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8 Popular Tools For Cross-Platform App Development

October 03, 2013 911 View
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What's the actual advantage of a cross-platform application for your business? That's less time and less budget. You may build as many native applications as you need to reach across platforms. But if the specificity of the application matches the opportunities provided by cross-platform development tools, it's reasonable to opt for them. A project will have the same core that will be used for the selected platforms, and adjustments made for each of them, which take definitely less time than making these apps separately. What are the most popular and widely known cross-platform mobile development services? Let's have a brief overview.


PhoneGap is an open-source software framework that reaches across an impressive number of platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, Palm, Bada, and webOS. At least all the four major players are present. PhoneGap allows to build mobile applications using JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3, giving access to native APIs. Currently PhoneGap is extremely popular, constantly enhances its capabilities, and perfectly serves as a tool for creating unique interfaces and placing a lot of various content into the app, with heavy calculations left to the server side.

Sencha Touch

Sencha Touch is a UI framework for HTML5-based applications that work across platforms. It has over 50 built-in components, a built-in MVC system, and makes applications responsive and looking like native ones. For example, it can be used along with PhoneGap to place the app into a native shell and deploy on application stores.


Appcelerator Titanium utilizes JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, PHP, Ruby, and Python to create applications that run on iOS and Android, and compiles to native code. Its strongest advantage are high performance of the applications and access to a wide range of native features. Functional differences between a native app and a Titanium-based app are minimal.


Xamarin allows to utilize one library of business logic within an app. The UI needs to be optimized for each chosen platform for native look and feel. The framework allows to use C# for building apps for mobile platforms Android and iOS, as well as desktop Mac OS and Windows. Among its main features are Visual Studio integration, use of .NET libraries, third-party native libraries and frameworks, and fully-featured IDE for software implementation.


RhoMobile is an open-source framework by Motorola Solutions for creating cross-platform solutions. It is good at creating enterprise solutions which don't depend on operating systems, types of devices and screen sizes. The RhoMobile Suite consists of RhoConnect, RhoStudio, and RhoElements. All the four major platforms are supported.

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile is a web framework that helps in creating UI of apps supporting all the main mobile platforms and desktop browsers. Wide opportunities of custom theming, a lightweight code base, numerous standard user interface elements, touch-optimized and platform-agnostic UI widgets, and much more. It has a minimal learning curve for software developers and is easy to wield.


MoSync is an open-source software development kit for cross-platform. It helps access parts of the native UI system, and create mobile apps through JavaScript, HTML, CSS, as well as C/C++ programming languages. The range of supported platforms is quite wide: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, Symbian; for desktop operating systems: Windows (XP and up, Mac OS X).


appMobi is a platform-as-a-service solution that works across iOS and Android utilizing XDK and developers' skills of JavaScript/HTML5; appMobi provides push messaging, promotion, in-app purchasing, integrated analytics and other options for any software environment.

There are many other tools and frameworks that would also be worth being on the list. You may learn in detail about these ones on their dedicated websites. Each of them helps create cross-platform solutions, some of them can be used together, such as Sencha Touch in a project based on PhoneGap. Your software development company can always consult you on the best solution for your mobile product. Perhaps one of these is just what your business needs.

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