Top Mobile App Development Software 2021

Last Updated
app development software

At OpenXcell, we believe in building an advanced mobile application using the latest technologies & app development software. Out business analysts lookout for the industry’s latest talent to put technological advancements to use for the greater good. For example, our teams were the first to adopt Flutter and Dart for building new-age applications for startups across India and the United States.

We are also leading the industry in building the latest applications using TensorFlow and other machine learning technologies to study human psychology and build personalized applications using various app development tools.

We encourage our teams to learn and apply the newest technologies and development platforms to build mobile and web applications. Our mobile app development teams have listed some of the best mobile app development platforms in this article we are looking forward to working within 2021.

To stay in the race, you need a mobile app, now or later. Your mobile app also needs to be equipped with the latest technologies, features, and trending functionalities.

Once you are ready to get a mobile app developed, there are so many things that you need to consider. Out of the humungous list of questions posing in front of you, the one that tops the list the decision of mobile app development software. There are many deciding factors such as type of application, budget, features, etc.

With the so many latest tools and platforms worldwide, each offering a plethora of functionalities, it’s quite a task to choose the perfect one for you.

As the first step of the mobile app development process, you have to plan a mobile app development strategy, and in that, you have to decide which mobile app development platform is perfect for your app. And that decides the entire flow of development from there onwards.

To help you, here we have broken down the MADPs into various categories to give you a holistic view.

App Development Software

A mobile app development platform is like a paint application for an artist. It is loaded with all the features that a developer might need for developing their app based on the technology they select. Many platforms depend on the type of application, Native app, Hybrid app, Cross-Platform app, or PWAs.

Features of App Development Software

You might be aware of mobile app development platforms’ importance and their place in the mobile app development process by now. Now, to decide on one MADP, you should be aware of what all should be in a MADP to make it perfect for your requirements.

So, it would help if you had some key metrics to evaluate the best platform. Some of the critical features for the evaluation of a mobile app development platform are,

Multi-Multi Feature

One of the most important features in demand nowadays is that the mobile app development platform should support all types of devices and phones such as tablets, phablets, etc.

There should be a need for just minimal customization to configure the application over multiple devices. If the same platform can provide apps for different operating systems, it can benefit the developers as they don’t have to rewrite much code.

Read This: Business Plan for App Development – Everything You Need to Know

Code-centric Developer Tooling

Another thing that should be considered is whether the mobile app development platform provides a code-centric development approach.

It should be seen how the platform provides a code-centric approach for the design and development of applications using an IDE given by the platform itself or through any plug-in to some open-source IDE such as Visual Studio Code or Eclipse.

Integration Adaptors

Mobile apps have to be constantly interfaced with various backend systems. In the absence of the pre-built integration adaptors, the system takes a lot of loads as it has to put in more integration efforts, which in turn increases both the development time and cost.

This happens as the interface has to build integration from square one each time. Instead, if there are pre-configured integration adaptors, then the application packaging and interface development can be done efficiently.

Low-code Development

The mobile app development platform must support various non-coding practices to make tasks easier for the developers to develop various applications.

It can be better if the mobile app’s development is supported by the platform with model-driven, drag-and-drop, declarative, meta-driven, and other approaches.


The most important feature that a mobile app should provide is security as all the important information is stored in the mobile phone, which is vulnerable to leak.

So, the security aspect needs to be taken care of at each step of the mobile application development process. To achieve this, the mobile application development platform needs to incorporate security mechanisms such as encryption, audit, etc.

MASA-Mesh App and Service Architecture

Before finalizing any mobile app development platform, you need to check whether the platform supports various additional services or not.

The mobile app development platform architecture should support various API mediation, microservices, event-driven, serverless requirements to build a robust mobile application.

Core Back-end Services

A crucial thing to consider is the support and integration to reusable app services by the mobile app development platform.

This includes many important back-end services such as location services, offline synchronization, data, file storage, push notifications, user management, etc. Along with this, integration, orchestration, and API designing must also be supported.

AI Services

Due to the increasing demand and rise of Artificial Intelligence, it is becoming important for all mobile app development platforms to support built-in or integrated cloud services.

Some of the services that must have support for use within any application are image recognition, speech recognition, sentiment analysis, natural language processing, etc.

Monitoring and Analytics

Without any metrics or analytics report, how will you know how the app developed using a mobile application development platform is performing.

So, the mobile application development platform must support the service to capture, correlate, report the usage and performance of all the mobile applications that are built and run on it.

Process and Workflow Orchestration

The mobile application development platform must support orchestration and designing workflows and numerous processes from the existing systems and the new ones. You also need to ensure that all the processes are supported in new apps and multiple applications.

Read This: GDPR Privacy Policy – Meaning, Features, Compliance, and Checklist

DevOps Support

You have to ensure that the mobile application development supports DevOps or not. It should offer integrated and embedded tooling to backup agile development. Also, CI/CD, version control, test automation, release management, and many other services need to be supported to support DevOps.

AR/VR Support

With the increasing popularity of augmented reality and virtual reality, it is becoming mandatory to check whether the platform is supporting immersive interfaces or not.

Various SDKs need to be supported, such as ARCore, Wikitude, ARKit, WebAR, etc. And if you are going device-specific, you must ensure that those functionalities are supported, such as a Hololens or Magic Leap One.

How to Choose the Best App Development Software?

When you think of getting a mobile app developed for your business or developing a mobile app on your own, the first task you need to do carefully chooses the best app development software that suits your requirements aptly.

Here are some of the things that can help you decide which is the best app development software that can do complete justice to your business needs.

  • Purpose of the app
  • Storage needs: local or online cloud
  • Encryption for the data stored in the device
  • The communication mode between device and cloud API
  • Authentication mechanisms
  • Native device features
  • OS capability and performance
  • Total cost
  • Time to market
  • Code reusability
  • Device-level feature integrations

Native App Development Platforms

Native application development is specifically for any single operating system such as Android, iOS, or Windows. They are developed specifically to develop apps that function close to the native OS by using a language that gets complete support from the OS itself.

Let’s have a look at the mobile app development software for native development,

iOS App Development Software


Swift is a programming language used for iOS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS, and Linux applications. Apple created it in 2014 and is an open-source language and is becoming dominant among the iOS app development platforms.

Key Features of Swift:
  • Open-source
  • Safety
  • Cross-device support
  • Fast and concise iterations
  • Expressive and easier to code
  • Interoperability with Objective-C
Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language:
Pros of Swift:
  • Rapid Development Process
  • Easy scaling of the product and the team
  • Increased safety and improved performance
  • Decreased memory footprint
  • Full-stack potential
  • Automatic memory management
  • Vibrant open-source community
Cons of Swift:
  • It is considered young compared to other languages
  • Limited community
  • Interoperability with third-party tools and IDE is poor
  • Earlier OS versions observe lack of support

Read This: How to conduct user interviews for mobile app development?

Android App Development Platforms

Android Studio

The official IDE for Google’s Android mobile app development is Android Studio, and it is free. This software is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It is launched as a replacement for Eclipse ADT. It is written in Java, Kotlin, and C++.

Key Features of Android Studio:
  • Faster coding and iteration
  • Coding with confidence
  • Layout editor for customization
  • Built-in templates
  • Integration with Firebase
  • Emulator similar to Android phones
Pros and Cons of Android Studio:
Pros of Android Studio:
  • Gradle support instead of Maven
  • Open-source with excellent debug mode
  • A huge community of Android app developers
  • Auto translation from Java to Kotlin
  • Fast and easy to learn
Cons of Android Studio:
  • Android Studio and Emulator takes time to start
  • Consumes more memory
  • First build takes time as compared to second one
  • Multitasking is difficult

Mobile App Development Platforms for Cross-Platform Apps

Apache Cordova/PhoneGap

PhoneGap was formerly a product of adobe, but to keep it open source and follow the standards, PhoneGap’s codebase was handed over to Apache. Later, it was named Apache Cordova.

Cordova is basically an open-source, cross-platform application development framework. Also, it is a set of APIs that enables the developers to access native functions using JavaScript.

Key Features of PhoneGap:

  • Robust and strong backend system to speed up the mobile app development process
  • Open-source license to provide free codes and modules
  • Flexibility in coding and developing new features and modules
  • Better access to native APIs

Pros and Cons of PhoneGap:

Pros of PhoneGap::
  • Easier to get started with a gentle learning curve
  • Easy installation similar to native apps
  • App distribution is through the app stores
  • Great platform coverage
Cons of PhoneGap:
  • Performance is slower as compared to native apps
  • Graphic acceleration needs caching or third-party solutions
  • Documentation lacks improvement
  • Mostly all the plugins need improvement

Read This: Agile Methodologies: What is the Agile Software Development Model?


Xamarin is a cross-platform app development platform based on the Microsoft technology stack. It is an open-source platform and is based on a single programming language that is C#. With Xamarin, the native feel can be achieved with high-performance as it is natively compiled.

Key Features of Xamarin:

  • The compilation is customized for iOS and Android
  • Xamarin.Forms and Xamarin.Mac as separate products
  • Access to platform SDKs with C# syntax
  • Support wearables in Android and iOS

Pros and Cons of Xamarin:

Pros of Xamarin:
  • Native user experience and performance
  • Native-level hardware support
  • Easy maintenance and updates
  • Easily available learning sources
Cons of Xamarin:
  • Access to open-source libraries is limited
  • For Professional and enterprise use it is costly
  • A comparatively smaller community for support
  • The developed app size is larger


Flutter is Google’s SDK for mobile app development with a complete framework to develop iOS and Android apps. It is an open-source framework that enables a smooth and high-performance mobile application with a single codebase for multiple platforms.

Key Features of Flutter:

  • Based on Dart programming language
  • Hot reload for seeing immediate result of changes in the code
  • Rich look and feel with its own widgets
  • Reactive programming architecture

Pros and Cons of Flutter:

Pros of Flutter:
  • Coding is faster compared to other platforms
  • Apps provide smooth functioning and requires less testing
  • Complete customization provides desired designs and faster rendering
  • UI and native controls are kept separate
Cons of Flutter:
  • Flutter and its programming language Dart are considered immature
  • Apps are large and heavy so it occupies too much disk space
  • Look and feel are not 100% close to native feel
  • No standard Flutter app development guidelines


Ionic is an open-source SDK for cross-platform app development and is quite well-known for offering UI specific to each platform. It is a UI tool-kit that uses web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Key Features of Ionic:

  • Framework compatibility with Angular, React.js, Vue.js, and more
  • Ionic Command Line Interface(CLI)
  • JavaScript components and Cordova Plugin
  • Web standards-based technology

Pros and Cons of Ionic:

Pros of Ionic:
  • Easy to learn and popular technology
  • Wide range of plugins and integration capabilities
  • Fast prototyping and choice of UI elements is extensive
  • Easy testing as the browser can be used for testing with in-built debugging and testing tools
Cons of Ionic:
  • Performance is not up to the mark when compared with native apps
  • Completely plug-in dependent system
  • A few security loopholes
  • No hot reloading and a heavy application

Read This: What is SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)?


Corona is a fast and simple mobile app development framework for iOS, Android, and iPad apps and games. It is known for the creation of high-performance graphically rich applications that offer an amazing experience.

Key Features of Corona:

  • Native application development for iOS apps
  • OpenGL-ES Integration is automatic
  • LUA scripting language is used which is better than JavaScript
  • No Objective-C/C++/Cocoa required for iOS app development

Pros and Cons of Corona

Pros of Corona:
  • A huge amount of reusable code
  • Access to all native device controls and hardware
  • Built-in composer commands for easy navigation between scenes
  • Easy to deploy changes using the stimulator
Cons of Corona:
  • Weak documentation
  • Facebook integration, testing, etc. is complex
  • The free version puts your build in the queue
  • Keyboard, phone, etc. have to be used in native versions as customization is payable

Sencha Touch

Sencha Touch is a web framework for building mobile web apps. It offers mobile app interfaces that give native look and feel supported on mobile devices. It allows developers to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to develop apps for iOS and Android.

Key Features of Sencha Touch:

  • Highly customizable with more than 50 in-built UI widgets specifically built for mobile apps
  • Flexible layout manager compatible with different operating systems
  • Robust data package
  • Code compatibility between new and older versions

Pros and Cons of Sencha Touch:

Pros of Sencha Touch:
  • Easy navigation feature with responsive touch
  • Latest OS compatibility
  • Provides speed to a mobile application
  • Easier for any developer to learn, interpret, and develop
Cons of Sencha Touch:
  • No access to native device features
  • Push notifications are not supported
  • Paid for commercial application development
  • Not recommended for gaming applications

React Native

React Native is a JavaScript framework for developing mobile applications that are rendered natively. It is mostly based on Facebook’s JavaScript library, and many big names are using it, such as Facebook, Skype, Pinterest, etc.

Key Features of React Native:

  • It is purely UI focused
  • Less development cost and time
  • Hot reload feature
  • Reusable platform components

Pros and Cons of React Native

Pros of React Native:
  • Interactive cross-device user experience
  • Easy third-party integrations
  • Easy maintenance
  • Huge community to help 24/7
Cons of React Native:
  • It still has some technical glitches
  • Uncertainty of its existence as it is developed by Facebook
  • Lack of custom modules
  • Debugging and compatibility issues


Cocos2D is an open-source development engine written in C++ that allows apps, games, and other cross-platform programs. It is mostly used for the development of cross-platform gaming applications with a rich user interface.

Key Features of Cocos2D:

  • Lightweight and runs fast
  • Animation, GUI, physics engine, and scripting support
  • RenderQueue design for faster rendering
  • Support auto-batching, auto-culling, and caching transform

Pros and Cons of Cocos2D

Pros of Cocos2D:
  • Simple and easy to learn
  • Buttons instead of menus
  • Reduced Objective-C patterns
  • More platforms are supported
Cons of Cocos2D:
  • Knowledge of C and C++ required
  • Complex to learn Cocos2D
  • More quantity of manual coding
  • less proficient design environment


Unity is a famous gaming application development engine that is preferred the most by developers. With a robust cross-platform development, powerful visual interface, and a highly supportive community, Unity is the first choice for anyone looking to develop a gaming app.

Key Features of Unity:

  • Creation, deletion, and event creation for GameObjects
  • Easy access of all the components
  • Coroutine and return types
  • Vector variables, timing variables, and physics related events

Pros and Cons of Unity:

Pros of Unity:
  • Support to 27 platforms
  • IDE supports JavaScript, C#, and other game development features
  • High-quality audio and video effects
  • Easy debugging
Cons of Unity:
  • Lacks from a graphical point of view
  • Performance issues with PhysX engine
  • Expensive license
  • Memory hogging issue

Mobile App Development Platforms with No Coding


BuildFire is a JavaScript framework that allows quick and easy mobile apps development for Android and iOS platforms. It is scalable, agile, and supports more than 10,000 apps.

Key Features of BuildFire:

  • Drag and drop
  • Efficient reporting and analysis
  • Features library and design templates
  • Deployment management

Pros and Cons of BuildFire:

Pros of BuildFire:

  • Easy app building platform without coding
  • Advanced social networking features
  • Highly useful development options
  • Compatibility testing

Cons of BuildFire:

  • No support from big companies
  • As its newly launched, not too many feedbacks
  • No option for live chat

What Are The Benefits Of App Development Platforms?

With the increasing demand for mobile apps, the mobile app development industry is witnessing staggering popularity. In such a situation, mobile app developers’ demand in all the languages increases, and companies keep trying their best to make the mobile app development process as much easier as possible.

One of the major things that help in mobile app development is the mobile app development tools and software available today that make the process easy for the developers. Here are some of the major benefits of using mobile app development software.


All the mobile app development software offer tremendous functionalities and features for the developers, and with increased functionalities come higher efficiency. The developers’ efficiency automatically increases as it is backed by this software’s amazing features and eliminates any unnecessary or redundant tasks.

In-built advantages

The app development frameworks offer many in-build advantages that help the developer build a mobile app by speeding up the development process, applying an efficient approach, creating a bug-less environment, and most importantly, getting all the required tools in the framework itself.

Read This: 101 Mobile App Ideas for startups in 2021

High performance

When the developer gets in-built advantages and a boost in his efficiency, it is obvious that the developer will deliver high-performance, which can be reflected in the developed app.

Within a comparatively shorter period of time, a mobile app that meets industry standards and reflects high performance can be built.

Integration of different technologies into one

The conventional mobile application development method may include a blend of various technologies, right from user interface design to database connectivity.

But when you are working on an app development framework, you can get several tools integrated into a single platform make it altogether easier to work.


You can get enough resources, codes, and ready snippets that are tried and tested in the app development platforms. So, these resources can help you develop an app more quickly, and it could save more time in other phases such as testing. You may also get a huge library of app features that you might want to include readily.


This is the best benefit you can get from an app development framework. Almost all the app development software or frameworks provide in-built technical support that can be used anytime if you are stuck anywhere. Also, this technical help can reduce the additional cost of getting help from other resources as well.


With more in-built advantages, reusable codes, and support, it becomes easier for any developer or company to scale and develop as many apps as possible by customizing the reusable code. This increases the efficiency and reduces the time and cost of developing an app from scratch.

How Much Does an App Development Software Cost?

The cost of developing an app using app development software solely depends on the platform that you are selecting. There are free or open-source software as well as fully or partially paid frameworks. So, you need to ensure that the software you are selecting matches your budget or not.

Read more, Mobile App Development cost.

App Development Software Trends 2021

With the increasing number of mobile app development software in the market, developers and mobile app development companies are becoming more and more specific with their needs while choosing a perfect app development software.

If we see the last year’s stats then it is clear that even this year React Native will win the game and it is seen that cross-platform app development is the future.


The Bottom Line

These were just a few mobile app development software out of the huge pool in the current market. Each of these app development frameworks has its own features that can allow you to built a mobile application that can suit your business and provide your users all the features interactively.

If you are confused about the best mobile app development software for you, your ambiguity ends with us. Just share all your requirements, doubts, or queries, and experts at OpenXcell will respond with a satisfactory solution. Share now!

FAQ of App Development Software

How to Choose the Best App Development Software?

There are many aspects that you need to consider before choosing the best app development software. Some of the things that you need to keep in mind are customer reviews, security aspects, designing standards, efficient QA and testing, proper delivery management, etc.

Why use App Development Software?

To make the software app development process easier, app development software are used. You get in-built features, reusable codes, templates, APIs, etc. The development process becomes faster and the performance also increases.

Who Uses Mobile Development Platforms?

Majorly mobile app development platforms are used by developers, mobile app development companies, and anyone wishing to develop their own mobile app. There are specific mobile development platforms for different operating systems.

What is the best software for app development?

There is a long list in answer to this. The mobile application development platforms are all with different features, supports different operating systems and gives varied output. Its up to you to choose the best software corresponding to your requirements.

What are potential issues with Mobile Development Platforms?

In the mobile app development platforms, some of the common issues include, device compatibility, screen size, development approach, performance, customer ratings, funding, etc.

What are the features of app creation software?

The major features that you need to look for in an app development software are, data manipulation, reusable code, in-built support, resources, technical support, etc.

What Are The Different Types of App Development Tools?

There are numerous mobile app development tools in the market. The major bifurcations are native app development tools, hybrid app development tools, and cross-platform app development tools.

What Are The Benefits Of App Development Software?

You can get in-built resources, reusable codes, and most importantly you can get support round the clock. Apart from this, you can develop highly scalable apps by making changes in the existing reusable code and you can get everything in one place so you need not look for elsewhere.

Are there any apps making software available online for free?

Yes, there are many free and open-source mobile app development frameworks such as Flutter, Apache Cordova, etc.

What kind of apps can I build using App Development Software?

You can build all types of mobile apps using mobile app development software. Whether it is an e-commerce app or a social media app, you can build an app for any industry you can possibly think of.

What are the best android app development software?

Android Studio is the best Android app development software as it is the official IDE of Google. It is free and provides complete support and in-built advantages for the development of Android applications.

Get Quote

Bhoomi Ramanandi

Bhoomi Ramanandi is a Content Writer who is working at OpenXcell. With an IT background and more than 7 years of experience in the writing field, she loves learning new technologies and creating useful content about them. She loves pens and paper as much as she loves pan and pepper. Give her the latest technology or any recipe, she is always up for it.


Software Development - Step by step guide for 2024 and
beyond | OpenXcell

Learn everything about Software Development, its types, methodologies, process outsourcing with our complete guide to software development.

Headless CMS - The complete guide for 2024 | OpenXcell

Learn everything about Headless CMS along with CMS, its types, pros & cons as well as use cases, and real-life examples in a complete guide.

Mobile App Development - Step by step guide for 2024 and beyond | OpenXcell

Building your perfect app requires planning and effort. This guide is a compilation of best mobile app development resources across the web.

DevOps - A complete roadmap for software transformation | OpenXcell

What is DevOps? A combination of cultural philosophy, practices, and tools that integrate and automate between software development and the IT operations team.



The CSS framework you choose will have a huge impact on your web project’s development process. The Bootstrap framework has dominated front-end development since its creation in 2011. Bootstrap’s tools…

Top 10 Bootstrap Alternatives For Your Next Web Design Project

Have you ever considered creating a hyperrealistic portrait of a landscape featuring a rainbow and a waterfall on one side? While generating such a portrait might take hours, days, weeks,…

15 Best Midjourney Alternatives: Level Up Your AI Art Game

Want to hire or become a DevOps consultant but don’t know where to begin? Let us give you a headstart. This blog has been written to simplify DevOps for everyone!…

What Makes A DevOps Consultant The Key To Business Success?