Framework comparison

With a slew of cross-platform mobile app development technologies available online, converting your great app idea into a workable design has never been simpler. These technologies have had the combined effect of reducing by a great extent the barrier to entry into mobile app development for those of us lacking a solid grounding in Java, Objective-C and other programming languages. Further many of these cross-platform mobile app development technologies are opensource – which means they come free (for the most part) . Here, we discuss some of the better options in cross-platform opensource mobile app development technologies that might help you design your first great mobile app. Do read on.

Titanium : 
Titanium aims to provide a sophisticated cross-platform and high level API for mobile app development based entirely on Java Script. The platforms so far supported by Titanium are Android, iOS and the browser.

What’s great about Titanium :

  1. Excellent variety functionality and out of the box features for native mobile apps because of the higher level API provided.
  2. Great look and feel, especially with the common UI gadgets.

What’s not so great :

  • Developers still cannot develop apps for Windows Phone.

Sencha Touch : 
Sencha Touch makes use of HTML5 and CSS3 along with Java Script to design apps for the iOS and Android platforms, as well as to design web based apps. With Sencha Touch it is quite easy to make changes to the mobile app without affecting its functionality on any of the platforms.

What’s great about Sencha Touch :

  • High level of compatibility with the best features of Android, iOS as well as BlackBerry.
  • Excellent user interface.
  • HTML5 API makes it compatible with more than one platform.

What’s not so great :

  • Learning the technology involved requires a little effort in the beginning.
  • Debugging is not too easy.

Rhodes : 

Like Sencha Touch, Rhodes makes use of HTML5, CSS3, Java Script to hybrid apps that work for the Android and iOS platforms as well as for web app development. Rhodes works for Android and iOS mobile platforms by making use of an embedded browser.

What’s great about Rhodes :

  • It is an excellent hybrid app developer and has all the good qualities that the hybrid app design provides- a change in any platform can be easily reflected in other platforms.

What’s not so great :

  • Hybrid apps, by their very nature, usually have to compromise on functionality in comparison to native mobile apps, when used on native iOS or Android platforms.

Codename One : 
Codename One is a framework for mobile app development that runs on NetBeans. It has the special feature of being able to build mobile apps for the Windows Platform.

What’s great about Codename One :

  • Supports almost every platform – Windows Phone, iOS, Android and J2ME.
  • Has very good documentation.

What’s not so great :

  • Requires extensive knowledge of Java.

The mesmerizing new open source mobile application development platforms

Mobile application dev is found as an innate process using which any software applications are designed and developed for handheld devices like enterprise digital assistants, personal digital or mobile phones. 

Building applications of mobile phones largely depend on the OS on which they are being built for. Cross platform mobile app development can get real bothersome as each platform that are available has a different and unique feature and behavior.

The mobile applications are provided as web applications by making use of client-side or server-side processing such as JavaScript, to offer an experience that is “application-like” with the help of Web browser.

The platform for mobile applications contains integrated development environment(IDE), that can offer tools for a developer to design, develop, write, test integrate and deploy the developed applications over the environment of the target platform where the application is supposed to run or intended to be used.

The platform CodenameOne is built on java and is available with debuggers and emulators. The integrated development environment used is Netbeans and Eclipse. The cross-platform deployment of applications developed here is available on iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, BlackBerry and J2ME. The installer packaging options are in format of native distribution of each platform.

Being an open source tool, the enterprise and commercial licenses for this platform do not exist. It is a predominant Open Source GPLv2 with subscription-based build server.

The cross platform mobile app solution, Sencha Touch, is built on CSS, HTML and JavaScript. The integrated development environment (IDE) is Sencha Architect2 and has debuggers and emulators. The deployment of applications developed is possible on iOS enabled devices (like iPhone, iPod touch, iPad), Android, Kindle, Bada and BlackBerry. It is web delivered, and the installer packaging options are hybrid through native shells for individual platform. It has a Paid OEM commercial license for free, licenses of embedded systems and has the General public license version 3 (or GPLv3). It is built for speed as it delivers high performance speed with HTML5 and CSS and Sencha touch gives an incredible app experience using hardware accelerators.

Rhodes is a popular open source framework meant for building apps in their native language for all prime smartphones operating systems such as iPhone, RIM, Windows Mobile, Android and Symbian. These are recognized as the true native applications oriented device that works along synchronized local data that is available and takes advantage of capabilities of the device such as PIM, GPS contacts and camera. It contains debugger, but emulators are not available, and applications run in device emulators or in Win32 runner for supported platforms.


The Appcelerator Titanium Development Platform lets you create native mobile, tablet and desktop application experiences using existing web skills like JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby, and PHP. Debuggers are available in Titanium Studio, and native emulators are available. The cross platform deployment is possible on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Tizen and mobile web. It is open source tool, yet enterprise and commercial licenses are available.

Similarities of Cross-platform Mobile Applications Development Frameworks

The growth of Mobile Apps in the last two to three years has been phenomenon. Developing for Android, iPhone and iPad has become common place. The growth in the Apps market through the popular Apps stores has led to development of several new Frameworks such as Titanium, Sencha, CodenameOne and Rhodes.

Similarities of Cross-platform Mobile Applications Development Frameworks

The most prominent common feature in Cross-platform Mobile Apps is the underlying languages. All the cross-platform frameworks are built on HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. They also offer Native access to devices. They are not limited to publishing applications on one store but can publish to Android, Apple and Blackberry stores without code change and finally, they support offline storage and other features like photos and geo-location maps.
This is a far as their similarities goes. They are tailored for very different audiences and their development procedures are as well very different.
Appcelerator’s Titanium Mobile is a completely open source and free. Open source has been mainstreamed in development of new applications. Titanium’s main strength though lies on its development platform. Since, code compiling in Titanium is done in the Native devices its performance is better than all other frameworks. This advantage too is its strongest weakness since applications are platform dependent. It gives superior user experience because of its UI elements that are developed by it SDK.
Rhodes is particularly strong in creating portable applications as it uses Ruby to integrate HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It majorly leverages on the Virtual machine technology in its apps development.
Sencha Touch is one of the pioneering technologies in cross-platform frameworks. It uses Webkits to provide superior applications on browsers. It uses native web browsers which give it a greater advantage. It is very extensible and less complex. It uses SQLite for offline storage of its data which removes many complexities in the app.
Sencha Touch is both free and commercial. Sencha offers a free commercial license especially when building commercial applications. It also offers paid for support which is an advantage to new app developers. Paid support guarantees you quality while you offer quality to your customers.
CodenameOne on the other hand, integrates Java bytecode to build applications. The initial project was an extension of LWUIT project that the founders added abstraction to and extended its use by adding cloud based servers for development and a simulator. CodenameOne can develop applications rapidly using RAD (Rapid Application development) across all platforms – Android, Windows 7, Blackberry J2ME and iPhone. Unlike the other platforms we have featured above CodenameOne uses Java extensively including in its development platform – Netbeans or Eclipse.
So which is the better platform? Depending on need any of the frameworks above will do a great job in putting you application in the Stores. The most important thing that you should consider when choosing a Platform for your development is you skill level, who is your customer, performance requirements, the complexity of your App and purpose of the App (commercial or non-commercial).
In conclusion, mobile App development environment is rapidly changing in the same pace that the mobile industry is – very quickly. Compatibility of the application is important. A user who moves from one Native product should be assured of an application in the other platform.

The outstanding cross platform mobile app development tools

Cross- platform mobile app development is a relief for all the developers who find it difficult to manage the sizes for each mobile app development vertical. On the other hand, developing mobile apps based on this platform is also a great idea since it increases the popularity of the product among wide sections of users. With the development of mobile apps it has been seen that one app that is developed for Android doesn’t support other devices. This way more efforts are repeated to make the apps compatible to all other devices. There are several cross- platform mobile app development tool based on open source solutions which the developers use for creating interactive apps.

The various solutions at a glance

This is the one of the best cross- platform mobile app development tool. This is usually used to develop mobile apps along with apps for desktops and tablets. The advantages for using titanium are because the stage installation works well for developing apps for circulation it to other platforms. Since it is an open source platform, it is easily accessible. It even assists you in executing Java scripts and HTML. For the quick application development the developers are supplied almost 30,000 APIs. You can also get into the main source code at any point of time.

Those who try to develop interactive applications UI use the Sencha touch open source solution. It takes the help of CSS3 and HTML5. With this the developers can create a cross- platform that can run on BB, IOS and Android. Unlike the titanium Sencha Touch offers GUI based control. This simplifies, using mobile web apps. The coding is also very strict, but those who are well versed with it don’t face any problem.

Rhodes is another cross- platform mobile app development tool. It uses HTML for the user interference. This way instead of developing the UI in objective through C++, Net or Java, it can be done by using HTML. The developers even state that using this tool takes only 1/5th of the time. Another interesting thing about Rhodes is that it offers dual license, for commercial use and GPL. The developers use the GPL.

The last in the list is the codename One. This is in fact the latest open source solution. Codename One allows the developers to customize the application with built hint. Codename One also allows you to built Ul easily. The layered panel is also one of the features exclusive to codename One. There are in fact dozens of features in terms of the capabilities and UI widgets.

This way each of these cross- platform open source solutions, has something special about it and each one is the best in its own way.