Mobile Development Technologies – Which Are The Best?
It’s hard not to notice that mobile devices play a huge role in our everyday life. The constantly growing number of smartphones means the demand for mobile applications is increasing. Currently, it is almost a necessity for a business to create its dedicated software. It is even a matter that determines the position on the market, and even presence on it. The process of creating mobile applications includes a huge range of tools and technologies. Importantly, you need to choose them properly, exactly to the nature of the application you will be building. We selected several technologies that are recognized as industry leaders. Which one is the best?
What is Mobile development?
As you probably guess, mobile app development is the whole process of creating and building software for mobile devices. These applications can also be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing to provide an application look and feel within a web browser. Due to intense competition in mobile software and the differences on each platform, when developing software, a wide variety of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations has to be considered. Mobile app development branch is constantly growing, both in terms of generated revenues and created new jobs. As with web applications and websites, we distinguish between front-end and back-end in the development process.
Designing a mobile user interface is also essential when creating mobile applications. Overall, the goal of designing a mobile user interface is primarily a clean, user-friendly interface that should accommodate limited user attention, minimize keystrokes, and be task-oriented with a minimum set of features. In short, a very important aspect of UI design is the user experience (UX). The coding of the front-end of the app itself is also done similarly to websites, using appropriate frameworks and tools, so that users can view and interact with data processed into a graphical interface.
Mobile user interfaces rely on mobile back-end to handle access to enterprise systems. The back-end is not visible to the user but is responsible for the operation of the entire app. Therefore, to develop this part, back-end developers need various technologies that will not only be used to write just the code but also handle facilitating data routing, security, authentication, authorization, offline operation, and service orchestration. This functionality is supported by a mix of middleware components including mobile application server, mobile backend as a service, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure.
Of course, the official Android language could not be missing from this list. This concurrent, class-based general-purpose object-oriented programming language was released in 1996 by Sun Microsystems (now acquired by Oracle). Java is a language for creating source programs compiled to bytecode, which is a form executed by a virtual machine. The language has strong typing characteristics, and its basic concepts are taken from Smalltalk and C ++, including a large proportion of syntax and keywords. Unlike multi-paradigm C ++, Java has a strong focus on object-oriented programming. It was created to replace C ++. This did not happen, however. Nevertheless, Java is now one of the most popular programming languages for mobile applications. It is considered very easy to learn. It offers extensive, high-quality documentation, as well as strong community support. It allows you to build any mobile application, and what’s more, many popular frameworks are based on Java. The question of being the best technology for mobile application development remains debatable, but it is still a great language to consider in your project.
This programming language created by Apple Inc. is commonly used mainly for devices of this company. When building an iOS application, you will probably decide on Swift. It is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language that was developed as a replacement for Apple’s earlier programming language Objective-C. Objective-C had been mostly unchanged since the early 80s and without any modern language features. Apple wanted Swift to support many of the core concepts from Objective-C, most notably dynamic sending, extensible programming, and similar features, but in a more secure way that would make it easier to catch software bugs. Swift has quickly become one of the fastest-growing languages in history. Simpler writing of software, which is extremely fast and safe, by definition, goes hand in hand with the high performance of the application, as well as the relative simplicity of learning this language.
Flutter is a relatively new framework, nevertheless, there are many applications built on it. It is a UI software development toolkit based on Dart, an object-oriented language. The framework contains two sets of its own, fully-customizable widgets which incorporate all critical platform differences, so there’s no need to search for any additional libraries to build a good looking interface. Flutter’s history started at the 2015 Dart developer summit when it was introduced to the world by the name of “Sky”, however, it was not until December 2018 that the first version deemed stable was released. Despite its relatively short presence, it is currently one of the most popular frameworks that allow developers to build apps quickly with a lot of ready-to-use components available. With its fast-growing community of developers, well-described documentation and the ease of learning it, Flutter is a great solution for startups and small businesses. It’s perfect if you need a quick app development tool, with an immediate preview of the changes made directly on the application, go for it when you want to build an MVP in a short time.
Xamarin is an open-source platform for building modern and efficient iOS, Android, and Windows applications using the .NET platform. The .NET itself uses mainly the C # language, so Xamarin also offers the benefits of using it. Xamarin is an abstraction layer that manages the communication of shared code using the underlying platform code. This platform runs in a managed environment that provides convenience such as memory allocation and garbage collection. Xamarin applications use .NET BCL, a large collection of classes that have advanced and streamlined features such as advanced handling of XML files, databases, etc. Existing C # code can be compiled for use in an application, giving you access to thousands of libraries that add functionality beyond the BCL. Like the well-known Flutter or React Native, Xamarin allows you to build applications for multiple platforms simultaneously while maintaining a single code base. Thus, it can provide a native app experience.
In addition to the most sought-after technologies, we found a few that are increasingly important in the industry:
It is a lesser-known but not less efficient cross-platform development platform. Qt provides all the benefits of cross-platform development but much faster compared to other solutions. It is characterized by fewer dependencies, the freedom to use the language and a multitude of tools and additions.
Choosing the perfect framework for application development is essential and depends on the type of application you want to build, what it should look like and on what platform you want it to run. Listed above are some of the most popular technologies for this purpose.
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