Given the exponential growth of mobile technologies over the last decade, the rise in the mobile application industry is not surprising. With an average of three hours a day spent on our mobiles - and that figure soon to exceed desktops - mobile technologies are crucial and should not be considered any less important by web developers. App development is becoming more accessible by the day, and soon an understanding of the leading mobile app frameworks will be an important skill for more people. 

As technology advances, IT workloads are always increasing, which means businesses of all sizes need to be ready to outsource. This means there’s a greater emphasis on finding a higher level of IT support from a company like Computers In The City, which is on hand to provide assistance at any time. 

What to look for in a mobile development framework

There are now various frameworks to choose for mobile app development, but this doesn’t mean all are suitable for your needs. Most people will be looking for a cross-platform, or hybrid, app development framework as opposed to one that is native and specific to a particular platform. But we don’t want to lose the quality that’s obtainable by these native app development frameworks.

Depending on their needs, the main qualities people usually look for in a mobile app development framework are:

  • High performance
  • Speed
  • Usability
  • Support
  • Wide community
  • Low cost
  • Compatibility

The best mobile development frameworks


This is an open-source UI toolkit from Google that shares UI and UI code on all platforms. It has been used to create apps for Alibaba, Google Ads and Birth Finance, and the Google stamp gives it some extra status. Time can be saved with its quick development, and it provides an interactive user experience with intuitive widgets, animations and material designs. It is a cross-performance development app framework, but it has seamless scrolling navigation and icons that are very similar to native performance. It is a high-performance app that can be used to develop mobile apps that look great, but the dart language is quite new and some features aren’t fully supported. 


An open-source framework for cross-platform applications (as well as interactive hybrid and progressive web applications) that also offers premium services. Ionic is built on AngularJS and Cordova, it uses a single code base and front-end technologies for app development. It is known for fast development and - compared with native-built apps - a shorter time to market for both platforms. It offers browser support, a wide range of UI components and an evergreen community of 5 million supporters. It has a good number of native plugins and it allows more control when building an app. Ionic is great if you need to work quickly and on a limited budget, but it is not the best for graphics or animations, and debugging can be difficult.   

React Native

This is a community-driven JavaScript library that was released by Facebook in 2018, which enables the development of rich applications for Android and iOS. It is a cross-platform framework based on React and it doesn’t have a DOM API. Apps developed using React Native include Instagram, Skype and Airbnb. It offers a rich ecosystem with various libraries and tools to increase production, low production costs and a shorter time to market. It only requires a single code base which is easier for those familiar with JS and, therefore, low in cost, and it offers stable and resistant development features. However, React Native calls for documentation upgrades and for new solutions to develop from square one, and like Ionic, debugging can be an issue.


This cross-platform framework is based on aV8 engine that has been used to build mobile apps for many well-known platforms, such as LinkedIn, Uber, PayPal and Netflix. It uses an open-source environment that’s especially useful for developing server-side and scalable network applications. The engine compiles JavaScript to machine code, which makes it faster than many other frameworks. Node.JS also has a wide developer community, offers scalability and modular design, is low in cost, and easy to learn. However, the asynchronous programming model can make code difficult to maintain.   


An open-source, cross-platform framework that develops mobile apps for iOS and Android using JavaScript, or other languages that transpile to JavaScript, such as Angular or Vue.JS. NativeScript has a native user interface and is one of the best mobile frameworks for developing apps that are fully native, using all available native APIs. NativeScript comes with a wide range of plugins so third-party services aren’t needed, and it supports third-party libraries in their mobile applications, including npm.js, CocoaPods and Maven. Unfortunately, the documentation is lacking, there’s little support for using Vue, and users report updates occur too frequently.   


This is an open-source, cross-platform mobile app development framework based on .NET, and was introduced by Microsoft. Xamarin uses .NET and C# and shares the majority of its code across other platforms in order to produce improved mobile apps. It offers consistency across all platforms and a native user interface, graphics, animations, and other features. It uses a single codebase, development is faster, and it offers high-performance apps on all platforms. It is easy to use because only two languages are needed, there are fewer run-time errors, and it has a large community of developers. However, there is limited access to open-source libraries and some compatibility problems when using third-party libraries.


PhoneGap was previously called Apache Cordova, and it is owned by Adobe. It is a cross-platform framework that is mainly used for Android development. It is a simple and popular framework because it uses the basic language of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, as well as Java, C# and C++. It has a robust back-end system which makes it faster for app development, and the perfect choice for developing basic apps without native features. It makes it easy to use embedded payment systems, and it can easily access device hardware, like camera and GPS. It offers large UI libraries and a large community network. Unfortunately, it lacks graphic elements and would not be the best choice for developing gaming apps, and it doesn’t have the best support for some plugins or descriptive documentation. 

Choosing the Best Framework for Your Mobile App

Each framework is unique in terms of the languages it uses, how easy it is to learn, the components it supports and various other issues. Some are easier to get started with, like PhoneGap, but they may not offer the same flexibility and stability as frameworks like React Native. It is a good idea to get to grips with a few frameworks before settling on one for your first project.