Software and Mobile Apps

Choosing the Right Mobile App Development Framework for Enterprise Mobility Solutions

As the mobile app development market is growing at a rate of CAGR 14%, meeting user expectations in terms of implementing voice interfaces, biometric authentication methods, natural language user interfaces, and code portability become crucial to sustaining your edge.

The mobile app development ecosystem has standard features and shared patterns with different use cases that can be implemented on standard hardware. However, the wrong choice of development platform/application architecture can cost you a lot. Therefore, selecting the right app development framework is an essential factor while defining the mobile strategy. Here are the top frameworks that lead the app development landscape.

IONIC

Development with the superset of JavaScript – TypeScript

With 5 million apps already built, Ionic is one of the oldest app development platforms. It is a widely preferred framework for providing a native-like experience to the users.

Pros Cons
  • Aesthetic designs and predefined UI templates
  • Documentation for ease of use
  • Strong community support
  • Code portability
  • Hot-reloading is not possible
  • Plug-ins requirement
  • More features affect the speed of the app

Ionic was initially based on a well known JavaScript framework – AngularJS, and its core was written using Sass. While it requires a Cordova wrapper for native platform access, web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are used to write and run the applications.

The primary programming language used in this framework is TypeScript, which transforms into plain JavaScript code via the TypeScript compiler. With TypeScript, the quality of the code improves as it can spot and eliminate mistakes while typing. Since using Typescript is optional, simple JavaScript can also be used to develop the application using ionic.

As Ionic is one of the most cost-efficient frameworks in the mobile app development arena, it is best used for developing apps for specific events/tasks with moderate traffic. However, for full-scale public apps, Ionic Pro provides enhanced app infrastructures.

Xamarin

Development with С# in .NET environment

Xamarin is a Microsoft owned mobile app development framework. It is widely used for seamless deployment on different operating systems like iOS, Android, and Windows.

Pros Cons
  • More than 90% of code can be reused
  • Provides complete development ecosystem
  • Easy hardware integration
  • Native-like apps with good performance
  • More expensive
  • Lack of community support
  • Technologies that Xamarin exclusively provides can only be used

Xamarin provides a .NET framework and statically typed language (C#) for all mobile platforms. Every function that could have been developed using either Objective-C, Swift, or Java, can quickly be developed with C# using Xamarin. With the C# language and the .NET framework, many existing in-house projects can be reused in Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin.Android.

For an existing .NET product, a Microsoft cloud solution, or a Visual Studio project, Xamarin is always a good choice. It also provides high performance, reliability, and good community support. While Xamarin.Forms can help develop enterprise applications with more focus on functionality than UI, and code sharing becomes critical.

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ReactNative

Development with JavaScript and React.JS

To build native applications, ReactNative provides the best JavaScript library for all devices and platforms. A single codebase can easily be used across platforms to create a platform-specific version of various feature components. It is widely popular in developing rich applications both for Android and iOS.

Pros Cons
  • Hybrid apps with better performance
  • Easy integration of third party plug-ins
  • Cost-effective
  • Community of amateur developers
  • Minor compatibility issues

According to the latest Stack Overflow survey JavaScript has a 67.7% developer base , being one of the most popular and dynamic programming languages. Since ReactNative uses JavaScript, the pool of JS developers is available for native application development.

ReactNative delivers benefits of both JavaScript and React.JS (web technology). One of the key benefits of using ReactNative is that it allows writing modules in either Objective-C, Swift, or Java if required. For heavy operations not covered in the framework APIs such as video processing or image editing, ReactNative provides options for using native modules and libraries. This requires knowledge of all the underlying platforms to use these modules and connect them with JS.

React Native is the most widely used mobile app development framework with an open-source distribution and JavaScript language. This framework most benefits the businesses where the mobile development initiative has started with no prior experience in the mobility field. With high code reusability, ReactNative can be used as a common platform across different technologies.

NativeScript

Development with TypeScript and JavaScript

NativeScript allows front-end development using JavaScript, which is well known and widely used. The user interface is made with XML and CSS styling, while the business logic is written using JavaScript and its superset TypeScript.

Pros Cons
  • Fast execution
  • Compiles and runs as a native app
  • Provides a way to split custom content, including CSS styles, into separate files per target platform
  • Lack of proper documentation
  • Hard to share code with as its web build
  • No hot-reload

For close-to-native performance, NativeScript is an excellent choice. As it allows app development across the web, Android, and iOS with minimum UI changes, the native look and feel of the app are not sacrificed. It is an excellent choice for transitioning a web app built with Angular or Vue.JS to a mobile app.

Comparison of top mobile app development frameworks

Final Thoughts

Most enterprises struggle in choosing the proper app development framework because they look for a ‘one size fits most’ mobile architecture to address their specific app needs. While multiple mobile app development frameworks serve various requirements, a single framework cannot achieve all goals of the end use-case. With 15+ years of experience in developing web/mobile applications and integration with digital products across diverse industries, eInfochips has expertise in working with each of these platforms and mitigating the tradeoffs to meet end user expectations.

We have delivered application development services across a wide variety of products ranging from smartphones and tablets to speakers, infotainment gadgets, digital cameras, and digital TVs. We also offer mobility solutions for software products and the e-commerce industries. Our primary focus is on providing a seamless mobile integration that enables our clients to deliver delightful user experiences. eInfochips has developed Snapbricks, a unified test automation framework that offers end-to-end testing across devices, web, and mobile. It automates the entire use case, including device, connectivity, backend, cloud, analytics, and applications. For more information on our mobility solutions & services, get in touch.

This post was last modified on June 1, 2021 7:11 am

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Purva Shah

Purva Shah works as Assistant Product Marketing Manager and focuses on the Digital technology landscape - Cloud, AI/ML, Automation, IoT, Edge Services, Legacy Modernization, Quality Assurance, Mobility, and Application Modernization. She carries 6+ years of experience in Product Positioning, Practice Marketing, Go-To-Market Strategies, and Solution Consulting.

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