Saturday, August 22, 2020

What Mobile App Development Tools Should You Be Using?

Does anyone else become immediately overwhelmed when they are presented with multiple, seemingly good, options? I mean whether it is the simplest decision like what to eat for dinner or more complicated like what mobile app development tools to invest in, I freeze up and can’t make a decision until I have thoroughly weighed all of my options. So today we are going to help anyone who is in the same boat, and talk about different mobile app development tools and why you should use them.

Native App vs. Progressive Web App 

The obvious first step is to decide what kind of mobile app you want to build. Now don’t freak out if you didn’t know that there was more than one kind, and don’t freak out because that is now one more decision you have to make. The choice here is actually quite simple.

Native Mobile Apps

We are all familiar with native apps whether you know it or not. These are the apps smartphone users have downloaded from the app store for years. Native mobile apps are great in theory because they can access all of the features on your smartphone like your camera, geolocation, push notifications, etc. But, they also are hard to build and require a great amount of financial resources and time. And on top of that, you can’t build one app that works across multiple operating systems. So, if you want an app for both iOS devices and Android, you have to invest in both iOS and Android development tools. Also, I am going to let you guys in on a secret. Consumers aren’t downloading apps like they used to. In an average month, 65.5 percent of smartphone users haven’t downloaded any apps.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are another option. PWAs are like the best of both worlds between native mobile apps and web apps. PWAs are hosted on the web so they work across any operating system and on any device (smartphone, desktop, and tablet). Thanks to service workers, PWAs also are lightning fast and can work offline. PWAs also can be saved to your home screen where you won’t be able to tell the difference between a PWA and a native mobile app.

Low Code vs. No Code Platform

Once you decide what app you want, it is time to look at what tools will help you build it. First, let’s look at what app building platforms are available. If you have no experience with coding, I would definitely recommend looking into a low code or no code platform. Both of these app development platforms allow you to build your entire app by using little to no code. The key difference between low code and no code is that a low code platform provides you with the flexibility of using your own code if you’d like.  For example, Lumavate’s low-code PWA Platform enables users to create an app without using any code, but also provides an option to add in your own JavaScript if needed. On the other hand, no code platforms typically  don’t provide an option to add or edit code. So in the end, both no code and low code platforms let you build an app without coding, but a low code platform provides you more wiggle room than a no code platform.

WYSIWYG App Builder vs. Development Tools

After picking your platform, you have to think about what kind of mobile app builder you are going to use to create your app. One option is a WYSIWYG App Builder. This ridiculously long acronym stands for what you see is what you get, and it means just that. When using this app builder, users will be able to see changes they are making to the app in real-time. Most WYSIWYG app builders also have drag-and-drop functionality, so you can literally pick exactly what you want to go in the app, drag it onto the app screen, and place it exactly where you want it. I don’t know about you, but I think even a kid could do that. If you want something more advanced, then you can consider Chrome Dev Tools or Microsoft development tools. The catch here is that you will need to have some coding experience to pull them off.

So the moral of the story here is that building an app doesn’t have to be as daunting or as complicated as it might seem. The best app development tools will vary depending on what kind of app you want to build and what coding experience you have, but there is something out there for everyone!