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Top 5 Tools for Multi-Platform Mobile App Development

Useful Tools for Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

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We all know how bothersome multi-platform mobile app formatting can get. Each platform is unique and exhibits different features, capabilities and behaviour. But then, multi-platform apps are truly “in” today, so you as the developer, need to find solutions to develop the best cross-formatted apps, without emptying up all your resources on developing for just a couple of platforms at one time.

Fortunately for you, there are some really great multi-platform developer tools in the market today, using which you can easily achieve your aim. Here is a list of the top 5 dev tools for cross-formatting mobile applications.

1. RhoMobile

RhoMobile offers Rhodes, which is an open-source framework based on Ruby. This permits the developer to create native apps, spanning over a stunning range of OS’ and smartphones. The OS’ include Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, iPhone and RIM, which pretty much covers it all.

The framework supplied by RhoMobile is such that you only need to code once. This code can be used to build apps for most of the major smartphones. Native apps are great for working with available hardware, so your job gets done with ease, speed and accuracy.

RhoMobile also offers developers RhoHub, which is a hosted development environment, and RhoSync, which can be employed as a standalone server to keep all the app data current on the users’ handhelds.

2. PhoneGap

PhoneGap, which won great acclaim at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco’s 2009 Launch Pad event, is an FOSS environment that allows developers to create apps for Android, Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry, iPhone, iTouch and iPad devices. This platform uses standard web development languages such as HTML and JavaScript.

PhoneGap allows the developer to work with device hardware features such as accelerometer, GPS/location, camera, sound and much more.

PhoneGap additionally offers an Adobe AIR app and also online training courses to help the developer access native API’s and build mobile apps on its own platform.

3. Appcelerator

The Titanium Development Platform from Appcelerator, which incidentally has a formidable fan following in Twitter, aids the development of native mobile, tablet and desktop apps via web programming languages such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby and Python. It now powers over a 1,000 native apps per month. The best thing about Titanium is that if gives users easy access to over 300 APIs and location information.

Additionally, Appcelerator also offers customizable metrics for actions and events. Apps can be totally hardware-based and all app data can be stored either in the cloud or on the device.  

4. MoSync

MoSync, yet another FOSS multi-platform mobile app dev SDK tool, is based on standard web programming. This SDK offers the developer integrated compilers, libraries, runtimes, device profiles and other useful tools. While support for JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python and such other languages is planned, MoSync now includes Eclipse-based IDE for C/C++ programming.

MoSync offers support for several types of OS’, including Windows Mobile, Android, Symbian, Moblin and even a mobile Linux distro. Support for the iPhone OS and BlackBerry will be coming soon, after the release of MoSync 2.4.

5. WidgetPad

WidgetPad is a collaborative, open-source environment for development of smartphone apps. This program uses standard web technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3.

Included in this platform are source code editing, collaboration, debugging, project management, versioning and distribution. WidgetPad, which is now in private beta, can be used to create apps for the iOS, Android OS and WebOS.

6. Whoop

This one, though not really a top tool, is interesting. Whoop confidently states that they are “The one-stop mobile app publishing platform for non-developers”. Even if you are not a developer, you can still get some cross-formatting done with Whoop.

Of course, we cannot guarantee that your product will have the same glossy look as those of your geeky coder counterparts, but Whoop is still definitely worth more than just a look.

The Whoop Creative Studio is basically a WYSIWYG editor that lets you easily drag and drop mobile app elements onto it, to achieve desired effects. What is more, you can even export your app in many formats, depending on the OS, including Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and more.

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