The best mobile app development tools according to Reddit

Be on the cutting edge of mobile app development by tapping into the Reddit community
4 minute read
Edward Kost @EdwardKost
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Mobile developer tool suggestions from the Reddit community

The most powerful developer tips and tricks are usually discussed on Reddit before they become common knowledge.

We've scoured the latest activity on Reddit to uncover some of the best mobile app development tools being discussed by the underground developer community.

Cross-platform mobile development tools

If you want to develop apps for both iOS and Android, you currently need to hire a developer who knows multiple languages (Swift, Objective-C, Java), or hire multiple developers. But that might soon become a thing of the past with the rise of cross-platform solutions.

Kotlin Multi-Platform

The best mobile app development tools according to Reddit - Image 1

Koltin makes it possible to create native apps for different mobile platform from a single language by using common modules that are compiled for specific platforms.

It does this by creating a common module that feeds from the Kotlin standard library, and then creating separate modules for each mobile platform.

As you can see, the Kotlin Code is structured very similarly to Java:

fun main(args: Array<String>) {

   println("Hello World!")

}

To get started with Kotlin, you'll need to download IntelliJ IDEA and version 4.7 or above of the Gradle Plugin.

For a detailed overview of multi-mobile platform development with Kotlin, have a look at this video:



React Native

react native app development reddit

React Native uses a Javascript framework to create iOS and Android apps. It keeps all applications 100% native by using native components in its code.

React Native code is a hybrid of Javascript and XML markup, known as JSX for short. It's based on Facebook's Javascript library. 

While it does speed up multi-platform mobile development it's not perfect. The platform is still pretty young (it developed in 2015), which is evident in its lean documentation.

To create apps in React Native, you'll need to know both Javascript and React

Here's a video course on React:


And a video course on Javascript:



For a free crash course on React Native, have a look at this video:



Scade

scade app development reddit

This Reddit user brought up an interesting point alongside their Scade recommendation. The lack of platform specificity in the hybrid app development process usually results in clunky, function-restrictive apps. This means the best practice for mobile app developers is to develop each app individually for each specific platform (native development).

Scade solves this problem by using the native controls of the target mobile platform through a Swift API. So, with Scade you only need to code a mobile app in Swift, and the platform will automatically natively compile the app for both Android and iOS devices.

scade native app development

Scade also automatically scales all graphics for different screen resolutions, and includes built-in transformation and animation tools for seamless special effects additions.

This video highlights Scade's cross-platform development abilities:



Uploading your mobile app

Fastlane 

Fastlane takes care of the entire process of publishing a mobile app.

With just a few lines of code, you can create screenshots, compose your app, publish it to stores and notify your Slack community.

fastlane app development

Source: fastlane.tools

The platform is open source and completely customizable thanks to an ever-growing library of actions and plugins.

Fastlane is currently only available on Mac via Xcode, but it can be used to deploy both iOS and Android apps.

For an overview of Fastlane, check out the following video:



Zero coding mobile app builders

Sometimes a great app idea simply can't wait for you to become a master coder, as is the case with this Reddit user:

non coding mobile app development reddit

MIT app inventor

MIT app inventor was suggested in this controversial post that was eventually deleted:

reddit comment non coding mobie app development

MIT app inventor was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Run by faculty staff, advisors and students, the platform's user base boasts an incredible 6 million users.

The platform uses a drag-and-drop block builder. All app behaviors are stored in a library of "blocks," so if you want your app to execute a specific behavior, just locate the relevant action block and drag it into place.

mit inventor app development

Source: appinventor.mit.edu

MIT inventor is so easy to navigate, its developers claim that both adults and children can use it to build a fully functioning mobile app in only 30 minutes.

To appreciate the simplicity of the platform, take a look at this complete tic-tac-toe build tutorial:



Though zero-coding builders are incredibly easy to use, their simplicity comes at the price of heavily limited customization. So if you have a particularly complex mobile app idea, these builders won't be up to the task.

But you shouldn't let that stop you from bringing your mobile app idea to life. If you lack the coding expertise, you can hire a mobile app developer to create your app for you.

Building mobile apps

Basics for Android (B4A)

B4A is a modern visual basic language that greatly simplifies the development of Android apps. No other prior language knowledge is necessary to use the platform. The B4A language is very intuitive. 

b4a app development android

As you can see, each of the build elements are supported with detailed descriptions to seamlessly guide developers through app creation process.

Here's a first-hand look at the abilities of B4A in designing a user-interface



There are some great video tutorials on the B4A language, and Anywhere Software has easy-to-follow installation instructions.

Basics for iOS (B4i)

Basics also offers a good solution for building iOS apps. You can either use a Mac or a PC running a Mac-in-cloud service.

B4i uses a powerful WYSIWYG designer to minimize coding and provide instant visualization of your mobile app build progress.

app development bdi ios

Wysiwyg builder for B4I

Anywhere Software also provides free video tutorials on how to build iOS apps with B4I.

Conclusion

To maintain your value as an app developer, you have to stay informed of the latest tips and tricks. These tools can streamline your mobile app development projects and make sure you keep your skills up to date. And if you want to build an app but don't have any coding experience, you can find a freelance developer who's skilled in these tools. If your developer is at the cutting edge of mobile app development, they'll build your app quicker, better and more efficiently.

If you have a great mobile app idea but lack the coding know-how, we have THOUSANDS of expert app developers that can build it for you. Click here to get started now. 

 

Hire expert freelancers for any job, online
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