Android is the most common operating system for various smart gadgets. In the first quarter of 2017, about 83% of all mobile devices sold were based on this platform.

Naturally, the developers of mobile applications cannot ignore such a large market segment. Many enterprises, including well-known ones, develop Android products. In the process of the application creation, development companies sometimes create convenient tools for development – frameworks. A lot of internal frameworks in and of themselves become separate products, gaining the popularity and regularly replenished with new functions, thanks to extensive user communities. This article will focus on the most popular frameworks that, due to their features and functionality, can rightly be called the best frameworks for the application development on Android.

What are the Features Typical for Best Frameworks?

In order to compile a top list of Android frameworks, we should first indicate features characteristic to frameworks that became popular. In fact, popularity among users is, probably, the main criterion for the quality of a development tool. Winning features include:

• Usage simplicity and ease of mastering;

• Broad set of useful tools and capabilities;

• Smooth platform integration;

• Known and popular programming languages used in development;

• Wide developer community;

• High demand and implementation in application development.

Android Frameworks, Most Popular Currently

This list contains those frameworks that are the most popular for the Android app development in 2017. It should be noted that best Android frameworks list includes not only native frameworks (created specifically for the Android applications) but also those useful for developing cross-platform applications, which nevertheless easily integrate with the Android platform.

1. Apache Cordova (ex-PhoneGap)


Cordova is an excellent tool that allows reviewing changes in the developed application in real time. It is a hybrid framework that allows creating apps based on web technologies – JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. Numerous additional plug-ins provide wide opportunities. Hybrid applications developed using Cordova easily integrate with the Android platform, working almost as efficiently as native.

2. Corona SDK

corona labs

This tool is the most popular among developers of Android games. Corona is an excellent Android app framework. Not only does it cope easily with the tasks of entertaining game product creation but also is helpful in the development of various functional and useful applications. Elementary in study and simple to integrate into Android, Corona SDK has gained notable popularity among developers that target this platform.

3. JQuery Mobile


JQuery Mobile has gained its popularity primarily due to the vastness of its functionality. Today it is considered one of the most extensive libraries. JQuery Mobile is a cross-platform framework that seamlessly integrates into existing mobile platforms, including Android. Based on HTML5, easy to learn and operate, it helps in making the efficient mobile applications. It is important to note that the full version of this product is available only with the updates or when downloading from the official site.

4. Xamarin


This proprietary (is a subsidiary of Microsoft) framework has become popular among developers of Android applications, due to its unique features. Xamarin applications are developed using the C# programming language. This allows programmers that code with C# – one of the most popular, despite its complexity – to start developing mobile apps with little problems. Many applications created with Xamarin are considered the best in their classes, which demonstrates the wide capabilities of this framework.

5. Appcelerator Titanium


Another great solution for the Android application development. Just like Xamarin, Appcelerator Titanium became popular thanks to its main language. In the case of Titanium, it is JavaScript. In addition to development, Appcelerator Titanium provides many more useful features, such as the ability to automate application testing on mobile devices, as well as monitoring the application, pushing updates and regulating its performance.

6. Ionic


Ionic is one of the cross-platform frameworks, actively used to build applications aimed at the Android OS. This tool is based on AngularJS, Apache Cordova, and SASS and allows integrating CSS and JavaScript components. Ionic helps to develop basic applications (including template-based), compile and run the product in the emulator, and generate icons.

7. Ext JS


Originally created as a component library, this tool can now be considered a full-fledged framework for the creation of mobile applications. Ext JS Android development framework supports DOM manipulation, implementation of lists, tabs, and tables, as well as event management. Among its most notable advantages is integration with Yahoo! UI Library, Prototype/script, and jQuery.

8. Sencha Touch 2


Popular hybrid framework that allows creating products for Android using JavaScript and HTML5. A lot of additional libraries and components, the ability to publish applications to Google Play directly and the development process management system make Sencha Touch 2 a convenient and useful tool. This framework helps in the development of applications with any screen orientations and resolutions.

Is there one that can be called the absolute best?

Unfortunately, an unambiguous answer to this question does not exist. Frameworks are simply useful tools that help in the development of a product, but none is a perfect solution to all the problems of the development process. Therefore, the approach to selecting the framework should be the same as in choosing any other necessary tool. Each framework has its own set of features and components that can be both maximally useful and unnecessary; depending on what are the future product requirements and objectives.

Moreover, each framework requires the knowledge of specific programming languages, which ultimately forces users to choose the tool that their team will master as quickly as possible.

Really convenient, useful and easy to learn frameworks that help to create qualitative applications quickly gain popularity among developers. Constantly evolving and getting additional libraries, these frameworks are constantly being improved.

Our list incorporates frameworks for Android, which were most popular among the developers in 2017. Which of these tools to choose for your product depends entirely on the developed product and your preferences.

8 Best Frameworks for Android Development You Should Know About
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