IDEs for Mobile App Development


Best IDEs for Mobile App Development 

Building a mobile app is not a simple task. It is a complex process, and you need to create several modules, including the user interface (UI), structure, and configurations, among others, for the application to function properly. Furthermore, you need to have the best development environment as a web or mobile developer. You also need the right tools to code without much effort. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is one of the most essential developer tools when it comes to mobile app development

Having said that, this post aims to help you understand what an IDE is and familiarize you with some of the best IDEs that can be used for mobile app development: 

What is an IDE? 

In the past, simple text editors were used for coding purposes. The app used to be saved in the text editor, run on the compiler, and checked for errors. Developers then got back to the editor to check the code. The entire process used to consume a lot of time and effort as developers had to switch from one application to another. An IDE helps developers overcome these problems by bringing all essential tools under a single framework.

An IDE, a software program or a combination of tools, enables you to write code and test mobile app software. It includes a text editor, tools that automate the mobile app development process, and a debugger. Some IDEs allow the installation of plugins and extend their functionalities.

Significant Features of the Best Mobile Development IDEs 

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that IDEs can improve the productivity and performance of developers by bringing all the tools they need under one Graphic User Interface (GUI), reducing the time needed for setting up, boosting the speed of development, and helping developers remain up-to-date, among others. Having said that, the significant features of an IDE are:

  • Source Code Editor

  • Debugger

  • Code Completion

  • Language support

  • Compiler

  • Integrations and Plugins

Besides, the IDEs for mobile development offer emulators that help simulate the model of the mobile device within the framework. This allows you to view the appearance and behavior of your app on a mobile screen without physically having a mobile device with you. This is a significant advantage that an IDE for mobile app development offers.

Best Mobile App Development IDEs

All IDEs are not made the same. That’s why we have listed a few of the top IDEs to help you choose the right one for your mobile app development project. Read on to know more about the best mobile app development IDEs available for developers

1: Android Studio 

The popular programming tool that is recommended by Google offers high-level features to help developers with Android application development. The Virtual Device (an emulator) is a key feature that Android Studio offers. Android Studio, which is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, can be downloaded for free. The IDE supports programming in C, C++, Java, Kotlin, and XML, among others.

Other features include: 

  • Visual layout editor

  • APK analyzer

  • Flexible build system

  • Real-time profilers 

2: IntelliJ 

This IDE, developed by JetBrains, is written in Java. Though it was made with Java in mind, it supports the most popular programming languages. This IDE is also designed to enable the enhancement of developer productivity. With ergonomic design capability and intelligent coding assistance, IntelliJ is one of the top IDEs in the market.

Key Features 

  • Deep intelligence

  • No need for any plugins

  • The Java-centric IDE also allows coding in JavaScript, SQL, and HTML

  • Automation of time-consuming and menial tasks

  • Ergonomics

  • Built-in mobile development tools that support Android, React Native, Ionic, and Cordova

3: Qt IDE 

This cross-platform IDE is best suited for experienced mobile app developers.

Key Features 

  • Sophisticated code editor which enables writing code in QML, C, C++, JavaScript, etc.

  • Code completion

  • Version control

  • Integrated UI design

  • Managing projects and building apps

  • Multi-platform development

  • Device emulator

  • Fast compiler

Furthermore, this IDE is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS. For personal use, it is available for free. For commercial use, the fee starts at $350.

4: Xamarin 

Xamarin is also a cross-platform mobile app development tool. The open-source platform can be downloaded for free. The Android and iOS mobile app development tool enables coding with .NET and C#.

  • Share code across multiple platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS, as well as desktop, mobile, and web apps

  • Leverage Android, iOS, and other libraries

5: Xcode 

For macOS app development, the most commonly used IDE is Xcode. Apps developed with IDE can be used on iPads, iPhones, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches.

Key Features 

  • Interface Builder allows developers in prototyping an entire UI without writing code

  • Helps create a Git repository locally for new projects

  • Enables test-driven development

  • Allows customization

  • Quick access to project files

  • Offers Vim mode

Xcode enables programming in AppleScript, Swift, C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Ruby, and Python. You can download the Xcode IDE for free. 

6: Eclipse IDE 

The Java programming tool, launched in 2001, has evolved and become one of the most preferred IDEs for mobile app development as its supports many different languages.

Key Features 

  • Supports Android development with the Google ADT extension

  • Comes with the default build tool, ANT

  • Offers high-end automatic code completion

  • Has a large user and community base that supports and contributes to the improvement of the Eclipse IDE

  • Offers plugins that help extend its functionality

  • Integrates seamlessly with Maven, Git, and other tools

  • Offers high customization capabilities

The Eclipse IDE supports C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, R, and PHP, among many other languages. It can be downloaded for free and used on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Besides, Eclipse for the cloud development environment is available.

7: JetBrains Rider 

For Xamarin development, one of the most powerful IDEs available is JetBrains Rider. It enables the development of excellent UIs for Windows and macOS and provides additional features, including code inspections and refactorings that contribute to enhancing the C# experience and empower developers to efficiently write error-free code.

Key Features

  • Code editor

  • Navigation and search to access any file

  • Decompiler

  • Refactoring

  • Unit testing

  • Version control

It works on Windows, Linux and macOS and lets you develop apps for Android and iOS devices. Jetbrains offers a 30-day free trial.

As a developer, you know the importance of having the right IDE for mobile app development. IDEs have simplified the lives of developers as the all-in-one interface enables coding, editing, testing, and debugging. In addition, it enables developers to increase their productivity.

About Zartek Technologies 

At Zartek Technologies, one of the leading mobile app development companies in Canada, we design and build mobile and web apps that provide the best user experience. Our state-of-the-art app development services help entrepreneurs and organizations expand their businesses.