How to make a successful app? This is the dilemma of every mobile app owner. There are numerous decisions needed to be made along the way. Choosing the right development approach and mobile technology stack are some of them.
Our tech-savvy generation is very hard to impress. The evolution and availability of technologies are birthing new varieties of superb mobile apps in today’s market. That’s why the competition in the mobile industry is very stiff.
Factually, the availability of various tech stacks has been instrumental in developing apps for enterprise solutions, entertainment, and other aspects of life in general. However, as mobile technology grows, we become more and more dependent on mobile applications. This is generally visible as apps have had up to 28.7 billion downloads already this year.
Combined global Apple App Store and Google Play app downloads from 1st quarter 2015 to 2nd quarter 2019 (in billions).
From the point of view of development, different apps can be approached in different ways. Anyway, if you ask mobile app developers what development approach is the most preferable, most of them would say – native app development.
Let’s take a closer look at what Apple and Google offer as a native mobile technology stack for their platforms.
Native iOS App Development Stack
Programming Languages: Objective-C and Swift
Objective-C is one of the high-level and object-oriented programming languages used for developing native applications for iOS. It is modeled like the C language, possesses a dynamic runtime environment, and it was predominant for the development of iOS apps initially, before the inception of the Swift programing language.
There are still plenty of mobile enterprise apps operating on the Objective-C code, irrespective of the rise of Swift. This could be because it is a difficult process to switch to Swift, especially if you have existing applications written in Objective-C that need regular updates. All the same, Objective-C is very well-preferred by some developers for projects of complexity and software engineering challenges.
Some other advantages of Objective-C include:
- Works with C++
- Highly recommended and well-tested language
- Expressive message syntax
- Simple and effective use of private APIs
- Multiple third-party libraries
- Large community support
The prominence and rise of the Swift language are as a result of its use for creating Apple iOS and Linux OS applications. It is proclaimed to be a multi-purpose and multi-paradigm programming language. However, the main reason for its popularity is effective performance, when compared to other favorable languages.
Swift has the advantage of being an open-source programming language with code less prone to error because it gives inline support that can manipulate data and text strings. Additionally, Swift includes dynamic libraries. These libraries can be uploaded directly to memory, thereby slashing the size of apps developed and significantly increasing their performance.
The employment of Swift to develop apps for iOS simplifies the task of development, plus, maintenance is stress-free. It also enhances code reusability, security, and readability.
Some other advantages of Swift include:
- Multi-feature programming language
- Operates very fast
- Compatible with Objective-C
- Functions with Cocoa Touch frameworks and Apple’s Cocoa
- Multi-device support
- Community support
Toolset: AppCode and Xcode
There are two major toolsets used for iOS app development: Xcode and AppCode.
Xcode can be named the official IDE of Apple. Therefore, it is an appropriate choice of a toolset for iOS app developed. The full-featured development environment of Xcode enables the production of not only mobile apps, but desktop apps too. To buttress being a good user interface development tool, it works best for gaming apps.
Xcode-developed apps can work on numerous Apple Inc products. Moreover, it is equipped with the support for repositories from Git, documentation, instrumentation, debugging tools, and it can develop user interfaces by using a graphical editor. Furthermore, it is compatible with a list of programming languages such as C, C++, Python, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Java, AppleScript, Ruby, Rez, Swift, and so on.
Android App Development Stack
Programming Languages: Java, Kotlin
Kotlin is a more recent programming language in comparison to Java. In any case, it’s an appropriate technology option for Android Studio that is fast becoming more stable. Purposefully, it is not just object-oriented but also an open-source programming language. Furthermore, it is highly-functional and supports higher-order functions.
Kotlin has powerful syntax with fewer errors than other languages used to develop native Android apps. Equally important, it is faster to code, clean, lightweight, and less verbose. Originally based on the Java Virtual Machine, interoperability with Java makes it possible for developers to combine codes from Java-based projects with Kotlin.
Benefits of Kotlin are:
- Runs on multi-platform
- Concise and secure code
- Interoperability with Java
- Functions can be extended
- Big community support
- Easy code maintenance
There is no debate to it that Java is said to be one of the most widely used programming languages. Without compromising, it is dominantly the most used class-based, object-oriented language for developing Android apps. Java is ideal for mobile and web apps, Big Data, among others. On top of that, it is also famous for rich open-source tools and libraries that facilitate the easy and fast development of top-notch apps.
Top development speed and product quality are the most prominent advantages of Java. However, it has a downside of being comparatively slow and consuming memory space. Nevertheless, you can consider Java for complex mobile projects, especially if you want scalability and robustness. Big players such as Google continuously work to make the Java language better. The main parts of the Android OS are programmed with Java.
Further advantages of Java:
- Highly secure
- Great network capability
- Portable and scalable code
- Automatic management of memory
- Robust programing language
- Easy to use and compile
- Not limited to any platform
For a native integrated development environment, Android Studio and Eclipse are the most favored software.
The Eclipse software development kit (SDK) is another free, open-source mobile development software. Originating from IBM visual and primarily coded in Java, its main purpose is for the development of Java applications. The good news here is that developers can extend their use of Eclipse by coding plug-in modules specially for themselves, or by using other plug-ins as development toolkits.
The integrated development environment from Google is called Android Studio. Usually, developers employed it to edit written code, handle performance tooling, and debugging. With such characteristics as flexible development and an immediate build/deploy system, Android studio enables making unique, high-quality Android apps. Notably, there is a major difference if compared to Xcode, which functions specifically for Mac OS. The Android studio works with other PC operating systems.
SDK: Android SDK and Developer Tools
If you desire the recent features in mobile applications, then there is a need for your developers to install the latest Android SDK for every type of device. Similarly, Android SDK components can be downloaded independently, the same applies to third-party add-ons.
The Android Developer Tools (ADT) upholds development by giving coding support for native Android applications. In like manner, there is a provision for a graphical builder for UI, emulators, tools for debugging, and a well scriptable test automation support.
It is Time to Walk the Walk
For you as a product owner to create a reputable brand of mobile application, deliver exciting user experiences, and be of greater value to a user’s life, the most appropriate tech stack should be on standby. Correspondingly, adequate analysis and technically sound decisions are essential to fashion out a perfect, yet cost-effective user side and server-side, with no compromise to scalability, efficiency, security, and other factors.
Are you a new business startup, established business owner, or a product manager? Do you want to create, tweak, or manage an app? The Velvetech team is willing to see you through this process. Our well-skilled and experienced mobile development team can successfully facilitate your app production process from scratch and bring it to a significant product release. Check out our mobile development services and contact us today for a consultation.