13 October 2015

7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

If it can be done, chances are that there’s already a mobile app somewhere to help you do it. From ordering takeout on a Friday night, booking tickets for a movie show, translating a baby’s cry or flipping a coin (I am not even kidding), there’s a whole wide world of mobile apps to cater to your every whim, no matter how trivial, banal or downright crazy (see: ‘Pocket Girlfriend’ app).

Point is, the time is ripe for mobile app developers to strike. And the development process itself has never been easier to manage. Many app ideas don’t need any previous knowledge in native development; a working proficiency with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are enough to get you started.

What you DO need is a framework, and here are our top 7 choices:

Sencha Touch

7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

This one is particularly popular with Hybrid mobile app developers. The framework is based on HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. The latest stable release version 2.4.2 can work across platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, Windows, and Tizen.

It may take some time to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll realize why it’s frequently rated as one of the best frameworks available today. Sencha Animator, Ext Designer, and Sencha Designer provide comprehensive HTML5 solution that is unparalleled by anything else in the market.


7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

Ionic is an Open Source framework used for developing Native-like mobile apps with CSS, HTML5, and Sass. Released in 2013 and still in beta-stage, this framework comes with a huge support community.

This framework is great for professionals who have dipped their toes in AngularJS. Despite being in beta stage, it is one of the best Hybrid frameworks out there.

Mobile Angular UI

7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

This is an HTML5 framework that’s used to create interactive mobile apps using Bootstrap 3 and AngularJS. It includes Bootstrap 3 mobile components (switches, overlays, sidebars) and AngularJS modules (angular-route, angular-touch, angular-animate).

Since the responsive media queries are isolated from Bootstrap as separate files, you only have to add what you need. It doesn’t have any jQuery dependencies either, so a few AngularJS directives are all you need to create great user experiences on mobile.


7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

Appium is an Open Source test automation framework for both Native and Hybrid apps for iOS and Android. It uses a flexible, two-layer approach; popular test-engines first and its single API after.

It uses Apple’s UI Automation test engine for iOS, and Google UI Automator or Google Instrumentation TestRunner for Android apps. The Selenium WebDriver API uses an architecture that’s commonly available to most programming languages and contains plugins and tools for basically any IDEs anyone could ever use.


7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

Sculpt is lightweight, mobile-first, and responsive framework based on HTML, CSS, and Sass. It’s specially written to cater to devices with relatively small dimensions. Additional media queries can be added as the device dimension increases. It has three active built-in grid sizes (732, 960, and 1140 px).

Since Sculpt uses Sass (.scss) stylesheets and variables, the apps built on this framework will not leave users of IE8 or those without JavaScript support behind. A mobile version of the website will always be there for IE8 users, ensuring greater usability.


7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

A jQuery based HTML5 framework for developing mobile apps which look and act like Native. It is based on Zepto.js and is integrated with Backbone. UI components are used from Ratchet CSS, which in itself is used to prototype iOS apps with simple HTML, CSS, and JS components.

It’s small, lightweight, and easy to use effectively since it’s based on jQuery. It has Modernizer and MVC support with Backbone. It works hard at combining the best of existing frameworks.


7 Mobile App Frameworks for Developers

This one is another Open Source framework for developing HTML5 and CSS3 apps. It’s short, lightweight, and easy to master. Most of the things you will need to kickoff a front-end app is provided with here. It ships with Ajax and LocalStorage adaptors which, again, are easy to use and even recreate.

It also has an active support community on Google and github. So even if you get stuck, there are always others who will be able to lend you a hand.

Keep the goals in your mind that your app needs to accomplish; your audience, their preferred device/platform/browser, and your own specifications. There’s no one-size-fits-all adage that can be applied to mobile app frameworks. You may want to choose a framework and create an app with huge JavaScript and CSS stylesheets. Sure it would make for a great mobile user experience, but it would go to waste if a majority of your audience has no JavaScript support.

Don’t give your audience what you want. Give them what they need.

Happy Developing!

Author Bio: Lucy Barret is a WordPress developer and a Blogger. She is associated with HireWPGeeks Ltd., a PSD to WordPress Company. She handles all the major projects of WordPress customization and has a team of experienced WordPress Developer. You can follow her company on social media networks like Facebook and Google+