For many years now, Android comfortably tops the list of the best-operating systems for mobile app development. As of 2020, Android has captured over 85% of the market share globally. As the community for Android development grew so did its ecosystem. Today, there are hundreds of frameworks, tools, and other technologies available for quick Android app development. How do you choose one from so many best frameworks for Android application development?
In this blog, we present our list of the top 12 frameworks for Android application development. This in-depth information about each framework will help you choose the right Android framework for your app development in 2020.
1. Corona SDK for Android
Launched in 2009, Corona SDK is a free-to-use leading Android framework with a simple syntax. It is considered the world’s most advanced 2D mobile development platform for both Android and iOS.
Corona SDK is mainly popular for Android game development. However, developers also extensively use it as a general-purpose framework for Android development.
An interesting feature of the Corona SDK is that it enables a 10x times faster development process than most other Android app frameworks. Using only a single code base, Corona SDK is able to build apps and games for mobile and desktop. The framework is available for both Windows and MAC OS.
Corona employs Lua for its app backend framework. Lua is a multi-paradigm programming language that is easy-to-learn, lightweight, and robust in nature.
Moreover, it includes more than a thousand built-in feature-rich APIs, a multitude of plugins, and a dynamic advertising platform for the developers. It also supports native UI and real-time testing.
Famous games such as Angry Birds, Fun Run 2, Warcraft, and many more make use of Corona SDK.
2. Sencha Touch for Android
Sencha Touch is a framework that specially focuses on creating native mobile applications. It is often denoted as one of the best Android development frameworks by the community itself.
With over 50 UI components and native themes, this framework helps develop captivating and eye-catching Android apps.
It also adds distinctive features such as richness in fluid animations and smooth scrolling to the apps. Several big businesses have praised Sencha Touch for its high degree of compatibility, responsive touch features, and swift execution.
TheAppsBuilder is a unique app-building framework that is based on HTML and supports a codeless UI. Thus, a person need not learn coding in order to use this framework for Android app development.
TheAppBuilder is well suited especially for building information-based Android applications. The framework’s drag-and-drop feature enables you to assemble the application quickly and easily.
Interestingly, TheAppBuilder comes with built-in blocks that include functionalities such as feedback, content updates, polls, push notifications, and much more.
Perhaps the best feature of this Android framework is that it integrates comfortably with Google Play flaunting a social media presence.
4. React Native
Released in 2015, React Native is an open-source cross-platform development framework. It is backed by social media giant Facebook and is one of the best frameworks for Android application development.
React Native relies on React, a massive JS library, to build apps on Android and iOS. The cross-platform characteristic allows developers to write the code only once and then execute it elsewhere. This makes the android app development process pretty quick and cost-efficient.
React Native has built-in UI components and APIs that give Android apps a natural look and great performance. Moreover, it boasts of hot-reload, which enables the developers to update files without disrupting the current state of the app.
Now and then, the developers seem to face difficulties such as the Iteration Period, Codebase differences, Imperative programming, etc. React Native serves as the best solution to all those problems making it a leader of Android application frameworks.
React Native is the first choice for many popular companies such as Instagram, Airbnb, and Tesla for building native apps.
Owned by Microsoft, Xamarin is an open-source framework used to design Android apps with “.NET”. It is relatively older than most other cross-platform frameworks.
Xamarin boasts an advanced toolset through which developers can work with a shared code written in C# or XAML. This code-sharing feature cuts back the coding time for developers and the number of bugs during the development process.
The framework leverages Microsoft’s cloud testing service thereby enabling easy app testing on numerous devices. Upon joining hands with Visual Studio IDE, Xamarin attracted the likes of Pinterest, Siemens, and the World Bank for mobile app development.
6. Appcelerator Titanium
Appcelerator has a distinct feature – developers can create multi-platform applications by deploying around 60%-90% of the existing code. On top of that, it makes native APIs accessible for operating systems including Android, iOS, Universal Windows, HTML5, and Blackberry.
Android applications built with Appcelerator framework enjoy the advantage of using hardware-specific features. These include Android menu buttons, OS-centric controls, and platform-appropriate notifications.
Companies such as Mitsubishi Electric, LEGOLAND, and GameStop make extensive use of Appcelerator.
Ionic encompasses a myriad of software tools, gestures, and animations. These resources facilitate the development of top-notch mobile, desktop, and progressive web apps with a single code base.
Besides, the framework also hosts a simple CLI thereby allowing access to emulators, live reload, logging, and other interesting features. Because of this CLI and its flexibility, Ionic is one of the best frameworks for Android application development.
Ionic integrates quite easily with other libraries such as Cordova and AngularJS. Cordova’s plugins improve the functionality of the framework through various components such as camera, GPS, etc.
Ionic is popular among companies such as McLaren Automotive, Airbus, and Pacifica.
Flutter is the latest in the line of mobile app development SDKs. Owned and maintained by Google, it is an open-source framework for building cross-platform apps. The framework is written in Dart language and uses a single codebase.
This leading Android framework is an innovator in the sense that its approach to app development differs from its contemporaries. It streamlines the multi-platform development process to build high-quality interfaces for Android and iOS.
Google’s Flutter framework benefits heavily from a 2D rendering engine called Skia. The visuals that are generated using Skia resemble the Material Design and Cupertino Style.
Flutter also proves to be a solid testing framework for performing UI, unit and functionality tests. Moreover, the framework has an industry-leading hot reload feature that enables seamless testing without having to restart the app.
This framework is an industry favorite for Android application development due to its useful benefits such as quick rendering, a screen reader, a bunch of themes, and many more.
Since its release in 2017, Flutter has been widely used by many corporations such as Google, CapitalOne, and Tencent to name a few.
Besides Android, other operating systems can also leverage PhoneGap for application development. It also enables working without hardware-specific limitations.
Developers prefer this framework because it allows them to view and check the changes they make at the same time as they work on an application. The latest enrolled version of PhoneGap is accompanied by the Cordova WebView. This makes the integration of PhoneGap’s code into larger native apps achievable. On top of that, this Android framework features an extended plugin library, third-party software tools, and a growing community.
Supported by a Bulgarian software company Telerik, NativeScript is an open-source framework. Besides being one of the best frameworks for Android application development, NativeScript is also a top hybrid app development SDK.
NativeScript works differently than most other frameworks, consequently saving time and money in the app development process. The framework makes all iOS and Android APIs fully accessible for the developers.
It also offers a chance to easily reuse CocoaPods and Android SDKs, search for free templates, plugins, and app samples.
NativeScript caters to the needs of companies such as Xerox, Dell, and Microsoft.
11. jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile is a cross-platform development framework that is premised on HTML5. Easily one of the best frameworks for Android application development, this framework is backed by a huge community. It is one of the easiest software solutions for developers to build mobile as well as web apps.
jQuery reduces the workload of developers drastically. Meaning, a developer has to write the code only once and the framework will execute it on virtually every other platform.
This top Android framework also includes various plugins such as Pop-Up Boxes, Image Slider, Content-Slider, and many more. As a consequence, the web pages developed are simple, user-friendly, and more interactive.
In addition to that, it also offers easy compatibility with other mobile app frameworks and platforms like Worklight and PhoneGap.
jQuery Mobile has significant use in the tech stacks of companies such as Yext, Qlik, and Cyta.
Developers use SproutCore for its clear MVC design which facilitates performance optimization and scalability.
As opposed to other JS libraries, this framework includes an extensive set of more than 50,000 tools. These tools are perfectly capable of building desktop-like applications in a browser, including routing, UI components, testing and deployment tools.
Thanks to its maintainable application code and a well thought out business logic, the framework has become one of the best in its field. Several companies such as Learndot, NPR, and Insightify employ SproutCore for designing their apps.
Which is the best framework for Android application development in 2020?
Every project or application has a unique set of requirements. It’s not possible to label anyone framework as the best framework for android application development. You need to compare the features that every Android framework offers and match those with the functionalities your app needs.
Third Rock Techkno is a leading mobile development services provider in India and the USA. We are here to help you choose the most feasible framework and other tools for your mobile app projects. To get freecost estimates and feedback on your app idea, set up a free consultation call with our experts here.