This article will help you understand the pros and cons of some of the most frequently used native mobile app development frameworks at present. As mobile applications are always in high demand, it is always a good time to learn if you’re just getting started or if you’re trying to make the right choice for your business in terms of selecting the perfect framework to suit the needs of your application.
Frameworks for Mobile App Development
- Low development cost as the code can be reused to develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows Phone.
- Better performance and hardware functionalities.
- There might be bugs when converting HTML to native code, therefore need to understand the native code for the platform.
- Android has a fewer functionalities than iOS applications.
Ionic is a hybrid mobile development framework. This means that the application can be used in the same manner with the given UI for all platforms. Ionic uses plugins like PhoneGap/Cordova to deliver a native-like experience. It is an open-source framework and contains many developer-friendly tools for application development.
- Hybrid web development makes it easy to develop one application and deploy to multiple platforms.
- Testing can be done in the browser, which makes it easy to develop.
- Allows you code in TypeScript.
- Contains many plugins to use native platform functionalities.
- Performance issues when having many call-backs to the native code.
- The same UI for all platforms will not depend on the native UI.
- Development of highly advanced graphics or highly interactive transitions can be a complex job.
- Cross-platform support.
- Single code-base for developing apps for all the supported platforms.
- Complete Native API access (Hardware, camera, touch, and other features).
- Developer support from Telerik.
- Plugins need to be verified before implementing the project.
- App size is much larger than ReactNative or Ionic.
- Slow internet connection causes the application to reduce performance.
- There’s no support of HTML and DOM in NativeScript.
Android / iOS Native App Development
- The performance of the application is much faster and works with all the features of the device.
- Has full support from the system and the relevant marketplaces to download.
- Native development ensures the application is secure.
- Will be a problem with multiple device sizes.
- Should be able to keep track of the native features to test the application.
- Cost of the maintenance is higher than the above-mentioned frameworks.
- Cannot be used as cross-platform as it depends on the system UI.
We use development, workflow, extensibility and performance as the key factors for the comparison of these frameworks.
There isn’t much to say about the native frameworks. In order to develop the application with Android or iOS, we need to user Android Studio or XCode, in that respective order.
Android and iOS workflows would be pretty similar in installing the relevant IDEs and generating the project. Learn more about the IDEs. The other three frameworks will require you to generate a new project using the command line and building the UI using the given components. Then you can start adding the styling and functionality. The only differences are the tools used for developing and debugging apps. Chrome developer tools can be used to debug either framework, but React Native, and NativeScript might require their relevant debuggers to debug all features of the application.
React Native comes with a small collection of hardware APIs to access native device features. Apart from it, there are more third-party JS plugins to ensure the other hardware component are well connected if required. React Native also provides the module to create its native components.
When it comes to Ionic, it uses the Cordova plugins to access the native device APIs to connect the hardware components. Similar to React Native, customer-side components can be implemented if required for the application through Cordova.
Out of the three, Ionic will have the worst performance while NativeScript and React Native will have a performance that’s very close to their native counterparts. Even though Ionic has the worst performance, it might be best for some applications if it requires a simple UI, not many animations and does not require much native device features.
To conclude this comparison, it can be decided that choosing the correct development framework depends on the application. If it requires less native behaviour you can choose Ionic, or if you require more depth with cross-platform to utilise the hardware components, then the choice will be between React Native and NativeScript. NativeScript is suitable for high performance, but React Native is still growing and is backed by Facebook; therefore, it might tend to overpower NativeScript. If the application requires only one platform, I highly suggest the native development framework of that platform as it will boost the performance of the application.
If you find some of the information provided a bit confusing and you’re looking to create your very own mobile application, you can contact us at Fonseka Innovations. We may cater to your requirements using our wide experience with all these frameworks.