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Cross Platform Mobile Development Tools - Which one?

We are about to start developing an application for mobile devices (iPhone, Android) and are trying to dermine the best cross platform tool to use. Does anyone have any experience? We understand Xamarin is good but very expensive.

35 Replies

Karl Diedrich
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Karl Diedrich Entrepreneur • Advisor
Principal Engineer at Mebio, Inc.
Check out Qt,http://qt-project.org/ We use Qt for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux GUI development. Qt also has mobile development tools,, http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-5/mobiledevelopment.html. There is an free open-source version of Qt and a company that provides commercial supporthttp://qt.digia.com/ if you need it.
Mounir Benchemled
1
0
Mounir Benchemled Entrepreneur
Software Developer
Depends on your needs. Consider phonegap or titatium as well.
John Anderson
7
2
John Anderson Entrepreneur
Senior Mobile Developer at Propelics
Based on iOS and Android being your two target platforms, Xamarin and Aopclerator's Titanium come to mind. At a high level the main differentiator is that Xamarin uses .NET to develop apps and Titanium uses Javascript. Both compile out to 100% native mobile apps.

Titanium has an open source version that you can use for free and there is also a paid support option. Don't get confused and think you have to get the paid support for Titanium. I believe that the paid option for Xamarin is the only choice, which (last time I checked) is $1,000 per developer per platform per year. Meaning if you have 2 developers on iOS and Android it will be $4,000 per year.

PhoneGap is different than Xamarin and Titanium in that it uses HTML5, Javascript and CSS3 and PhoneGap puts it into an "app wrapper" for iOS, Android, Windows, and other platforms. If you feel that being accessible on as many different platforms as possible is important, you could consider PhoneGap.

Whatever development tool you choose, get developers with experience with it. If you try to use inexperienced developers that have never used a tool before, don't expect good results. Look for developers that have experience with the tool you end up choosing. It might cost a bit more but in the long run will make your chances of getting an app that performs well much better.

I know this area well and would be glad to help you avoid the land mines. Feel free to private message me or email me at [removed to protect privacy].
Sridhar Yerramreddy
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0
Sridhar Yerramreddy Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & CEO at Oculus Health
I'd stay with open platform PhoneGap for the strength of its community and their commitment to keep up with new and upcoming releases of iOS and Android systems.

The challenge with closed or proprietary frameworks is that you lose control and also finding resources in closed loop products is a challenge.

I am currently using phonegap and really like it's flexibility and especially the community behind it.
Christopher Kim
1
0
Christopher Kim Entrepreneur
Product Manager
What do you guys think about Firemonkey + Delphi?
Ajit Gupta
1
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Ajit Gupta Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur

I wish I had posted this in the first place - this has been extremely useful. We hadn't explored QT, but had looked at Xamarin, Titanium and today was looking at phone gap. Will check out QT as well now.

Noted comments on experience.

David Fox
1
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David Fox Entrepreneur
Game Tech & Design Leadership
Hi,

This is geared more towards game development, but you may find these slides useful. They are from a talk I gave a few weeks ago. The tips are the end are worth noting, no matter what genre of application you are building!

Andrey Stegno
0
0
Andrey Stegno Entrepreneur
Founder at Cardsaround
My collegue mobile developer advised to metitatiumbecause it converts into native code so no noticeable drop in performance.

I have tried to use phonegap. It's too slow for public application. Myabe acceptable for prototype
Dimitry Rotstein
0
0
Dimitry Rotstein Entrepreneur
Head of R&D at SafeZone
There is also CodeNameOne (http://www.codenameone.com/). Haven't really used it myself, but heard a lot of good things about it, looked into it (and liked it), and actually met their CEO once (we had a private conversation and he told me some impressive things about the company).
Jake Carlson
0
0
Jake Carlson Entrepreneur • Advisor
Software Development Manager at Oracle
Phonegap/Cordova is great if you already have web developers, the app isn't too GPU intensive, and you want maximum compatibility out of the box. There's also the added benefit of having a mobile website with essentially the same code base.
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