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Top AI tools for mobile app development
AI is redefining the way we develop mobile apps.
From writing your app’s code to creating its design, AI tools can help you do it faster and better.
AI tools and machine learning models will also help you create cutting edge features that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.
If you’re a software engineer and you want to make mobile app development easier, the AI tools we’ll discuss are a great place to start.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
ChatGPT needs no introduction.
We’ve all tinkered with it at some point since its release and tested out prompts to see what it can come up with.
But, if used right, it’s also a powerful tool that can help you speed up mobile app development.
So, how can you use ChatGPT to help you build a mobile app?
As it’s a large-language model (LLM) chatbot, it can’t build your app for you – yet.
source: Built In
But, you can use it to create short code snippets and generate boilerplate code.
It can also help you with debugging your code i.e. finding and fixing bugs in your app’s code.
Another way you can use it is to generate feature ideas for your app.
Let’s say you’re building a car-buying app.
You can ask ChatGPT: “You’re building a car-buying app. Which features would you add?”
It’ll then list out the features it thinks are worth adding to your app.
You’ll be talking with our technology experts.
You can use this as a good starting point for feature prioritization and deciding which features you’ll include in your minimum viable product (MVP).
And it can do all this in just a few seconds.
ChatGPT operates on a freemium model – GPT-3.5 is free to use, while the more capable GPT-4 model requires you to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus for $20/month.
CoreML is Apple’s framework you can use to integrate machine learning (ML) models into your iOS app.
The main advantage of CoreML is that it makes integrating ML models into your app easier – it uses a simple drag-and-drop interface for ease of use.
So, how does it work?
In simple terms, you use it to create your own ML model for your app.
source: Apple Developer Documentation
You can use the Create ML feature to create a custom model that’s trained on your data.
You can even import models from third-party training libraries.
All you need to do is convert them to the CoreML model format using CoreML Tools.
You can integrate the model directly into your app or by using top-level APIs.
It’ll allow you to add functionalities to your app, such as:
- Text processing and analysis
- Converting audio to text
- Image recognition and analysis
- Sound analysis
You can then use these to create AI-powered features for your iOS app.
Some examples of features you can add are:
- Sentiment analysis
- Audio transcription
- Face recognition
- Barcode recognition
CoreML is free to use and is compatible with Apple’s other frameworks and development tools.
Github Copilot is a coding assistant that turns natural language prompts into coding suggestions.
It works with a variety of programming languages, including:
You can also easily integrate into the integrated development environment (IDE) you’re using to develop your mobile app.
It also offers AI-based suggestions based on context and style conventions of your code.
source: Venture Beat
Keep in mind that it doesn’t test the code, though.
You’ll have to check that the code it generates works before using it.
However, its greatest strength is automating the writing of boilerplate code.
This’ll help you save a lot of time and let you focus on more important and complex tasks.
Engineers who use Copilot agree with that, too.
Github conducted research on how Copilot impacts engineers’ productivity and found that:
- 74% say they can focus on more productive work
- 88% feel more productive
- 96% are faster with repetitive tasks
Github Copilot offers several billing plans, with Copilot for individuals priced at $10/month or $100/year while Copilot for business is $19 per user per month.
Every good mobile app should have clear and understandable code documentation.
However, creating the documentation is one of the most tedious tasks software engineers have to deal with.
That’s where Mintlify comes in.
Instead of engineers’ breaking their workflow, Mintlify does the heavy lifting for them.
So, what does Mintlify do?
In simple terms, it automates the creation of code documentation.
source: Dev Class
It scans your code and generates documentation to explain it.
As it’s an AI tool, the results are accurate and it minimizes the risk of human error.
It also produces documentation that’s readable and understandable.
Mintlify also recently introduced Mintlify Chat, an AI search function based on GPT-4.
This allows you to quickly find what you need in the documentation.
Mintlify is free to use, but also offers a plan for startups for $150/month or $120/month when billed annually.
They also offer a custom enterprise plan that you can fully tailor to your organization’s needs.
ML Kit is Google’s app development kit (SDK) that allows you to integrate machine learning into your mobile app.
One of its main advantages is that it’s easy to use and integrate into your app.
ML Kit offers production-ready ML models optimized for mobile you can add to your app with a few lines of code.
It also works on both Android and iOS devices.
Much like CoreML, you can add AI-powered features to your product, such as:
- Barcode scanning
- Text recognition
- Face recognition
- Real-time object recognition and tracking
- Digital ink recognition
ML Kit’s machine learning functionalities and features keep the data they gather on-device.
This means that they work offline and don’t have to connect to cloud services in order to work.
ML Kit is free to use and interfaces easily with Google’s other cloud AI services like Google Cloud Vision AI.
So, what does that mean?
In simple terms, computer vision is what allows computers to understand and identify objects and people in images and videos.
It’s also one of the key subfields of AI.
OpenCV gives you access to over 2,500 optimized algorithms you can use to create computer vision features for your app.
Some features you’ll be able to create are:
- Facial recognition
- Gesture recognition
- Object detection
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
OpenCV is an open-source library and you can freely use and modify the code in the library.
PyTorch is a machine learning framework you can use to create models based on deep learning for your mobile app.
It’s written in Python, the most popular programming language.
This means that it’s easy to use for engineers that have worked with Python before.
The key advantage of PyTorch is that you can create custom deep learning models for your app.
source: Learn PyTorch
So, why is deep learning important and why should you use deep learning models?
Deep learning is a method of machine learning that trains computers to process data in a similar way to the human brain.
It’s used in a variety of everyday applications, such as:
- Automatic facial recognition
- Fraud detection
- Digital assistants
If you’re looking to build an app with these features, training a deep learning model through PyTorch is a great way to do it.
PyTorch is open-source and it’s free to use for both research and commercial purposes.
TensorFlow is an open-source library for building and deploying machine learning models.
TensorFlow Lite is a lightweight version of the library specifically designed for mobile devices.
TensorFlow, much like PyTorch, specializes in deep learning models.
You can use pre-trained models or create a custom model for your mobile app.
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TensorFlow can create and train models that’ll power features like:
- Image processing
- Personalized recommendations
- Text recognition
For example, Twitter used TensorFlow to develop a model for its ranked timeline feature.
Spotify also used TensorFlow to implement machine learning for their personalized music recommendations.
TensorFlow, like PyTorch, is open-source and free to use for research and commercial purposes.
Uizard is an AI-powered UI design tool that allows you to create a rapid prototype for your mobile app in seconds.
Using Uizard, you’ll be able to create:
You can tweak their UI templates to suit your needs or create a new design from scratch using Uizard’s pre-made components.
You can even create designs from text prompts.
It also supports real-time collaboration, so your whole team can work together and share feedback as you’re creating your app’s design.
So, you can collaboratively design wireframes for your app.
And you can turn them into high-fidelity mockups in seconds.
Uizard can also turn your hand-drawn wireframes into customizable UI designs.
It has several pricing options, including a free version for students and hobbyists.
Uizard Pro is $19/month, $12/month if billed annually and Uizard Business is $39/month.
They also offer a custom enterprise solution.
Visily is an AI-powered wireframing tool that lets you turn screenshots, templates and text prompts into editable wireframes and prototypes.
It has a library of over a 1000 templates you can use as the foundation for your mobile app’s design.
Visily also supports rapid prototyping and you can switch from low-fidelity to high-fidelity mode in seconds.
Like Uizard, it can also turn your hand-drawn wireframes into customizable designs you can iterate on further.
source: Software Advice
But, it doesn’t just create new designs.
You can also use Visily to improve your existing mobile app.
All you have to do is take a screenshot of your app’s UI and Visily will turn it into an editable design or wireframe.
This allows you to make quick revisions to your app’s UI.
It also promotes collaboration, so your team can co-design your app’s UI.
Visily currently offers only a free plan with all features available.
If you want to keep up with your competition, adopting AI in your mobile app development.
The tools and frameworks we’ve covered here are just the tip of the iceberg.
The tools you end up using will depend on your specific needs and what works best for your mobile app.
To recap, some top AI tools for mobile app development are:
- Github Copilot
- ML Kit