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Choosing The Best Mobile App Framework

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Today, we will be talking about how you can choose the best mobile app framework. When making your first app, it can be difficult and daunting to decide from all the different options that are available for a mobile app framework.

It’s not easy, and there is a lot of information out there that can lead us down to good and bad paths. Furthermore, there a lot of consideration outside of the framework that can impact your app, such as:

  • How much time do you have to market your app?
  • What are your development costs going to be?
  • The hiring and maintenance costs
  • How do you want your app to perform?
  • What features do you want to be included in your app?
  • Are there any third-party risks?

1st Party Native Apps

These are the tools created by the creators of iOS and Android, which are Apple and Google. Apple makes iOS and the Xcode development tool kit that allows you to develop native iOS apps in Objective C. On the other hand, Google who makes Android has Android Studio that will enable you to create apps in Java and Kotlin. The benefits of using 1st party native apps are you get the benefit of using native UI and UX. So, native UI focus on the user experience. However, the development speed is a little slower. This is due to you having to create the same app twice.

Apple and Google use different programming languages for their toolsets. Therefore, you cannot use the same code between your apps. So, even though your app may look similar and have the same features, you will have to rewrite those apps twice in two different code bases and two different engineers.

As a result, that will increase your development and maintenance costs, and it will slow down your time to market the app. However, the benefit is when Apple releases a new feature or API; it will be there in Xcode on the same day. Likewise, if Android Studio releases a new feature, it will also be there on the same day. Therefore, you never have to worry about falling behind. You also won’t have to worry about whether or not there will be support for these toolsets.

Progressive Web Applications

Progressive web apps are essentially a website that is running locally on a device. With progressive apps, you can create the UI, just like you would for a website. There are numerous technologies available from Microsoft’s blazer native script, angularjs, react, and iconic. These are tools that most web developers are already familiar with. A downside to progressive web apps is the UI. With progressive web apps, the UI will have to be bespoke.

On iOS and Android, when using progressive web apps, you need to recreate those UI elements in your web framework. Therefore, you have to recreate the same look essentially and feel that you would normally get for free if you were using a native application. A great benefit of progressive web apps is the development speed. Your PWA will run on both iOS and Android. Therefore, you won’t need to rewrite that specific code multiple times.

Cross-Platform Native Apps

These are frameworks that allow you to create a native application. They give us access to every single iOS and Android API. However, they will enable you to write the app within the same codebase. With that said, you can share code between your iOS and Android apps.

  • Xamarin – Is Microsoft’s cross-platform native solution that they have built within Visual Studio utilizing programming languages of dotnet, which are C-sharp and F-sharp. With this cross-platform solution, UI and UX have fast development speeds since the app is being written in one language. Furthermore, the performance is just as fast as if you were to create it in Xcode or Android Studio. Xamarin is also a modern technology that has been around for over a decade, and it’s feature-complete. Feature-complete means every time Apple or Google releases updates, Xamarin will release those updates as well. It’s also open-source.
  • React Native – Is Facebook’s cross-platform native framework. It’s similar to Xamarin, and Facebook provides access to single iOS and Android API. Therefore, your UI and UX are entirely native. You will also have faster development speeds since you only have to write the code once. The maintenance costs will be low since you only have to fix your codebase once. The performance will still be high since native apps are created in Javascript. Also, like Xamarin React, Native is a modern framework that is open-source.
  • Flutter – Is Google’s cross-platform native solution.  Flutter doesn’t use the native UI and UX APIs provided by Apple and Google. Flutter uses a bespoke method to draw its UI on the screen. The benefit of this is that it’s faster. The downside to this is whenever Apple and Android come out with new UI updates; Flutter will also have to come out with their latest updates to mimic Apple and Google.

Flutter is also featured-complete and releases updates through NPM. Moreover, it also offers very fast and high performing apps that are created in Dart. It’s a language that developers are familiar with, but it has many similarities to Java and C-sharp. Therefore, a lot of developers will take to Dart very quickly.

In Summary

When trying to decide what mobile framework is best, it’s the one that is best for your team. Every company is going to have different situations. Additionally, every business is going to have different capabilities. Then, as long as you understand the trade-offs between native 1st party, progressive web apps, and cross-platform applications, you can ensure that you’re choosing the best mobile framework for your company. Ecodelogic has top-notch iOS app developers to help you create custom framework.

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