JavaScript for Mobile Apps: Choose the Perfect Framework

Artem Arkhipov
Web Expert at Techmagic, full-stack developer, coach and speaker. Passionate about JavaScript, Cloud Computing and Serverless.
JavaScript for Mobile Apps: Choose the Perfect Framework

The overwhelming usage of Javascript frameworks in mobile development would be hard to overstate. As a mobile app development company, let us prove it!

What does a typical your day look like? Usually, you start using a Javascript-enabled app. Get in touch on Facebook, book an Uber trip, or buy goods on eBay. There is one thing that all of the apps above share: JavaScript.

According to Statista, 57.5% of customers find mobile applications more practical than other platforms. Our daily lives occasionally possess using mobile applications to carry out different things. The leading technology emerging today is mobile app development, primarily offering the finest hybrid/cross-platform compatibility, user experience, security, swiftness, and rapid reaction.

Demand for application development is instantly increasing:

  • Users uploaded to smartphone applications 204 billion times in 2020 - AppAnnie
  • 2 in 3 people use desktop and mobile applications daily - Dataportal
  • 7+ million applications are available on Google Play and App Store. Their number is increasing by 130,000 daily - Statista
  • Users spent 4.3 hours behind gadgets in 2021, compared to 3.2 hours in 2018 - eMarketer

Whether you're building an app for iOS or Android, you have to make sure it runs smoothly and that it looks and functions exactly how you want it to. One way to streamline this process and cut down on development time is by using JavaScript. In this post, we'll explore the benefits of using JavaScript for mobile apps and list some popular frameworks that you can use.

Quick primer on JavaScript

JavaScript is regarded as one of the best programming languages among developers in 2022, according to Statista. JavaScript frameworks are compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS. Developers must be well-versed in HTML, and CSS, to develop powerful and efficient mobile apps on JS.

Initially, Javascript used to be a client-side scripting language for the web, but now clients and servers use it to provide dynamic, engaging, and interactive user experiences on any platform, including mobile. Even the interface for the screens in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, flying people to the ISS, has been built using Javascript.

Many people pick JavaScript to create their mobile apps for its effectiveness, wide talent availability and community support. But there are other benefits of using JavaScript for mobile apps; check them out!

Advantages of JavaScript

ide for javascript mobile apps and advantages

There are many advantages of using JavaScript frameworks to build a mobile application for your company or add a mobile app version of an already existing web page.

Less time and resources

JavaScript has the potential to make mobile apps faster and easier to write. Notably, it makes apps portable, often intended to be installed and run in a single place. It makes JavaScript available everywhere, making mobile apps more viable choice, and often JavaScript can be used along with HTML5 to create hybrid apps similar to native. What does it mean?

  • Native apps are created for specific operating systems – either iOS or Android.Due to their specialised designs, native apps load pages more quickly and dependably. But specific JavaScript frameworks available today may transform native programs into cross-platform mobile apps utilising a variety of code languages.
  • Hybrid mobile apps are created to operate on various operating systems that are compatible with them and are frequently slower and less dependable than native apps.

Easy implementation

Both consumers and developers will find the framework to be straightforward for building mobile apps that are responsive and cross-platform. It can be easy to pick up and use. Various frameworks, libraries, and devices widely support it. The easy implementation helps to distribute browser-based applications to mobile devices.

Compatibility

Due to its cross-platform compatibility, this open-source framework has grown in popularity since it was created. It enables developers to create mobile apps with a single code base for both Android and iOS.

Rich user interfaces

JavaScript is used to create such rich applications, which differ from traditional web applications by having the ability to render animated graphics and complex user interfaces. It brings interactive, descriptive, and powerful HTML-based capabilities, including rich widgets like maps, spreadsheets, and media players to mobile apps.

Rich user interfaces and mobile enterprise apps allow businesses to increase productivity, reduce errors, and improve quality, making it possible to use JavaScript framework for mobile apps more and at less cost than ever before.

Notifications

The notifications on mobile browsers provide developers with a series of functions alerting the user informed when something happens. They can also be used to notify users of new products that have been added to a shopping cart or to let them know something has changed in the company's services. Although these notifications are not mobile-specific, this API can also be used with web applications returned to the browser.

It is especially important for specific app kinds, such as those that provide timetables or fitness reminders.

Expanding market

JavaScript is gaining popularity. According to Statista, 57.5% of customers find mobile applications more practical than other platforms. While some companies are creating new platforms to harness JavaScript frameworks for mobile apps, several libraries, frameworks, and tools make it easy to develop mobile apps.

Without JavaScript, websites could not be built, it continues growing up in the direction of mobile app development. Let's discover what JavaScript covers.

Type of apps to develop in JavaScript

In this article, we’re mainly focusing on why using JavaScript for mobile applications. But let’s take a quick step aside and see what can be created with it overall.

Mobile applications

In the past, programmers developed a mobile application using a programming language for a particular platform. For example, Java was used to create applications for Android and Swift for iOS.

You can also create mobile JavaScript applications using the React Native tool. With React Native, you can create a mobile application for Android and iOS. Most code needs to be written only once and will work on both iOS and Android platforms.

Desktop applications

Desktop applications are software installed on your computer. It can be accessed at any time, place, and device. These applications work on all platforms, from PC to Mac and from Windows to Android. With a desktop app, it is easy to deploy any application to any platform, and there is no need to deploy the application separately for each platform.

Now it is possible to develop desktop JavaScript applications using Electron, a free, open-source tool to create desktop apps using mobile development tools.

Server apps

Through the open-source Node.js runtime environment, JavaScript is also used to create server-side applications. Developers may build, test, and debug code for quick and scalable network applications. JavaScript aids in content creation and HTTP request management.

Animations

App animations are a way to update your application and enhance user experience. They may be utilized on a webpage, including object changes, motions, and many other fantastic things. There are several animation libraries: Anime.js, Greensock.js, Mo.js, and Animate On Scroll, to facilitate the creation of animations with less lines of code.

Single-Page Applications (SPAs)

Single Page Applications may also be created using JavaScript (SPAs). These include intricate dynamic interactions and may be developed with frameworks and libraries like Angular, React.js, Polymer.js, and Vue.js.

javascript frameworks for mobile apps - popular companies that use JS for mobile apps

JavaScript has been widely adopted across both desktop and mobile applications. Many companies are relying on JavaScript to build their mobile apps. So, if you're wondering what these companies are? We're going to look at some of the most popular companies that have adopted JavaScript to build their mobile apps.

Of course, you’re curious about what these companies are built on. And we’re here to tell you.

Facebook

With React, Facebook engineers divided the app into separate components representing a single view. So these components make it simpler to iterate on our products. The declarative API that React replaces the mutative, imperative API of the DOM with is more significant since it enhances the degree of abstraction and streamlines the programming paradigm. Using React makes the code much more predictable and scaling. Because of this predictability, FB can iterate more rapidly and confidently, resulting in far more dependable applications.

Google

All of Google's products, including Gmail, Google Docs, and search results, are developed in Javascript. Angular.js, one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks, is one of the tools Google has the chance and resources to build.

Microsoft

Microsoft used JavaScript for language support, accessibility, and device-to-device data transfer. At the same time, Microsoft wants to encourage as many people to build mobile apps as possible, so the company decided to make the languages easy to learn and use.

Microsoft had an idea: build an Internet Explorer (IE) mobile version. But mobile IE would not only have to allow browsing mobile websites, like the rest of the IEs, but it would also have to allow websites from other programs, like Photoshop, to run. Usually, when an app opens a Web page within the app, both the app and the Web page have to download tons of code from the server.

So, Microsoft took a revolutionary approach. Rather than downloading a full Web page to the phone, it downloaded just the graphics and a small JavaScript-like language that converted the HTML page into an application. HTML was designed to run in a Web browser, but Microsoft could compile it into something that ran in an app. This language became known as HTML5.

PayPal

Since virtually the beginning, Node.js has been used in production by PayPal, one of the biggest financial companies and innovators in online payment systems. The truth is that they initially used Java for the backend (much like Netflix), but PayPay later switched to Node.js.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn's mobile app uses JavaScript to serve content, track content engagement, manage subscriptions, and communicate between the user's browser and their mobile app. It also displays a background animation to create a smoother and cooler experience for the user. The LinkedIn mobile app uses local storage to save preferences, custom lists, and notes.

Instagram

Instagram's mobile app uses JavaScript to run native code on users' phones dynamically. The native code allows the app to deliver features like video recording, photo filters and geotagging. The app is designed to work with Apple's iOS and, more recently, Google's Android operating systems.

Instagram was interested in building the app from scratch, so they turned to React Native, which allowed them to develop an app for iOS, Android, and the desktop using the same code and Node for backend solutions.

Uber

The Uber app needs a rapid and scalable technological solution to manage a massive volume of queries. Uber created its native app for iOS and Android, taking advantage of the mobile-optimized environments, user interface and dispatching. Due to the constant influx of requests, the Uber app must contain enormous amounts of data in real-time. It must move as quickly as possible while tracking locations, handling appeals, and processing payments. Node.js and JavaScript have made it simpler to create and manage these functionalities. Rapid iterations and speedy matching of passengers and drivers are made possible by Node.js.

eBay

eBay was concerned with the dependability of the stack and the effectiveness of handling eBay-specific functions. They switched over to Node.js for their whole user interface stack. Due to the success of the Node.js backend stack, the eBay team is now creating a fully functional frontend stack, including resource management (JS/CSS/images) and tracking based on Node.js.

JavaScript frameworks differ in their feature sets, learning curves, and other factors for mobile app development. The framework might define the capabilities of your project.

Best JavaScript frameworks for mobile apps

JavaScript framework has distinctive qualities, areas of emphasis, and exceptions. Therefore, picking one is crucial for a business interested in leveraging them to create mobile apps.

Best JavaScript frameworks for mobile apps

React Native

In the competition to become the most widely used JavaScript framework, React gained the strongest position in the JavaScript community. 41 per cent of developers voted for it as the mobile and web development framework.

React Native is a Javascript library for creating application UI components, improving performance and security. It allows you to develop hybrid Android and iOS applications simultaneously, so building two apps takes less time. React Native apps share 60-70% of the code for the Android and iOS platforms.

Declarative programming, virtual DOM, and reusable UI components are just a few of the primary benefits that set this JS framework apart from the many other mobile app development frameworks available.

Features of React Native:

  • Cross-platform mobile apps may be created
  • Easy to modify
  • Supports third-party plugin
  • Has dependable support for third-party plugins
  • Has one codebase that supports all platforms, including iOS and Android

Ionic

Ionic is a JavaScript framework that heavily emphasises performance, design, and animation. It offers a full app creation kit and uses the "Write once, run anywhere" principle. Ionic enables the continual creation of applications and their porting to new platforms.

Features of Ionic:

  • Mobile apps may be created using HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • Reuses UI elements for all mobile device types
  • Creates responsive, user-friendly mobile applications
  • Compatible with other frameworks
  • Cross-platform deployments, integrations, and live reload
  • Has a complete collection of front-end building elements

NativeScript

NativeScript is a mobile development framework that provides you with the development tools and libraries for native development using JavaScript. NativeScript provides a set of UI components, its router, and UI customization options.

Features of NativeScript:

  • Has hundreds of NativeScript plugins and pre-existing plugins from npm, CocoaPods (iOS), Gradle (Android), and other platforms
  • Provides single code for iOS and Android
  • Allows creating native mobile apps using their existing web abilities (Javascript, CSS, and Native UI Markup)
  • Available iOS, and Android APIs, free plugins, app examples, and templates
  • Simple to learn, using JavaScript, CSS, and Native UI markup techniques
  • Has strong community support brought on by daily international initiatives

Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova framework makes it easy to access a variety of plugins, enabling developers to expand the functionality and size of the program. The key to its increasing popularity has been its open-source and adaptable nature. It connects to the native functionality of mobile devices and the OS via the built-in JavaScript API. It offers a sizable and reliable backend that makes it simple to create native mobile applications.

Features of Cordova:

  • Access to libraries and hardware to the device
  • Simple and easy development
  • Platform adequacy

OnSen UI

OnSen UI is an open-source JavaScript framework for mobile applications that comes with ready-to-use native features. It is suitable for creating Cordova-based hybrid applications and progressive mobile apps. It is connected to three layers: web components, framework bindings, and CSS components.

Features of OnSen UI:

  • Compatible with jQuery, React, Angular.js
  • Consists of various enhanced user interface components.
  • Indigenously produced user interface components

Meteor

Meteor framework uses JavaScript to build scalable, easy-to-use mobile apps. You can merge the existing technologies. It creates apps for any device using a single code base.

Features of Meteor:

  • Integrates with different front-end frameworks without a hitch
  • Offers quickly prototyping
  • Has full-stack approach
  • Uses the same code in the front- and backend

Backbone.js

Backbone.js is based on the MVC app architecture. As its name implies, it serves as a sturdy backbone for your project, providing a straightforward UI. Because of its minimal weight, Backbone.js is the best platform for creating single-page apps.

Features of Backbone.js:

  • Separates the business layer from the UI logic layer
  • 100+ available extensions are accessible
  • Provides several building blocks, including routers, views, and models.
  • Turns DOM into views and data into models

In 2022, mobile app development will continue to be a popular pursuit. The range of available mobile devices will allow for more intricate and innovative app designs.

Trending technologies have emerged due to several advancements, and organizations should consider incorporating them into their app development plan with JavaScript.

Augmented and virtual reality

Augmented and virtual reality will become more potent tools over the next ten years, depending on the applications your app is designed for. It will be used to create more realistic and immersive app experiences that will allow users to feel like they are in another place or situation.

Augmented reality and virtual reality offer new options for industries, including safety training, education, retail, healthcare, and many others.

Machine learning

Machine learning is the core of Siri, Siri iOS, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Alexa. ML technology helps robots learn and make decisions based on data. With the increasing use of smart appliances, smart cars, and smartphones, there is a growing need for machine learning. Adopting machine learning can improve the usability of apps. It can reduce search times for searches related to restaurants, stores, movies, music, etc. It will also reduce the need for constant app updates.

Artificial intelligence

Chatbots and interactive voice assistants on mobile applications are now more than just a bonus feature thanks to advances in AI. They have developed to the point where they can raise user engagement.

By responding to user inquiries, they also take the load off of your customer care staff, saving your company time and money. Companies that give clients access to service information around the clock enhance users' experience.

Outsourcing mobile app development with TechMagic

TechMagic is a JavaScript development company delivering software development services for 8+ years. We work with customers worldwide to develop mobile and web apps from the discovery phase and UI/UX design services to QA testing. These benefits you can acquire by outsourcing development to TechMagic:

  • Custom software engineering services with all the necessary features and concepts
  • Full-cycle development and guaranteed product quality, maintenance and deployment
  • Experienced in Healthcare, HRTech, MarTech, and FinTech industries experts with a creative and problem-solving mindset

Summing up

The most adaptable programming language in the world today is JavaScript. Back in 2007, Jeff Atwood made the quote that was popularly referred to as Atwood’s Law:

“Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.”

JavaScript framework is the best solution to achieve goals and additional readily available tools to help an app perform better and rank higher. Now that there are resources and tools for developing JavaScript apps, your project may benefit from its simplicity, variety, and flexibility for creating mobile apps. It is quick and helps you save development time and money and reuse code and built-in libraries.

If you need help with the tools and technologies, you can either hire a development team or dedicated developers or outsource development to a provider who knows the best ways to use JavaScript for mobile apps. Contact TechMagic!

FAQs

FAQs - best javascript framework for mobile
  1. Can JavaScript be used for mobile apps?
    When building and producing effective mobile apps, mainly Android and iOS apps, JavaScript frameworks are one of the most popular programming languages. A group of JavaScript code libraries let developers use pre-written code in development.
  2. Is JavaScript used for mobile apps?
    Of course, JavaScript frameworks can be used on various platforms, such as iOS, Android, and Windows, making them a great alternative to building native mobile apps.
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