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The Ten Best Mobile App Frameworks for Hybrid Cross-Platform Development

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When choosing a mobile app framework for hybrid cross-platform development, you have the choice between many different providers. This does not exactly make the decision easier, since every framework differs not only in its functions, but also in price and in many other factors. Not every framework is equally suitable for every app.

To help you choose the right framework, we present the ten best mobile app frameworks for hybrid cross-platform development below. You will also receive a brief summary of the main advantages and disadvantages. In this way we would like to help you to find the right framework. In addition, you can of course always get advice from our agency if you have any questions or problems. Code Creators Inc. is a full-service mobile app agency in the United States of America and Canada with a professional team of app developers who are extremely knowledgeable in the field.

Top Ten Mobile App Frameworks for Hybrid Cross-Platform

1.  Ionic – Popular Framework with Many Features

Ionic is a popular mobile app framework for hybrid cross-platform development. Many developers trust the framework and its many functions. With the extensive CSS section, for example, it is possible to create a design that is almost no different from a native app. In addition, the functional range of Ionic can be expanded significantly if you use the framework together with Angular.JS.

A nice bonus from Ionic is the integrated command line editor, which allows you to execute a variety of commands and actions easily via the keyboard. In addition, the CLI has a number of interesting functions that you will hardly find in any other framework. An example is an application package based on Cordova and various integrated emulators with which you can test your app immediately.

Target GroupFreelancers and companies who accept compromises in look.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Open Source.
  • Many Functions.
  • Easy Handling.
  • Weaknesses in the Native Look.

 

 

2.  PhoneGap – Free Framework for All Platforms

Phonegap is a framework based on HTML5 and JavaScript. This pleases many developers and makes working with the framework particularly easy. The framework can also be integrated into native apps. Phonegap can also be expanded with many useful functions that allow you to create complex apps yourself. The fact that Phonegap is completely free is particularly gratifying.

Unfortunately, however, Phonegap is quickly overwhelmed with more demanding tasks. You have to overcome the first hurdle when developing the UI. The user interface must be created entirely in HTML. This means that it is not possible to give your app a native look with Phonegap. In addition, you have to do without many practical functions, such as the table view.

For this, Phonegap supports all platforms, from Windows Phone, to iOS to Android and even Blackberrry. If you are looking for a free framework for simple apps where design is not so important, Phonegap is a very interesting option.

Phonegap is a framework based on HTML5 and JavaScript. This pleases many developers and makes working with the framework particularly easy. The framework can also be integrated into native apps. Phonegap can also be expanded with many useful functions that allow you to create complex apps yourself. The fact that Phonegap is completely free is particularly gratifying.

Unfortunately, however, Phonegap is quickly overwhelmed with more demanding tasks. You have to overcome the first hurdle when developing the UI. The user interface must be created entirely in HTML. This means that it is not possible to give your app a native look with Phonegap. In addition, you have to do without many practical functions, such as the table view.

For this, Phonegap supports all platforms, from Windows Phone, to iOS to Android and even Blackberrry. If you are looking for a free framework for simple apps where design is not so important, Phonegap is a very interesting option.

Target Group Freelancer, small and medium-sized companies.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Many Functions.
  • Native Design.
  • Good Documentation and Friendly Community.
  • Complicated Use
  • Rather for Professionals.

 

 

3.  Appcelerator – Cross-Platform Framework Based On Xamarin & PhoneGap

Titanium consists of a mixed development environment that uses Xamarin and Phonegap. All apps that you develop with this framework are written in JavaScript. However, you must use custom XML and the Appcelerator API to support some native functions. The framework enables cross-platform development for both Android and iOS devices. However, this support is not available in HTML and CSS. Ultimately, the compiled code is a mix of native code and JavaScript. This will improve the hybrid app’s performance.

Overall, Appcelerator is a good choice for creating hybrid mobile apps. To get started, all you have to do is download Titanium Studio. The basic version of the software is free and comes with the Titanium SDK as well as a number of mobile APIs and a cloud service, which serves as a backend for the apps. Titanium Studio also comes with a set of platform-independent APIs that make it easier to access the hardware of mobile devices.

Titanium uses Alloy. It is an MVS framework that enables particularly fast development of mobile apps. Modules that you create with Alloy are also easy to reuse for the different apps, which leads to a significantly reduced development time and much fewer lines of code.

Target Group Freelancer, small and medium-sized companies.

 

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Multiple Frameworks.
  • Many Functions.
  • Multiple APIs.
  • High Performance.
  • Weaknesses in the Native Design.
  • Pro-Version Costs.

 

 

4.  React Native – Cross-Platform Framework for Native Apps

React Native was developed to develop native apps instead of hybrid apps that run in a web environment. Nevertheless, the entire development takes place in React and JavaScript. If you choose this framework, you must be aware that React Native is not intended for beginners in app development. However, the framework has an excellent community and extensive documentation. With a little initiative, it shouldn’t be a problem to quickly familiarize yourself with React Native.

The latest version of the framework can be used for both iOS and Android apps. This makes React Native a real cross-platform framework that you can use for the two most important mobile platforms.

Target Group Professional developer and freelancer.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
 

  • Free.
  • Easy Handling.
  • Many Functions.
  • All Platforms. 
 

  • Weaknesses in the Native Design.

 

5.  Xamarin – Microsoft Cross-Platform Framework

Xamarin is a framework for the cross-platform development of hybrid mobile apps. The company is a subsidiary of the Microsoft group, based in San Francisco. To achieve the highest possible level of cross-platform functionality, the software uses the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Leage Specifications, which are often referred to as Microsoft .NET.

The Xamarin framework uses a shared C # codebase. This means that as a developer you can use the framework to create native Android, iOS and Windows app with a native UI. You can use the code independently of the platform (sharing). In addition, code sharing is also possible with MacOS and Microsoft Windows.

Xamarin is one of the market leaders among the frameworks for the development of platform-independent mobile apps. The software saves you time as many tools, functions and the most important parts of the code can be reused without any problems. In addition, you not only have an influence on Xamarin and the Android API, but you can also create very sophisticated designs with the Android SDK and the GDK.

Target Group Freelancers and small to medium-sized companies.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
 

  • Market Leader Outside of the Enterprise Division.
  • Hybrid Aps Comparable to Native Apps.
  • Many Functions.
  • Based on C#.
  • High Costs.

 

6.  Sencha Touch – A Framework for The Enterprise Area

Sencha Touch is a mobile app framework for the enterprise sector. It is used to develop high-quality cross-platform apps in HTML5 and JavaScript. In the enterprise sector, Sencha Touch is one of the leading tools when it comes to developing mobile apps. The advantage is that Sencha offers a range of products that work hand in hand with the framework and can therefore be easily integrated. However, most of these products are extremely expensive to purchase.

For individual developers or freelancers as well as for smaller companies, other solutions such as Ionic or Onsen UI are usually the better choice. In the enterprise sector, however, Sencha Touch remains unbeaten.

A special feature that distinguishes the framework is the realistic, native look and the native operation, which is achieved with Sencha Touch on all supported cross-platform devices.

Sencha Touch relies heavily on the ExtJS JavaScript framework. It forms the core of the frame work. Thanks to ExtJS, it is possible to develop powerful mobile apps that are almost no different from a native app. Sencha Touch also comes with a number of ready-made packages of widgets. These also have a native look and are available for all leading platforms such as Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Blacberry. Sencha Touch also has a visual HTML5 Application Builder with numerous templates. You can simply place these using the drag & drop method. You can of course also create your own components and integrate them into the library. This makes it possible to reuse these components for other apps as often as you like.

Target Group Large companies that need a professional framework.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
 

  • Market leader in the enterprise area.
  • Hybrid apps in native quality.
  • Wide range of tools
  • Support for many frameworks. 
  • Weaknesses in the Native Design.
  • High Costs.
  • Rather for Large Companies.

 

7.  Onsen Ui – A Newcomer to The Market

The Onsen UI framework is still relatively new to the market. However, it quickly developed into serious competition for the Ionic Framework. Onsen UI is an open-source framework with an Apache license. A big advantage of Onsen UO is that you can choose between a number of components and frameworks. The frameworks include Angular, Angular 2, React, Meteor or Vue.js. But even if you just want to program a hybrid mobile app with JavaScript, this is easily possible.

Another advantage is that Onsen UI comes with a large selection of pre-made components. These are immediately ready for use. In addition, the framework is already responsive by default, so you can start developing on the go. It is also possible to develop apps in HTML5 and JavaScript. You can then push these apps to Cordova or Phonegap for the build.

Onsen UI is extremely easy to use, very flexible and uses semantic markup. And best of all, you can use Onsen UI completely free of charge for both private and commercial projects.

Target Group Individuals and companies of all sizes.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • No Training Period.
  • Basic Profile is Free of Charge.
  • Project Import via XML is Possible.
  • Limited Mediation.
  • Mobile App is for Freelancers Only.

 

8.  Famous – A Mobile App Framework Focusing On Graphics

Famous is a hybrid mobile app framework for cross-platform development. In comparison to other frameworks, Famous has a significant advantage: The focus of this framework is on the development of sophisticated and high quality 2D and 3D graphics and animations. This makes the Famous Framework the first choice for many developers who develop games or other graphically complex mobile apps.

Despite the elaborate graphics, the performance of apps that you create with Famous is excellent. In addition, the framework can of course also be used if you have to develop ordinary apps. However, Famous can really show its true strength in game development.

Target Group – Freelancer, small and medium-sized companies.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Completely Free.
  • Easy to Learn.

 

  • Only Target Small Community.

 

9.  Framework7 – Free Html Framework

Framework7 is a free HTML framework, which was developed to create hybrid apps for both Android and iOS development. You can also use the framework to develop web apps. The advantage is that both Android and iOS apps look and feel very similar to native apps. The Prototype Tools, which allows you to create a working app prototype whenever necessary, is also particularly practical.

The approach that the Framework7 uses is that you should have the opportunity to develop hybrid apps with HTML and CSS as well as with JavaScript for both Android and iOS. These should differ as little as possible from native apps. To achieve the best performance, Framework7 has focused exclusively on Apple and Google. As a result, the framework is also particularly easy to use.

Some useful functions that Framework7 offers are, for example, native scrolling, page transition animation or multiple view support. Hardware-accelerated animations are also supported via CSS3. The same applies to routing pages. Here, support is achieved through a combination of XHR, caching, browser history and preloading.

Target Group Freelancers and companies of all sizes.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Native-Close Design.
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript.
  • Open Source. 
  • IOS & Android Only.

 

 

10.  Intel XDK – Cross-Platform Framework for Every Store

With the Intel XDK Framework, you can create cross-platform mobile apps for any store. No matter whether iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows. The framework includes a number of web services and plug-ins that allow you to create rich, interactive apps that work on any mobile device.

The wide range of tools included is particularly practical. There are emulators as well as options for testing, debugging and publishing. In addition, responsive apps can be easily created. The framework has recently undergone numerous innovations. So you can now create HTML5 apps (including Cordova) for Android development, as well as for iOS and Windows 10. In addition, possibilities for development with IoT apps based on Node.JS have been added.

You can easily monitor the current state of development at any time using the Live View function. Using a connected mobile device, it gives you a realistic impression of how the app looks and works in the current state of development. A number of other useful tools round off the offer. You can also create apps in a simple drag and drop process. Unfortunately, this method generates a lot of unnecessary code and should therefore be avoided.

Target Group Companies of all sizes and freelancers.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Drag & Drop Support.
  • Live Preview.
  • Many Functions. 
  • Chargeable.

 


Conclusion

As you can see, when choosing a mobile app framework for cross-platform development of hybrid apps, you have a wide choice. The tools shown here form only a small part of the range.

Before you make a selection, you should inform yourself extensively and in detail, compare the different frameworks and see which framework best meets your requirements and requirements.

It does not always have to be a paid solution. In the examples above there are also some professional frameworks that are available completely free of charge or that can later be upgraded to better packages with more functions.