Well, who can resist the opportunity to spend less and get more? And here is no one. This is how the idea of developing cross-platform mobile applications was born, when you write one application code, and it will work on different operating systems. The classic is native development, where a separate application is developed for each OS (can you imagine how much effort, money and nerves will have to be invested there?).
Today we’re going to take a look at five cross-platform frameworks: React Native and NativeScript. They are very different and not in all situations and not in any of your contexts will be the same useful (or even needed in principle).
You can hire dedicated react native developers to choose a framework for developing a cross-platform application, and in general, exchanging native development for cross-platform is not easy.
The main goal of cross-platform technology is to provide developers with a tool for creating applications in parallel for several operating systems at the same time. The market has developed in such a way that the efficiency and quality of a product must be combined with an attractive price of its development, and the product itself must solve the user’s problems.
Based on the specifics of the development of native and cross-platform applications, it is obvious that the latter is cheaper, and the result in the output is no less high-quality than with native development. Another nice and important bonus of cross-platform application development is its speed.
Cross-platform in the project is needed not for the sake of user convenience, but to optimize the cost of developing and maintaining the application. This solution allows you to write source code for multiple mobile platforms, but each separate build will result in separate executables.
Cross-platform frameworks can be divided into two groups: Hybrid-Native (first approach, hybrid-native development) and Hybrid-Web (second approach, hybrid web development).
The hybrid-native approach combines frameworks with a native user interface and common code; and frameworks with a common codebase and native code. Among them: cross-platform application development frameworks React Native, Xamarin, NativeScript and Flutter. We’ll talk about each of these frameworks later.
Hybrid web development for cross-platform applications is based on frameworks with a web interface and common components and a single codebase that runs anywhere. An example of such a cross-platform framework is Ionic (and we’ll talk about it a little later).
Pros of hybrids
Let’s see what hybrids have and do not have before native applications.
5 main benefits of the hybrid approach:
- Cross-platform. Once you’ve created one application, you can export it for any OS.
- Based on the first point – the speed of development and scaling.
- Low price. Several times less than with the native approach, especially taking into account further support.
- Same interface and UX. One development team and one code will bring the application as close as possible to the uniform UI and UX format on all platforms (But whether they will comply with OS guides is another question).
Hybrid development is in high demand among large global companies. Many well-known applications are cross-platform (The New York Times, eBay, Aliexpress).
Some of the disadvantages are not very significant, but problems with low performance and animation can give reason to think about choosing not in favor of a cross-platform application. The two most popular services Facebook and LinkedIn used to work in a hybrid model, but then they rewrote apps to native. According to the developers’ feedback, the application performance has doubled since then.
overview of cross-platform frameworks
This framework uses the native renderers of each platform – that is, it actually provides a native user interface.
This framework has 5 main advantages:
- Open source and it’s free.
- Native apps can be created for any OS and any Device.
- The package manager has an extensive library of NativeScript plugins (these are NODE packages that implement cross-platform functionality).
- Detailed documentation: everything about how to use what, outlining basic concepts and technologies.
Moreover, the cross-platform NativeScript framework supports all components from the AndroidArsenal and Cocoapods repositories, as well as calls to native methods from native libraries. But in fairness, it should be said that these calls will also need to be declared – that is, to describe the library (usually there is no need for this, it is enough to describe only the methods to which you are referring).
Dev tools for react native are used to translate application code into machine language and provide a native look and feel for mobile applications.
When working with React Native, you need to build your own controls, build a hierarchy with integration in mind, and develop a React Native user interface.
Here are the main reasons for choosing this platform when developing a mobile application.
- Simplicity and ease of creation. The cross-platform React Native framework is quite simple and convenient (of course, if the developer understands what he is doing and what he wants to get in the end).
- Saving time. Cross-platform, open source plugins, and ease of development make things easier and less time consuming.
- Similarity to native apps. Apps built with React Native are similar in behavior and appearance to native apps. React Native is ideal if you want the speed of a native app but don’t need the complexity.
Apps written on the React Native platform fall somewhere in between native and hybrid. We can say that this framework represents the future of mobile app development and makes the border between native and hybrid development more transparent.
So what should you choose?
- Use NativeScript for 100% of the native APIs provided as part of the toolbox.
Shahid Mansuri Co-founder Peerbits, one of the leading offshore development team provider. With his guidance many companies Hire virtual Employees from Peerbits for their complex and customized projects. His years of hardwork, dedication, and experience have helped him in developing profound expertise for a wide array of technologies, tools, and platforms. He believes in sharing his strong knowledge base with learned concentration on entrepreneurship and business.