10 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 language, with 71.5% of 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 mobile app development world by storm. With the introduction of Javascript frameworks for building mobile apps, businesses and developers have found a sorted solution to build interactive UI, with fewer lines of code. The use of javascript for mobile apps development is now becoming a go-to strategy for developers.

Given the popularity of Javascript, there are hundreds of Javascript frameworks available to build applications on the web, desktop, and mobile. Here are the 10 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 give 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 stronghold over the 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 platforms, which means developers are sorted when it comes to logic, 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 empowers web developers to leverage their skill set to build native experiences on mobile.

NativeScript enables developers to use Vue CLI, VueX, and other Vue framework features to build native mobile apps. 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 (Javascript, CSS, Native UI Markup) to develop native mobile apps.

Also Read: How Daffodil helped Dailymotion to build a robust and scalable video CMS using JavaScript 

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 customization 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 help them to access the 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 apps into a native container. There is a long list of tools, frameworks, and cloud services that are available to augment the 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 access to a wide range of plugins, enabling developers to access device features, thereby extending the scope and scale of the app.
  • Using Cordova, it is possible to deploy 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.

6. jQuery Mobile

With too many smartphones available in the market, it is essential to be vigilant while developing a mobile application that not only can load faster but also is customized and functional across various platforms.

When compared to other frameworks, jQuery Mobile comes number one in the list when you have to develop an app that loads faster.

  • Developers can create cross-platform applications faster.
  • It is a cost-affordable hybrid mobile app development.
  • HTML5 and CSS3 are used for a better touch-optimized UI.
  • Being a lightweight framework the app can load faster.
  • Ajax-powered navigation with animated page transitions.
  • Uniform user interface for all platforms and devices.

7. Mobile Angular UI

An HTML5 framework, Mobile Angular UI utilizes AngularJS and Bootstrap 3 to develop very interactive mobile apps.

If you incline Angular, then this is the apt Framework for you. Not only does this framework provide important mobile components such as switches, sidebars, overlays but also helps the website to be responsive in the form of an application.

  • Aids in faster and simpler data binding.
  • Modifications will be instantly displayed in the model.
  • Minimizes burden from server CPUs by supporting caching and other processes.
  • Faster application prototyping.

8. Sencha Touch

By adding an array of features, Sencha Touch lets you customize exactly how users will interact with the application as per their wishes. Sencha Touch is a popular HTML-based framework that Is used to create applications that work swiftly on all platforms without having to change the code for every operating system.

  • Provides high-level responsiveness for applications.
  • It is compatible with all the latest versions of Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.
  • Loads the application as fast as possible.

9. Titanium

One of the old frameworks for hybrid mobile application development, Titanium provides simple and transparent access to most of the native functionalities. Using web technologies like JavaScript and CSS, developers can seamlessly develop native applications along with hybrid and web apps.

  • Developers can easily develop applications compatible with Android, iOS, etc.
  • Functional entities let you create high-performance applications.
  • Build quick prototypes as it comes with an integrated environment.
  • Extremely cost-affordable open-source option
  • Simplified coding structure as it supports powerful web technologies.

10. Meteor

Meteor is a free and open-source platform. It is a common javascript for mobile apps. Not only does this JavaScript framework allow rapid prototyping and gives cross-platform code but also gives you control over your application.

  • JavaScript code can be updated without any development skills.
  • Meteor is well known for speed and quick deployment.
  • Eliminates bugs that most of the new applications seem to have.
  • Offers great flexibility across platforms and devices.
  • External libraries and several plugins can be utilized.

Also Read:-  An Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Development 2020

Which is the most popular Javascript framework?

Other than React Native, most of the popular javascript frameworks available for app development enable creating hybrid apps. Amongst the available options, one of the most relevant frameworks is React Native. The reason being, it allows creating Native apps with an 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.

Kartik Kakar

Written by Kartik Kakar

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

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