Developing your first mobile application requires tedious planning. There are numerous components, like design, SDKs, frameworks, and libraries which you got to look into before developing your first application. A successful app requires careful selection of the best and the most appropriate technology stack. Selecting the most appropriate one can significantly reduce the development costs and other risks associated with security and data.
There are two approaches for this, the native app development approach, and the hybrid app development approach. Both methods vary considerably in terms of the tech stack and cost structure. This blog is curated to solve all your queries – We’ll extensively each aspect of development to help you make the right decision. Stay tuned!
Technology stacks for native development approach
In this approach, one utilizes platform-specific programming languages, and development environments provided by the operating system vendors. This method requires employing a unique technology stack that is specific to the platform on which the app needs to be developed.
This technique is generally recommended for apps that require a scope of scalability and some specific and high-level functionalities. There are numerous platforms available nowadays, however, iOS and Android encompasses ninety percent of the smartphone users on the planet. Thus, deploying a native approach for just these platforms will cover the base for the most part.
Technology stack for native iOS apps
For an iOS app development project – You can pick from either Objective-C or Swift for building the application.
Objective-C is the primary programming language that is used in writing software for iOS as it provides both object-oriented capability and a dynamic runtime environment.
Furthermore, Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language used for building iOS applications. It is less error-prone and incorporates various modern functionalities. Most importantly, its syntax is concise, yet expressive. Most developers recommend Swift as their preferred option for iOS app development because of the efficiency and effectiveness associated with it. Besides, it also significantly reduces the app size; thereby improving performance.
For developing a native iOS app, you would require XCode. It’s a feature-packed development environment that helps create native iOS apps. Xcode offers many useful features such as integrated support for Git repositories, a graphical editor to build UI, and numerous instrumentation & debugging tools. Furthermore, XCode also incorporates integrated documentation functionality.
The iOS SDK is the most widely employed SDK for native iOS app development, it includes an application programming interface (API) that serves as a link between the software application and the application platform.
Technology stack for native Android apps
The most widely employed languages for Android apps are – Java and Kotlin.
Java is an extensively used programming language with a large number of open-source tools and libraries that facilitate developers in building native Android apps. On the other hand, Kotlin is a far more efficient and stable development option if you want to build your app on Android studio.
Besides, covering the limitations of Java, Kotlin is a lightweight, clean, and precise programming language. It was designed with the purpose of improving the existing Java models by providing solutions for API deficiencies. Many development teams around the world are now embracing the potential of Kotlin for native android app development. Additionally, it is far more efficient in providing transitions between screens and micro-interactions than its counterpart.
Android Studio and Android Developer Tools are the toolkits used for building native Android apps. Android Studio comes with debugging, code editing, a flexible build system, performance tooling, and an instant build/deploy system. It is helpful in building high-quality and unique native Android apps. Android Developer Tools (ADT) is used for developing highly interactive and efficient native Android apps. It comes with Android-specific coding support, on-device debugging tools, a graphical UI builder, and a fully scriptable test automation support.
You can use the Android SDK for developing a native Android app. Different versions of SDKs are available for different phones to write programs with the latest features. Developers must download and install each version of the SDK for the particular phone. The components of an Android SDK can be downloaded separately according to need, you can also download third-party add-ons as per the need of your project.
Technology stack for cross-platform development approach
The concept of cross-platform app development allows developers to develop apps with a single code base that can be used on multiple platforms. It requires less time and resources and is mostly adopted when the app is not intended to be scalable in the future and doesn’t require many functionalities.
Xamarin + C#
Xamarin is Microsoft’s extensively used cross-platform development framework that allows developers to write one logic and share about 90% of code across major platforms. It uses C# as the programming language and is statically typed with IDE support and mature tooling. Codes written with C# are cross-compiled with native iOS and Android binaries. One can also use device-specific APIs and functionalities within C# codes. There are many popular apps written in Xamarin such as Pinterest, Slack, and more.
There is an abundance of technology stacks, however, there are a lot of factors you must consider while choosing an appropriate technology stack for your mobile app project. For designing and developing an efficient and functional mobile app. It is important to consider maintainability, scalability, and security as a priority. For instance, if you are planning to create a mobile app with complex functionality and scalability then it is highly recommended to use the native approach. If you just want to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with just enough functions to validate your app idea and engage users. Then you can go for a cross-platform approach because it is time and cost-efficient.
As more and more enterprises and people incorporate newer technologies – mobile app development is expected to flourish exponentially in the near future. So, choose wisely!