Why you don't need a "native" mobile app.
Let’s start with a bit of mobile app development history.
Back 10 years ago, if you wanted to build a “good” mobile app you only had one option. That option was to build it natively.
Now you will ask “What does building natively means?”.
In our techy jargon, this means building your app using the native language of each platform (iOS and android). iOS requires you to code your app in Swift or ObjectiveC for the purist while Android requires you to code it in Java/Kotlin. A good analogy to this is that you’re essentially building the same road twice but for 2 different brands of car.
This approach is extremely costly because you need at least 2 developers, one focused on iOS and the other one on android. It is also extremely painful to maintain and/or update. A simple update will have to be briefed, developed & tested twice.
Fast-forward to today, Google & Facebook have developed a "hybrid" approach to this problem. If you are a forward thinking company like these 2 behemoths, building an app natively is similar to running with a trailer attached to you. It cripples your growth and innovation. Facebook wanted to release updates to both Android and iOS rapidly. They dedicated their own team to build a framework capable of solving this particular pain point. This framework (released in 2015) is called React Native and it allows you to build the same feature once for iOS & Android. Revolutionary!
Google then followed Facebook’s footpath by creating their own open-source framework called Flutter (released in 2017). It is using Dart (a google language). Flutter went further in allowing you to build for iOS, Android, Web, Windows, Linux & more.
I won’t get too technical here but if you want to know how React Native and Flutter work under the hood, I will write an article about this and reference it here once done.
Now, some people will tell you React Native or Flutter are not good enough, it’s not used by many people, it’s not production ready, etc. This is all untrue and one of the worst advice you could possibly get. As always we strongly recommend doing your own research, selecting the wrong technology is like selecting the wrong tiles in your bathroom, you will be reminded of your mistake every single day. In 2022, using React Native or Flutter is one of the best possible solution for anyone looking at developing a mobile app. Don’t trust our word for it, look at the mobile apps built using these technologies:
- Apps using React Native here
- Apps using Flutter here
We've also built React Native apps here in Australia for some of the largest companies, check out on our work.
It’s never been more exciting to build mobile apps, Flutter & React Native have revolutionized the mobile app development ecosystem. I would beg the question, if companies such as Google and Facebook built these frameworks, native have not been viable for them and they have an army of engineers. So why should that be different for your mobile app build?