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Best Technology Stacks for Mobile App Development in 2020-21

Alekh Verma | March 1, 2023
Best Technology Stacks for Mobile App Development in 2020-21

In this growing age of competition, where businesses have to put a lot of effort to please their fastidious customers, it is important to adopt emerging technologies to advance the market scope of products or services.

And today, mobile apps are the hottest technology to reach your customers. The secret of the success of your app depends on the technology stack that you choose for app development. 

The entire process of converting your business idea into a profit-making app involves the selection of the perfect technology stack in mobile development process.

From ideating to developing, prototyping to quality testing, you will need the reliable app development frameworks from the initial process to make sure your app gets what you expected.

If you are not tech-savvy, it's going to be a mission-impossible kind of situation for you to choose the best technology stack for mobile app development.

So, here in this blog, eSearch Logix is going to guide you on selecting the best technology stacks for mobile app development in 2020-21 and make your mobile app mission flawlessly possible.

But before we jump in, let us first understand.

What is Technology Stack?

A technology stack is a combination of frameworks and tools that are needed to develop a software or application product.

The complete technology stack for mobile application development can be divided into four sections that constitute the anatomy to create a fully functional mobile app.

Frontend Development: It is the user interface through which users interact with the app.

Backend Development: The part that takes users’ input and then converts it into the output. It includes security, data storage, and business logic.

Development Platform: The place where all frameworks, technologies, tools, and languages are used to design and develop the app.

Additional Requirements: This includes the components that affect the security, performance, and robustness of mobile app.

Now, you have seen a quick picture of what mobile app technology stack stands for, but to you give a better understanding, let's take a short ride through some of the world's popular apps and the tech stacks used by them.

Screenshot 2020 12 02 at 14.09.07

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO FIND THE BEST TECH STACK FOR MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT

There are many elements and factors behind the selection of a perfect tech stack. This is something that would decide whether your app is robust or will it be capable to scale various versions of different operating systems.

 Any uncalculated or wrong decision with respect to the selection of technology stack for mobile app development will significantly affect its performance and give negative growth and counter-productive results.

Therefore, the success of your app heavily relies on the technology set that you choose for its development.

As you now understand what tech stack means and why it is necessary to choose the right choice.

Let's move to our selection process where we will explore the technology stack that empowers the development of the innovative, scalable, and powerful mobile as well as web apps that can give a boom to your business.

MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT TECH STACK CHECKLIST

If we look at the other side of the coin, finding the best tech stack is a secret recipe to develop a high-class and robust mobile app. This choice primarily involves the features, functionality, smoothness, and efficiency of the app.

Mobile App Development Stack Checklist

To make it happen, your app development agency or developer team should be aware of the programming languages, tools, frameworks, web app architecture, and APIs that fall under your app development cost.

The developers should work on the checklist of mobile app development that can help them to set up the right stack you.

  • Does the language or framework have the needed ready-made solutions, flexibility, integration options with third-party solutions, etc.?
  • Is it well-documented?
  • Is the code concise but easily maintainable and reusable?
  • Is it easy to test?
  • Is the framework or language professional but future-proof?
  • Does it have a big ecosystem (i.e. people & tools) behind it?
  • Is the community around it active & learner-friendly?
  • Can you find sufficient qualified developers for the tech stack?
  • Are the frameworks affordable under your budget?
  • Are there any big companies sponsoring its usage and development?
  • Does the technology come with long-term support versions?
  • Is the migration process/update easy?
  • Will you or your team always have access to the data?
  • Is it consistently possible to export your data if you need to change technologies?
  • Does the technology include an API to allow flexibility on the other end?
  • Does it support processing heavy loads?

The above checklist can help you select the optimal stack as per your business requirements, especially in the selection of the frameworks and tools that are free and open source. There are also paid subscriptions of various frameworks available that could help in developing a feature-rich app.

After all, you are going to invest a considerable amount in mobile app development, so it is important to compare the cost of the tools that can match your business goals. Choosing an open-source solution can save huge money and time, along with giving the best features to app.

It is foremost to understand that any mobile app development technology is not going to stay forever. We have seen how React has overtaken Google's Angular in recent time, and Vue is now on the rise. With evolution, there will be a change in the user demand, market, and technology itself.

Having said that, let's choose the technology stack.

TECHNOLOGY STACK FOR NATIVE APP

Native mobile apps are known for their high performance and robust functionalities. Most companies prefer native apps to achieve their business goals through mobile application-based services or products.

Native apps allow developers to integrate the device's in-built functions in their app, without the need for external or third-party APIs.

Technology Stack

So when it comes to native mobile app development, we generally consider Android and iOS app development. The two platforms come with different abilities. Hence, developers need to select a separate tech stack for the app for both platforms.

For Android Apps:

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES:

1. Java: This is among the most used programming languages for Android app development. Java has established its footprint not only in mobile apps but also in web architecture, Big Data, and more. It offers plenty of open-source tools and libraries, making it a good choice for the technology stack for mobile app.

2. Kotlin: Kotlin is also not behind in the popularity race. Powered by Google from 2017, it is the second official development language for Android apps. Kotlin is completely interoperable for existing Android app development as well as new ones.

It is clean, lightweight, and much less verbose, that is why developers find Kotlin a perfect tech stack for Android app.

TOOLKIT:

1. Android Studio: Offered by Google, Android Studio is a famous IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that gives the feasibility of editing code, performance tooling, flexible build system, debugging, and an instant deploy system.

Android studio offers a complete set of developer tools that enables you to build high quality and innovative apps. Additionally, this platform allows developers to use emulators, graphical UI builder, multiple on-device debugging tools, and a completely scriptable test automation support.

2. Eclipse: It is also referred to as a classic IDE for android app development. Eclipse provides all the latest functions, libraries, directories, and built-in tools, which are also available for download along with third-party integrations.

For iOS Apps:

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES:

1. Objective-C: It is the superset of C language that gives a flexible runtime environment and object-oriented capabilities along with a toolset for large projects.

2. Swift: Swift has emerged amazingly through its development performance and optimizing features. This is considered a great platform to develop iOS mobile apps due to its faster process of codebase with fewer errors.

We recommend Swift over Object-C, because it consists of dynamic libraries that can be uploaded directly to memory, reducing the initial app size and enhancing the performance, along with the least coding errors.

TOOLKIT:

1. Xcode: Xcode is largely used to build native apps and games with an enhanced user interface. This helps to publish them on App Store (Apple).

Xcode is a good iOS technology stack consists of a variety of tools and programming languages, excluding official languages like Java, C, and C++. Apps built on Xcode are compatible with all Apple devices from iPhone to watchOS and tvOS.

2. AppCode: AppCode is a powerful framework for building mobile apps that supports several programming languages. When it comes to choosing between Xcode vs AppCode for iOS mobile app development, AppCode is more recommendable than Xcode due to its faster code processing.

TECHNOLOGY STACK FOR CROSS-PLATFORM APP DEVELOPMENT

Cross-platform apps work on both platforms- iOS and Android. This is a single codebase platform which can be utilized for multiple operating systems.

CROSS-PLATFORM

Here are the major frameworks that are used for cross-platform app development:

1. React Native: This framework is considered when it comes to developing social media platforms or messaging apps. React Native is a JavaScript framework that is used to write mobile apps that work like native apps. It uses application logic written and runs on JavaScript or TypeScript while offering a complete native UX.

2. Xamarin: It uses C# as its main language. Xamarin is a cross-platform tool that works with 90% of code sharing, making it an ideal choice for cross-platform app development.

3. TypeScript: Supported by Microsoft, TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that is used along with React Native framework to make complete use of its error detection features while writing code for React components.

TECHNOLOGY STACK FOR HYBRID APP

Hybrid apps can run on all platforms and are usually developed with the help of the standard web techniques such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It generally involves two areas-Backend and Native shell.

The frameworks that are mostly used for the development of Hybrid apps mainly Cordova, Sencha Touch 2, and Ionic.

1. Apache Cordova: Apache Cordova is an open-source hybrid mobile app development framework that utilizes JavaScript for logic operations, along with CSS3 and HTML5 for rendering.

2. Adobe PhoneGap: PhoneGap is a commercialized and open-source distribution of Apache Cordova (developed by Nitobi Software) later owned by Adobe. This framework offers multiple JavaScript APIs allowing the app to access the device on a hardware level.

3. Ionic: This is a Hybrid app development based on AngularJS. Ionic is similar to other hybrid platforms that use HTML, CSS & JavaScript to build mobile apps. It supports a variety of extensions and plug-ins from third-party patch files and libraries.

Ionic is mainly focused on the front end UX and integration with other frameworks like AngularJS, ReactJS, and Vue. However, Ionic is not considered a rival for Cordova/PhoneGap.

Time for the decision

So, which is the best technology stack you should choose for mobile app development?

Choosing the right technology stack is not as easy as it appears but can be figured out if you consider the following key factors.

  • Type of apps
  • Goals of app
  • App development team
  • Features and functionality
  • Compatibility to run across different platforms
  • Industry-specific requirements
  • The technology sponsors
  • Security

It means, you simply need to fix your app and business goals. As different app types have different development process and cost, you should compare them accordingly and then make the right decision while focusing on the future market aspects.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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