It’s hard to imagine an industry or field of study that isn’t ruled by standards; like the metric system in the field of science. However, as consumers, our “standards” are always in flux. Whether it’s Betamax versus VHS or HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray, we’ve seen a lot of good (and bad) formats fall to the wayside.
When it comes to developing the latest apps, a similar battle is being waged among some of the biggest names in technology. Frameworks have risen as a way to streamline the development process and help push viable products out the door quicker.
Unlike the days of Netscape and Internet Explorer (another format war that led to the creation of Mozilla’s Firefox browser), the web is much more standardized than it once was. With mobile taking off as a platform, that has led to a lot of progress and has changed how web developers shape the web. Luckily for us, the standardization of the web has helped pave the way for app building and some of the languages we have used at Bitstorm Connect to build web sites for years are at the heart of apps people use every day.
So, what’s the difference between an App and a Website?
Uber recently launched a mobile version of their app called m.uber using just that. The app was built for high performance on slower networks and is probably one of the best feats of engineering that exists on the web to date, with the whole thing weighing in at less than an astonishingly small 50kb.
So, what now?
Let’s review some of the big names in the in Mobile App development right now.
Ionic – Casting a Wide Net (https://ionicframework.com/)
It’s pitfall, and the reason why it’s not widely used by more specialized teams, is that this “translation” doesn’t come without costs and trade-offs. You can experience performance issues and your app may lack a true “native” experience as Ionic attempts to cast a wide net for maximum compatibility. For small to medium projects that requires cross-platform integration, Ionic is a safe bet still and you can utilize it in conjunction with just about any framework out there.
Preact – When Performance Is Key (https://preactjs.com/)
Despite being an alternative to React, Preact is 100% compatible with React. Because of this, if your company is already using React on other projects, Preact is a great tool to consider for an app when performance is going to be vital.
React Native – Most Popular (https://facebook.github.io/react-native/)
React Native enjoys a huge community of developers eager to help new teams and people and it checks off all the boxes you would want for app development for cross-platform compatibility. It enjoys a large community and probably has the best support among developers as it hooks and shares a lot of common ground with React. There’s also no end to the tutorials and free resources you can find to assist you.
In conclusion, it can seem like there really isn’t an official “standard” for App Development just yet as to have an app on the web, iOS and Android devices seems to require a myriad of technical skills that’s just too much for a single person to fully understand and implement by themselves. The internet has come a long way since the browser wars but because of this, it can feel over-populated and hard to navigate.