The world of mobile applications signals a strategic move for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital realm. The power of a well-crafted mobile app is unparalleled, providing a direct avenue to engage with a global audience. Choosing the right mobile application development platform is akin to laying the foundation for your digital success. 

In this article, we unravel the top 8 mobile application development platforms that stand as catalysts in 2024. Whether you’re stepping into the entrepreneurial arena or expanding your business horizons, these platforms offer the tools and flexibility needed to turn innovative ideas into user-friendly, feature-rich mobile applications.

Here at Mallow, we have a proven track record of delivering innovative and tailored software solutions for more than 12 years. We have a team of seasoned developers and industry experts that stay abreast of the latest advancements in mobile app development, so we can can consistently help our clients make the best decisions. 

After reading this article, you will gain a strategic perspective on how these mobile platforms align with the specific requirements of new business ventures, considering factors such as budget constraints, ease of use, and the potential for future expansion. Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions, ensuring that your choice of a mobile application development platform is not just a technological decision but a strategic investment poised for success in the competitive landscape of 2024.

Exploring the top 8 mobile application development platforms

Option 1 – Native application development 

Native application development refers to the process of developing mobile applications specifically designed to run on a particular operating system or platform. Native applications are built using platform-specific programming languages and development tools. Native app development often results in applications that are highly responsive, efficient, and provide a consistent look and feel within the ecosystem for which they are designed. 

For iOS, Apple provides a comprehensive suite of development tools, including Swift and Objective-C programming languages, as well as the Xcode IDE. Similarly, for Android, Google recommends Java and Kotlin as the primary programming languages, along with the Android Studio IDE. Leveraging these platform-specific tools makes it significantly easier to achieve a seamless native experience in your application, as developers can directly tap into the capabilities and design principles provided by iOS and Android, ensuring optimal performance and a consistent user interface within their respective ecosystems.

Primary aspects covered under Native application development 

  • Xcode IDE – Apple’s integrated development environment streamlines the iOS app development process, providing robust debugging and testing capabilities.
  • Support for Swift and Objective-C Programming Languages – Swift offers a powerful and intuitive coding experience, enhancing development speed and code readability. Objective-C, as a long-established programming language, coexists seamlessly within the iOS development ecosystem. You have the flexibility to leverage both Swift and Objective-C in their projects, allowing for a smooth transition and integration of existing codebases.
  • Android Studio –  Android Studio is one of the  IDE, carrying powerful tools for building, testing, and debugging Android applications.
  • Java and Kotlin Support – Android’s flexibility allows developers to choose between Java and Kotlin, accommodating different coding preferences.
  • User experience -native application development is renowned for delivering a superior user experience, characterised by sleek design, smooth animations, and intuitive interactions.
  • Performance  – iOS stands out for its exceptional performance, and developers benefit from robust instrumentation tools that contribute to creating high-performing applications. Instruments, a part of Xcode, allows developers to monitor and optimise their applications efficiently. With features like Time Profiler, Allocations, and Energy Log, developers can identify performance bottlenecks, memory issues, and power consumption.
  • Diverse Device Ecosystem – iOS and Android’s expansive device ecosystem caters to a wide audience, ensuring compatibility with various screen sizes and resolutions.

Famous applications built with native application development – WhatsApp, Google Maps, Twitter

Option 2 – Hybrid mobile application development 

Hybrid mobile application development is an approach to building mobile apps that combines elements of both native and web applications. In a hybrid development model, developers use a single codebase to create an application that can be deployed across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. Unlike native apps that are built separately for each platform, hybrid apps share a common codebase, making development more efficient.

Flutter

Key aspects

  • Single Codebase – Develop for both iOS and Android with a single codebase.
  • Hot Reload – Quickly see the effect of code changes in real-time.
  • Rich Set of Widgets – Extensive library of customizable widgets for building native-like interfaces.
  • Access to the modules – Easy access to the modules.
  • High Performance – Compiled to native ARM code for optimal performance.
  • Strong Community – Active and growing developer community.

Famous applications built with flutter – Google Ads, Alibaba, BMW, Tencent

React Native

Key Aspects

  • Declarative Syntax – Uses a declarative syntax similar to React.
  • Component-Based – Build UI using reusable components.
  • Hot Reloading – Real-time code changes without losing the app state.
  • Access to Native Modules – Integration with native modules when necessary.
  • Large Community – Extensive community and third-party libraries.

Famous applications built with React Native – Facebook, Instagram, Oculus

Ionic

Key aspects

  • Angular-based codebase with cross-platform functionality for the web, iOS, and Android.
  • Utilises Ionic Framework UI components for seamless and consistent design across platforms.
  • Deployed as a native iOS and Android mobile app through Capacitor, the official native app runtime for Ionic.
  • Employs Capacitor Camera, Filesystem, and Preferences APIs to power Photo Gallery functionality.
  • Streamlined testing processes make quality assurance convenient, ensuring the robustness

Famous applications built with Ionic – Justgiving, Storyo, Alaska Airlines

Appcelerator Titanium

 Key aspects

  • Native UI Components – Uses native UI components for a native look.
  • JavaScript-Based – Develop using JavaScript, a language familiar to many.
  • Code Reusability – Reuse code across different platforms.
  • Access to Native APIs – Access native APIs directly.
  • Strong Analytics – Integrated analytics for tracking app usage.
  • Rapid prototyping – You can handle the process of prototyping easily

Famous applications built with Appcelerator Titanium   – eBay, TCS 

Xamarin

Key aspects

  • Single Codebase: Develop for multiple platforms using a single codebase.
  • C# Language – Develop using C# language, seamlessly integrated into the .NET developer platform
  • Native UI – Utilize native UI components for each platform.
  • Integration with Visual Studio – Seamless integration with Visual Studio IDE.
  • Microsoft Support – Backed by Microsoft with strong community support.
  • Hotload functionality – Experience the efficiency of hot reload functionality.

Famous applications built with Xamarin   – UPS Mobile, Alaska Airlines

NativeScript

 Key aspects

  • Direct Access to Native APIs – Directly access native APIs using JavaScript.
  • Angular and Vue Support – Supports development with Angular and Vue.js.
  • Cross-Platform Development – Develop for iOS and Android from a single codebase.
  • Hot Module Replacement – Fast and efficient development with hot module replacement.
  • Open Source – Completely open source with an active community.
  • Easier collaboration with HTML and CSS – Easier to work for those who have already worked in HTML, CSS.

Famous applications built with NativeScript   – Activelook, Aura CO2, Checkpoint Curly

Framework7

Key aspects

  • HTML, CSS, JS Development – Use standard web technologies for app development.
  • Material and iOS Themes – Pre-designed themes for Material and iOS styles.
  • Wide Range of UI Components – Extensive library of UI components.
  • Animation Effects – Built-in animation effects for enhanced user experience.
  • No External Dependencies – Can be used with or without external libraries.

Famous applications built with Framework7 – Hafla, Onefile, Tomatoid

What are some of the key factors to keep in mind when selecting your mobile application development platform?


✅ Evaluate the cost associated with development on different platforms. Native development for iOS and Android may require separate teams, which can increase costs.

✅ Assess the time it takes to develop and deploy on different platforms. Cross-platform frameworks like Flutter or React Native may offer faster development cycles.

✅ Check the cost of the platform you are going to build your application on. 

✅ Consider the design guidelines and user experience standards of each platform. 

✅ Evaluate the performance of the app on different platforms.

✅ Consider the effort required to optimize your app for different devices.

✅ Assess the skills and expertise of your development team. Native development may require platform-specific knowledge, while cross-platform frameworks may allow for a more diverse skill set.

✅ Consider the community support and resources available for the chosen platform or framework. Robust communities can provide valuable assistance and resources during development.

✅ Evaluate the scalability  by analysing the roadmap of the chosen platform for future updates and enhancements. Ensure the platform can accommodate the growth of your app.

Native vs. Hybrid vs. Progressive web applications – Which one is best for your application?

By now, you’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of the various mobile application development platforms in the market and the crucial considerations before making a selection. 

The last thing that you’d want is to get stuck with a wrong-fit development platform. And we’ve found that oftentimes a big decision that needs to be made to avoid that reality is to first select a development style and then choose a platform. To help you make that decision, check out this article details looks at the pros and cons of native, progressive, and hybrid applications.

Have questions about building or redesigning your application? Feel free to reach out to us.

Author

Yogesh Murugesh

Yogesh is an accomplished Senior Technical Lead at Mallow, boasting over 11 years of invaluable expertise in the realm of application development. With an extensive background spanning diverse domains, he has consistently delivered applications of the highest calibre. Yogesh's commitment to quality and excellence shines through in every project he undertakes. His career journey is marked by a proven track record of successfully crafting applications that not only meet but often exceed industry standards. His ability to navigate through various domains showcases his adaptability and keen problem-solving skills. Yogesh's contributions have consistently played a pivotal role in driving technological innovation and advancement within his field. Beyond his professional pursuits, Yogesh finds solace and joy in various activities. An ardent cricket enthusiast, he embraces the team spirit and strategic thinking that the sport demands. During leisure moments, he indulges in watching movies, allowing himself to be captivated by different narratives and genres. Moreover, Yogesh cherishes quality time with his child, relishing the role of a devoted parent.