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Which Technology Should I Use To Develop A Mobile App?

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In the world of mobile application development, developers have always been looking for quicker time to deployment, shorter development cycles, and of course better app performance.

(Author: Anas Budchich, ADNEOM / Image Credit: Farzad Nazifi)
From Native…

Although native applications prove to be the best in terms of performance, their development is no piece of cake. Building native applications means using the native language for each platform: Objective-C or Swift on iOS, Java on Android, or C# on Windows Phone. To put it shortly, this means having to build 3 applications at the same time.

… to Hybrid

As a web developer, having to learn Swift and/or Java can be a hassle. Thankfully, for some years now, we have been able to develop apps using web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It all started with Cordova, and later developed into the Ionic Framework (Cordova with AngularJS). These apps are called “hybrid” because they are able to use native functionalities and don’t require time to be spent adapting the source code to the targeted device.

Next step

Building hybrid apps is perfectly fine for some kinds of projects, but certain applications need a smoother user experience, better control of the device, etc.

Fortunately, the JS world is evolving extraordinary fast thanks to Facebook. Facebook is helping to bridge the gap between the performance of a native app and the ease of development of hybrid apps. Using React, Facebook is building React Native to allow developers to write code using JavaScript that is then compiled to the native platform. It’s a win-win solution for all since it means faster development for us and better user experience for the final user.

React Native has iOS and Android covered (Windows Phone is coming soon), and it’s continuing to evolve every day following the native platforms trends. It allows for using native plugins if needed, and much more.

Conclusion

Personally, I think that React Native is the future of mobile development. Between the ease of development, the quality of the apps built with it, the richness of the platform and the support of Facebook, web developers are now able to build native-like applications using technologies that they know. The very meaning of native development may change over the next few years.


This article was first published in SILICON

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