What is a Mobile App Development Platform?

Sometimes, it’s important to go back to the basics, especially if it’s your first go at mobile development. RMAD, open-source, hybrid apps – what do half of these things even mean?

Let’s start at arguably the most important term you need to know: a mobile app development platform. Put simply; it’s a type of software that lets any business quickly build, test, and deploy apps for mobile devices. If you’re getting ready to get the gears grinding on creating your very own app, a mobile app development platform is also your new best friend.

Top Mobile App Creation Platforms 

They come in all shapes and sizes. You can create your own mobile app development platform, buy one that fits your needs, or outsource to have an expert company do it for you. Take it from us – creating your own is unleashing a huge pain in your life. Platforms that allow you to build, test, and deploy an app are by no means easy to produce, let alone ensure they have all the specificities you desire with your app in the making. So, we suggest perusing your options that already exist on the market. One avenue is to look at the best, highest rated mobile app creation platforms out there.

Lucky you, we did that for you! Here’s our list of the top five mobile app development platforms, based on what the people of the Internet say:

Appery.io

You really can’t go wrong with Appery. A cloud-based platform, Appery allows you to create apps for both Android and iOS. Apache Cordova and jQuery mobile are also afforded to any user.

Why’s it so great? Well, the cloud helps. There’s nothing to install or download, so that saves all that extra effort and desktop space. A visual editor is also a part of the builder, which automatically creates the code for any parts you drag and drop in. Another great draw is the opportunity to use any REST API in your app, which also lets you store any data through an instant cloud database. Last but not least, the plugins are brilliant, as is the opportunity to create your custom ones if need be.

TheAppBuilder

Versatility TheAppBuilder’s forte. It provides a set of pre-made app building workflows that can fit any role in a business. An online toolkit is an option, with training provided, or you can steer your own ship, and the platform will collaborate with you to build the structure and content of the app.

The AppLibrary is vast and offers many options for you to customize and view multiple apps at once. It even allows you to deploy the app on the app store once approval from Android or iOS has sailed through. But the real kicker here is two things. The first: you can make unlimited updates, and second, going live on multiple platforms is just a click away. Cool, huh?

ShoutEm

Are we giving props for the name of this comprehensive app-builder? No doubt. We’re also shouting it from the rooftops – this platform is that good. With ShoutEm you get beautiful things like complete content management and user engagement tools all done in a very slick and easy way.

What’s so fantastic about this is that ShoutEm allows for you to build an app for just about anything. Another fun add: the app builder offers multiple monetization options, so controlling app revenue through the back-end is something that can be cultivated from the get-go. Integrations are also available, including WordPress, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook, and SoundCloud.

AppMakr

DIY is everyone’s fav term to hear, especially when it comes to mobile app development. AppMakr is all about the DIY, letting you craft iOS, Android AND HTML5 apps, with zero coding experience necessary. Crazy, huh? But in a good way. The apps you can make are frankly unlimited, and updates also fall in that endless zone. Not only that but features exist a-plenty, including high-res photo galleries, push notifications, music, updates, chat maps integration, in-app shopping, video streaming and more. It’s one of the largest DIY app making builders out there, and it’s doing a phenomenal job so far.

Good Barber

Good Barber is an iOS and Apple app-building platform that also allows you to build web apps. No code is required here, as everything in the app can be created without having any coding expertise. This is provided through standardized but customizable templates, which allows for much design flexibility.

What’s super cool about Good Barber is the notifications. Through the platform, your users can be sent actionable push notifications. This act alone could help easily drive conversion of users, and it also helps that visual feedback is provided every time you make a change to the app structure or content. Real life, instant updates as users would see them! 

Enterprise Mobile App Platforms

While those top five are unquestionably awesome app development builders, that doesn’t mean they necessarily work best with every type of app. A particular type of mobile app you want to ensure you go to the right platform for is an enterprise app. Enterprise apps are a different ball game, and we can help you step up to bat. Our pick of the lot starts with:

Outsystems

Low-code development on a platform is always a draw, simply because it makes it all the easier to bring your idea to app fruition. Here we’ll introduce the word RMAD we mentioned at the beginning – rapid mobile application development. Long story short, the phrase means a quick, user-friendly solution to cross-platform app development.

Outsystems is a very strong RMAD for enterprise businesses. It offers a visual development interface complete with drag-and-drop features that apply to everything from the interface to data models, as well as business processes.

Outsystems also appeals for its capability for third-party integration. Salesforce and other legacy databases can be quickly linked, making for a seamless, comprehensive view of the users’ actions on your app.

Progress Telerik Platform

This enterprise app builder is all about building up existing developing teams. It used to work mainly in creating developer tools for developers, so Telerik knows what it’s doing and how to do it when it comes to app building. Popularity is through the roof with this app creator, thanks to a large developer community.

A huge draw is the builder’s support of NativeScript, which touches on that open-source definition I mentioned before. Open source is basically free software that may be modified and allows for development by collaborative means. NativeScript is one of the more popular open-source frameworks that allow for app development on iOS and Android. So, if you need to build a native user interface than Telerik is a flawless fit.

Kony Mobility Platform

Kony is a melting pot of products that offer an app building experience that connects to pre-existing back-end systems. These include Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, or Sharepoint, all back-end business products that enterprise companies make use of in order to acquire and retain customers.

Kony is a JS based development platform that offers both hybrid and native components, as well as GUI development interface Kony Visualizer. The mix of products and services connected with this mobile development platform makes it one of the strongest offerings for enterprise companies looking to craft an app.

Benefits of Outsourcing Cross-Platform Development

But what if you’re not comfortable, equipped, or ready to tackle mobile app development on your own? What are the benefits of outsourcing it? These answers are pretty straightforward and should help you decide if you need to stay in or expand outwards when making your next app.

Key Reasons Why You Should Outsource:

  • One of the big benefits to outsourcing dev like this is a shared code base. What does that do? It cost-effectively allows you to take advantage of multiple platforms.
  • Another draw is time, of course. When you outsource, development time and build time is cut down significantly, thanks to the project being in the capable hands of the company you hire for, with clear set deadlines.
  • Updates, updates, updates. One more time – updates! When you outsource app development, it is both quick and easy update to keep the product updated, which is critical to the longevity of your mobile app.
  • Or rather, lack of it. Outsourcing still demands attention, but you are no longer the lone captain of a huge ship once you sign on with an app development company. Suddenly, the deck is filled with a whole crew, and the heavy mast is easier to bear.

 If you’ve decided to recruit that crew of metaphorical sailors to help you on your app-building way, make sure you choose the best ones. When you decide who to bring onboard, we suggest you look at the following considerations:

Competency

An app development team is usually made up of developers, designers, and software testers. Who you decide to select for your project should be a team that can work successfully together to meet a deadline and a vision and has proof of that ability. Cross-platform development is particularly intricate and complex because of the vision involved and how that should be relayed to end product. Check to ensure the team members are masters in everything from HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS, etc.

DevOps Tools and Practices

Beware of app churning. It happens, and often. Your team should be equipped with the best tools and practices in order to deliver a product that retains users, meets all best practices and technical requirements, and stands the test of time.

Vendor-Engagement Model

Will it be a visual development process that you can oversee physically? Or will it be offshore? These are questions that are answered by where the company is located, the resources it has, the magnitude of the project itself, the finances involved, and of course, how difficult the project is. Make sure to choose the right vendor-engagement model to prevent any project losses.

Past Mobile App Development Work

Ah, the old case study. May we praise Frederic Le Play, the 1829 inventor who sparked the origin of a method used in nearly every business today. It’s very true that there is no one better to speak to than an existing or former client who can attest to the company’s quality and delivery of skill. However, the tricky part is finding real case studies vs. falsified ones (these are quite common, unfortunately). Don’t rely solely on an app development company’s website, where facts can be made up or exaggerated in order to attract new business. Client reviews on third-party websites like Clutch or Guru are more reliable, and if you want to take it one step further, request to speak to a verified current and former client of the company’s. When in doubt, ask around!

Rootstrap’s Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Whether you create your own development platform, utilize a third-party platform, or invest in a company to do it for you, what matters is that you make it perfect for you. And if you’re looking to outsource development to the pros, we can help. We have  developers all over the globe, as well as a robust body of work to showcase

Want to see if we’re a fit?

Give us a shout here, or feel free to drop us a line on our social media. We’d love to help you make the app of your wildest dreams.

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