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Activate Design Limited

The Best Tools for Mobile App Development

person using a mobile phone and a laptop at the same time


Smartphones and tablets have quickly become the device of choice for accessing the internet and online services. The dominance of mobile is equally true of consumers shopping for goods and business users in the B2B space.

App development costs have dropped, so it makes sense for even small to medium businesses to offer a mobile solution for their clients. A mobile app can provide many functions, including access to your products and services, customer support, FAQ and mobile e-commerce. There are three distinct approaches to mobile app development:

  • Native (Where the app is coded specifically for the platform, e.g. iOS or Android)
  • Hybrid or Progressive web apps (a combination of local and web-based code)
  • Web apps (run from a mobile browser only)


Native Apps

Native apps tend to deliver the best user experience. They are optimised for the platform and can access the phone’s features such as the camera, microphone, GPS etc. However, they require more work to develop and need to be submitted, approved and hosted by the relevant app store.

Hybrid Apps & PWA’s

Hybrid apps and PWA’s combine local and web-based code, allowing them to be developed using standard web technologies. Cross-platform means clients can use them on both iOS and Android platforms.

Web Apps

Web apps are the easiest to develop, as they just run in the mobile browser using standard web technologies such as HTML5 and Javascript. These apps can’t be hosted on app stores, which means they may be less discoverable by clients. The upside is they are easier to maintain and modify, as there is no need for app store approvals. 

Choosing the right mobile application development platform

Choosing the right mobile application development platforms will depend on the type of app you wish to develop. For example, developers usually build native iOS apps in Xcode or AppCode. Android Studio is a mobile app development tool provided by Google for the Android platform. There are many cross-platform mobile app dev tools that allow you to create a single app that works across both iOS and Android, including many low-code or no-code solutions.

What are mobile app development tools?

Once you’ve decided on the platform and the type of mobile app you want to develop, it’s time to choose the best mobile app development tool. Luckily, there is no shortage of options, but generally, these tools are either native or cross-platform in nature. As mentioned, Xcode and Android Studio are the primary tools for native mobile app development. There are many popular options for cross-platform development tools—some require coding experience, others offer a low or no-code approach. As many are subscription-based, it pays to research the tool and whether it will meet your needs.

Cross-platform app creation - the pros and cons

While these cross-platform app creation tools may appeal to businesses looking for a low-cost entry into the mobile space, there are some potential drawbacks to consider, including:

  • Greater chance of compatibility issues
  • Slower performance
  • Inconsistent user experience

Here at Activate Design, we have a dedicated software development team that can help you develop a professional app solution that performs well and delivers results for you and your clients. We’re also website developers, so we can build mobile apps with tight integration to your website infrastructure.


No/low code app development - the DIY approach

Many mobile application development platforms offer solutions that don’t require coding expertise—you start with a template and simply drag and drop components into place. An app built this way may be suitable as a basic interface for your clients, but generally, these platforms don’t offer much scope for customisation. Many are subscription-based, and the finished app can only be hosted on their platform. The risk with this approach is that all your development work is locked into a proprietary system that can’t be easily ported to other applications.

At Activate Design, we believe good design is more than just a pretty interface. We develop mobile app solutions for our clients that fully integrate with their internal systems—offering cohesive solutions designed to work together seamlessly.

Contact the team at Activate to learn more about our mobile app development services. 

Posted in Mobile Apps

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