The mobile app market is increasingly demanding cross-platform support from apps. While this is great for enterprise and for extending a brand's reach to more users, it's not so great for developers, since developing cross-platform mobile apps can be a challenge.
Thankfully there are a lot of developer tools, both free and commercial, that are available to help you with this thankless task. In no particular order, here are five of the best.
This might be a controversial choice. However its inclusion in the list is due to its suitability for everyone, including non-developers. The tool is very basic and lacks features, and lacks some important requirements for the latest hardware and device features. In spite of this, it's the best tool for mobile developers, and offers an easy tool for dipping your toes in. It features a WYSIWYG interface and works well with Windows Mobile, Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and other major operating systems.
Based on Ruby, Rhomobile is an integrated framework that allows native apps to be created for iOS, Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile, and RIM. The supplied framework means that you only need to code once – the job gets done with ease, speed and accuracy and is great for making apps that work seamlessly on most of the major mobile operating systems. The same company also offers a hosted developer environment in the form of RhoHub as well as a standalone server, keeping app data current, in RhoSync.
The tremendous growth in cross-platform development is showing no signs of slowing down as devices get more varied. While cross-platform apps, in some cases, fall short when compared to the UX provided by specific platform apps, they are a practical choice for developers who want apps that have a wider reach.