5 JavaScript Frameworks For Mobile App Development


0. Time needed to finish reading: 2-3 minutes

1. Introduction

2. List of JavaScript Frameworks For Mobile App Development

3. Are there other frameworks worth checking out?

4. Conclusions

#1. Introduction

Depending on the type of a mobile application (or more accurately, depending on the operating system it will be installed on), as a developer you need to use different programming languages in order to create an application. An iOS app will be developed using Objective-C or Swift and an Android app will use Java, with the help of Android Studio and a really cool SDK. This means that if you’re trying to launch an application for both platforms, your project will require, most of the times, two teams of developers, each one with different set of knowledge. Sounds a bit expensive, right?

Well, if in many situations you’d have to go with the solution described above, there are cases when the mobile application is just a support for the main (web) application. For example, if you have an e-shop addressed to businesses and you’d want to offer your partners a faster solution to place an order by providing an iOS or Android application, you could try to build a JavaScript application and “translate” it into a mobile one with the help of a framework. This sounds really good, as it would be faster and a bit more affordable. But let us get a bit of insight on the subject.

JavaScript is a very promising programming language. Just recently we published an article about JavaScript frameworks and in that piece of content we mentioned few frameworks that have become quite popular in the software development world. And with decent knowledge of JavaScript, CSS and HTML, you can end up building mobile applications in a very short timeframe. But for that, you’d need to use a reliable JavaScript framework. Thankfully, there are sufficient resources to cover the preferences of any developer. So with one code base, you can create and deploy applications for iOS, Android™ and – in the case of some frameworks – Windows® Phone.

#2. List of JavaScript Frameworks For Mobile App Development

1. Apache CordovaAdobe PhoneGap – quickly make hybrid applications built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. PhoneGap provides a Toolset that can help you get to mobile faster. Build, for example, will get your application app-store ready, while supporting multiple platforms (iOS, Android™ and Windows® Phone). 

2. NativeScript – is an easy to learn framework that will provide native performance. With the help of NativeScript you deploy native mobile apps for iOS and Android from a single codebase. Has a really easy-to-use Command-Line Interface, integrates with Angular or Vue and a lot of developers are contributing on the project in a variety of ways.

3. React Native – is an open source JavaScript and React framework that will help you develop mobile apps for iOS & Android. With React you build a real mobile app that’s indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java. The framework is also backed by a huge community.

4. Sencha Ext JS – with the help of this framework you can create HTML5 applications using JavaScript for desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

5. Meteor – is an open source platform for creating JavaScript apps. It integrates with React, Vue, Angular and supports the developer in building apps for any device (iOS, Android, or desktop). Meteor offers some commercial services, as well.

#3. Are there other frameworks worth checking out?

Well, of course. Our suggestions are: Appcelerator (Hyperloop, API Builder, analytics) and Ionic (open souce and pro services, this mobile development toolkit with help you write apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript and deploy native builds).

Quick mention here: There are frameworks that will provide APIs or UI toolkits, but don’t have the deployment process integrated. This means that, in the end, in order to have your application app-store ready, you would still need to use something like Apache Cordova. This would be the case of Framework7, Mobile Angular UI, jQuery Mobile or Rachet.

#4. Conclusions

In the end, the decision on the technology will be made considering some subjective aspects. Even if you try to pull a line between advantages and disadvantages, you might consider money as being more important, while others would think the time to production is the first item on the priority list and simply decide on another framework. But the existence of alternatives improves the life of developers (and business owners, I would add) by offering flexibility, portability and a diverse ecosystem with rapid development workflows.

4 thoughts on “5 JavaScript Frameworks For Mobile App Development

  1. priya says:

    Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that executes JavaScript code server-side. Many thanks for sharing this article.

  2. Vishal Bhatia says:

    Selecting the best JavaScript framework for mobile app development is not about the number of features that the particular framework can offer. It’s all about the functionality of the framework and how can be applied that functionality within your own project.

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