Our Guide to the 14 Essential Mobile App Development Tools

Abhishek Nagekar, web developer at CareerFoundry

A few years ago, a business was considered to be ahead of the curve if it had a mobile-friendly website.

Things slowly evolved, and now mobile-friendly websites are the standard. In fact, savvy programmers strategically focus on mobile, before anything else. So, what are the tools that make mobile app development a lot easier?

It is becoming more and more common for brands to develop mobile apps for their customers. Doing so increases visibility and provides a more direct line when it comes to targeting customers for marketing efforts.

Creating a mobile app increases convenience for customers as well, and it allows business owners to provide assistance to consumers in new ways. It’s not just assembling the nuts and bolts of these apps that is making this a whole industry, but also mobile app UI design.

Our Top 14 Mobile App Development Tools

The challenge is developing these apps. Fortunately, brands can develop apps both for their consumers and for their employees by using a variety of handy tools. These tools can be used to help with development, deployment, collaboration, testing, and more. We’ve chosen our


Appery is a fully cloud-based mobile app development platform. This means that developers don’t need to download anything to their computers.

As a result, the process of building apps is faster and easier. This is also a cross-platform development tool, so businesses building apps for customers can meet those customer’s needs regardless of device. Perhaps the best feature is the drag and drop interface that makes development a snap for novices.


This is another online app builder platform that makes building and branding apps super easy for business owners who do not have loads of mobile app development experience.

All users have to do is follow a four step process. This means picking a template, allowing the product to customize the app using elements from social media accounts, customizing the app, and then finally deploying the app. This free app is an amazing source for fledgling business owners who need to make their app available to their audience, but do not have development experience.


This is another all in one, cross-platform mobile app development tool.

This subscription-based solution uses an easy to use drag and drop interface to help business owners create apps on the fly in very short periods of time. Those new to development might want to stick with the free version of this tool, but if you are tech savvy or want additional features, there are several pricing tiers that are appropriate for nearly everyone.


Loyalty programs are huge. In fact, there is a good chance that you have multiple apps on your phone right now that are attached to loyalty programs that have been created by your favorite coffee shops, gas stations, drug stores, and fast food restaurants.

Como is an app-building tool that enterprises can use to create apps that add a layer of convenience and usefulness to their loyalty programs. Their DIY mobile app development tool is an amazing asset to business owners who want to roll their own apps.


One of the benefits of developing an app for your business is portability.

Because mobile customers tend to have an on-the-go lifestyle, many business owners are recognizing the value, not just in developing apps, but also in creating apps that encourage social engagement.

Bizness apps is another mobile app development tool that provides a fairly automated means for developing apps, but also facilitates the development of final products that make social interaction easier.

jQuery Mobile

This highly unique mobile app development platform takes a completely different approach to development.

Most businesses have tended to move from web development to mobile website development, and then to app development. Not to be confused with JavaScript itself, jQuery throws that out the window. Instead, users can use this utility to create websites that are mobile-friendly, and mobile apps at the same time, using the same information and processes. Even better, the theme roller can be used to ensure that the app that is rolled out to customers is perfectly branded.

Google Apps

Not every part of mobile app development is technical. Teams must work together to plan, write app content, and keep track of project milestones.

An app development project manager might have to juggle dozens of tasks, such as a request that an in-app marketing pro write a paper featuring the dialogue and messaging to be used in the app. This suite of tools can be used to create mobile app documentation, track milestones, and do much more.

Mobile Roadie

This is probably one of the pricier mobile app development tools, but the level of functionality here is truly incredible.

Features of this app development tool include social media integration, multi-platform capabilities, and the ability to create websites and apps all at the same time. This is a great utility for businesses who want to create and maintain apps that encourage engagement.

Even better, this app can be used with confidence, considering that brands such as Ted Talk and the Dallas Mavericks have used this tool with great success.

Appian Quick Apps

Anyone who is truly new to the app development process should probably start here.

While other mobile app development tools might use a drag and drop interface, Appian takes things a step further. Imagine an app development platform that uses a walkthrough approach. Appian dishes out a series of prompts that allows users to enter in key points that they need to include in their app.

As this information is entered, the tool begins gathering data, creating forms, and automating processes. Ultimately, a mobile app is developed that contains all features the users might need.

Kony Visualizer

Two years ago, you might have been considering how to deal with your mobile customers. Today, that’s a no-brainer. So, what makes an app development tool that focuses on mobile so special?

Sure, cross-platform capabilities are great, as is the ability to build apps without lots of coding expertise, but where should forward-thinking brands be focused on right now?

One answer to that question just might be wearables. Anyone who has conceived a rewards program or other means of engagement that could be enhanced by the use of wearable technology can use this tool to develop the app that has those capabilities.

Perfecto Mobile

The scariest moment of the mobile app development cycle is the day that it is made available to the public.

This is when developers tend to think, over think, and ruminate over scenarios involving everything that could possibly go wrong. Probably the only way to relieve any of this is to properly test the app. This is where Perfecto Mobile comes in. It provides a means for app developers to test their apps using a cloud-based, automated testing environment.

This free testing utility ensures that developers can roll out an app that is not only bug-free but provides the best user experience possible.


What better way is there to ensure that your app will be embraced around the world than crowdsource testing to users that are literally around the world.

Ubertesters is a community of professional testers who will download and test your app in a variety of real-world conditions. Even better, you can customize that testing by enabling and disabling certain features. This allows you to force concentration on specific functionalities.


This resource is not cheap, but if a business has the need for an app backend that is secure and stable, Kinvey is definitely a great choice.

Anyone who knows the difference between frontend and backend development and the different demands on developers knows that this is a godsend.

This is mobile backend as a service tool, used by brands such as NBC Universal, touts itself as having the ability to facilitate innovation while also providing the reliability and infrastructure needed by mid-sized to large enterprises.


This extremely visual development kit allows users to develop apps that can be used on any mobile platform.

Even better, DropSource allows developers to create functional prototypes throughout the development process. This means that customers can be kept up to date, and can check out the latest prototypes so that they can provide their feedback to the app developer.

Finally, once the app has been rolled out, this mobile app development tool has built-in means for fixing issues and rolling out new releases.

Final Thoughts

Knowing which mobile app development tools are right for your business can be a challenge.

If you have a small enterprise and little-to-no access to tech savvy development staff, chances are a development tool that has an easy interface and all-in-one functionality is exactly what you need. If money is an issue, there are certainly many options on the above list that are free or extraordinarily low cost.

On the other hand, if you need enterprise-level data security, functionality, and infrastructure, and you are willing to pay premium costs, there are options here for you as well.

Of course, development is only one part of the process. You have to take into consideration the human side of app development that makes communication and coordination so important. Then, there is also the need to test to ensure that the app you roll out is at its highest level of functionality.

If you’re interested in the world of mobile app coding, a useful place to start is via studying web development first.

If you want to read more about both web and mobile app development, these articles provide some further reading:

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