Developers of apps for mobile devices have increasingly more options for developing cross-platform projects for iOS, Android. Windows Phone as Xamarin or PhoneGap.

As is often said, there is not all that is, but there is all that is. In the following list of the Top 5 development platforms for iOS and Android. It is very possible that you are missing some, perhaps your favorite development platform. But do not worry because we will consider it as the first chapter of a series. Let’s get started.

Xamarin, cross-platform development for iOS and Android

It is no coincidence that we start with Xamarin, especially now that it is currently after being acquired by Microsoft. We already informed you a few weeks ago in Retrocube blogs. And its acquisition is not a coincidence either. Xamarin has become, on its own merits.

The favorite platform of many developers, interested in offering native apps for iOS, Android. Without a doubt, the main advantage over official solutions from Apple and Google is its versatility for cross-platform development.

Among its features, an interactive information panel in real-time that offers usage data for connected users (Xamarin Insights). The platform to automate the functional and performance tests of the apps with Xamarin Test Cloud.

Available in the free version as Xamarin Studio Community for Windows and Mac. (For students, Open Source development, and for small teams) or pay with Visual Studio Professional.

PhoneGap, Adobe’s development platform

Adobe PhoneGap is the Open Source distribution of Apache Cordova, the reference framework for the development of WebApps. (Multiplatform apps based on open web technology such as HTML, CSS, and JS).

Originally created by Nitobi Software and acquired in 2011 by Adobe. In this way, Adobe offers its clients not only the leading design tools on the market.

A powerful cross-platform tool to create WebApps without having to acquire the necessary knowledge in the native languages.

But without giving up access to the APIs that control the hardware of the devices. Offering in this way a complete native app experience.

Its main advantage is that there are no modalities or prices, Adobe PhoneGap is free. Unless you want to access Adobe PhoneGap Build, the repository of apps from Adobe, with prices ranging between Free.

The $ 9.99 (25 apps private with a maximum of 100 MB each and plugin support), and subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, to choose from, which adds to the previous option a limit of 1 GB per app.

Appery.ip, cloud development

While Microsoft Xamarin and Adobe PhoneGap are currently the two most popular development platforms, they are not the only ones. A good alternative example is Appery.io a development platform apps based on the cloud and does not require installation on your local hard disk.

Used, according to its creators, by large telephone manufacturers such as Samsung or AT&T. Highlighting its compatibility with the main database solutions and business information such as Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL or Sharepoint. With support for Apache Cordova to access the native functionalities of the different development platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows Phone (accelerometer, camera, GPS, microphone, storage, etc.).

Based on web technologies such as JS (JavaScript), jQuery Mobile, AngularJS, and Bootstrap. In addition to offering workgroup options with real-time synchronization, user and permission management, versioning, and backup options.

Appcelerator, apps with JavaScript

The fourth development platform that we will highlight is Appcelerator, with characteristics shared with the one already seen above but with the particularity of being based on Eclipse.

Another of the best-known open-source framework for application development. Appcelerator also joins the trend of using web technology and open standards such as JavaScript to create apps compatible with any device and operating system, accessing, as in the previous cases, also the native APIs that support the hardware.

It has 3 monthly subscription modalities: Indie (for $ 39), Team (for $ 259 for teams), or Enterprise (with Premium technical support, with a price to consult).

AppMachine, the creation of apps for all audiences

We finished our first installment of app development platforms, both for mobile devices and for Windows 10, with AppMachine, a very good option for all those who do not have advanced knowledge in programming, but who want to take their first steps in the noble art of creating custom apps.

We already know that everything is to start and lose the fear to go forward and deepen. Thus, AppMachine could be defined as a visual app builder for beginners, an assistant organized by different categories of design, development, configuration, promotion, publication, and metric analysis, with everything you need to create simple apps.

AppMachine allows you to import data from a website, social networks or web service using Excel, XML, or JSON files.

A development platform that can be accessed through a basic monthly subscription of $ 9 to create a website adapted to mobile devices, or $ 49 for the development of apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Native development or with open standards?

Without a doubt, the million-dollar question. It is evident that development with the native programming language of iOS, Android or Windows Phone has its advantages, but it is equally true that the effort required to launch a multiplatform app is not acceptable for many companies and small developers.

The option to choose open web standards such as some of the proposals included in this list are the clear winner and the first option to start in the professional market (or out of curiosity) of app development.

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