Mobile application development is such a mighty task.
Over time, mobile app development has embraced a lot of popularity and prominence in the market. If we go by the stats only then there are more than 5 million apps that are already on the Google Play and Apple App Store for users.
Now in the work of the unrealistic and wide competition, mobile apps are becoming a major part of mobile app development strategies. However, the secret of mobile app development success depends upon the technology stack for mobile app development.
Yes, it is all about choosing the right technology stack for mobile app development.
But before that, coming up with an app idea for execution, engaging the target audience along with driving large profit/revenue can never be an easy mission.
Certainly, the whole process of converting the idea into a profit-making app involves the selection of the right technology stack for mobile app projects. From designing to developing, prototyping to testing, and quality assurance to launch, you will require the reliable frameworks from the very beginning of the project.
The selection of choosing the right tools needs the exploration of your app requirements with end-goal analysis. Irrespective of whichever mobile app development process you are following, it would never turn successful and rewarding until you choose the right mobile app development technologies stack.
In this article, we will be highlighting the importance of choosing the right tech stack for mobile application development while offering you a few worthy tips to select the most suitable one.
But before that, let us quickly strengthen our understanding about what tech stack is-
What is a Technology Stack?
The technology stack is a set of frameworks and tools that are required to develop a software product. And when it comes to the mobile app development stack, the complete set of tools is divided into four main areas that work together to create a functionalized mobile application.
Here are the four main areas which together make a complete technology stack for mobile app development and websites-
The user interface through which users interact with the app. It is the major aspect of the mobile app development that defines the interface through which users interact. Frontend development includes several platforms and tools that can mark the difference and define the particular task to develop an app on a scalable level.
Different tools are included in the development cycle such as:
- HTML – HyperText Markup Language
- CSS – Cascading Style Sheets
The server takes the users input and then converts it into the output. This is a bit complicated but an essential aspect of the mobile app development world. This includes business logic, security, storage, and whatnot. This data is sorted and stored over the server(s) for the end-users. Additionally, it is ideal when it comes to sorting and storing critical company or user data. The backend development also includes the frameworks, languages, database management systems, web servers, local development environments, microservice platforms, website performance testers, and collaboration services.
The platform where all the technologies, frameworks, languages, tools together are used to design and develop the mobile application. MADP – Mobile App Development Platform is something that is included to test, create, and launch the app in the market for tablets or smartphones in a span of limited time.
The fact is that companies also depend upon the third party products that include features like management tools for APIs, frontend tools, backend as a Service, and so on. It can be for the hybrid, web, or native app development that works with the MAM (Mobile Application Management) tools. Also, it is necessary to take necessary measures like low-code, codeless, on-premises, and cloud-based services.
Those components which affect the security, robustness, and performance of the mobile application. Here the robustness, security, and performance of the mobile application are counted that define the technological elements. These include the additional requirements of the mobile app development that are related to the considerations.
It is also essential to understand why it is important to find the best technology stack for mobile app development.
To give you a better understanding of the technology stack for mobile app development, let’s walk through some major Apps and the tech Stack used by them.
Let us figure it out-
Importance of Finding the Best Technology Stack for Mobile App Development
Some several traits or elements depend on the selection of the appropriate tech stack for mobile app development. It is something that would decide whether the app is robust or will it be able to scale various versions of different operating systems among many other traits.
Hence, choosing the right and appropriate mobile app development technologies stack is surely going to affect the immediate performance of the mobile application while ensuring its future growth. Though the cost of mobile app development, the right time to market the app are the obvious and initial tasks, neglecting or giving less importance to the tech stack can lead to more problems in your app.
So, now we are done with a basic understanding of what is a technology stack and why it is so important to find the right tech. It is the time to look at the technology stacks that fuels the development of scalable, robust, powerful, innovative web and mobile applications
The fact is that tech stack is the secret recipe for developing a high-quality and top-notch mobile app. This choice is mainly based on the functionality, smoothness, and efficiency of the mobile app to be developed.
Let’s get started:
Triple C – Context, Criteria, & Considerations
Developing an app is not just about Tech stack but there are certain things that one must be clear about. This will he;p in working for the development in a better way that can guarantee an effective future. The mobile app development team can work on the designs and functions that can work with limited restrictions and business needs.
This will make it easy to choose the tech stack for your mobile apps as well. The mobile app depends upon the different layers that include the aspects listed below.
The developed team and investors need to be aware of the tools, frameworks, programming languages, web application architecture, and APIs that can fall under the budget. Along with this, the constraints and technical possibilities are also essential for ideation and implementation.
The choice of the tech stack depends upon different factors that include:
- Security of mobile apps
- Best User Experience
- Performance of the app
The vertical and horizontal growth of the future is a vital aspect when it comes to choosing the right tech stack. The developers need to be aware of the prospective mobile app development technologies that can lead to a better future.
The developers should work on the checklist of the mobile app development that can help them to settle on the tech stack.
Several products are available in the market similar to your idea that can give a better understanding of the technology stack and languages used. The checklist can help in choosing the optimal stack as per the business need.
Especially when it comes to the development of the tools and frameworks that are free and open-source. The paid subscription of many frameworks are also available that help in getting the advanced features.
However, before investing money in the development world, it is best to compare the cost of the tools that can best fit the business requirements. Also, there is the usability of the tool that is essential to know before purchasing the license.
It is best to go for open-source solutions that can save a lot of money and time securely adding new features. But with time, the languages and platforms also evolve and business requirements are also altered.
You need to understand that any mobile app development technologies are not here to stay forever. With evolution, there will be a change in the market and user demand that makes it essential for businesses to know about the smaller components.
Technology Stack for Native Apps
Native mobile apps are preferred by most of the companies across the globe. This is because they possess robust functionalities and high performance. Furthermore, they can access various smartphone features that other app types cannot (e.g. NFC module, camera, address book).
Building a native app lets the developers integrate the device with several built-in functions without the need for additional or 3rd party APIs. And when it comes to native apps then you might need to pick the right tech stack for the Android app or iOS app.
In contrast, both mobile platforms have different specifications. So, developers need to choose an entirely separate tech stack for mobile apps on both of them.
Know more about Native Apps:
Let’s get started with them one by one:
I. For Android Apps
#1 Programming Languages:
- Java: Among the most popular programming languages, Java has established its footprint among the Android app developers as well. Not just for mobile apps, but it is also utilized for Big Data, web architecture, and more. This vast programming technology offers plenty of open source libraries and tools.
- Kotlin: Powered by Google from 2017, Kotlin is the second official development language for Android apps. The language is completely interoperable for existing Android app development projects as well as new ones. That’s why developers can utilize it as a perfect tech stack for mobile app projects.
A competitive comparison between Java vs Kotlin can offer you insights into what these frameworks are capable of doing for your mobile app. However, make sure to go for the programming language that can be more productive coding and can easily handle the null-pointer exception for a streamlined coding experience.
- Android Studio: A very popular IDE is Android Studio offered by Google. A solution developed by Jetbrains company, it provides a complete set of features for designing as well as developing Android apps. Overall, it comprises everything to be included in the mobile app technology stack for dynamic application development. There are websites for Android developers that can give you a better idea.
- Eclipse: Referred to as a classic IDE for android app development, developers will get all the latest functions, libraries, and directories for their project. The components or tools are built-in and can also be available for download along with 3rd party integrations. Choosing this tech stack for the Android app will provide great exposure to development tools.
II. For iOS Apps
#1 Programming languages
- Objective-C: One big advantage behind the utilization of Objective-C is the availability of a toolset for a large project. It also offers tools for constant updates to optimize existing apps. It has been a reliable iOS technology stack for many years in the mobile app development industry.
- Swift: Swift has shown some amazing results in terms of app development performance and optimizing. Comparatively, Swift app development offers a faster process of codebase along with the execution of fewer errors. Hence, it can be a profitable choice to be included in the technology stack for mobile app development.
The best choice for the iOS app development depends upon the complication of the syntax and difficulties level in the coding.
- Xcode: Xcode is mostly used for building native apps and games with an enhanced user interface. It also helps to publish them on Apple’s App Store. Apps built on this framework is compatible with all Apple devices from watchOS to tvOS. Moreover, this iOS technology stack consists of a variety of tools and programming languages, except for official languages like Java, C, C++.
- AppCode: AppCode is another powerful tech stack for mobile apps that supports various programming languages. Choosing between this framework and Xcode is a matter of interest for developers. However, AppCode is quite faster in code processing as well as testing than Xcode.
III. For Cross-Platform Apps
Next in line is the cross-platform app development that can work well with the iOS and Android platforms. It is a single code-based platform that can be used for multiple operating systems. The codebase is usually shared between different platforms for better performance.
The major platforms used for the cross-platform app development frameworks are:
- React Native – It is a framework that works well when it comes to developing social media platforms. The framework also uses application logic while offering a completely native UI experience.
- TypeScript – This is the framework that works on statically-typed language that uses error detection like features with react components.
- Xamarin – This cross-platform tool is one of the major platforms that work with 90% of code sharing that makes it ideal for development. It uses the C# programming language that is supported by Microsoft.
These aspects are explained in a better way later in the blog.
IV. For Progressive Web Apps
The fact is that it is not a mobile application but a web-based app that gives a native-like look and feel. Progressive Web Apps or PWAs are developed using HTML5 that gives a better understanding as compared to web apps or web pages. The major reason for opting for PWA development is that it can run on any platforms, common codebase development, and easy maintenance.
The toolkit used for the PWA development are:
- Angular JS
- React JS
- Ionic 2
Talking about native apps, there are a lot of facts you can discover about them. They are specifically designed to perform effectively on a particular mobile operating system. Native apps are a bit expensive as companies need to build duplicate versions of the same app.
You will know better and more when you read the pros and cons of native mobile apps below:
Technology Stack for Hybrid Apps
In general, a hybrid app is built to represent a website through a set of native features. These apps offer an in-hand experience that web apps don’t, making the user experience better than ever.
Since they are completely based on a particular website, picking the best mobile app technology stack for these types will require attention towards some frameworks that also have web APIs and tools.
Let’s consider the most up-to-date mobile app development frameworks for building the right mobile app development technologies:
#1 Adobe PhoneGap & Apache Cordova
It also supports a variety of plug-ins and extensions from third-party patch files and libraries. Also, this essential framework is easy to learn and fast to deploy as compared to other large tools like jQuery Mobile.
#3 Sencha Touch
To explore more about Hybrid apps precisely, take a look at their pros and cons:
Technology Stack for Cross-platform Apps
Cross-platform apps are not much different than hybrid apps. The only difference is that hybrid apps are dedicated to the referring website and cross-platform apps are independent.
In cross-platform app development, developers are allowed to utilize one codebase for all the mobile platforms. This saves time for them while targeting each platform separately. As a result, these apps can be installed and utilized on multiple platforms.
Let’s move on to the list of the best stack for mobile app development that developers should consider while building a dynamic, engaging, and impactful cross-platform mobile apps:
Besides, you also have an option for TypeScript programming language to write cross-platform apps. It offers various features with easy and flexible error recognition throughout code execution while writing React components.
Generic components present in the TypeScript toolbox offer an additional rise in the app’s security. From writing components to binding the loop and detecting the errors, the safety level works on top of everything.
#2 Xamarin + C#
Developing cross-platform mobile apps using Xamarin is effective and productive for the developers. It allows app developers to utilize almost 90 percent of the whole codebase for every major platform. Developers need to use C# language to write applications.
This typed language comes with mature app development tooling and on-front IDE support. Compiling cross-platform apps in C# are native to both iOS and Android binaries. Developers can also use platform-specific functions and APIs written in C#.
With different tooling and a combination of technologies, app developers can build their visionary applications that can run on any device. However, there are several advantages and setbacks of utilizing these apps. Let’s see their pros and cons to know them better:
As we have explored different mobile app development stack, it’s time for our readers and developers to know how they will pick the right one. After front-end technologies, it’s time to choose the right backend platform for your mobile app.
So, the next section is to choose the best backend technology for mobile app development:
Backend Technology Stack or Backend as a Service (BaaS)
Backend as a Service (BaaS) refers to the mobile backend run on a cloud computing model. It offers app developers a method to connect their applications with cloud-based storage and other APIs merged with the backend.
A mobile app backend development solution offers features like push notifications, user action management, and social media integrations. The backend can access the database, respond to user requests, execute the Update/Read/Create/Delete operations.
Here are the top backend technologies to choose for mobile app development projects:
It is a combined form of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP or Python. It includes a set of open-source app development tooling components. Moreover, developers can also connect them with other open-source software. LAMP backend technologies are customizable, easy-to-use, and flexible. Considering this as the best stack for mobile app development will help with a robust and reliable mobile app development.
It is not a complete tech stack for mobile apps like the above two backend frameworks, still, it can be utilized to support the backend of a mobile app. It is also open-source and a stable framework for multi-functional support. It is compatible to work on complex mobile apps more quickly than other frameworks.
Due to the rich repository of libraries, Rails might be the best stack for mobile app development for backends. Especially for scalable apps, this framework will work as a perfect tool with the essence of MySQL. With an in-built database, this framework can enhance the response rate of your app. This is a major advantage of Ruby on Rails for building your multi-purpose mobile app.
LAMP or MEAN are used to develop the high-performing apps for the businesses with the platform like Python. If we go by stats, then there are more than 71% of companies that work with backends with the integration of platforms like Node.JS and Python.
The hypergrowth companies usually depend upon the platforms like Ruby on Rails, Node.JS, and Python. Additionally, it is essential to work on data caching issues in mobile apps that lead to management and security issues.
These can be taken care of with the help of a VPN – Virtual Private Network – that can be used for the extended security of the business.
To expand your business beyond the mobile app targeted aspects, your backend stack must be scalable enough to provide all the further functionalities.
Other than front-end and back-end best stack for mobile app development, developers need to pick the right cloud platform or platform as a service (PaaS) solution. Let’s see what’s best for the developers in the market:
Platform as a Service or Cloud platforms for Mobile Apps
Utilizing the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model helps to keep the companies out of manual management as they offer automated hosting. These frameworks also help to expand your application for a wider audience using several capabilities.
Adding these services to your mobile app technology stack will provide a scope of integration with different IDEs like Android Studio, Visual Studio, etc. There are a lot of providers that offer mPaaS (mobile platform as a service) along with flexible and scalable features. Let’s have a look at these platforms:
#1 Google App Engine
This platform is integrated with Google Cloud and has the same infrastructure as Google Search possesses. Developers can easily develop, deploy, test, and manage their applications using this complete cloud platform. They can scale their application to any extent using its configuration and provisioning features.
Google App Engine is compatible with all the major languages like Java, PHP, .NET, Ruby, etc. Along with these features, it also provides firewall configurations, SSL/TLS certificates, and Access/Identity Management System. Above all, it can be the best technology for mobile app development operations.
Salesforce offers a unique application Platform as a Service (aPaaS), which is appreciated by leading market-watchers. It has all the standard features usually available in PaaS, including servers, networking, storage infrastructure, security features, runtime environments, and integration with 3rd party API.
The platform also offers sample codes and learning guides through its ‘Lighting design’ system. Salesforce is acknowledged by the developers worldwide as a fast PaaS platform for managing mobile apps.
#3 Lambda (AWS)
The best thing about this AWS PaaS is developers only pay for the time they spend using the framework. As long as they run their codebase, they will pay. The time they stop utilizing it, the billing will halt automatically. Adding this PaaS can strengthen your tech stack for mobile app development.
Developers just need to upload the code and Lambda will take care of it. It will set up the code to scale with other AWS services or run code for any type of mobile app. The feature set remains automated like other PaaS platforms, and pricing criteria is just an added advantage for Lambda.
#4 MS Azure
Azure offers IaaS (internet as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) together for developers to make a choice. This PaaS is providing the same robust features as available with Azure IaaS and SaaS.
Also, Azure provides a free trial period along with a price estimation tool. As a result, it will be easier for users to choose a plan for their mobile apps. They can get a detailed document exploiting the services available in each plan as the best stack for mobile app development.
#5 IBM Cloud
IBM cloud platform merges the infrastructure for IaaS and PaaS. It offers various choices to the developers for running their mobile apps:
- Kubernetes clusters
- Cloud Foundry
- Virtual Machine
The features in the IBM cloud are the same as other PaaS, however, you will get plenty of services to choose from.
With a scope of integration with other open-source technologies, these platforms offer public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. Pick the right PaaS provider for your app to keep it running effectively.
Before going further, you need to know the crucial factors included in picking up the right tech stack for mobile apps. Each of them has its significance so, let’s move on to the checklist consisting of these factors:
A Checklist for Choosing a Technology Stack for Mobile App Development
The selection of the right mobile app development technology stack is a very crucial process. Developers need to make the right choice else they might not be satisfied with the end-product.
With the availability of functions, scalability, and flexibility of tools in mind, the checklist is made up of all the essential factors. Let’s have a look at them:
#1 Type of App/Project
It is the primary and most crucial factor in determining the right technology stack for mobile app development. For instance, if you aim to build a fintech app that offers secure and easy user access, then you should opt for native app development tools. In such a case, you need to pick a stack that includes Kotlin or Swift frameworks.
#2 End-goal of the app
The goal of your app completely helps to choose the type of development you will implement. For a robust app development process, you will get an app with higher latency and quick response.
Deciding on the expenses required to build a dynamic app is required to set up a perfect budget. In such scenarios, there is a tough competition between native vs cross-platform app development approaches.
Many of the app developers will consider React while others test Xamarin for robust development. It also depends on the type of app and its complexity. Analyzing all the factors will help to spend the money on the right tech stack for mobile app development.
#4 Targeted Platforms
There are several platforms available for your mobile app, and you can choose according to the end-goal of the app. Whether you meant to target Android users, then picking the technology stack for Android app development will be the key factor.
However, most of the companies are looking to target the maximum number of audiences with cross-platform and hybrid apps. So, the choice will be yours. Just analyze your requirements and objectives behind mobile app development.
#5 Technological Requirements
Along with the choice of platforms, you need to gather technological requirements. That’s why you will choose a perfect technology stack for mobile apps. It includes tooling for designing, development, testing, and quality assurance. Designing and development can be eased by the above-mentioned toolkits, however, the testing phase will be the key factor for your app success. Make sure to run compatibility, efficiency, and performance tests for better outcomes.
#6 Skill Set Required
It is necessary to know what technologies your app development team will be able to show their skills. Analyzing their capabilities and knowledge is required to pick the right tech stack for mobile app development.
No matter how scalable or flexible frameworks and platforms you choose for your development team, they should know about the occupied tools. Or else you might reconsider your requirements from the beginning. Talk to your team and make the right decision for fluent workflow.
#7 Non-functional Requirements
When you are utilizing a set of technologies, served by developers or app development companies, it might be possible that your business needs remain unfulfilled. These cover the core business operations that one needs to set out the technologies for. This includes the business needs and overall investment in the mobile app development technology stack.
To get them fit in your requirements, you can consider the following non-functional aspects:
- Network Dependencies – The mobile apps developed using HTML5 and native must be able to work without the connectivity of the internet. This can include low bandwidth and high latency for the networks. Additionally, the acceptable query time, response time, and data processing time are a major aspect of the network dependencies in the SLAs (Service Level Agreements).
- Content Delivery Network (CDN) – This is the aspect in which the key purpose of the development is covered for global requests. This is not ideal for the local server since it can take a lot of time in loading.
Now understand that if the continents are different for server and user then the loading time can be more than 5 seconds that is more than enough to alter the interest of users. Hence, it is best to use CDN for such apps that include cache capabilities with static or frequent resources.
This offers an ideal user experience, especially for the B2C websites.
- Security Measures – The tech industry includes several cybersecurity challenges due to vulnerability issues. This is one of the major concerns that starters due to the data caching that can be ideal for the banking and payment applications. The security measures are not popular but with additional like VPN, it can be a great add-on for the development.
To prevent any additional expenses from happening, make sure you are including these requirements with mobile app development technology stacks.
For a unique app idea to be successful, time-to-market is a crucial factor. Some enterprises ignore or leave this factor behind as they focus more on other aspects. But you need to stick with it if you want to gain a competitive edge.
For better timing and response, you should consider React Native or Xamarin app development as they provide quick deployment and development tools. These tools will also help in post-development operations such as mobile app promotion and in-app optimization.
When you get these factors right, picking up the right tech stack for a mobile app will be an easy task. You will get a competitive advantage for building a solution that will be valuable to the market.
#9 Choose The Right Tech Stack
It is not easy to choose the right tech when there are so many options available to use. To help you out, here is a small list that can guide the developers and business owners to make the right choice.
- Simplicity – The apps with a great user experience and simple user interface are something that users prefer. This makes the users come back again to the app that includes a streamlined experience.
- Right Team – It is essential to know the right audience and team when it comes to development. If developers know the project then they can easily choose the right tech stack that can lead to developing an ideal app.
- SEO & ASO – Next in line is the SEO and ASO policies that one needs to maintain while uploading the application on the app store. It increases the visibility of the app in the store that can be maintained with the mobile apps.
Choosing a Tech Stack = Laying App’s Foundation
Mobile app development isn’t an easy task. You need to find the right systems and tools to execute the project. This profound guide for choosing the right technology stack for mobile app development will help you to adopt the latest technologies and tools.
Enterprises will be able to discover new and unique functionalities for their app development. Get your insights clear using this guide as you will be laying a stable foundation for your app success.
Which technology is best for mobile app development?
Choosing a native as well as a cross-platform app development framework will be a better choice in today’s era of development. In this guide, you will get options for various tools
How much cost required for a technology stack for mobile app development?
There are a lot of tools and technologies required from designing to launch an app. You need to carry out a list of these tools along with their average pricing. Overall, an average mobile app development cost ranges between $150K to $300K. So, 30%-40% of the total amount will be required for picking the right technology stack for mobile app development.
What is the best platform for mobile app development?
It depends on your app’s end goal, requirement, and budget. Since different app types have different development costs and specifications, you need to compare them and then make the decision to pick the right platform. According to the market, native-like cross-platform apps are trending in the business.
A young entrepreneurial technocrat who is the Co-Founder & CEO at Appventurez Mobitech. After completion of his masters in Computer Application, he dived into the world of technology as an iOS developer. As a CEO, he firmly believes teamwork and collaboration are the essential tools for any company’s success.
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