Table of Contents:
Building The Future of Freelance Software / slashdev.io
Top Mobile App Development Frameworks In 2023/
What Are Your Options When Building Apps In 2023?
In 2023 it is easier to build apps than it has even been. You can even try nocode app builders for simple applications. But for most, building a custom application is the best bet. You really have two main options for building your app in 2023, you can build it in Native iOS and/or Android or you can build a cross platform mobile app in React Native or Flutter. A cross-platform app allows you to share the codebase for both apps and makes it more efficient to maintain both apps with less code.
Native iOS/Android App Development
Of course you can build an app in the native language for the platform you want to target or both. You need to make the decision as a founder if you want to target Android users, iOS users, or both for your application. Once you have this figured out you can decide on the tech stack.
With native development, you have the most control of the application and will not be limited in any way in terms of what you can build. Although cross-platform apps allow this as well today, you may have experience in iOS or Android already that makes you want to write in their Native framework.
Often with apps we work with that have an iOS and an Android version of the codebase we find that one is behind the other in terms of features, or one is battling bugs that the other does not have. When you have two codebases to manage this is just the reality.
Tie For #1 Flutter
Flutter is the most popular cross-platform mobile app framework today. It is developed and maintained by Google and boasts an impressive set of companies that are using it for their applications.
Benefits of Flutter:
- Fast development: Flutter’s hot reload feature enables developers to see the results of their code changes in real-time, making it faster to build and iterate on the app design.
- Rich widget library: Flutter comes with a vast library of built-in customizable widgets that simplify the process of creating complex UIs. These widgets follow platform-specific guidelines, ensuring that your app looks and feels native on each platform.
- High-performance apps: Flutter uses the Skia Graphics Engine to render UI components, resulting in smooth performance and high-quality graphics even on lower-end devices.
- Strong community and support: Flutter has a large and active community of developers who contribute to its development and offer support to newcomers. Additionally, Google’s backing ensures regular updates and improvements to the framework.
- Easy integration with Firebase: Flutter seamlessly integrates with Firebase, a popular backend-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, providing essential services like analytics, databases, authentication, and storage with minimal setup.
- Dart programming language: Flutter uses Dart, a modern, easy-to-learn programming language that is optimized for building UIs. Dart has strong typing, supports object-oriented programming, and provides excellent tooling for developers.
- Customizable and extensible: Flutter is designed to be customizable, allowing developers to create their own widgets and extend the functionality of existing ones. This flexibility enables the creation of unique user experiences tailored to the specific needs of an application.
- Wide range of packages and plugins: Flutter’s ecosystem has a plethora of packages and plugins contributed by the community that simplify the integration of various third-party services and APIs, further speeding up development.
- Well-documented: Flutter has extensive documentation and a wealth of learning resources, making it easy for developers to get started and find solutions to common problems.
If we were building an app from scratch today, unless we had a React frontend alongside it, we would use Flutter to build the app.
Tie For #1 React Native
React Native is also a powerful app development framework that is used by hundreds of top companies. React Native is developed and maintained by Facebook. It allows you to write React code that can be used for the frontend of your website as well as your mobile app, making it especially popular for teams who are already building their apps in React.
Benefits of React Native:
- Large and active community: React Native has a thriving community of developers who contribute to its development and offer support to newcomers. This results in a vast ecosystem of third-party libraries, plugins, and components that can be used to speed up development.
- Hot and live reloading: React Native supports hot and live reloading, which means developers can see the results of their code changes in real-time without needing to rebuild the entire application. This speeds up the development process and makes it easier to iterate on app designs.
- Native performance: React Native uses native components for rendering, which ensures a smooth and responsive user experience. While not always as performant as purely native applications, React Native apps can achieve near-native performance levels when optimized correctly.
- Code sharing with web applications: React Native allows for code sharing between mobile and web applications built with React, further reducing development time and effort.
- Modular architecture: React Native’s modular architecture makes it easy to break down an application into smaller components, improving code readability, maintainability, and reusability.
- Strong corporate backing: React Native has strong backing from Facebook, ensuring regular updates, improvements, and long-term support.
- Wide range of third-party libraries and integrations: The React Native ecosystem has a large number of libraries and integrations with various third-party services and APIs, which simplifies the development process and reduces the need for custom solutions.
- Well-documented: React Native has extensive documentation and learning resources, making it easy for developers to get started and find solutions to common problems. Additionally, several tutorials, courses, and community forums are available to help newcomers learn the ins and outs of the framework.
At slashdev.io we love working with React Native because we build a lot of React apps, this allows our engineers to move faster and work across the full stack of the applications we work with.