile app?
Our team have handled mobile app builds for a wide variety of clients and industries – from healthcare, to luxury car hire, to engineering, and even agriculture. We’re highly experienced in understanding a new business and the problems it needs to solve, and crafting a creative digital solution with innovative features, to the required timelines.
Thinking of working with us? Get in touch here.