Top 10 mobile app development tools to use in 2024

14 min read
December 22, 2023

$288.98 billion – that’s the value of the mobile app market in 2023. And it’s expected to grow to $567.19 billion by 2023.

Getting into mobile app development and getting a piece of that action is a no-brainer.

But, to succeed in such a competitive market, you need to do it right – and for that, you need to use the right tools for the job.

Here, we’ll discuss the top 10 mobile app development tools you should use in 2024 to build a great mobile app.

Let’s dive in!

How to pick the right mobile app development tools

Picking the right mobile app development tools is essential if you want your app’s development to go smoothly.

So, how do you pick the right mobile app development tools?

There are several factors you should consider when choosing, such as:

  • Your app’s requirements
  • The platform you’re choosing
  • Your team’s expertise
  • The cost-effectiveness of the tool

For example, if you want to build an app for both Android and iOS, it’s more cost-effective to build a single cross-platform app – you’ll need tools like Flutter or React Native.

On the other hand, if you just want an Android app, you’ll need a tool like Android Studio.

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But, the most important factor is your own and your team’s expertise.

You should always go with the tools you’re most familiar with, unless there’s a specific reason, like unique app requirements, you can’t.

This way, you’ll speed up development and get your app to market faster.

And that’s why choosing the right tools is so important.

Top 10 mobile app development tools

Android Studio

Android Studio is the official integrated development environment (IDE) for Android app development.

Android Studio

source: Android Developers

If you’re building an Android app, using Android Studio is a must.

It’s a powerful, all-in-one tool for the development, testing, and packaging of Android apps.

And that’s why you should go with it.

Important features

  • Intelligent code editor

Android Studio’s intelligent code editor and its code completion feature will help you write high-quality code faster. It supports languages like Kotlin, Java, C, and C++.

  • APK analyzer

The APK analyzer allows you to see composition of your app’s APK after you’ve built them – this helps you reduce the size of your app and with debugging.

  • Code templates

Android Studio has pre-made code templates for common app features, which can significantly speed up development.

  • Layout editor

A drag-and-drop interface for designing user interfaces (UIs), the layout editor helps you rapidly build layouts and preview what they look like on different Android devices.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Strong community support
  • Regular updates
  • Easy to learn

Cons


  • Uses a lot of RAM
  • Slow emulator

Pricing

Android Studio is an open-source IDE and it’s free to use for anyone who wants to develop an Android app.

Appium

Appium is an open-source testing automation framework you can use to test your mobile app.

Appium

source: Bitrise

You can use it to test:

  • Native iOS/Android apps
  • Cross-platform apps
  • Mobile web apps

Its versatility and scalability makes testing mobile apps much more efficient.

And that’s why it’s a good choice.

Important features

  • Cross-platform testing

In Appium, you can test both Android and iOS apps with the same test script, which can save you a lot of time.

  • Automated UI testing

Appium enables you to set up automated testing of your app’s UI, so you can find and fix any issues early.

  • No app modification needed

Appium works with real apps and you don’t need to make additional modifications or SDKs to test your app.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Versatility
  • Easy integration
  • Cross-platform compatibility

Cons


  • Complex setup
  • Some performance issues

Pricing

Appium is a completely free, open-source tool.

Bitbucket

Bitbucket is a cloud-based version control service used to store and manage code.

It also has a built-in continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline.

Bitbucket interface

source: Bitbucket

This means you can write, test, and ship code directly in Bitbucket.

Also, as it’s an Atlassian product, you can easily integrate it with their other products like:

And unlike Github, whose main focus is open-source code, Bitbucket is specifically designed for business and enterprise use.

That’s why it’s a solid choice.

Important features

  • Bitbucket Pipelines

Bitbucket Pipelines is their built-in CI/CD feature – you can write, test, and deploy code directly in Bitbucket.

  • Flexible deployment models

You can use Bitbucket as a cloud-based solution (Bitbucket Cloud) or for data centers (Bitbucket Data Center), depending on your specific needs.

  • Branch permissions

You can manage who can commit and push code to specific branches in the repository, which will greatly improve the security of your code.

  • Code analysis

You can integrate code analysis tools with Bitbucket, and you’ll be able to see quality reports and security scans directly in your pull requests.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Built-in CI/CD pipelines
  • Flexible deployment
  • Unlimited private repos for small teams

Cons


  • Less intuitive UI
  • Slower performance

Pricing

Bitbucket has a free plan, but it has limited users, build minutes, and storage.

They also have 2 paid plans – Standard and Premium.

Bitbucket pricing

source: Bitbucket

The Standard plan is $3 per user/month, with unlimited users but limited build minutes and large file storage.

And the Premium plan, at $6 per user/month, offers more build minutes and large file storage as well as other advanced features.

CocoaPods

CocoaPods is a dependency manager for iOS and macOS projects.

CocoaPods

source: X

It makes it easy to add third-party libraries and frameworks to a project you’re working on in Xcode.

CocoaPods simplifies managing dependencies and configuring external code, so you can focus fully on building your iOS app.

And that’s why it’s so important.

Important features

  • Dependency management

CocoaPods’ main feature, this allows you to easily manage dependencies and libraries when developing your app.

  • Centralized repository

CocoaPods maintains a repository with over 100,000 open-source libraries, making it easy to find and integrate the libraries you need for your project.

  • Integration with Xcode

CocoaPods seamlessly integrates with Xcode, which makes it easy to add and update the libraries you need as you’re working on your app.

  • Version management

CocoaPods automatically manages library versions and updates, so you’re always using the latest stable version of each library.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Simplified management
  • Active community
  • Large repository

Cons


  • Initial learning curve
  • Some compatibility issues

Pricing

CocoaPods is an open-source tool and you can freely use it when developing your iOS app.

Flutter

Flutter is an open-source front-end framework used to develop cross-platform apps.

Flutter

source: .cult by Honeypot

And it does that from a single codebase, so you don’t have to create separate native apps for each platform.

This makes it very cost-effective and helps you reach a wider audience with your app.

Also, this ensures your users have a consistent experience regardless of platform.

And that’s why it’s such a game-changer.

Important features

  • Hot reload

In Flutter, you can see code changes in real-time and you don’t need to restart your app – this can save you a lot of time.

  • Widgets

Flutter has a rich set of customizable widgets, so you can quickly create great-looking UIs for your app.

  • Single codebase

With Flutter, you can build apps for Android and iOS from a single codebase, which saves you both time and money.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Fast development time
  • Strong community
  • Reusable UI components

Cons


  • Large app size
  • Limited third-party libraries

Pricing

Flutter is a completely free, open-source framework.

Jira

Jira is one of the most popular project management tools you can use when developing a mobile app.

Jira

source: Atlassian Community

Using Jira, you can efficiently:

  • Plan projects
  • Track projects
  • Manage projects

It’s a great option if you’re doing Agile software development, as it also lets you track issues and bugs during development.

Important features

  • Issue tracking

Jira’s main feature, you can use it to create, prioritize, and track tasks (called issues in Jira) and their progress. Also, you can customize task categorization and track bugs.

  • Integration with development tools

Jira can easily integrate with development tools like Bitbucket and has a large number of add-ons and plugins.

  • Reporting and analytics

Jira has a number of reporting and analytics tools for agile projects such as:

  • Sprint reports
  • Burn-down charts
  • Velocity charts
  • Agile boards

Jira supports Agile development methodologies like Scrum and Kanban and their agile boards are useful if you want to visualize your workflow.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Customizable workflows
  • Integration with other tools
  • Detailed issue tracking

Cons


  • Complexity
  • Limited direct collaboration

Pricing

Jira offers a free plan for up to 10 users, with a maximum of 2 GB of storage – ideal for small projects and teams.

Jira pricing

source: Jira

But, if you have a bigger team and want more advanced features, they also offer 3 paid plans:

  • Standard – $8.15 per user, up to 35,000 users, 250 GB of storage
  • Premium – $16 per user, unlimited storage, advanced features
  • Enterprise – starting from $141,000, a minimum of 801 users, suitable for large businesses

Postman

Postman is a popular API development tool, used to develop and test APIs.

Postman

source: Postman

You can use it to create, share, test, and document APIs.

Postman stands out with its collaboration features, so a whole team can collaborate on an API.

And that’s why you should use it, too.

Important features

  • API design

Postman has a user-friendly interface for designing APIs with a wide range of tools you can use.

  • Automated testing

In Postman, you can create and run automated tests for the APIs you create – this simplifies testing and debugging.

  • Documentation

Postman offers automated documentation generation, making it easy to share and collaborate with your team on your API documentation.

  • Collaboration tools

The standout feature, Postman allows an entire team to work on the same API project at the same time.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive documentation
  • Widely adopted

Cons


  • Resource intensive
  • Limited features in the free version

Pricing

Postman offers a free plan, but it has limited functionality compared to their paid plans.

Postman pricing

source: Postman

They have 3 paid plans:

  • Basic – $19 per user/month, with unlimited collaboration and up to 10 integrations
  • Professional – $39 per user/month, with more calls to Postman API and up to 50 integrations
  • Enterprise – custom pricing, offers advanced features for security and governance, with up to 100 integrations

React Native

React Native is an open-source front-end framework used to develop UIs for mobile apps.

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source: JetBrains

Based on React, React Native combines React, a top Javascript library for UIs, with native mobile app development features and components.

This means that you can create cross-platform apps that feel and look like native apps.

And, like React, React Native is an efficient, high-performance tool that can greatly speed up development.

That’s why it’s a good choice if you want to build a mobile app.

Important features

  • Native components

React Native allows you to use native components to create high-quality UIs for your app, making your cross-platform app feel and act like a native app.

  • Hot reloading

In React Native, you can instantly see the results of any code changes without restarting your app which speeds up development.

  • Single codebase

With React Native, you can build apps for Android and iOS from a single codebase, speeding up development.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Code reusability
  • Community support
  • Good performance

Cons


  • Complex debugging
  • Updating issues

Pricing

React Native is a free and open-source framework you can freely use.

Shake 

Shake is an innovative bug and crash reporting tool, developed by DECODE.

Shake

source: Shake

Shake makes collecting crash reports and bug reporting easy by automatically collecting and attaching that data to every report in the app.

This will save you a lot of time you’d spend collecting that data and allows you to fix any issues quickly.

And that’s why Shake is so valuable.

Important features

  • Real-time crash reports

With Shake, you’ll get real-time crash reports from your app, so you can immediately fix the issues that caused the crash. 

  • User feedback collection

Shake isn’t just about collecting bug and crash reports – it also allows you to collect feedback from your users within your app and resolve issues before they result in crashes.

  • Integration with development tools

Shake easily integrates with popular development tools like Jira and Github, so you can add it to your existing workflow without a fuss.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Easy integration
  • Real-time reporting
  • Detailed insights

Cons


  • Relies on third-party services

Pricing

Shake offers a free plan for individuals and small teams, with limited integrations and 1 month of data retention.

Shake pricing

source: Shake

They also have 2 paid plans – Premium and Organization.

The Premium plan is $200/month, with up to 4 apps you can track and 1 year of data retention.

And the Organization plan is $420/month, with unlimited apps you can track and 2 years of data retention.

Xcode

Xcode is Apple’s official IDE used to build iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps.

Xcode

source: Apple Developer

It comes with a wide range of tools engineers can use to build, test, and manage apps for all Apple platforms.

If you’re building a native iOS app, you’ll be using Xcode to do it.

Important features

  • Interface Builder

The Interface Builder is Xcode’s drag-and-drop tool for designing UIs, similar to Android Studio’s layout editor.

  • Instruments

Xcode’s suite of performance analysis tools, Instruments will help you identify and fix performance issues with your code.

  • iOS Simulator

Xcode has a built-in iOS emulator, so you can test your app on a number of devices and operating systems without needing physical hardware.

  • Asset catalog

The asset catalog allows you to easily and efficiently organize images and other app resources.

  • App Store Connect

Xcode has an integrated workflow for submitting apps to the App Store and you can track your app’s performance directly from Xcode.

Pros and cons

Pros


  • Advanced debugging
  • Easy navigation
  • Comprehensive toolset

Cons


  • Limited to Apple
  • Steep learning curve

Pricing

Xcode is available for free on the Mac App Store and doesn’t come with any upfront costs or licensing fees.

But, if you want to publish your iOS app in the App Store, you need to join the Apple Developer Program – it starts at $99/year for individuals and $299/year for enterprises.

Mobile app development tools: FAQs

How do I pick the right mobile app development tools?

The tools you choose will depend on:

  • Your app’s requirements
  • The platform(s) you’ve chosen
  • Your team’s expertise
  • The cost-effectiveness of the tool

Can I use these tools for both Android and iOS app development?

Yes, most of the tools we’ve covered, like Flutter, React Native, and Appium can be used to build both Android and iOS apps. Others, like Android Studio and Xcode are platform-specific.

How do I choose between native and cross-platform mobile app development tools?

This will depend on your app’s requirements and your budget. Native app development tools offer better performance but you have to write separate code for each platform. Cross-platform app development tools speed up development but have poorer performance.

Which tools should I use to develop my mobile app?

You should use:

  • Android Studio
  • Appium
  • Bitbucket
  • CocoaPods
  • Flutter
  • Jira
  • Postman
  • React Native
  • Shake
  • Xcode

Conclusion

Developing a mobile app isn’t an easy task.

And it’s even more difficult if you don’t have the right tools for the job.

With the tools we’ve covered, you’ll have no problem building a great mobile app.

If you want to learn more, check out our article on the 7 top tips for mobile app development and our mobile app development process.

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Written by

Vladimir Kolbas

IOS Team Lead

When something unusual happens, Vlado is the man with an explanation. An experienced iOS Team Lead with a PhD in Astrophysics, he has a staggering knowledge of IT. Vlado has a lot of responsibilities, but still has time to help everybody on the team, no matter how big or small the need. His passions include coffee brewing, lengthy sci-fi novels and all things Apple. On nice days, you might find Vlado on a trail run. On rainier days, you’ll probably find him making unique furniture in the garage.

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