Mobile app development has proven to be essential for every modern company. The decision between native and hybrid app development is not easy for many. Which frameworks should you use for this? What are frameworks? In this blog post, we will tell you about all this and also help you understanding which frameworks are the favorites for 2021 for Android App Development as well as for iOS development. Nowadays, more people are preferring to choose frameworks that serve Hybrid App Development, because they want to target both Android and iOS markets, this is why the app development frameworks trending in 2021 are not native Android but Hybrid in nature.
Mobile app development has proven to be essential for every company. The current pandemic is forcing the population to deal more with digital media. As a result, the market for mobile app development is growing tremendously. Mobile apps have become an integral part of everyday private and business life and app development frameworks are becoming more and more important.
The decision for your app is often not that easy – understandable! Developing an app takes some time and involves considerable effort. In order not to waste time, here you will find answers to questions that you should be able to answer to make the app development process as efficient as possible: What are the differences between native and hybrid app development? Which frameworks should you use for this? What are frameworks? To make this important step a little easier for you, we are also introducing you to the six most popular frameworks for 2021, so that you can make an informed decision on your framework of choice!
App development frameworks provide developers with a generic foundation for the functionality of their mobile app. With the help of such frameworks, apps are developed that are either geared towards specific platforms or that work across platforms. This is why a difference is made between these frameworks:
These enable developers to use every single functionality of the mobile platform. Since they are platform-specific, they only run on that platform. So if you decide on a native framework, you either have to decide on a specific mobile platform (e.g. iOS or Android), or you have to have a separate app developed for each platform. However, this is associated with the increased expenditure of time, more complexity, and thus higher costs.
Hybrid frameworks run across platforms, which means that an app created runs on both iOS and Android operating systems, for which only one code base is required. This means that the cost and time required for hybrid app development are significantly lower. The hybrid development offers the possibility to access the camera, location, and notification system of the cell phone but does not have the API functions of the native frameworks. You should therefore usually opt for hybrid app development if you offer your app for different mobile platforms and want to save costs and development time.
Native vs Hybrid – Which One is Your Choice?
Native app development can be described as classic app development, but, as already explained, it is significantly behind the hybrid in terms of time and cost. Because of this, we tend to advise using a hybrid framework. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to make a general statement. For instance, native frameworks are often advised when it comes to game development. Game apps are often based on the ability to access certain functions of the mobile platform.
Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks That You Should Consider When Making Your Decision in 2021
There are various app development frameworks available in the market and each one of them has its own set of good and bad. We took a closer look at these frameworks and selected the best six frameworks for app development in 2021 for you. We’ll start with the two most popular and strongest competitive frameworks: Flutter and React Native
Keep in mind, however, that React Native is not a framework for beginners. A team of professionals is required to develop an appealing app, but you get an excellent app that looks native to any platform.
React Native Pros
- Very powerful apps are being developed.
- It has a large community behind it.
- It has a built-in library of components.
React Native Cons
- Not suitable for beginners.
- Small mistakes can affect an entire project.
Even though Flutter was only released by Google in 2017, it is already one of the most popular hybrid frameworks. Google itself calls it a “UI toolkit for creating beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web and desktop from a single code base”. With the help of this framework, apps can be developed that are based on a single code base, but run on different platforms and look like an actual native application.
Flutter is founded on the compiled programming language named Dart, which was originally invented by Google in 2011. Also, we are constantly working on the support of other coding languages such as Java, C, and Swift.
This framework is particularly convincing due to its speed that is not inferior to a native app, a very simple code structure that allows bugs and errors to be found quickly, a very short development time, and low testing effort.
- Very quick and easy development.
- Thanks to an uncomplicated programming language, even beginners can quickly work with this framework.
- Little effort for testing the app.
- The finished app requires more storage space than other frameworks.
- No “ready-to-implement” libraries are supported.
- Here you can find more detailed information about the battle of the giants: Flutter vs. React Native.
Ionic is a cross-platform open-source framework whose functionality and appearance are convincing across the board. Therefore, the Ionic Framework works on the latest devices, with powerful hardware, and offers advantages such as touch functions. It mimics native app UI guidelines and uses SDKs by combining the UI standards and device functionality for native applications.
Additionally, Ionic is free and it offers a library of mobile-optimized JS, CSS, and HTML components, tools, and gestures for developing highly functional and interactive applications. Ionic was developed with Sass and optimized for Angular JS, which allows it to offer further advantages. It works with the powerful Angular, offers PWA development, and works great when integrated with PhoneGap, Cordova, and Trigger.io.
- Includes a large library with the latest components.
- Has a large community with the most experienced developers.
- The free version has very limited functionalities.
- The framework is very complex.
The PhoneGap framework uses the power of Cordova plugins that are meant to connect the native APIs and the apps to provide a native app experience. It links your app to the platform’s SDK and you can easily install it on Android and IOS platforms. Also, some helpful third-party tools are provided with the hybrid PhoneGap framework, which is useful for testing, managing, and debugging the app.
- Compatible with third-party APIs and tools.
- Straightforward debugging.
- With a cloud solution, developers can create the app directly on the platform.
- Apps built with PhoneGap are slower than those made by other frameworks.
- Not recommended for high-performance GUI applications.
Sencha Touch is the next app development framework on our list. This includes the collection of powerful widgets such as menus, toolbars, and carousels that have been specially developed for mobile platforms. This is made possible with the help of features such as adaptive layouts, smooth scrolling, and agnostic data packets for the back end. This framework also offers you a drag & drop option which entertain visual app builder. It’s considered one of the best frameworks for building a powerful app with great visual properties.
Sencha Touch Pros
- Has clear and easy-to-understand documentation
- There are many widgets, tools, and themes available
Sencha Touch Cons
- Apps developed using this platform can’t optimally use the mobile platform’s hardware components.
- Apps in this framework have performance disadvantages compared to others.
Onsen UI Pros
- Can also be used by beginners.
- A large number of finished components.
Onsen UI Cons
- Not much support/community.
- The app does not have its testing option.
It seems like the battle between the frameworks never ends. Each framework has its advantages and disadvantages, and each of the cross-platform frameworks mentioned above can be used to create excellent mobile applications. However, at this point, it must be said that the top is alluded to by React Native and Flutter. While the other four frameworks are good, some of them are outdated and not used too often, which is why most of them have switched to the front runners. The future will show which of the two will emerge as the framework of choice in the long term.
Choosing for different clients, from startups to large corporations, is no easy task. It all be subject to your personal preferences, time frame, requirements, and budget. If you are in the industry in search of an excellent mobile web UI framework, you are sure to be overwhelmed with the multitude of options. And for good reason, the frameworks differ in browser capabilities, dependencies, license, performance, UI widget, compatibility, testing options, and availability. So afore deciding on an app development framework, validate it meets all of your requirements.
If you are planning to have an app developed for your startup or your already established company, then simply contact Code Creator Inc. After 10 years of experience and over 80 successfully implemented projects, we are experts with the individual frameworks and know exactly which framework is suitable for your app idea! We’re here to help.
Sam Khan is a Professional Digital Marketer at Code Creators Inc. A SharePoint development firm in the USA that provides SharePoint app development, power BI consulting, mobile app, software development services and more.
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