Today, society lives a completely app-dependent life: our daily routines, working, or studying habits completely depend on tons of different applications installed on our Android or iOS device.
We read the Gmail app notifications, order food delivery on UberEats, chat with colleagues on Teams or Slack, and follow the people we like on Instagram.
All these things became available with the frameworks - the multicomponent tools that enable developing plenty of applications for mobile use.
By 2026, the global mobile app market size is expected to reach $407.31 billion at a CAGR of 18.4%, which is mostly caused by the rising number of Android and iOS smartphone users and the new technologies and services delivered to the app market.
Intellectsoft’s best experts will introduce the essential insights to know about the application frameworks and how they’re used for creating different app projects.
As a part of our discussion, you’ll uncover the top 10 most popular tools for Android framework development, the features they offer as well as the projects they’ll best fit too. This knowledge will help you to figure out which of the Android frameworks will work perfectly for your upcoming projects.
Let’s get this started!
What is an Application Framework?
As you might have already figured out, an application framework is a specific tool that provides pre-made templates, components, and structure for application development. It is mainly focused on building various types of application’s architecture, including:
- Native applications (the OS-specific apps for iOS, Android, etc)
- Web applications (accessible through a web browser).
Android framework features a component structure and customizable interface, provides the possibility to reuse the app design and code, and centralize the base code under one location. With all these features stated, we can summarize that the core idea of the Android framework is to help programmers create the app structure and write the code much faster.
According to Statcounter’s statistics, over 70% of the overall market share of mobile operating systems refers to Android OS.
Needless to say, the vast popularity of this niche has stimulated the development of different Android frameworks that can standardize yet speed up deliverability for Android devices.
Ionic Framework, Framework7, Xamarin Framework, NativeScript Framework, React Native Framework - these are only a few popular options developers can now choose from.
For sure, getting focused on the most popular Android frameworks is a key point for finding the right tools to create first-class Android OS applications. So, now let’s analyze the best framework for Android app development in detail, and which of those will help you to create competitive products for Google Play!
Top 10 Android Frameworks that Are Worth You Attention
Depending on the tools you’ll choose, the final choice of the Android development framework can vary for each specific project, its requirements, and major goals. Let’s now analyze the most popular yet effective Android frameworks for 2022 and uncover their most valuable features the developers can surely make use of.
This Android framework hosts a simple CLI (Command-line Interface) that facilitates features like emulators, live reload, and logging. Being Cordova and Angular-based, Ionic has already gained a large community.
Around 4 million Ionic-based apps were built, with more than 5 million developers in over 200 countries worldwide using the framework. Moreover, it integrates with many services, including Google Play, Instagram, and other platforms.
Taken from: https://www.brainvire.com
Key features of the Ionic Android framework:
- Cross-platform mobile application development
- Default user interface with native experience
- Cordova plugins
- Released under the MIT license
This tool is primarily designed for developers to build hybrid and interactive mobile apps. Today, the Ionic Android framework can be used by different startups and web development companies for launching mobile, desktop, and web applications for fast-growing companies and agencies from the pharmacy, health race, and insurance industries to hospitality IT and plenty of other different scopes.
Designed and maintained by Google, Flutter is a multi-platform mobile app SDK that can be used to build applications, but in a way that is different from other Android frameworks.
It simplifies the cross-platform development process and is written in the Dart language. When it comes to selecting a framework, Flutter is the best choice for hybrid app development.
Google’s Flutter Android framework uses a 2D rendering engine called Skia for visuals that are similar to material design and the Cupertino style.
Flutter also serves as a solid testing framework, enabling developers to perform UI, unit, and functionality tests. Moreover, Flutter has best-in-class hot-reload functionality, which allows for seamless testing without the need to restart the application.
Taken from: https://habr.com
Key features of the Flutter Android framework:
- Single codebase
- Huge widget library
- Optimized code development time and increased time-to-market speed
- Own rendering engine for rendering itself onto a platform-provided canvas
- Allows sharing the code between the target platforms
- Perspective to grow to a full-blown cross-platform development tool for Android, iOS, Web browser, Windows, macOS, Linux, and other platform-specific devices.
The Flutter Android framework is mostly used by creators who want to establish themselves in hybrid app development. For this reason, it’s now used by the world’s largest corporations including Google, Alibaba, eBay, and others, that use this Android framework for launching their mobile applications.
Developed in 2009, Corona SDK is a perfect software development kit for building speedy apps and games. This general-purpose, cross-platform framework enables 10x faster development than other Android frameworks.
Corona achieves this by integrating Lua, a lightweight and multi-paradigm programming language, which is itself layered on top of C++/OpenGL and allows high speed, usability, and flexibility.
Highly popular among game developers, Corona is free and available on both Mac OS X and Windows, with real-time testing support.
In addition, this Android framework has native UI support, over 500 APIs, and a dynamic advertising platform built for developers. Its API suite features are feature-rich, with graphics, networking, widgets, particle effects, and more.
Simple to understand and integrate into Android, Corona SDK has gained notable popularity among Android app developers. As for the time of writing, this Android framework is known as Solar2D - a cross-platform engine for mobile, desktop, and TV app development.
Taken from: https://coronalabs.com/
Key features of the Corona SDK Android framework:
- Really easy to get started with
- The built-in library with over 1000 API’s and plugins
- Cross-platform development, applicable for other platforms
- Ability to call any native library, including C, C++, Obj-C, Java, or else use API
- Real-time device testing saves up tons of time for developers
- As it doesn’t provide an integrated development environment (IDE), it features different other plugins to access the specific platforms per demand
Being known as one of the best options for game developers, this Android framework is a solid tool for delivering general-purpose apps for Android OS. The most notable projects where the Corona SDK has been already implemented are Warcraft, Angry Birds, The Lost City, Hopiko, Civilization, and others.
Being nearly the newest framework for Android development on the market, Framework 7 is one of the most effective open-source MIT-licensed Android frameworks that comes with various useful features for fast yet convenient app launching.
It features nearly all the basic and extra Mobile UI that can be effortlessly implemented in different projects. The great features developers like are the infinite scroll, Lazy loading, Pull to Refresh, Swiper Slider, and more.
Also, the Android framework features a simple, user-friendly interface, has a large user base, and is getting updated to the newer versions on a regular basis, which is essential for ensuring a stable, non-disruptive workflow.
Taken from: https://blog.framework7.io
Key features of the Framework7 Android framework:
- Features plenty of ready-to-use UI elements and useful plugins
- Easy to learn and customize
- Offers a jQuery syntax, that enables a quick start without delays
- Flexible Router API enables the dynamic loading of pages from the templates
- Built-in helper libraries
- No license fees
React Native Framework
Backed by Facebook, React Native is a powerful open-source framework that offers ample support to other development tools and their IDEs. It is based on React, a JS library for web solutions.
Companies like Instagram, Walmart, Airbnb, Tesla, as well as many other Fortune 500 companies, use the framework to develop native mobile apps.
As most of the React Native APIs are cross-platform, developers can write code once and then run it anywhere, which improves development speed and helps cut costs.
React Native uses building blocks similar to the ones employed in most Android development frameworks. With the hot-reload option in React Native, developers can link updated files while retaining the current state of the app. The developer community of React Native has been growing much faster than Facebook’s expectations.
Google Trends indicates that the Android framework has been gaining more and more traction in the past few years. As of today, around 1600 developers have used the Native framework.
Key features of the Native Android framework:
- The app design and development is created within a single interface
- Code Push feature – an option that helps to push out the app updates immediately, without the user having to consent and reload the app on his Android device
- Supports incorporating external third-party plugins
- Spot the bugs much easier with the use of the declarative programming approach
- Hot Reloading feature speeds up building new features and bug fixing
- The possibility to share non-UI dependent codes
This tool is perfect for launching customized apps much easier and faster. At present, it has already been used in thousands of apps launched with the world’s largest companies like Tesla, Meta, Bloomberg, Uber, Walmart, Yahoo, and more.
Taken from: https://nebel.co.in
jQuery Mobile Framework
The jQuery Mobile framework for Android development is one of the HTML5-based cross-platform frameworks that is also known as the most straightforward tool for launching mobile and web applications.
The main hallmark of jQuery Mobile is that it enables “writing code once” and then executing it on various platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, Symbian, and Blackberry.
Moreover, it’s one of the most popular tools for traversal and manipulation with the HTML DOM tree. The jQuery Mobile Android framework can greatly simplify various event handling, CSS animation, and Ajax.
It also features an in-built theme system so developers can customize the application styling for each project to ideally fit the colors, tastes, and preferences. Compared to other Android frameworks, Mobile jQuery’s size is extremely lightweight (about 40KB when minified), which makes it one of the most preferable frameworks on the market and helped it to establish a large community.
Taken from: https://designsmaz.com
Key features of the jQuery Android framework:
- Comes with various plugins, including Pop-Up Boxes, Image Slider, Content-Slider, etc
- Compatible with other mobile iOS, Windows, and Android frameworks
- ThemeRoller feature enables easier drag-and-drop functionality
- Employs CSS syntax
- Lightweight, compared to other Android frameworks
An ideal user of the jQuery framework is any mobile developer aimed to create solid yet highly branded applications that will work on different smartphones, mobile devices, and desktop platforms.
Titanium can be used to develop solid games, while mobile apps built with Appcelerator Titanium can utilize hardware-specific features like Android menu buttons, OS-centric controls, and platform-appropriate notifications.
Currently, over 345,577,760 apps run through this Android framework. Also, it provides many other useful functions like automated testing on mobile devices, application monitoring, and performance regulation.
Taken from: https://githubplus.com
Key features of the Appcelerator Titanium:
- Runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS
- A free, open-source, software development kit (SDK)
- Rapid & flexible prototyping facilitates the app development process
- High level of code reusability (from 60 to 80%)
- Immediate support for the new OS releases
Basically, it provides the same performance as the mobile apps built with native APIs. Moreover, Appcelerator Titanium enables access to native APIs for the systems like Android, iOS, Universal Windows, Web, and more.
Owned by Microsoft, and one of the top Android frameworks, Xamarin offers an advanced toolset that enables developers to build native apps for multiple mobile platforms on a shared C# codebase.
With Microsoft’s cloud testing service, the apps built using Xamarin can be tested on numerous devices. Moreover, its code-sharing feature makes it a developers' favorite as it reduces coding time and the number of bugs in the software development process.
Compared to other Android frameworks, Xamarin is one of the oldest cross-platform frameworks and is already used by 1.4 million developers across 120 countries.
Xamarin became a part of Visual Studio IDE, which made large companies in industries like healthcare, and energy shift to using this framework. Xamarin has been around for a while, but the number of developers using it has increased a lot over the years as compared to other Android frameworks.
Taken from: https://www.wildnettechnologies.com
Key features of the Xamarin Android framework:
- Native user interfaces, no switch between environments
- Single C# language
- Allows adding the components to apps right from the IDE using Xamarin Component Store
- Enables sharing from 60% to 95% of code across diverse mobile development platforms with Xamarin.Forms interface
- Offers comprehensive testing approaches, as well as tracking app performance and UI with Xamarin Test Cloud and Xamarin Test Recorder tools
- Continuous technical backing and fast issue resolving with Microsoft support
This tool is perfect for the developers that need sharable yet reusable code solutions, that can be tested across different platforms, as well as create cross-platform Android apps in C# language within a single interface.
Listed as a top framework for hybrid app development, NativeScript is a free open-source framework that enables developers to create applications using Vue, TypeScript, and Angular. This Android framework is backed by a Bulgarian software company Telerik. From Gradle to CocoaPods, developers can easily reuse a wide array of plugins directly in the projects with NativeScript.
One of the biggest reasons to choose NativeScript for Android app development is that it offers UIs with the native platform’s offering engine, which results in native-like UIs and performance. With JS running on the UI thread, NativeScriptenables high-performance on all native platform APIs.
Taken from: https://www.folio3.com
Key features of the NativeScript Android framework:
- Easy authentication with different sign-on options
- Simultaneous usage of LiveSync and Webpack
- Employing various types of frames in an app
- Automatic generating icons and splash screens based on high-resolution images
- The ability to work with the third-party libraries
This framework for Android development is perfect for the specialists who want to launch multiple apps within different platforms with saving up on time and costs. This framework has been used mostly by various B2B-oriented tech companies and businesses, like Symantec, Xerox, Dell, Microsoft, and others.
As you can see, at present there are plenty of Android frameworks to choose from, with each of those providing its specific features for any sort of app project. Being used by the world’s largest tech giants, any of these options can become the best Android app development framework exactly for your idea development.
However, to successfully launch your app project, it’s not only enough to consider the framework for Android development you’ll use. In nearly all cases, you’ll also need the assistance of mobile app development services that will help you to implement all the creative ideas and most efficient features within a single app product for Android devices.
We, at Intellectsoft, keep our clients in the loop about the latest trends and innovative solutions in the app development field. Our team of developers is always ready for new challenges and exciting app development projects. Do you have the idea to put it into effect?
Contact our team and uncover how to launch your best Android app development project today!