This is a religious question, nevertheless we list some platforms. But first of all you can use jQueryMobile to develop the web app and the use PhoneGap to port your web apps to native apps that have access to hardware function like camera, etc .
And if you already use a web development platform like Adobe Dreamweaver (that we have personally used for years), you can use that platform since it has a PhoneGap and jQuery mobile integration solution. PhoneGap is now owned by Adobe:
There are a lot of free platforms for developing web sites, like Eclipse, NotePad++ and NetBeans. We have not tested how good those platforms are to develope hybrid mobile applications. Since we started using DreamWeaver MX 2004, we may be biased in our opinion. Our wiew is that the mony you pay for DreamWeaver soon pays backf. The first of december 2012 we use DreamWeaver CS6 and it is an excellent tool for developing mobile and traditional web sites. DreamWeaver CS 6 makes it easy to develope hybrid web applications with PhoneGap. It takes PhoneGap application development to a new level since you can integrate it with PhoneGap Build. You find everything you need to know in this PhoneGap Mobile Application Development Cookbook book especially, chapter 9. The same chapter explains how you can use one of the above mentioned free platforms, Eclipse to develope Android Cordova applications. But we prefer DreamWeaver. If you are new to DreamWeaver, you can start in the DreamWeaver Development center. Even experienced DreamWeaver user should find some interesting articles there. If you are using WordPress you will see that it is easy to use DreamWeaver to develope WordPress driven sites.
For more information on DreamWeaver and PhoneGap, see:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/dreamweaver ... p-pt6.html
Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 supports PhoneGap Build
Emarcadero is not free, but their solutions are great when it comes to developing applications for any platform, the desktop on any computer, a smartphone or a tablet. Everything may be developed from the same code base.
Additional information in the RAD studio XE subforum.
If you use a Windows computer, tablet or smartphone, everything can be developed on the Visual Studio platform in C#.
Additional information in the C# .NET and ASP.NET sub forum.
2. Additional platforms and developer resources
http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/ ... bile+Suite
http://www.antennasoftware.com/communit ... pen-source
3. Some helpful articles.
http://www.toolsjournal.com/tools-world ... ment-tools
http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-wo ... atform-077
If you need additional information before you decide on a development platform, search:
Best mobile app development platform
One of our preferred books
And we find most of the litterature we need here: http://www.packtpub.com/books/mobile