More and more people are becoming dependent on mobile devices, increasing the demand for building functional and reliable applications. Research from eMarketer shows that users spend roughly 90% of their smartphone usage time on apps. However, the complex app development process makes some companies hesitant to launch their own iOS and Android apps.
If you’re in the process of creating your own mobile business apps or need a better solution to help your team carry out successful mobile applications, there’s a wide selection of reliable tools for mobile app developers available today. These tools can simplify the development process, manage your timelines and resources, and help you ship faster.
In this article, we’ll focus on the best mobile app development tools to ensure a fast and error-free application release. You’ll also learn about the benefits of using these programs and discover ways of accelerating the development cycle. ⚡️
What Makes a Good Mobile App Development Tool?
There are several key characteristics that make a good mobile app development tool. Here are a few to look for when choosing the app for your business:
- User-friendly interface: App development software should be easy to use with an intuitive interface that simplifies the development process
- Platform compatibility: A good app development tool should support multiple platforms like iOS, Android, and web apps
- Customizability: The tool should be flexible and customizable to accommodate the specific needs of your teams and business
- Debugging and testing capabilities: The tool should have robust debugging, testing, and quality assurance capabilities, making it easier to identify and fix errors and issues and facilitate rapid mobile app development
- Secure: A good app development tool should be stable and reliable, with a high level of security to ensure your customer and company data remain private and protected
- Integration with third-party services: Mobile app tools should have integration capabilities with third-party services and APIs to provide additional features and functionalities
- Project management and team collaboration features: A project management tool can help developers track tasks and deadlines, assign tasks to team members, and monitor progress in real-time, while team collaboration features can facilitate real-time and asynchronous collaboration among teams, enabling them to work together more efficiently and effectively
Now that you’re more aware of what to look for in a mobile app development tool, here are 10 of the best options to consider implementing to help you roll out a successful app!
10 Best App Development Tools in 2023
In this section, we’ll go over the top 10 mobile app development tools for various platforms, purposes, and businesses.
Best for agile project management, team collaboration, bug, and issue tracking
ClickUp is one of the most recognized tools today. This all-in-one project management tool offers hundreds of advanced features and a fully customizable platform to give any team across different industries the tools they need to manage all their work, improve cross-functional collaboration, track projects, simplify their workflow, and more.
Because ClickUp is fully customizable, teams of all sizes, from solopreneurs to small businesses, agencies, large enterprises, and everyone in between, can configure the platform to fit their unique needs, workflow, and preferences. This is especially helpful for those with complex workflows, remote teams, external partners, and companies aiming to scale their businesses. ClickUp offers the flexibility and functionality that you need to take your teams and businesses to the next level.
As for app development, ClickUp can help you simplify the entire development lifecycle with an all-in-one work hub that brings cross-functional teamwork, tools, and knowledge into one place. With features like Agile Board and Sprint Lists, ClickUp makes it easier for development teams to plan and manage projects, track work progress, and organize workflows more efficiently. Take a look at what you can do in ClickUp:
- Build your product roadmap: Plan your work overtime or create visual roadmaps with the Timeline view and collaborate on roadmaps in ClickUp Docs, Whiteboards, or a custom view of your choice
- Manage sprint backlogs: Build, automate, and manage sprints your way and get visibility into every task
- Bug and issue tracking: Use any project style like Agile, Scrum, or Gantt charts to support your teams’ needs, and get the ClickUp Bug and Issue Tracking Template to give you a structured approach to managing bugs and issues—it offers a consolidated and well-organized overview of defects and helps the team to resolve them faster
- Automation: Automate workflows with pre-built recipes or build your own custom automation
- Seamless integrations: Connect ClickUp to over 1,000 work apps, including GitHub, Slack, Drive, Dropbox, Figma, and more
- Manage resources: View your team’s workload to allocate work effectively and avoid burnout or delays
- See project progress with Milestones: Make it easy to identify critical parts of any project with task Milestones. These key indicators are displayed in bold with a diamond icon to keep everyone aligned toward key targets
- Track real-time progress with Dashboards: Build your custom dashboard and get a high-level overview of all your work, monitor progress, and manage bottlenecks more efficiently
ClickUp’s advanced analytics and reporting capabilities help development teams identify changes, updates, and obstacles that may hinder project progress and improve their productivity.
Overall, ClickUp makes one of the top mobile app development tools out there today as it helps streamline everyday processes and simplifies team collaboration to make it easier for software development teams to stay focused on their goals while staying aligned with business objectives.
- Over 15 custom views: View your work, your way—Board, List, Gantt chart, Timeline, and more. These easy-to-follow views allow team members to get a swift overview of the app development process
- Fully customizable platform: Configure ClickUp to fit your needs, workflow, and preferences, add Custom Fields and ClickApps to personalize every part of ClickUp and adjust settings as your business scales
- Full suite of project management tools: ClickUp Docs for documentation, Digital Whiteboards for strategy planning, Mind Maps for brainstorming, Dashboards for real-time reporting, and so much more
- Mobile app: Access your work at any time from anywhere with the ClickUp mobile app; available on iOS and Android apps, desktop, and as a Chrome extension
- Secure platform: ClickUp has achieved ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO27018 certifications— the highest standards of security for customer data in software
- Library of templates: Get your hands on over 1,000 customizable templates for every use case, including the ClickUp Software Development Template built for Product, Design, Engineering, and QA teams
- There may be a learning curve due to the number of available features
- Free Forever Plan: Feature-rich free version is available
- Unlimited: $7 per member/month
- Business: $12 per member/month
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 out of 6,634 reviews
- Capterra: 4.7/5 out of 3,634 reviews
Best for testing automation
Kobiton is a software testing tool that offers access to scriptless and continuous testing for mobile app developers. Using their suite, users can release applications faster and error-free. In addition, Kobiton provides mobile app development tools to run your software products on real mobile devices and simulators.
- Real device testing: Helps testers to achieve successful mobile apps and more accurate results with the device’s unique configurations in mind
- Integrations: Connect Kobiton to popular testing frameworks like Selenium, Espresso, XCUI, and others, allowing you to utilize your existing test suites
- Cloud-based: The platform is cloud-based, making it a perfect addition to any remote team. This also allows for scalability when it comes to the number of devices
- Analytics suite: This feature generates reports that help you identify patterns in the testing data. Using these logs, your team can locate the root of the problem and resolve it
- Kobiton Get metric’s devices: This is an add-on that automates metrics collection from Kobiton Cloud. Keep in mind that this Chrome extension for developers wasn’t created by Kobiton. Therefore, you will find it on the Chrome Web Store under another developer’s name
- Kobiton is a set of advanced mobile app development tools for Android and iOS designed for seasoned coders. Hence, inexperienced developers may struggle to navigate the array of complex features
- Startup at $75 per month for smaller teams
- Accelerate at $390 for test automation functions
- Scale is for continuous testing, and the price is negotiable
- Enterprise is used to streamline development lifecycles, the price is negotiable
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.2/5 out of 15 reviews
- Capterra: 4.3/5 out of 22 reviews
3. Expo Go
Best for React Native apps
Expo Go is a platform for testing React Native apps. Using the technology, you can build native mobile apps faster and easier. It offers a set of instruments that shorten time-to-market for React Native applications.
- Knowledge of native mobile coding is not required when using Expo Go: Without the platform, you’ll need some OS-specific code expertise to fine-tune your applications for Android and iOS
- Seamless updates: Instead of waiting for approval from the publisher, you can implement seamless updates. Using Expo Go, app stores can push updates at any time
- Access to native APIs: Allows users to take advantage of the device’s features, included in the SDK version. The APIs are available in the bundle and can be easily integrated.
- Open-source: This open-source mobile app development software is continuously updated by the growing community of contributors
- Expo Go can also be used as a mobile application that allows users to run their projects on mobile devices and share them with others
- The common drawback that developers point out is the lack of visibility. Basically, you’re transferring your project to the application that autonomously adds code to launch it to both operating systems
- The Production package is $99 per month and is suitable for smaller projects with less than 20,000 monthly users
- The Enterprise tier is for larger applications with less than 200,000 monthly users and costs $999 per month
- Products with more than 200,000 monthly users should inquire about an individual fee
Customer reviews and ratings
- App store: 4.2/5 out of 636 reviews
- Google Play: 3.4/5 out of 8,535 reviews
4. Visual Studio Code
Best for web development
- Intelli-Sense: A feature that identifies incomplete code and fills in the gaps
- Platform independence: Allows users to build web applications for all three main operating systems: Windows, Linux, and macOS
- Supported by GitHub: Visual Studio Code can pull resources from the repository to accelerate the coding process
- Commenting on the code: Helps developers to keep track of their lines and recall any changes they made
- Web support: Provides continuous assistance for web apps. Even after the release, Visual Studio Code will help you maintain your apps
- Visual Studio Code’s users state that the tool provides limited plugins compared to other code editors
- The platform is free to use
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 out of 1,984
- Capterra: 4.8/5 out of 1,456
Best for macOS app development
CodeRunner is a code editor for macOS that provides a platform to write, test and debug code. CodeRunner is an essential part of your toolkit, offers advanced editing features and a pristine file system, and is widely applied to build mobile applications for iOS.
- Code completion: This feature goes beyond a single word and offers access to numerous suggestions that will fit the context
- Smart debugging: Allows developers to write clear code. Users can set a breakpoint while the system runs the code to detect errors and inconsistencies
- Live errors function: Lets users receive feedback as they’re writing the code
- Built-in project manager: Helps developers to organize files more intelligently to facilitate smoother navigation
- Multi-language support: Allows you to use more than 25 programming languages, including the leaders, such as PHP, Go, Java, etc.
- Although one of the best tools for mobile app development for small or medium-sized projects, CodeRunner isn’t powerful enough to operate on large tasks with several thousands of lines of code
- The product license is offered for a single payment of $19.99
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.4/5 out of 21 reviews
Best for containerized applications
Among other relevant tools for developing mobile apps, Kubernetes is software designed for managing containers and automating development processes. Using this platform, you can build and deploy cloud-native applications more efficiently and quickly. Take advantage of auto-scaling and smart storage allocation to create stable and high-performance solutions.
- Auto-scaling: Distributes the resources (CPU, RAM, etc.) according to the app’s needs, without any manual effort
- Self-healing: Comprises a set of features that allow the system to maintain the desired state. The features include automatic restart, replication, and scaling
- Lifecycle management: Enables rollbacks and deployment pauses in case something goes wrong
- The ability to work with different infrastructures, including on-premise, public cloud, and private cloud makes the system flexible
- Load balancing: Allows for even distribution of traffic among all the containers and systems to prevent overloading
- Although Kubernetes is a mobile application development tool for all platforms, it does exhibit some weaknesses. The largest obstacle when using the platform is migrating from a non-containerized application to a containerized one. This lengthy and complicated process might deter you from utilizing this software
- The final costs are contingent on the cloud provider, the number of nodes, and other factors. Reach out to the Kubernetes team to learn about the fees for your application
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.6 /5 out of 97 reviews
- TrustRadius: 8.9/10 out of 153 reviews
Best for CI/CD adoption
Buddy is a go-to platform for businesses that deploy changes manually and would like to automate these processes. Offering mobile application development tools for automatic release, the tool allows you to introduce small changes without wasting weeks of work. By adopting the principles of CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment), you can deploy mobile apps in just 12 seconds.
Bonus: Check out the top 10 Continuous Deployment Tools for Software Teams in 2023
- Zero-downtime deployment: Gives users the ability to make changes to the app while it’s still running
- Intuitive navigation and CI/CD automation: Allow users to set up their workflows in a matter of minutes
- Parallelism: Enables the simultaneous performance of several computations. Running processes simultaneously accelerates development and deployment
- Availability of various APIs: Enables integrations with the latest technological advancements like Kubernetes and Docker
- Compatibility testing: Allows you to make sure the app will run smoothly on various devices and browsers
- Many users express their frustration with the overwhelming UX/UI design due to the large number of features available. If you’re new to automation tools for mobile app development, you might need to spend hours learning the navigation process
- The Free version provides for five projects and a 500 MB cache
- The Pro tier is available for $75 per month
- The Hyper plan costs $200 per month
- The Enterprise package goes for $35 per month per user
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 out of 178 reviews
- Capterra: 4.8/5 out of 150 reviews
8. Xcode 14
Best for iOS mobile applications
As for native iOS app development tools, Xcode 14 takes the leading position. This Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for iOS applications entails everything you need to create native mobile apps. From developing and testing to submitting to the app store, Xcode 14 is an integral part of the process.
- Code completion: One of the latest features that allow programmers to write code faster by choosing a suggestion
- Interface builder: Helps developers to design user interfaces without coding (try out these AI coding tools)
- Automatic error corrector: Instantly alerts coders about their mistake and allows them to fix it with a keyboard shortcut
- A comprehensive asset catalog: Facilitates the well-organized cloud storage of your files and images
- The built-in simulator: Offers a ready-to-use set of tools for debugging and testing your applications
- Xcode 14 is a native app development platform exclusively for Apple products. Although a helpful tool for iOS and macOS, it cannot be applied to other operating systems
- Xcode 14 is available for Apple developers for free, but the cost of joining the developer program is $99 per year
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.2/5 out of 933 reviews
- Capterra: 4.5/5 out of 39 reviews
9. Android Studio
Best for Android applications
Much like Xcode is a part of the iOS mobile app development tools, Android Studio is an IDE for Android apps. The platform incorporates features for developing, testing and releasing applications.
- Emulator: Using these Android app development tools, you can test your products on the Emulator that behaves exactly like an actual Android device
- Code editing: Android Studio also offers a code editing tool that suggests suitable lines of code
- Code templates: Available in the feature set
- Supports Kotlin: The system supports Kotlin, the official language of Android
- Flexible features: The highly flexible suite allows you to build smartphone apps for every screen size and device type
- Although Android Studio grants access to useful tools for developing mobile apps, it does have some drawbacks. The common issue coders share is increased RAM usage. Utilizing additional memory might hinder the development process, especially if you’re building using an older device
- While Android Studio is free to use, the Android developer license will cost you a one-time payment of $25
- G2: 4.5/5 out of 543 reviews
- Capterra: 4.6/5 out of 85 reviews
10. Charles Proxy
Best for debugging
Charles Proxy is a set of app development tools that allow testers to check HTTP traffic between the device and the internet. This information helps users go through the types of errors and identify the root of the problem. As a result, you can improve the performance of your mobile or web apps.
- SSL proxying: A feature that lets testers debug the content of their HTTPS sessions
- Bandwidth throttling: This is a practice of intentional speed limitation. By simulating an average user latency and bandwidth, you can improve customer experience.
- Browser autoconfiguration: Allows testers to test various browsers without changing the settings
- Testing network errors: Helps developers optimize the performance and provide a better user experience
- Automation tools: These can be useful for executing scripts and rules without any manual effort
- The UI/UX design is quite cumbersome for a first-time user
- The license is sold for a single payment of $50
Customer reviews and ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 out of 28 reviews
Benefits of Mobile App Development Tools
How can mobile app development tools assist your business and make it more efficient? Depending on the platform, you can reap various benefits, from management optimization to testing automation.
Let’s take a look at the most critical advantages of employing tools for app developers.
A development lifecycle is a complex process that requires multiple players and hefty investments. Why not at least eliminate tedious and routine tasks like detecting errors?
Nowadays, you can find an app for anything, including mundane development operations. For example, you can delegate monitoring the application to an app analytics platform that will identify problems and swiftly report them. App development tools can have features ranging from tracking issues and metrics analysis to code completion.
2. Enhanced collaboration with remote teams
Many companies pursue an IT staff augmentation model to hire developers from overseas to reduce expenses. However, collaborating with remote teams can be quite challenging. Mobile app development tools can help you to manage projects remotely, assign tasks, track progress, and exchange feedback.
3. Increased productivity
Another vital benefit is improved productivity through automating and optimizing various tasks. For example, to reduce the workload of the QA team, companies employ mobile app development tools for testing and debugging.
You can also enhance efficiency by creating one codebase for both iOS and Android at the same time. In the past, businesses had to hire Kotlin developers and Swift coders separately to build native apps.
But now, you can use a platform that will autonomously fine-tune the code to make it usable on both mobile operating systems. Therefore, you can create cross-platform and hybrid mobile apps and save a ton of time. Moreover, you can speed up the delivery time to the mobile app market.
Optimize Your Mobile Apps Development with ClickUp
Building, testing, and maintaining mobile apps can be a long and winded process. But with good mobile app development tools in your tech stack, you can simplify your development process, improve collaboration, and streamline workflows to enable you to ship successful mobile apps.
You can relieve your team of bulk responsibilities by automating and streamlining certain tasks to facilitate rapid mobile app development. In return, they can focus on more creative and complex concepts and develop apps at a faster pace.
Project management for app development is a tedious process, but it can be simplified with ClickUp. Check out the expansive list of ClickUp features to improve your workflow management and deploy apps faster. It’s free to get started—plan, build, and ship faster with ClickUp!
Vitalii Makhov, CEO at DOIT Software, an IT Staff Augmentation company. The DOIT Software team is passionate about building bold systems and solving business challenges for startups, product companies, and digital agencies.