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Top Mobile App Development Frameworks of 2023 

Learn what the top mobile app development frameworks are in 2023 and what those frameworks offer in our latest entry.

For developers and QA testers, staying updated with the most popular and efficient frameworks is crucial. As of 2023, here’s a rundown of the most commonly used mobile app development frameworks, each with its unique features and capabilities. 

Types of Mobile App Frameworks 

  • Native apps: Native apps are developed specifically for a particular mobile operating system (OS), using platform-specific programming languages. For example, Swift or Objective-C for iOS apps, and Java or Kotlin for Android apps. Native apps can directly access and leverage the full range of device features and hardware (camera, GPS, accelerometer, etc.). 
  • Web apps: Web apps are not actual applications; they are really websites that, in many ways, look and feel like native applications. They are accessed via the internet browser and adapt to whichever device you’re viewing them on. They are built using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript and are hosted on a server. 
  • Hybrid apps: Hybrid apps are essentially web apps wrapped in a native container. They are built using standard web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then run within a native application that utilizes a mobile platform’s WebView. They are downloaded from app stores just like native apps and can access some native features. 

Top 10 Mobile App Frameworks 

1. Flutter 

Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit created by Google. It’s used for building natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Flutter gained significant popularity in the developer community for its ease of use, high performance, and the beautiful interfaces it can create. 

Flutter’s UI is built with widgets — reusable UI components that you can customize. Widgets can be combined to create complex layouts. Flutter comes with a comprehensive set of in-built widgets that conform to specific design languages, such as Material Design (Google) and Cupertino (Apple). 

  • Platform:  
    • Mobile (iOS and Android) 
    • Web 
    • Desktop (Windows, MacOS, and Linux) 
  • Language: Dart 

Flutter is best used for the following: 

  • Businesses and developers looking to build high-quality, natively compiled applications for iOS and Android from a single codebase. 
  • Applications where the UI plays a crucial role, due to Flutter’s vast range of customizable widgets. 
  • Startups looking to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). 
  • Non-mobile applications for the web and desktop. 

2. React Native 

React Native is an open-source mobile application framework created by Facebook. This framework has gained immense popularity in the developer community due to its ability to build applications that offer near-native performance using a single codebase. React Native components are compiled to native UI components, offering a user experience that’s almost identical to native apps built with Java (for Android) or Objective-C/Swift (for iOS). 

  • Platform: Mobile (iOS and Android) 
  • Language: JavaScript and React 

React Native is best used for the following: 

  • Projects that require apps for both iOS and Android but have limited resources to maintain two separate codebases. 
  • Startups that want quick prototyping and fast iterations. 
  • High-performance mobile apps with a near-native look and feel. 
  • Projects that already use React for web applications. 

3. Ionic 

Ionic is an open-source framework used for developing cross-platform mobile applications. It offers a rich set of UI components to create interactive apps and runs on both iOS and Android using the same codebase. Ionic seamlessly integrates with popular front-end frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue, allowing developers to leverage these frameworks’ power in their mobile apps. 

  • Platform: Mobile (iOS and Android) 
  • Language: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript 

Ionic is best used for the following:  

  • Progressive Web Apps, offering a native-like experience in a web browser. 
  • Enterprise-level applications that need to work across a variety of platforms. 
  • Startups and developers looking to quickly launch a minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype. 
  • E-commerce platforms and marketplaces that are not heavily reliant on advanced native features. 


.NET MAUI, standing for .NET Multi-platform App UI, is a cross-platform framework introduced by Microsoft as the evolution of Xamarin.Forms. It enables developers to create native mobile and desktop applications using a single codebase, significantly reducing the development time and effort.  

.NET MAUI provides a rich set of UI controls and layouts that can be used to design elegant and interactive user interfaces. These UI components automatically adapt to the platform they run on, ensuring native performance and appearance. 

  • Platform:  
    • Mobile (iOS and Android) 
    • Desktop (MacOS and Windows) 
  • Language: C# 

.NET MAUI is best used for the following: 

  • Interactive and performant mobile apps for Android and iOS. 
  • Cross-platform desktop applications for Windows and macOS. 
  • Enterprises looking to unify their application development across various platforms. 
  • Xamarin.Forms developers looking to migrate to a more modern and efficient framework. 

5. NativeScript 

NativeScript is an open-source framework for building truly native mobile applications. Developed by Progress, it enables developers to use web technologies to write and deploy native mobile apps for iOS and Android from a single codebase.  

Unlike some other cross-platform frameworks that use web views, NativeScript apps use native UI components, resulting in a high-performance user experience that feels truly native. NativeScript provides direct access to all native platform APIs, meaning you can use iOS and Android APIs and UI components directly in JavaScript/TypeScript. 

  • Platform: Mobile (iOS and Android) 
  • Language: JavaScript, TypeScript, and Angular 

NativeScript is best used for the following: 

  • Building interactive, high-performance native mobile apps with web technologies. 
  • Development projects where using a single codebase for both iOS and Android is beneficial. 
  • Web developers transitioning to mobile development without needing to learn new languages. 
  • Projects that require direct access to native platform functionalities beyond what is typically available in hybrid frameworks. 

6. Apache Cordova 

Previously known as PhoneGap, Apache Cordova is an open-source mobile development framework and is a popular choice for developers looking to leverage their existing web development skills to build mobile apps without the need to learn platform-specific languages like Swift for iOS or Kotlin for Android.  The apps are executed within wrappers targeted to each platform and rely on standard API bindings to access each device’s sensors, data, and network status. 

Through a range of plugins, Cordova provides access to native device functionalities such as the camera, GPS, accelerometer, and more, enabling the creation of rich, full-featured applications. 

  • Platform: Mobile (iOS and Android) 
  • Language: HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript 

Apache Cordova is best used for the following:  

  • Enterprises looking to deploy internal applications across multiple platforms without the need to develop separate native apps for each platform. 
  • Applications primarily focused on content delivery, such as news, blogs, or simple interactive educational apps, where high performance is not the critical concern. 
  • Startups and individual developers that want a quick and cost-effective way to prototype and test mobile app concepts. 

7. Solar2D (formerly Corona SDK) 

Solar2D, formerly known as Corona SDK, is an open-source cross-platform framework ideal for rapidly creating apps and games for mobile devices and desktop systems. The framework excels in 2D game development, offering extensive support for sprites, animations, physics, and other game-centric features. It uses Lua, a lightweight and powerful scripting language, which offers a balance between speed and simplicity in development. 

  • Platform:  
    • Mobile (iOS and Android) 
    • Desktop (MacOS and Windows) 
    • Digital media player (Kindle, Apple TV, Android TV)  
  • Language: Lua 

Solar2D is best used for the following: 

  • Developers looking to create 2D mobile games. 
  • Educational applications, especially those involving interactive and graphical content. 
  • Developers looking to quickly prototype and iterate on their app ideas. 
  • Independent game developers or small studios who want ease of use and performance for creating engaging 2D games. 

8. Mobile Angular UI 

Mobile Angular UI is a framework specifically designed for developing mobile applications using Angular and Bootstrap. It’s essentially a UI framework that combines the robust features of AngularJS with the beauty of Bootstrap 3, adapting it for mobile use. Mobile Angular UI provides essential mobile components that are missing in Bootstrap 3, such as sidebars, overlays, and switches, allowing developers to create responsive, mobile-friendly applications using familiar web technologies. 

  • Platform: Mobile (iOS and Android) 
  • Language: AngularJS and Bootstrap 

Mobile Angular UI is best used for the following: 

  • Web applications that need to be optimized for mobile devices, offering a seamless experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones. 
  • Developers that want to quickly prototype and build mobile app layouts with familiar HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 
  • Creating SPAs where the mobile user experience is a priority. 
  • Creating hybrid mobile apps in combination with tools like Cordova that can be distributed through app stores. 

9. Onsen UI 

Onsen UI is an open-source framework used for building mobile applications using web technologies. It is specifically designed to create hybrid mobile apps. Onsen UI is known for its versatility and ease of use, especially for developers familiar with web development. One of Onsen UI’s strengths is its ability to work with or without any particular JavaScript framework. It provides bindings for Angular, React, Vue.js, and more, but can also be used with plain JavaScript. 

  • Platform: Mobile (iOS and Android) 
  • Language: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript 

Onsen UI is best used for the following: 

  • Developers looking to create hybrid apps with native look and feel, especially if they are targeting both iOS and Android platforms. 
  • Web developers transitioning to mobile app development. 
  • Building SPAs where performance and native appearance are crucial. 
  • Developers that want to quickly prototyping and building MVPs. 

10. Framework7 

Framework7 is a free and open-source mobile HTML framework used to develop hybrid mobile apps or web apps with the look and feel of native iOS and Android apps. It’s particularly favored for its simplicity, ease of use, and the ability to create visually appealing applications. Framework7 is a great choice for developers who want to build iOS and Android apps using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

While Framework7 can be used with plain JavaScript, it also integrates smoothly with popular frontend frameworks like Vue.js and React, offering more structured development with reactive components. 

  • Platform:  
    • Mobile (iOS and Android) 
    • Web 
  • Language: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript 

Framework7 is best used for the following: 

  • Rapid prototyping and building MVPs (Minimum Viable Products). 
  • E-commerce platforms or apps for small businesses. 
  • Apps that focus on content delivery, such as educational platforms or media libraries. 
  • Independent developers or small teams looking to create apps without the complexity of larger frameworks. 


The choice of a mobile app development framework can significantly impact your project’s development time, resources, and success. Each of these frameworks offers unique features and caters to different needs. Whether you prioritize cross-platform functionality, ease of use, performance, or specific UI elements, there’s a framework out there that fits your requirements. As a developer or a QA tester, familiarizing yourself with these options is key to selecting the most appropriate framework for your project in 2023.