5 Popular Javascript Frameworks for Mobile App Development

Aug 28, 2018 3:39:00 PM

javascript framework

According to Stack Overflow survey results 2018, Javascript is the most popular programming languages, with 71.5% professional developers placing their trust in it.

Javascript, which was originally the core technology behind dynamic websites on the web wide web is taking the app development world by storm. With introduction of Javascript frameworks for building mobile apps, businesses and developers have found a sorted solution to build interactive UI, with less lines of code.

Given the popularity of Javascript, there are hundreds of Javascript frameworks available to build applications on web, desktop, and mobile. Here, are 5 most popular Javascript frameworks that are facilitating developers to build cross-platform native and hybrid mobile apps.

1. React Native

Introduced by Facebook in 2015, React Native is an open-source framework for building cross-platform native apps. Using React and Javascript as programming languages, developers can build mobile apps, indistinguishable from native apps built using Objective-C, Swift, or Java.

React Native is an extension of React, which is a Javascript library for building UI blocks for web applications. Declarative programming style, virtual DOM, reusable components to build UI are some of the premium advantages that gives this JS framework an edge over hundreds of options out there for building mobile apps

Why React Native?

  • Developers can combine components of native code written in Objective-C, Swift, or Java with React Native code to build scalable apps.
  • With a strong hold over Javascript programming language, it is easy for developers to learn React and thus build React Native apps.
  • This javascript framework allows building cross-platform mobile apps. React Native apps share 80% of the code for Android and iOS platform, which means developers are sorted when it comes to logics, APIs, and time for building complex mobile apps. 

2. NativeScript

NativeScript is an open-source framework for building cross-platform native apps with Angular, Vue.js, TypeScript, or Javascript. It empower web developers to leverage their skillset to build native experiences on mobile.

NativeScript enable developers to use Vue CLI, VueX, and other Vue framework features to build native mobile app. Also, NativeScript integrates with modern Angular full-stack features, such as router support, code generation, integration with Angular CLI etc.

Why NativeScript?

  • With NativeScript, developers can take advantage of existing plugins from npm, CocoaPods (iOS), Gradle (Android), along with hundreds of NativeScript plugins.

  • A single codebase can be written and deployed on multiple platforms (Android and iOS). For code sharing, Angular or Vue.js can be used.
  • Web developers can use their existing web skills to (Javascript, CSS, Native UI Markup) to develop native mobile apps.

3. Ionic

Ionic is another popular javascript framework for building hybrid apps. For developers acquainted with web technologies and web app development, understanding the structure of  an Ionic app is easy.

Hybrid apps run in a full-screen browser called WebView, which is invisible to the users. Through customizable native plugins, they can access the native features of mobile devices like camera, touch ID etc, without the core code being connected to the device.

Why Ionic?

  • A Hybrid app codebase can be used for multiple platforms (Android and iOS), thereby reducing the cost of development (compared to native apps) and time to market.

  • When building hybrid apps with Ionic, developers can access Cordova plugins that helps them to access hardware and software features of a mobile device.

  • Existent web development expertise (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) can be utilized to build mobile apps.

ALSO READ: Hybrid Mobile App Framework: Why Ionic is the Most Favorable Choice

4. Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) is a hybrid app development framework that wraps HTML or Javascript app into a native container. There is a long list of tools, frameworks, and cloud services that are available to augment performance of Cordova. Some of the popular names include Visual Studio, Ionic, Framework7, Monaca, Mobiscroll etc. Considering the potential that Cordova brings in, the contributors to this framework are some of the tech-giants, including Adobe, Microsoft, Blackberry, IBM, Intel etc.

Why Cordova?

  • There is a huge community that develops plugins for Cordova. As a result, the framework facilitates to access a wide range of plugins, enabling developers to access device features, thereby extending the scope and scale of app.
  • Using Cordova, it is possible to deploy a code for multiple platforms (iOS, Android), making app development a cost-effective affair.

5. OnSenUI

OnSen UI is a JS framework for building hybrid mobile apps using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Onsen UI is compatible with both AngularJS and Angular 2+, React, Vue, and jQuery so that developers can switch between different libraries and frameworks for building interactive UIs.

Why OnSen UI?

  • OnSen UI provides a large set of rich UI components specifically designed for mobile apps.
  • OnSen UI works great with Monaca. Monaca offers a powerful command-line tool and desktop app to simplify complicated tasks.

Which is the  most popular Javascript framework?

Other than React Native, most of the popular javascript frameworks available for app development enables creating hybrid app. Amongst the available options, one of the most relevant framework is React Native. Reason being, it allows creating Native apps with almost similar skillset. (Javascript and React).

Which of the popular Javascript frameworks do you prefer for mobile app development and why? Share with us in the comments below.

Topics: Mobile

Kartik Kakar

Written by Kartik Kakar

Lead Marketer at Daffodil Software. Inbound Marketer with a passion for technology and cool stuff.