Want to develop successful and useful mobile applications that will be in a class of their own? We know what can help you. One of the essential steps on this path is choosing the right stack of mobile technologies  . Your project is maintained, scaled, and meets all the functional requirements of the developer. By choosing the appropriate option, you can minimize the time resources, as well as the cost of this development. In this article, we will offer you some of the most popular approaches and advanced technologies. Use them to make the grade with your projects!

Native app development

It is one of the most popular development approaches. It means that the project team uses certain programming languages depending on the specific platform. This also applies to the kits, environments, and other development tools that the operating system provides. If you want to create your own application that will run on several platforms, you will need separate technologies for each of these cases. The native development approach is taken by a large number of popular applications such as Lyft and Pokemon GO.

 iOS apps  : Choose your tech stack 

So, let’s say the target audience of your application is iOS users. Here are some ideas we can offer you:

Objective-C or Swift language

When creating an application for iOS users, you can choose one of these options. Objective-C features a dynamic runtime and also provides developers with quite object-oriented features. It also has pretty stable syntax. But the second option seems more attractive. This is primarily due to greater functionality. Swift provides code that has built-in support for working with data and text strings. This means that it is less prone to any errors. It also reduces the initial size of applications thanks to dynamic libraries. They are loaded directly into memory. All this ultimately leads to the fact that application performance increases significantly. Swift’s performance is approaching C ++. Apple is constantly working to improve Swift speed, while Objective-C is slower. The Swift Playgrounds tool has provided new opportunities for developers. It allows you to test the code in real-time without compiling large pieces or the entire application. This feature is great for experimenting with code.

Toolkit: Apple Xcode

This toolkit will definitely come in handy if you prefer Swift to develop your applications.

This is a full-featured development environment that can be used to create not only mobile but also desktop applications.  By installing Xcode, you get a number of additional features, e.g., a graphical editor to create user interfaces, built-in documentation, or debugging tools.

SDK: iOS SDK

Development using the native SDK is the best choice if you want to create applications that stand out and take full advantage of the device. Choosing native applications also means that you will be working in a powerful development environment. You can also count on various tools, utilities, and support from Apple. For example, you will get tools for the touch screen interface.

Tech stack ideas for Android apps

If you focus on a wider audience and want to develop an application for use on Android platforms, you will need other mobile development technologies. Here is a list of the most interesting and useful options.

Make your choice: Java vs Kotlin

On the one hand, Java is a world-famous and authoritative language. It has a huge number of tools you can use a variety of open-source libraries. On the other hand, Kotlin is gaining more and more popularity today. And all thanks to stability, consistency, easy and clean syntax. If your developers need to finish each other’s tasks, choose this option.

Android Studio

Just like Swift, Kotlin can work in tandem with IDE. What can you do by using Android Studio? Anything? Edit the code, debug it, etc. You can choose tools for increasing productivity, flexible assembly system. Do not waste your time on monotonous processes, because you can just focus on creating amazing applications. Please note that coding with the Android developer tools becomes much easier.

Android SDK

If you plan to develop the most modern application, each developer must install the version of KFOR on a specific smartphone, download Android components, or third-party add-ons.

Pros of native applications

  1. Brilliant performance. Native code has direct access to all functions of the operating system. Actually, it is easy to explain. The technologies used in the development of platform-dependent applications are directly related to this platform,
  2. Maximum use of platform features. Native applications are conceived and developed to solve specific problems on a specific platform. This leads to better matching of application capabilities to the hardware capabilities of devices.
  3. The best user interface. It’s not a secret that native applications have a direct integration with the mobile operating system. That means they are perceiving and using all the available hardware features. Your users will navigate through the interface with ease. Of course, it leads to positive user experience (UX) and stable reuse.
  4. The best rate in app stores. The quality of user experience is an essential rating indicator in app stores. If the application has a high rating of user experience, it will be more highly rated by the application store, which leads to more recommendations for different audiences and an increase in revenue from the application, respectively.

Cons of developing native applications

  1. High cost and development time. Without a doubt, creating separate applications immediately for each of several operating systems can significantly extend the development process.
  2.  Incompatibility with another mobile operating system. When an application is developed for a specific OS, its developers use a language that is specific only to this operating system.
  3. Missed opportunities developing applications focused on only one platform can lead to missed opportunities. Especially if other platforms are not taken into account in advance. A deliberate reduction in the target market may result in a loss of revenue.

Cross-platform app development

You can already understand the essence of this approach from the name. Today it is possible to develop such an application that will work perfectly regardless of the operating system. Having written the application code, you can easily deploy it on the necessary device and platform. Using this approach, developers may not worry about any incompatibility issues. As a result, it will save you a lot of time and money.

Cross-platform apps tech stack

There is a wide selection of platforms for developing awesome cross-platform applications. You will find some of them below:

React Native + JavaScript/TypeScript

What is React Native? This is essentially a JavaScript framework, designed specifically for mobile app development. It contains the most significant user interface used for iOS and Android operating systems. During programming, the developer thinks about how to combine these “bricks” among themselves, using JavaScript and React. Specialists call React Native a modern, cardinal, and at the same time, highly functional approach to creating user interfaces. While JavaScript is used to write and execute application logic, the interface is completely native. What do you think are the most famous examples written using this technology? Of course, these are Instagram   and Skype ! In some cases, not only JavaScript is used to develop a cross-platform app, but also another option, TypeScript. This language has several useful features that help you quickly and easily detect any errors.

Xamarin + C# 

Another very convenient tool for cross-platform development of mobile applications. Its main difference is that it allows you to use the vast majority, about 90% of the code on major platforms. As the main language, developers use C #. Applications written in this language are subsequently cross-compiled into native binary files of Android and iOS. But you can not stop there, because there is an additional opportunity to run device-specific APIs and functions from C # code.

Pros of cross-platform applications

  1. One code is reusable on other platforms. Unlike developing a native application, a cross-platform application does not require the use of a separate technical stack for each operating system. Code reuse makes it easy to deploy the application to another platform, as the application features implemented on one platform will work on other platforms.
  2. It is cost-effective. One team can realize the right idea on all platforms at once, using a single technological stack.
  3. Simple and quick deployment. Developers do not need to learn several technological stacks of various platforms before creating their applications; they need to master one development stack and the features of its application. It is not necessary to create different codebases, and it makes the initial deployment on target platforms pretty much faster. In addition, future changes to the application can be performed simultaneously. You will not make any amends for each platform individually.
  4. Cross-platform applications cover a wider audience. They offer developers more opportunities to reach a wider audience, since such applications reach users of all types and mobile devices, regardless of their operating system. This is significantly more cost-effective for a business than having a presence on only one platform.
  5. Cross-platform applications allow the same interface and UX. While performance is important to any mobile application, its appearance (UI) and feel (UX) are just as important. Using a single common team of developers and a single code allows companies to use the same appearance of the application on all platforms. That is, the same user interface and UX will look the same on all platforms.

Disadvantages of cross-platform application development 

  1. They are not as flexible as native applications
  2. They do not work as well as native applications
  3. UI mismatch across platforms is possible
  4. Sending cross-platform apps to their respective App Stores can be tricky.

 

Hybrid app development

This approach may be considered as the best choice for a lot of applications. It involves the use of standard web technologies and tools. It’s about HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. After that, you pack your code in a container and deliver it as an installation program. In fact, your product resembles a kind of website, because it combines the quality of applications and those pages that are displayed in browsers. If you’re looking for examples of such development, you can take a look at Untappd  or McDonald’s Türkiye.

Technology stack for hybrid apps

There are also some stacks for hybrid app development you can consider. Let’s deep delver and find out how they work.

Cordova

Cordova is a platform for creating mobile applications using web technologies. Such applications have the same appearance and installation process as other programs. In this case, you can support functions specific to each platform. With the help of creating plugins, you can even expand the API and add additional features. Using APIs, you can interact with various components of modern mobile platforms.

Ionic

In fact, this is a wrapper over the Cordova CLI, which provides additional features:

  • creating a basic application with a choice of templates (for example, an application with a side menu, an application with tabs, Google Maps, an empty application);
  • assembly and launch in the emulator, on a real device, in a browser;
  • live reload in browser and device
  • generation of icons, splash screens, etc.

Arguments you should consider  

Fortunately, you are not limited to one or two options for technology stacks. You can choose any of them! The main thing is to understand, which is best suited to your goals and help to develop an amazing application. You will need to decide on a strategy and plan in order to remember the desired results at any stage of the project. Here are the main factors worthy of attention.

Type of your app project

This is the most important point, which is often decisive when choosing a stack. For example, if you want to develop a really complex application that will be incredibly productive, use the native approach. It is it that will provide you with a fully customizable user interface.

Idea confirmation

Beginner startups should focus on endorsing their product idea. Without this, you will not be able to attract a potential audience and overtake competitors. The cross-platform approach is the best choice for you, guaranteeing cost-effectiveness, wide coverage, and fast application delivery.

Product Presentation Speed

Different companies market their products at different speeds. Sometimes it is this factor that is decisive for choosing a particular application. If you want to release your own as quickly as possible, you will need the language that will provide a large selection of ready-made solutions. For example, you can use them for authentication or integration with social networks.

 

In Conclusion

Pay attention to the promotion strategy of the application and its intended functionality. If you need to reach a larger audience immediately and the applications functionality is not complicated, it’s easier and cheaper to bet on a cross-platform option. If your application needs to use the specific features of the platform, while there is no need for the simultaneous presence of both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, you should develop a native application. And once your successes show you that you can capture a new market, you will already have funds for development for the second platform. Other intermediate options will be compromises and may tip the scales to both native and multi-platform solutions.

 

Published by Dana Adams
Content Marketing Manager