The Best Technologies for Mobile App Development – Our View
Technologies for Mobile App Development

Possessing knowledge of different frameworks and programming languages can help to create good ideas for building a mobile solution for your business. Mobile app development is a complex process, which requires good planning and necessity to choose the right strategy. Elaborating on the project logic, a developer should be guided by the type of platform one wants to build the app on. This year, native and hybrid development is rising on an unpredicted rate giving opportunities to write code either for use on a specific single platform or on multiple ones like iOS, Android, and Windows.

In a spectrum of hybrid app development, which becomes more and more popular, we should consider React Native, Xamarin, Ionic and CordovaAgiliway keeps up-to-date with new technologies used for reliable and faster app development. Among the last projects, we have used are React Native technology for building CiviMobile – a mobile CRM app, as well as Cordova and Ionic for creating mobile solution for one of the big manufacturers of aquarium appliances. Let’s review some of the most famous mobile app frameworks that are nowadays actively utilized by our engineers:

1. React Native is an open-source framework, which takes the lead position in the context of mobile development and provides a solution to create cross-platform apps for both iOS and Android. React Native is a JavaScript library, which helps to build user interfaces and then customize them for iOS or Android. When one needs to be more specific about the platform, React Native offers a set of modules and file extensions, which identify the specific OS running.  

React Native framework provides multiple benefits for building apps in a faster manner including:

  • Ability to write a single JavaScript codebase and use it for different platforms. It means that one has an opportunity to reuse code between iOS and Android when necessary 
  • Availability of pre-built components in a library. Developers can use already written code and perform faster  
  • Ability to share code. Developers can add lines of code to the single framework  
  • Ability to view any code changes on the live mode and manipulate the screen by visualizing the results of coding 
  • Advanced plugin support. The framework offers native and JavaScript modules for the purpose of adding new functionality  
  • Modular mode. React Native separates the pieces of code into modules or blocks, which allows upgrading app in a quick manner. 

2. Xamarin is an open-source Microsoft-based platform widely used for developing cross-platform apps, which supports C# language and .Net framework. You may use the compiler to build apps for iOS and Android or integrated .NET application. Working at Visual Studio offers a set of IDE tools for faster development and deployment.  

Xamarin is a platform for hybrid app development on iOS, Android, and Windows which entails a range ofeatures: 

  • Single technological stack. Developers can use C# with Net. framework for building apps for any mobile platforms 
  • Faster speed and performance in terms of application loading. The performance is being constantly enhanced to resemble the native app standards 
  • Easy compilation. At the final stage, developers cross-compile the code for both iOS and Android by handling memory allocation and achieving platform interoperability 
  • Shared code. The technology attracts a large community of developers, who can share their code including business logic, data access, and network exchange 
  • Xamarin forms. Include a set of templates for UI and allow code reuse across iOS and Android  
  • Xamarin. Mac. Software engineers can create Mac apps based on C# and .NET. It consolidates wit Xcode so it’s possible to use its Interface builder to build the app UI  
  • Availability of platform SDKs. Xamarin offers a set of tools and documentation for easier development, such as Cocoa Touch for iOS and Android SDK while using C#

3. Ionic is a free framework compatible with Angular JS, which is used for hybrid app development. The hybrid one can be defined by the words “write once, run anywhere”. Ionic places a top-notch role in building UI functionalities faster and easier, which allows using the same code on all platforms.  

 Ionic provides a set of useful features for building hybrid mobile apps including 

  • Integration with Apache Cordova and SASS. This allows creating UI, which is close to the native apps 
  • Presence of the single code base. Developers can use the single body of code for different platforms whether it’s iOS, Android, web, or progressive web app 
  • Advanced plugin system. Ionic offers a set of add-ons and plugins for Cordova and Angular JS, which provides Ionic app integration with web services 
  • Possibility to update apps without releasing a new version. With the use of Ionic Appflow, developers can bring changes while fixing bugs or adding new features 
  • Easy way to control platforms. The user can choose the type of OS and move freely across all platforms 

4. Cordova or PhoneGap is an open-source framework used for cross-platform hybrid mobile development integrating HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript. This framework offers a set of advantages:  

  • Cost Effective Development. Using this technology doesn’t require much time to develop and deploy software 
  • Robust back-end system. Developers can use AEM mobile (Adobe Experience Manager) for developing apps, which allows previewing any changes to the app and sync all activities made at the current moment 
  • Advanced plug-in architecture. This feature allows improving the app functionality and provides the user with access to more features 
  • Prebuilt-in UI libraries. The technology provides a good mobile user-friendly interface 
  • Uniformity regardless of the platform. Apps developed in Cordova look similar on any platform whether it’s iOS or Android.  
  • Functionality close to the Native Apps. The framework presents the possibility to build the same features as in native apps including geolocation, camera, accelerometer, etc., which further improves UX.  

Summary  

Selecting a native or hybrid approach for developing apps depends on the vision and goals of the organization. The native solution working on Android or iOS provides better use and speed, which is crucial for some industries like game development. Although, for most business solutions it does not bring so much value. Thus, hybrid frameworks offer a set of benefits for development and further app maintenance for business providing: 

  • Easy support – a necessity to support one codebase, not multiple ones as in native development 
  • Synchronization of all changes at all platforms – any change immediately appears at all platforms 
  • Lower deployment costs – a single code is created and used for all platforms, which significantly decreases development efforts 
  • Faster development – there is no need to search for development teams working with different technologies and synchronize the development process between platforms 

If you have decided to proceed with hybrid solution for your mobile app, then choosing the right framework will depend on multiple factors including the nature and the scope of your project. Do not hesitate to contact Agiliway on this issue, as our specialists possess expertise in various mobile frameworks and can offer further recommendations for your mobile app development.