Top JavaScript Frameworks For Mobile App Development

Top_JavaScript_Frameworks_For_Mobile_App_Development

“JavaScript is the only language that I am aware of that people feel they don’t need to learn before they start using it.” – Douglas Crockford

Robust mobile applications have made our lives easier and much more comfortable than before. Every now and then, we are using mobile apps to perform some important functions of our day-to-day life. Mobile app development has been the key focussed technology trending nowadays, with a sole aim to provide the best of hybrid / cross platform compatibility, user experience, security, swiftness, and quick response.

One extremely popular technology that has been the backbone of many frameworks, in the arena of mobile app development is JavaScript. JavaScript needs no introduction!

“JavaScript is the duct tape of the Internet” – Charlie Campbell

It has been one of the most wanted frontend programming language. Its utilization as a client-side scripting language is favoured in dynamic web development and mobile app development. JavaScript has been a hot favourite of startups, enterprises and organizations of all sizes and segments. It brings about a categorized solution to develop interactive UI, with fewer lines of code.

 

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JavaScript frameworks are meant to build mobile applications in swifter and simplistic manner. Established organisations are moving onto creating their own mobile applications through popular frameworks that are based on JavaScript.

JavaScript Frameworks – An Overview

When it comes to designing and building effective mobile apps, JavaScript frameworks are considered ideal. Because of their efficiency, lesser involved costs, great community support, lower learning curve, JavaScript has been the preferred choice for many, who are keen to build their own mobile apps. These frameworks can be leveraged across iOS, Android, and Windows. Developers, with detailed knowledge of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML, can work wonders and develop effective and robust mobile apps.

There are many frameworks available around the globe. Each one of them has its own characteristics, specific areas to focus on and their own features. It is important to analyse each one of them and then decide on which one suits your organizational requirement the best.

Top JavaScript Frameworks For Creating Effective Mobile Apps

  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Ionic
  • NativeScript
  • AngularJS
  • Apache Cordova / Adobe PhoneGap
  • jQuery Mobile
  • Mobile Angular UI
  • Sencha Touch / Sencha Ext JS
  • Appcelerator Titanium
  • Meteor
  • Backbone JS
  • Ember.js
  • Tabris.js
  • Fuse.js
  • OnSen UI

React Native

React Native has been one of the leading JavaScript frameworks for mobile app development. It attracts a large community of developers with its optimum speed, user interface, competence, and a cost-effective approach. Created by the tech giant Facebook, it operates with the concept of ‘Learn once, write anywhere’. It offers a truly native experience for all. It is driven by a wide community with many contributors worldwide.

Key Features:

  • Faster application build owing to a big library of React components
  • An integration of components in Swift, Objective-C and Java
  • Development of code with some portion in React Native and some with native code
  • Consistent third-party plugin support
  • Supports iOS and Android with a single codebase across platforms
  • Offers responsive interface to have a smoothly operating app

Xamarin

Owned by Microsoft, Xamarin is a .NET based framework that creates native and high-performance mobile apps. It is open source, free and cross platform in nature. It integrates seamlessly with modern-day components, backend services, native APIs. It broadens the .NET platform to design and develop apps for Android, iOS, macOS, watchOS and Windows.

Key Features:

  • Compiled for native performance
  • Competent library support for accessing 2D graphics and native APIs from shared code
  • Creates standardized cross platform UI with Xamarin.Forms
  • Dedicated community support from multiple contributors and organizations
  • Flexible backend infrastructure with analytical tools

Ionic

With a strong focus on performance, design, and animation, Ionic has been one of the popular JavaScript based mobile application frameworks. It operates on ‘Write once, run anywhere’ concept, a single codebase and offers a complete app development kit. With Ionic, one can continuously create applications and port them to different locations.

Key Features:

  • Reusable UI components for all types of mobile devices
  • Develops responsive and intuitive apps for portable devices
  • Framework compatibility
  • Live reloads, integrations and cross platform deployments
  • Enriched library of front-end building blocks
  • Enhances stability and accelerates time to market

NativeScript

NativeScript is an open source, cross platform, free mobile framework that assists in creation of truly native Android and iOS mobile apps. These apps can be built with JavaScript, Angular, Vue.js or TypeScript. Programming using NativeScript reduces the development time and lines of code, to a large extent. Many organizations globally have been implementing it because of its salient features.

Key Features:

  • Availability of all Android and iOS APIs
  • Free access to plugins, app samples and templates
  • Simplistic to learn, leveraging the skills used in JavaScript, CSS, and Native UI markup
  • Great community support, induced by everyday global projects
  • Mission critical business support

AngularJS

Backed by the tech stalwart Google, AngularJS has been operating successfully as an opensource web and mobile application framework. It has been influential in assisting development and testing of apps with MVC and MVVM architectures. Its plug n play components, native-like experience for hybrid mobile apps, directives are some of the key elements that make AngularJS one of the preferred mobile app development framework.

Key Features:

  • Agile and simplistic code elements
  • Two-way data binding
  • Personalized widget development
  • Addition of reusable code with directives
  • Effective components like switches, overlays, sidebars etc.

Apache Cordova / Adobe PhoneGap

As one of the popular mobile app development framework, Adobe and Apache have Adobe PhoneGap. Its open source and flexible nature have been the crux of its rising popularity. It utilizes the built-in JavaScript API to establish a connection with the native features of mobile devices and the OS. It has a large and robust backend for easy development of native mobile applications.

Key Features:

  • Access to device hardware
  • Availability of useful libraries
  • Easy and simple development
  • Platform compatibility
  • ‘What You See Is What You Get’ IDE with an in-built emulator

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile is a leading user interface framework, created on jQuery core and based on JavaScript programming. It is lightweight in size, with a strong theming framework and simple API that facilitates creation of highly responsive mobile applications and powerful websites. It designs single good quality websites and applications that can work seamlessly on devices and platforms.

Key Features:

  • HTML based UI system
  • Touch optimized web framework
  • Easy compatibility with other mobile frameworks
  • Native like experience
  • Flexible, theme-oriented design

Mobile Angular UI

As an efficient mobile UI framework, Mobile Angular UI is a popular JavaScript framework that builds mobile apps with AngularJS and Bootstrap. It is easy to pick up if developers are aware of AngularJS. It offers certain key mobile components that helps in creation of high-quality mobile apps.

  • HTML5 hybrid mobile apps and desktop apps
  • Extension of Bootstrap framework
  • Mobile components like switches, sidebars, overlays, and scrollable areas
  • Uses AngularJS directives to create an effective mobile experience
  • Easy and convenient development framework

Sencha Touch / Sencha Ext JS

Sencha Touch has now been merged with Sencha Ext JS. Sencha Ext JS has been one of the most effective JavaScript framework to create cross platform mobile applications. It consists of well tested and good performance UI components like pivot grid, trees, lists, forms, HTML5 calendar, D3 adapters etc. that help in getting the best of results.

Key Features:

  • Accelerated mobile and web development with ease
  • Access to a group of efficient Sencha tools
  • Customizable and code compatible
  • Robust data package connected with various backend sources
  • Responsive touch feature
  • Offers a fast speed for any mobile app

Appcelerator Titanium

As one of the early birds in the open source mobile app framework arena, Titanium has been utilizing JavaScript along with HTML5 and CSS3. It holds a huge community of mobile developers. Developers can develop mobile apps from a single JavaScript codebase. It makes use of JavaScript based SDK with multiple APIs for different platforms.

Key Features:

  • MVC app framework that offers a simple model to separate the layers
  • Offers real-time analytics through single platform
  • Rapid prototyping and single JavaScript based SDK
  • Growing community support
  • Efficient code modules for lesser coding time

Meteor

Meteor creates simple, efficient, and scalable mobile applications using the JavaScript framework. It helps you integrate the currently used technologies. It uses a single code base to develop applications for any device. It makes use of an extended and integrated JavaScript stack that helps in offer more with lesser coding involved.

Key Features:

  • Seamless integration with other frontend frameworks
  • Access to Meteor partners for app development and training
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Full stack solution
  • Using same code in frontend and backend

Backbone JS

Backbone JS is a JavaScript framework based on the MVP app design. As the name suggests, it acts as a strong backbone to your project. It is lightweight in nature and hence, is considered ideal for developing single page applications. It offers a simplistic frontend and makes best use of JavaScript functions.

Key Features:

  • Separates the business and UI logic layer
  • Access to 100+ available extensions
  • A soft dependency on jQuery and hard dependency on Underscore.js
  • Offers a variety of building blocks like views, models, routers etc.
  • Extracts data into models and DOM into views

Ember.js

Ember JS is popular for designing and developing overly complicated and difficult mobile apps. As a free, opensource JavaScript client-side framework, it consists of fastboot.js for pulling things up and ember.js to give way to two-way binding. The comprehensive solution that it offers consists of application flow and data management.

Key Features:

  • High rendering speed
  • Focusses more on development productivity
  • Creates sustainable and reusable JavaScript applications
  • Routes for URL management
  • Based on the MVVM pattern

Tabris.js

Tabris.js is an easy to start, fast and secure framework for developing mobile applications from a single code developed using JavaScript. If developers are well versed with PhoneGap or Ionic, Tabris is easy to pick up. It offers a secure runtime environment to create apps with utmost privacy and safety.

Key Features:

  • No WebViews for UI rendering, only native widgets
  • Leverages existing JavaScript libraries, Cordova plugins
  • Facilitates packaging apps locally and on the cloud
  • Creation of a variety of graphs
  • Availability of online build services

Fuse.js

Fuse.js is a lightweight, strong platform to create cross platform mobile apps. It is known for its simplicity and performance. It carries no DOM dependencies and hence can be used for back-end services also. It keeps your JavaScript code clean and small.

Key Features:

  • Implements the commons module system
  • Less prone to errors
  • Code is easily readable and writable
  • Younger community support
  • Makes use of UX Markup language to compile to native code

OnSen UI

OnSen UI is a powerful, free, opensource mobile application JavaScript framework that is bundled up with ready to implement features with a native nature. It is apt for building hybrid apps with Cordova and progressive web apps. There are 3 layers attached to it – CSS components, framework bindings and web components.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with AngularJS and Angular 2+, React, jQuery and Vue
  • Consists of a varied set of enriched UI components
  • Performs well with Monaca – a strong tool to easy difficult tasks
  • Natively created user interface elements
  • Operates well with any framework and streamlines development
On A Parting Note

As we saw above, there are many important factors like development time, availability of resources, operating system, infrastructural setup etc. which helps you choose the most viable JavaScript framework for your mobile apps.
JavaScript is here to stay and showcase its wonders with modern-day mobile app development. It is interesting to watch the increasing number of frameworks based on JavaScript and the world leveraging its potential!

Author: SPEC INDIA

SPEC INDIA, as your single stop IT partner has been successfully implementing a bouquet of diverse solutions and services all over the globe, proving its mettle as a boutique ISO 9001:2015 certified IT solutions organization. With efficient project management practices, international standards to comply, flexible engagement models and superior infrastructure, SPEC INDIA is a customer’s delight. Our skilled technical resources are apt at putting thoughts in a perspective by offering value-added reads for all.


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