Top 10 mobile app development frameworks in 2019-2020

Top 10 mobile app development frameworks in 2019-2020

by Jeet

Technology has been a marvellous thing which has enabled us to accomplish so much, in every part of our lives. Through technology, we can talk over a video call; send a mail within seconds to someone who is thousands of miles away and many more such examples. The mobile app industry is a fine example of technological advancements and innovation which is immensely benefitting from the rising number of mobile phone users. Various business sectors have tapped into this massive opportunity and are upgrading their communication channels from websites to mobile applications. 

In the digital era, app development is as competitive as can be. The rise in handphone users has increased the scale of mobile application development with several apps being designed across categories. Since most of the businesses are opting for mobile applications, developers are continuously working to help build applications for different platforms which not only offer superior performance but also give a seamless experience to the user. These applications are built on a mobile development framework. We have listed the top ten frameworks which are used by mobile app developers and development companies. 

1. React Native

Developed by the social media giant, Facebook, React Native is considered to be one of the best frameworks by mobile app developers. React and JavaScript are two languages used by the platform to build mobile applications for both Android and iOS. The open-source platform enables developers to build high-performance applications in shorter duration and create interactive UIs. React Native is famous for its framework supporting Android and iOS, its compatibility with third-party plugins and its declarative UI framework. 

2. Ionic

The most responsive open-source mobile UI framework which was introduced in 2013, has its foundation on the angular framework and Apache Cordova which lessen the learning curve. Ionic has components for both Android and iOS like badges, buttons, etc. It’s easily customizable and the apps built on the framework are compatible with Android, iOS and Windows. Ionic comes with an extensive library through which one can access APIs without having to code.

It works faster with just a single code base and runs everywhere.

The only disadvantage of Ionic is that the app needs to be modified often on the framework to keep up with the latest changes.

3. Corona SDK

The main reasons developers love Corona SDK is because it is ten times faster than most of the frameworks and mainly used to build game-related apps. The free framework is supported by Lua, a lightweight programming language that offers speed, flexibility and ease of usage to develop apps. Corona SDK has been used to create apps like Angry Birds, The Lost City and many other games. The open-source development framework enables developers to create applications for both mobile and desktop moreover it supports multiple devices like iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Windows and Mac Desktops. Some of the noteworthy features of Corona SDK are its faster development time, live testing, real-time simulation and various plugins.  

4. Xamarin

Acquired by the software giant, Microsoft, Xamarin offers a complete mobile development framework supported by APIs, components and adaptable backend infrastructure. Xamarin offers a superior native user interface and allows developers to build applications for Windows, iOS and Android. It has a shared codebase which means the same code can be shared of different platforms without changing the code or the language, therefore, bringing down the cost and the development time. Developers also enjoy a vast community for added support. 

5. Adobe PhoneGap

PhoneGap tops the lists of developers who build cross-platform apps. Earlier known as Apache Cordova it was acquired in 2011 by Adobe. Apps can be developed in JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS and support different platforms like Windows, Android, iOS, Ubuntu and Blackberry. PhoneGap assures the developer of high-quality performance along with multiple plugins and third-party tools which assist the developer in testing the application. 

6. Flutter

Developed by Google, Flutter is a powerful framework through which developers build native compiled applications for mobile, desktop and web using a single code. The portable framework allows the developer to target a wide range of users through a single code base. The open-source app building platform features fully customized widgets which help in creating native applications in a shorter duration. Alibaba, App tree, Google ads are some of the apps which have been built on the framework. 

7. Mobile Angular UI

Mobile Angular UI is an open-source UI framework which combines Bootstrap and Angular framework basis which developers can build applications using HTML5. The free framework allows developers to use JavaScript libraries like overthrow.js and fastclick.js. Hotelier News and iKeyBox are two examples of applications developed on Mobile Angular UI. 

8. Intel XDK

This framework is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) through which developers build interactive, responsive, apps with plugins and web services. Developed by Intel, the framework uses several technologies like HTML5, JavaScript, Java, C++, C#, CSS, Objective –C. Some of the striking features of the framework are the live preview, testing and debugging, it supports various technologies like loT and Node.js. 

9. Native Scripts

Native Scripts is an open-source platform developed by Progress in 2014. Developers enjoy direct access to Android and iOS APIs, its native user interface without web views, strong backend support. The native mobile applications work with Angular, Typescript, JavaScript, CSS and Vue.js to build various applications. 

10. JQuery Mobile

JQuery Mobile is a powerful theming framework based on HTML5 and supports all operating systems like Windows, MAC, Firefox, Kindle etc. The responsive framework enables developers to build apps at a faster pace as compared to other frameworks through its simple API. JQuery Mobile is used to design mobile apps as well as websites. Moreover, the framework makes web pages interactive and user-friendly. 

Best of the best applications depend on powerful frameworks therefore it’s important to first consider the various requirements and finalize the framework which suits the project. These are some of the best frameworks which are preferred by developers and over time with the evolving technology, there will be many more options to choose from
How much does it cost to develop an app in 2020-detailed overview?

How much does it cost to develop an app in 2020-detailed overview?

by Jitendra

There is no such industry or sector that remains untouched by technology. The past decade has seen a significant rise in hand-phone users which has paved the way for numerous apps to be built across genres. From buying a piece of jewellery to booking a ride to carrying out bank transactions while on the go, our lives have become so much easier, thanks to the sturdy apps. Today small and large scale businesses are investing heavily in mobile app solutions. Connecting with your audience through apps is not only a great marketing tactic but an effective medium to share the latest updates and offers. 

Seeing the current trend, you would be contemplating about designing an app for your business. If that’s the reason you’re here and reading the article, the question that you’re looking an answer to would be- how much does an app cost? Well, that’s a difficult question to answer in one word. An app development cost depends on various aspects. What are the features you're looking for, how complex would the app be, the platform the app will be based on are few of the questions basis which any mobile app development agency would share a figure. The starting range for app development is $ 50,000 which includes basic features and necessities. As you keep adding multiple pages and asking for a custom design and complex infrastructure, the development cost multiplies. Moreover, the cost also depends on the region where it’s being designed. North America and Australia are the most expensive countries demanding between $ 150-180 per hour for IOS and Android. In India and Indonesia, developing an app is relatively cheaper which falls between $ 10-30 per hour. So let’s head on to understand what are the factors which affect the app development cost and how to reduce unnecessary costs. 

Investment in the platform

The first question which helps an agency to determine the cost for building an app is finalizing the platform on which the app will be built on. There are two frameworks which can be used to build an app:

  • Native mobile app development
  • Hybrid or cross-platform app development. 

Native app development means that the app will be coded in the language which is particular to the platform however a hybrid or a cross-platform app is when an app is built through a shared operating environment and is supported by several mobile platforms. As compared to Hybrid or Cross-platform apps, Native apps offer superior performance, the interface built is compliant to the platform which means the app is scalable and various features and functions can be improvised in the future. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, do give you the benefit of building one app for all platforms simultaneously however the flipside to it is that applications might run slower because of the slow response of the interface and problems with debugging. 

Android vs iOS or both

While developing an app, another question that we spend a considerate amount of time getting an answer to is which operating system should we choose for our application? Factors like market share, development cost and complexity, app maintenance, etc need to be thought over before making the final decision. Developing applications for both platforms differ significantly. From different programming languages to development environments, both platforms differ greatly. If you're planning to go ahead with Native mobile app development and choose one particular operating system, the price difference for creating an app between the two platforms remains the same. However, if you're planning for your app to be present on both the platforms, then there will be a relative increase in the cost of development. 

Category of the Mobile App

The type of app that you are designing also makes a difference to the overall cost. A basic app will have limited functions whereas a social networking app will have more various other functions to be incorporated like chats, data sharing which in turn will require a wider wireframe to operate. 

App Development Time and Resources

Before the work starts, app development companies share the total number of hours in which the app will be built basis the requirements they have received regarding the app features, design elements, etc. A simple app with basic features will take 500-700 hours on average for development whereas a complex app with custom designing will take more than 1000 hours. Depending on the complexities of design, a team is put together which generally includes a project manager, UI/UX designer, app developers, business analyst to count a few. The more complex the app is, the greater will be the resources used. Like we earlier discussed, different regions have different costs for developing apps, therefore it’s a smarter decision to outsource the work to a country like India or Indonesia which charge a lesser per hourly rate as compared to North America or Australia. App development has four stages wherein each stage has its own cost budgeted costs. 

Pre-development stage

This is the most initial stage for planning and researching how the app needs to be built, the features it needs to incorporate, the timeline for the project, etc.  

App development stage

As the header suggests, the developers and the supporting teams start building the wireframe of the app. 

  • Pre-release stage

Once the app is ready, it’s thoroughly tested for glitches, bugs, etc post which the necessary changes are made. These changes can either be incorporated within a short span of time or can delay the launch of the app if a lot of work is needed to rectify the functionality. 

  • Post-release stage

This is where the complete app is ready and is available for users to experience the application. It also includes maintenance costs and various updates an app might need to stay relevant to the changing trends. 

All four stages have their own additional costs which are additional to marketing costs, third-party integrations, backend development and other related costs. These are some of the factors which will help define the total cost for an app although an app development company along with your research for the app will be able to help you allocate the right budget for building an app. Find out more on how to shortlist on the best mobile app development company. 

Best frameworks for building progressive web apps

Best frameworks for building progressive web apps

by Daniel

As technology started to evolve, it gave us the most effective communication tool of its time- the website. It immensely helped businesses in sharing important information with their customers and brand loyalists. Soon after, the mobile industry grew by leaps and bounds giving us the power to develop applications which could fit into small handheld devices opening an array of opportunities. Businesses which saw the trend incorporated it in their marketing strategy and benefited from the decision. Today, technology is presenting something new and worthy of our time every minute. One of the outcomes is the Progressive Web Apps (PWA), a remarkable combination of web and mobile apps. 

What are Progressive Web Apps?

A progressive web app is built using web technologies but its core function is of an app. Users can access any information in their browsers, without downloading any apps. Progressive web apps are a faster medium wherein users can access information without going through the ordeal of searching for apps and then downloading it. Progressive web applications are ideal for businesses that don’t have the bandwidth of developing an app. However they can benefit from such applications which use less data, load faster, offer a sturdy performance and improved user retention. 

Progressive apps offer an immersive experience and seamless performance which helps them stand out from native applications. With higher adaptability to various hardware, platforms and devices, its responsive design to scale full screen, offline accessibility and SEO compatibility are few of the advantages of progressive web applications. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter along with multi-national companies like Samsung and Apple, all our investing in PWA and reaping its benefits.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of PWAs?

PWAs are lightweight and can be easily installed, have a fast load speed as compared to native and desktop applications. Moreover, PWAs are secured with HTTPS protocol which prevents the connection from altering its contents. Few brands have benefited with higher engagement and conversions through progressive web apps as compared to desktop websites. PWAs are identified as applications and have a URL, therefore, they can be indexed easily, which further helps search engines to use them in search results. Users don’t have to depend on app stores to download and install, PWAs can be found on search engines, social media channels and can be added to the home screen giving access to push notification, camera, geolocation, etc.

Moving on to the disadvantages, PWAs have limited functionalities which affect the user experience. Moreover, not all functionalities of progressive web apps are supported on iOS platforms. PWAs are written in high-level web code for which the phone consumes more battery to interpret the code. Technical options like NFC and Bluetooth cannot be applied to PWAs which makes it lag behind native applications.

Best PWA frameworks in 2020

As smartphone users are increasing worldwide, businesses too are benefitting from the trend and effectively using it as their strategy to reach out to their audience and market their products. Many businesses are still adapting to this change and moving their business to PWAs. There are several factors which need to be considered before opting for PWA, the first one being choosing the framework as per your business needs. Here, we list down the top five frameworks with their pros and cons.

1. Ionic

The most responsive open-source mobile UI framework which was introduced in 2013, has its foundation on the angular framework and Apache Cordova which lessen the learning curve. Ionic has components for both Android and iOS like badges, buttons, etc. It’s easily customizable and the apps built on the framework are compatible with Android, iOS and Windows. Ionic comes with an extensive library through which one can access APIs without having to code.

It works faster with just a single code base and runs everywhere.

The only disadvantage of Ionic is that the app needs to be modified often on the framework to keep up with the latest changes.

2. Angular

Angular has been powering various applications since Google launched it in 2010. The framework uses JavaScript to create reliable and sturdy applications. There have been recent versions which have been introduced with a couple of modifications which have boosted the built-in support of the framework and have offered a smaller learning curve. Along with Google support, Angular has a large community of developers to fix issues etc. Moreover, Angular includes IntelliSense and Typescript which makes life easy for developers.

When compared to other frameworks, Angular is complex and needs a high level of expertise. To use the framework, developers have to learn TypeScript.

3. React

React is yet another popular framework amongst developers. Supported by Facebook, the framework is highly functional and uses JSX to render functions for connecting HTML structures. React has a large community for support and offers extensive libraries and complete ecosystem. The applications built on React can be further used for native apps thus giving the power to create scalable and flexible applications.

In order to use React, the developer needs to know JSX apart from JavaScript therefore it becomes a little complex. In the absence of any defined methodology, implementation suffers.

4. VUE 

VUE is a new framework and has one of the fastest-growing libraries if compared to other frameworks. Developers prefer the framework for its high-speed rendering, simple coding and scalability. Since the framework functions on simple coding, new developers too can build apps. Vue can be combined with JSX and Typescript and offers the best results.

Vue has a very small support team which hinders many developers from using it. The flexibility often causes performance issues. 

5. PWA Builder

PWA Builder is powered by Microsoft and was built to convert websites into progressive web applications. The open-source framework has a strong community support and is compatible with Android and iOS. PWA Builder has extensive documentation and uses Vue.js for its web development.

PWA Builder has restricted flexibility and developers don’t have an option other than opting for the automated process or the pre-built features.

Before you choose one of the best PWA frameworks suited for your business, it’s best to explore all features and resources carefully. Opting for the best framework depends on the expertise of your developer and your business strategy.

Full stack developers vs specialized developers: Who suits your business best?

Full stack developers vs specialized developers: Who suits your business best?

by Matt

The debate between hiring full-stack developers or specialized developers is the most common question asked in the industry. For any scale of business, hiring either of the two has its pros and cons. Both the developers specialize in a unique set of skills which helps in performing various tasks. However, to utilize their skills effectively, the business requirement also plays an important role in deciding which of the two developers need to be hired. Before we delve deeper to find out who’s the right bet and for which business, let’s first understand the difference between a full stack developer and a specialized developer and their skillsets. If you're off the point of view that specialized developers can be easily replaced by a team of full-stack developers, you might want to read on and get another perspective on the matter. 

What is a Full-stack developer and a specialized developer?

There are two sides to any application designing- front end and back end development. Front end development includes all the visual aspects of the application or a website with which a user interacts, for eg, the design, colour palette, drop down menus etc. Back end development on the other side is as the name suggests wherein the developer oversees everything which is not visible to the user, for eg, the data, plugins, components etc. A back end developer builds the wireframe which powers the whole application. A full-stack developer specializes in both front end and back end development whereas a specialized developer has the expertise to manage a single domain. 

Benefits of a full stack developer

Full-stack developers are multi-skilled in various languages and technologies and are also responsible to implement multiple frameworks, libraries and tools. These all-rounder developers are equipped to handle software testing. Apart from handling both the aspects, front end and back end, a full stack developer also interacts with the client to showcase the project and clear doubts if any. The pay scale of a full stack developer is higher than a specialized developer. Looking at the evolving technology and businesses progressing, full-stack developers are quite in demand. 

Since full-stack developers handle every aspect of the application, they prove to be economical if compared to a specialized developer. They are also equipped to fix issues which might crop up in any segment of designing or modification. Full-stack developers act as a one-point contact with the client for managing all the tasks, therefore saving a lot of time and achieving results faster. They are also equipped to carry out the entire task all by themselves since they have such a varied experience. 

Drawbacks of a Full Stack Developer

Full-stack developers have an understanding of the overall application from point A to point B however if a given task requires expertise in a particular field, full-stack developers might not have complete knowledge. Moreover, these multi-skilled developers are quite in demand, therefore, have high attrition rates. Being in demand also means that companies who are looking at hiring dedicated developers might face a challenge getting the right resource. 

Benefits of a specialized developer

A specialized developer has in-depth knowledge and expertise in one particular domain. Companies hire dedicated resource to oversee a specific task which can vary from domain-related modifications, design, framework tasks, database management etc. Since they specialize in particular fields, they keep themselves updated with the latest upgrades and advances which in turn also equips them to solve issues easily and deliver a superior result. Hiring dedicated developers for particular tasks is easier since there a pool of talent available, unlike full-stack developers. 

Drawbacks of a specialized developer

Due to their specialization, developers depend on other team members to complete the tasks which sometimes result in delays. Moreover, the skills for a particular domain come at a certain price for which companies who hire dedicated resource have to pay an additional amount. Companies can hire two to three full stack developers in place of a specialized developer however the latter and their skillset are still relevant to the ongoing trends. 

Full-stack developer vs Specialized developer: Whom to choose for your business?

  • Having understood the roles and skillsets of the two developers, we now come to the most important question- who is an ideal developer for your business. The answer to the question is not a one-worded answer since the roles and the business requirements also need to be taken into consideration.    
  • Full-stack developers are equipped to handle the complete project, right from its scratch till its final release. Hiring full-stack developers make sense if it’s a small scale business and the company is working on a low budget.
  • Hiring these developers is a cost-effective solution because there are fewer developers which need to be hired and who can manage an array of tasks whereas multiple specialized developers will be needed to complete an array of tasks as per the speciality.
  • Developers are ideal if the project is less complicated with clear functionality, easy implementation and doesn’t require detailed knowledge on a particular domain. It will be easier for the developer also to manage the entire task and deliver the project within given timelines.
  • Full-stack developers do justice to projects which are running against a tight deadline. With their expertise of starting everything from scratch, full-stack developers are enabled to work within tight deadlines since there is less coordination between teams and the developer is a one-point contact with the client for smoother communication. 

Specialized developers, on the other hand, suit large projects which can be divided into smaller projects as per the specialization. Moreover, if the project is complex in nature and is a compilation of several tasks, specialized developers are a perfect choice for the job since they can solve real-time problems easily. Lastly, every project needs to pass the quality parameter for which a specialized developer is ideal since he will be able to dedicate his time and energy into one task only. 

Hiring a full stack developer or a specialized developer wholly depends on the requirements of your business. If you have budget constraints and are pushed against a tight deadline, then a full stack developer is the right choice. However, if there is a specific task which needs to be completed and is complex in nature, a specialized developer would be of assistance.