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Choosing the right tech stack for mobile apps

Choosing the right tech stack for mobile apps

Speed to market is the key ingredient to sustaining a competitive advantage. In the app development world, choosing the right mobile technology stack could mean the difference between success and failure.

If one wants to create a highly functional mobile app – quicker and cheaper – one needs to choose the right mobile app technology. It is crucial to consider a language or framework with a selection of ready-made components for common development tasks.

The technology stack is critical to the long term success and viability of any mobile app development project. This not only includes the functional requirements but more importantly, the business requirements from ongoing maintainability, scalability and cost of ownership.

Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant said until recently, developers could only employ native platform skills to develop apps.

“However, today there are other options to consider. As a software development company that designs and develops a number of B2C and B2B mobile applications for customers, we have to consider a range of tech stacks that are best suited for each project.”

Mobile app development will continue to grow as more businesses adopt mobile technologies. One needs to consider the pros and cons of the most popular mobile app development approaches and the advanced tech stacks you can use to implement them.

Native app development

Native app development means using specific programming language for the platform. This means you need specific skills for each platform. For iOS you can select Objective C or Swift, although we tend to use Swift as the preferred language because it is more functional and generally provides better performance. For Android native development, we tend to use Java which is a well-established programming language with access to a large open-source community and libraries.

Hybrid app development

This uses standard web technologies that many developers are familiar with such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript frameworks. Essentially you are building a web application that is wrapped in a container and then packaged as a mobile app. This does mean there is a lower barrier to entry for developers and we tend to see badly develop apps shipped via this method.

Over the years, we have refined our approach to deliver native-like performance in a hybrid built app. We tend to use a specific stack of JavaScript frameworks like Ionic along with Cordova to deliver the app.

Cross-platform app development

This approach means that you are delivering a native-built app for multiple platforms on IOS, Android and Windows. There are two popular technology stacks to consider, React Native and Xamarin. We have used both for different reasons and each has its advantages.

Xamarin is well established and uses C# as its main language. It is well supported by the Microsoft community and if built correctly, is a solid option for cross-platform development. We tend to use React Native as our chosen cross-platform tech stack. This is a JavaScript framework and appeals to a wider development community with strong JavaScript skills and compiles as a full native mobile app.

It was created by Facebook and has received much attention and adoption over the last few years. This is gaining popularity and we have invested a lot of time in developing our skills over the last 4 years having delivered a number of enterprise mobile apps for clients.

In summary, each approach comes with their own pros and cons, however like any type of development project it comes down to planning and execution. Choosing the best technology stack can boost one’s business, it is therefore one of the most important decisions before starting any project.

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