Today, mobile apps have become an essential part of our routine lives. Whether we need to book tickets, ride, or want to order food on-demand, we just find the separate apps and meet our desired outcome. Because of technological-advanced mobile apps, we have everything at our fingertips.

But, have you ever thought, how to develop a mobile app? The answer to this is using mobile app development frameworks. There are various frameworks available in this tech world. You can learn how to develop your mobile app and emerge with an out-of-the-box mobile app.

A library that provides the needed basic structure to develop mobile apps for a particular industry is known as a mobile app development framework. In simple words, it is like a layout that supports mobile app development.

Today, in the post, we will discuss the criteria you should consider while choosing a mobile app development Framework, its classification, types, and top names of mobile app development frameworks.

Criteria For Picking The Best Framework For Developing An App

Before choosing the best framework for mobile app development, you should incorporate the below criteria:

Development Speed

Check the development speed of the framework.

Range Of Applicability

What part of the mobile app you can develop using the framework. Check if you need just one framework or a set of them.

Manageability and Flexibility

What would be the performance, architecture, and other limitations?

Classification Of Frameworks

Post combining the criteria mentioned above along with a set of reference frameworks for every class and their exceptional characteristics, you will emerge with the below result

“No Frameworks” or High-Level Programming Languages Approach

This approach is a degenerate case. It offers the highest Flexibility, Manageability, and the vast Range of Applicability that you can ever get. It is a prolonged mode of developing enterprise apps, as you will need to reinvent every aspect. Generally, this level helps in developing the frameworks that speed up the pace of development.

Narrow-Focused Frameworks

This class holds many representatives expected to streamline app development by increasing abstraction and offering a straightforward API for its domain. Combining UI, ORM, Messaging, and more types of frameworks is an important task. Although, this class offers a blend of excellent development speed and a high level of flexibility.

High-Level Full-Stack Frameworks

This class emerges with the next abstraction level. So, you are already all set with the whole infrastructure to develop a full-scale enterprise app faster.

For example, the CUBA platform offers a full-stack architecture for developing three-tier apps and includes commonly used features for enterprise apps, like data-aware components, soft deletion, file storage, along with high-level modules: authorization and authentication, data audit, and more. This class is the best for developing ERP-like systems, custom software for the corporate segments, or line of business apps.

Code Generators/Aggregators

The primary purpose of this class is to pace up the initial stage of app development. Moreover, it configures your app based on Narrow-focused Frameworks.

For example, JHipster generates a Spring-based mobile app with an Angular-based UI. Post the startup stage; it’s not that good to use such frameworks.

Low/No Code Frameworks

At this stage, you just need to develop small bits of logic. So, if the performance, UI components, deployment options, integrations, and more of such a framework is as per your expectation, this would prove to be the fastest way to develop your app.

Also Read: Tech Stack For Developing A Mobile App

Types Of Mobile App Frameworks

Mobile app frameworks can be further classified into the top 3 categories: Native Apps, Web Apps & Hybrid Apps. Let’s have a quick look at these three categories of mobile app frameworks.

What Are Native Apps?

An app that is mainly developed for a particular device or platform.

What Are Web Apps?

A mobile app designed to deliver web pages on distinct web platforms for any device.

What Are Hybrid Apps?

An app that combines both web and native apps is known as hybrid apps. Such apps are developed from a single code base for any platform.

Market Stats for App Development Frameworks

Frameworks For App Development Market Percentage Stats
Frameworks For App Development Market Percentage Stats

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14 Best Frameworks For Developing A Mobile App In 2021

Now, let’s know about the top mobile app development frameworks in 2021 that can assist you in developing mobile apps more efficiently and conveniently.

1. Swiftic

Swiftic LOGO

One of the top mobile app development frameworks, Swiftic, is available on the iOS platform. It comes with an easily navigable interface and is a convenient option as we get one monthly money-back guarantee option for all its plans. Apart from that, it provides the following 6-months success guarantee scheme. If it fails to offer you the expected result, it will not charge any amount for a 6-month service.

Key Features

  • Third-party integration
  • Convert into a loyal shopper with a loyalty card
  • Attractive push notification
  • Advanced Analytics
  • In-app coupons
  • Develop your mobile store
  • Use scratch cards to win prizes
  • App Publication Assistance
  • Easy Communication
  • Customer Engagement
  • Menu & Ordering
  • Social & Media Feeds
  • App Promotion

Top Project Based On Swiftic

  • Remix Coffee Co
  • The Gentlemen’s Barber
  • Spa Café
  • The Clubhouse
  • Mt. Royal Bagel Co

2. Native Scripts

Native Scripts LOGO

An open-source framework, Native Scripts, helps create native mobile apps empowered with Typescript, Angular, CSS, JavaScript, and Vue.js. It’s one of the preferable frameworks which reduces the time and code of the app. Many top companies choose Native Scripts for its powerful web empowerment platform.

Key Features

  • Cross-platform
  • Native user interface with no WebViews
  • Cross-platform application
  • Mission-critical business support
  • Plugins and templates
  • Robust backend support
  • Complete direct access to Android & iOS APIs
  • Easily adaptable

Top Project Based On Native Scripts

  • Strudel
  • BitPoints Wallet
  • Daily Nanny
  • Regelneef
  • Dwitch

3. React Native

React Native LOGO

A cross-platform, open-source app development framework, React Native is created by Facebook. One of the best go-to solutions in JavaScript-based mobile app frameworks, React Native has become the first choice of mobile app developers in very little time. The swift development and deployment processes of this framework are the chief reasons behind its popularity.

Key Features

  • Low-code
  • Compatible 3rd-party plugins
  • Declarative API for predictive UI
  • Supports iOS and Android
  • Code Reusability
  • Cost-Effective
  • Reusable components for optimal performance
  • Offers best deployment features
  • Ease to Maintain

Top Project Based On React Native

  • Skype
  • Amazon Prime Videos
  • Airbnb
  • Tesla
  • Instagram

4. Xamarin

Xamarin LOGO

The Xamarin mobile app development framework is .net-based. This native platform is from the house of Microsoft. It’s an open-source and cross-platform app-building framework, which provides a development ecosystem with API, backend, components, etc. Additionally, it is supported by many libraries, tools, and programming languages. Xamarin developers can help you develop native apps with the help of an active community for iOS, Android, WatchOS, tvOS, Windows, and macOS.

Key Features

  • Google emulator manager
  • Versatile backend infrastructure
  • A strong community of about 60,000 contributors
  • Application loader
  • Diagnostic tools
  • Storyboard files
  • Android SDK manager

Top Project Based On Xamarin

  • Storyo
  • FreshDirect
  • MRW Courier
  • Evolve
  • APX

5. Ionic

Ionic LOGO

Another globally used mobile app framework Ionic, has become one of the most favorite choices for app developers. It’s a free app development platform that utilizes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript technologies to create native, hybrid, and web apps. Additionally, it’s a perfect pick for building hybrid apps and progressive web apps that demands HTML technology. Besides, Hybrid apps come with almost every feature of both native and web apps in one app. It includes performance boosts, uniform designs, and support for every device. The apps developed on Ionic can be shared across various app stores and installed on all devices using Capacitor or Cordova.

Key Features

  • Complete control over app development
  • Cross-platform app development
  • Optimized Performance
  • Uniform UI
  • Evergreen community of 5 Million developers
  • Intuitive UI components
  • User adaptability
  • Robust & stable development platform
  • Rapid development time

Top Project Based On Ionic

  • MarketWatch
  • Sworkit
  • Diesel
  • Honeyfi
  • TD Trading
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6. Sencha Ext JS

Sencha Ext JS LOGO

This framework was integrated with Ext JS, and after that, named Sencha Ext JS. Today, its new face is Sencha EXT JS. This JavaScript framework will help you in developing data-intensive apps for mobiles as well as the web. Moreover, it is a cross-platform mobile development framework and arrives with about 115+ high-performing and pre-integrated UI components. Some of its components are pivot grid, HTML5 calendar, trees, grids, lists, D3 adapter, forms, menus, panels, windows, toolbars, etc. Additionally, Sencha holds hundreds of user extensions.

Key Features

  • State-of-the-art Data-Driven Documents package (D3)
  • Developed to perform with a large amount of data
  • Best visual component support
  • Holds hundreds of user extensions
  • Flexible layout system
  • Powerful analytics
  • Visual data representation

Top Project Based On Sencha Ext JS

  • Apple
  • Adobe
  • Cisco
  • Microsoft

7. Adobe PhoneGap

Adobe PhoneGap LOGO

Apache and Adobe sponsor Adobe PhoneGap together that is used worldwide for Android development. This one of the best mobile development frameworks uses CSS3, HTML, and JavaScript for cross-platform development. It’s an open-source desktop app, and we can link the applications to mobile devices. Additionally, Adobe PhoneGap is known to be the most developer-friendly mobile app framework. When we develop the app locally, we can immediately check how the application looks and performs through the PhoneGap developer application. There is no need to re-sign or reinstall the app to the test code. Furthermore, we can access device APIs that may not be available in web browsers. Besides, developers may also use various Cordova plugins to use the device capabilities, such as sound, GPS, camera, an accelerometer, and more, to offer a native-like app experience.

Key Features

  • Open Source
  • Flexibility
  • Compatible on all the platforms
  • Strong Backend
  • Single codebase
  • The faster and easy development process
  • Third-party tools for app management

Top Project Based On Adobe PhoneGap

  • TripCase
  • HealthTap
  • Wikipedia
  • Paylution
  • The DHS Program

8. Flutter

Flutter LOGO

A fantastic choice for developing a successful mobile app, Flutter, is produced by Google. It is a UI toolkit that generates native apps for the web, desktop, and mobile platforms. Flutter works on one code base to build Android and iOS apps through a cross-based mobile app development framework. The framework offers a wide range of entirely customizable widgets that assists in developing native apps in a short span. Furthermore, Flutter uses the 2D rendering engine known as Skia for building visuals. Additionally, its layered architecture ensures the functionality of components is practical.

Key Features

  • Offers Full Native Performance
  • Attractive and Interactive visuals
  • Flexible User interface (UI)
  • Offers Built-in Material Design
  • Offers Strong Widget Support
  • Fast Application Development
  • Cross-platform

Top Project Based On Flutter

  • Cryptograph
  • Pairing
  • Hamilton
  • Xianyu by Alibaba
  • KlasterMe

9. Corona Sdk

Corona Sdk LOGO

As compared to other app development frameworks, Corona is fast, comprehensive, and straightforward. It is a free cross-platform app development tool that best suits developing high-quality apps for many desktop and mobile platforms. It uses powerful and lightweight scripting languages known as Lua for offering apps and games with higher graphics quality. It permits you to test the end-products instantly on real devices. Once the app is developed and deployed, the code updates automatically.

Key Features

  • Wide variety of plugins
  • Top-notch Visuals
  • Exceeding 500,000 Corona developers
  • Faster development process
  • Realtime testing
  • Lua-based platform, a powerful & lightweight scripting language for games
  • Optimal performance
  • Multiple plugins for all needs
  • Strong API support to integrate with any native library

Top Project Based On Corona Sdk

  • Zip Zap
  • I Love Hue
  • Rider
  • Grow Beets Clicker
  • Tiny Boxes

10. JQuery Mobile

JQuery Mobile LOGO

A user interface system, JQuery Mobile, is based on HTML5. It is touch-optimized and used to develop highly responsive apps for tablets, smartphones, and desktops. JQuery mobile holds ThemeRoller, which provides highly customizable themes. Apart from that, this mobile app development framework allows you to build highly branded websites. It has extensive OS support, covering Mac OS, Windows, Blackberry, Firefox, and Kindle.

Key Features

  • Compatible with other mobile app development frameworks, such as Phonegap
  • Lightweight size
  • Built on JQuery Core
  • Extensive and straightforward API support
  • Configured with HTML5
  • Robust theming framework
  • Automatic initialization
  • Simple API

Top Project Based On JQuery Mobile

  • Globalize
  • HospitalRun
  • Dojo
  • Appium
  • Esprima

11. Mobile Angular UI

Mobile Angular UI LOGO

An open-source mobile app development framework, Mobile Angular UI, merges the Angular and Bootstrap framework. This framework provides many UI components, like sidebars, overlays, switches, scrollable, navbars, etc., to offer attractive and robust user interfaces for the apps. Additionally, this framework supports overthrow.js and fastclick.js to develop rich experiences. Furthermore, it also promotes cross-browser compatibility that permits the automatic handling of JavaScript code for every browser.

Key Features

  • Responsive Framework
  • Provides Interactive Components
  • LightWeight
  • No jQuery dependencies
  • More straightforward conversion from the desktop or web app to the mobile app
  • Develop HTML5 hybrid mobile and desktop apps
  • No jQuery dependencies
  • Develop fully responsive interfaces with a super-small CSS file
  • Easy to use
  • Integration with fastclick.js and overthrow.js

Top Project Based On Angular UI

  • Storybook
  • Ngx-admin
  • Starter Kits
  • Awesome Angular
  • Nebular

You might also like to read: Angular vs. AngularJS for App Development

13. Framework 7

Framework 7 UI LOGO

An open-source development framework, Framework7, assists in developing desktop, mobile, and web apps with a native perspective. This framework permits you to use the tools you prefer with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and provides React and Vue.js components for app development. Additionally, Framework7 offers a wide range of widgets and UI elements, like list views, action sheets, form elements, side panels, etc., to make the development process efficient and convenient.

Key Features

  • Easier Customization and maintenance
  • Builds a great prototyping tool
  • Offers various UI widgets and elements
  • A rich ecosystem with icons, plugins, and templates
  • Rich Ecosystem
  • Paired with additional tools like Electron & NW.js

Top Project Based On Framework 7

  • EasyQuick Shop
  • My Shopper
  • GoDial
  • PricePoint

14. Appcelerator Titanium

Appcelerator Titanium LOGO

This mobile app development framework includes an idea of web tech-based app development. Appcelerator uses JavaScript for building native apps for iOS, Android, windows from a single code. This framework permits testing and app development all at one spot. The Titanium SDK of Appcelerator is a perfect app development kit. It includes various APIs to access native UI components, such as navigation bars, menus, hardware functionalities, and dialogue boxes.

Key Features

  • Live app preview
  • Compatible with various platforms
  • Faster Development Process
  • Access to third party libraries
  • Easier API Integration
  • Multiple features for API Management
  • Better Code Reusability
  • Reduced Development time and cost

Top Project Based On Appcelerator Titanium

  • Alaska State Legislature
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • CBC’s
  • Navistar’s

Also Read: Best Trending App Ideas 

Wrapping Up

By considering varied factors, like OS, development time, and many more aspects, we have created the list of mobile app development frameworks and check out this for knowing what is app testing in detail.

Mobile app development is constantly evolving from a single platform mobile app to a cross-platform app. With such an evolution, the mobile app development trends are experiencing a massive shift in platforms, script, code, development method, integration, and deployment.

So, we hope this article proves to be helpful for you while choosing a mobile app development framework for your project.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.