18 Mobile Frameworks and Development Tools for Creating iPhone Apps

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iphoneThe world of iPhone application development is evolving rapidly, and developers have a growing list of  development tools from which to choose. I’ve created a list (incomplete I’m sure) of some of the more popular tools and frameworks.

I have only used a few of these, so I won’t vouch for usability. If you know of any that I should add to the list, please let me know.


iUI

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iUI is a user interface (UI) framework for Safari development on iPhone. It combines JavaScript, CSS, and HTML for development of web apps that look and feel like native iPhone apps

License: New BSD License

Project Page
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iPhone-Universal

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The UiUIKit (Universal iPhone UI Kit) is a collection of HTML examples of what can be done with CSS3 and Safari’s Webkit

License: GNU General Public License v3

Project Page
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iWebkit

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iWebKit is a file package designed to help you create your own iPhone and iPod Touch compatible website or webapp. The kit is accessible to anyone even people without any html knowledge and is simple to understand thanks to the included tutorials. In a couple of minutes you will have created a full and profesional looking website.

License: GNU General Public License v3

Project Page
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jQTouch

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jQTouch is a jQuery plugin for mobile web development on the iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, and other forward-thinking devices. Features include: easy setup, native WebKit animations, image preloading, callback events, flexible themes, swipe detection.

License: The MIT License

Project Page
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Magic Framework

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Magic Framework is a native iPhone UI imitator and HTML5 db interface built in html/css/javascript. It’s useful for online websites or on-device Webkit-based applications looking to imitate the native iPhone UI and/or use native storage without having to write native code.

License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

Project Page
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WebApp.net

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WebApp.Net is a web application micro-framework has been designed to mimic the actual iPhone and iPod Touch graphic user interface. It combines JavaScript, CSS, and HTML for development of web apps that look and feel like native iPhone apps.

License: New BSD License

Project Page
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XUI

A simple javascript framework for building mobile web applications. XUI strives to be a framework for first class mobile device browsers such as WebKit, Fennec and Opera with future support under consideration for IE Mobile and BlackBerry.

License: The MIT License

Project Page
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Rhodes (Ruby and gems required)

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Rhodes is an open source framework for building native apps for all major smartphone operating systems. These are true native device applications (NOT mobile web apps) which work with synchronized local data and take advantage of device capabilities such as GPS, PIM contacts and camera.

Rhodes allows you to write your views in HTML and compile the application down to a native application for each device OS. A single set of source written with Rhodes can be compiled to run on all major smartphone devices, providing access to native device capabilities such as GPS geolocation, PIM contact reading and writing, and camera image capture.

License: Commercial ($500 – unlimited users)

Project Page


Sproutcore (Ruby and gems required)

sproutcore_logoSproutcore is an HTML5 Application Framework written in Ruby. The Mobile framework contains views useful for building applications that run on an iPhone, Android or Palm Pre device.

License: The MIT License

Project Page
Download: (available as a Rubygem from github)



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QuickConnect

QCiPhone allows you to use native iPhone behaviors without needing to know Objective-C or the native iPhone API. You create your interface in HTML and CSS and then implement you application logic in JavaScript.

License: The MIT License

Project Page
Download


CiUI (CNET iPhone UI)

CiUI was written by Vladimir Olexa of CNET after researching other frameworks to create an iPhoneized version of CNET. CiUI was greatly inspired by Joe Hewitt’s iUI, but with a few differences:

1. AJAX calls are performed after a page slides
2. DOM doesn’t get overloaded with “pages” as they load. Instead, two DIVs are constantly being reused
3. Page titles are set on the source page, not on the destination page
4. Only specified “a” tags are assumed a part of the UI

License: The MIT License

Project Page
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PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an open source development tool for building fast, easy mobile apps with JavaScript. If you’re a web developer who wants to build mobile applications in HTML and JavaScript while still taking advantage of the core features in the iPhone, Android and Blackberry SDKs, PhoneGap is for you.

License: The MIT License

Project Page
Download


LiquidGear

liquidgear_logoLiquidGear is a PhoneGap fork for developing iPhone applications using javascript and html. No need to learn Objective-C. LiquidGear runs as the middle man between your iphone hardware and your web app, giving you access to native iPhone functionality such as, accelerometer, gps, photos, calendar, and more.

License: The MIT License

Project Page
Download


Safire

safire_logoSafire is an open source framework written in HTML/CSS/JS

License: The MIT License

Project Page
Download


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Modelbaker

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ModelBaker is an application development tool (Mac only). It is a visual editor that requires minimal coding skills, and supports MySQL, Ext JavaScript framework and PHP (up to PHP5). ModelBaker can be used to create web applications that are accessible from PC, Desktop and webkit based mobile devices.

License: Commercial

Project Page


Cappuccino

cappuccino_logoCappuccino is an open source application framework that uses a new programming language called Objective-J, which is modelled after Objective-C and built entirely on top of JavaScript. Developers can create web applications that work on all browsers, including Webkit.

License: License: GNU General Public License v3

Project Page
Download


TapLynx

TapLynx is a proprietary SDK create simple native apps from rss feeds. It displays displying text, photos and videos and supports ads, video pre-roll and sponsorship for potential monetization. Intel Mac only, XCode required.

License: Commercial ($3,499)

Project Page


jPint

jPint is a set of css and JavaScript libraries designed to allow developers to build web apps that emulate the native iPhone ui. By the looks of it, development has been discontinued for jPint.

License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

Project Page


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