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Meet John. He goes to the cafe near his office every morning to grab a plain croissant for breakfast. On Tuesday instead of a plain croissant he got a chocolate one by mistake and his day was spoiled.

When the wrong ingredient gets into a croissant, it’s a trifle. New day - new croissant. But when you choose the wrong mobile development stack for your app, it becomes a big problem, as the result you get, in most cases won’t correspond to your initial idea and users’ expectations.

What Is a Technology Stack for Mobile App Development

The technology stack for mobile application development refers to the combination of programming languages, software development kits, frameworks, and, actually, any other technologies that contribute to the final product. 

Generally, there are four main components of tech stack:

Frontend Development

Also known as client-side development, frontend development is the practice of building graphical user interfaces through the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so that users can interact with them directly. Buttons, links, animations, etc, are products of frontend developers who are responsible for the look and feel of the website.

Backend Development

Server-side development or backend development is focused on scripting, databases, and website architecture. It’s a combination of “behind-the-scenes” activities that occur when users interact with the website. It might be an account login, making a purchase from an online store, and so on. Users browse websites without even knowing how much work was done in the backend to connect the web to a database.

Development Platform

A development platform refers to the type of software that allows businesses to build, test, and deploy their products in a short period of time. The development platform can be created yourself though most frequently, organizations decide to buy third-party products. Such products usually offer frontend development tools, mobile backend as a service, and management tools for APIs.

Additional Needs

Different tools and technologies to improve the performance, security, and flexibility of the application.

Why Is It Important to Make the Right Decision?

The mobile development stack you choose and the end product you receive are completely interconnected. Therefore in the initial phase of development, you should decide on the functionality of the application, the budget you have on it, expected user experience, and precisely learn the technology stack options that can meet these needs.

Most programming languages have established performance strengths and limitations, the mobile app stack can hint at the final strengths and weaknesses of your application.


Technology Stacks for Different Kinds of Mobile App Development

The success of your application is directly bound to the app platform that you’ve chosen. Let’s assume that your target audience is located in the US. Approximately 58% of the US mobile operating system market share is held by iOS, and 41% by Android. If your target audience lives in India, the situation is different - 94% of the market share belongs to Android. Therefore in the process of choosing a tech stack for mobile app development,  business owners have different paths to choose among, that in the future will dictate not only the functionality of their products but also their popularity.

Native App Development: iOS and Android

Native mobile applications are built for a specific platform. The most popular two are Android and iOS. Native applications flawlessly integrate into the target operating systems, magnify user experience, allow developers to immediately publish all updates and fix bugs.

native apps pros and cons

Android Technology Stack for 2022

If you decide to build a mobile application for Android, there are the following mobile development technologies.

Programming Languages for Android App Development

Java

Java logo

Java is an object-oriented programming language widely used for creating large-scale apps and software. Java offers a shallow learning curve and advanced security features that are major requirements for every organization. Easy, flexible, and reusable code, millions of available libraries, and a high degree of platform independence because of the Java Virtual Machine feature make Java take the place among top programming languages every year. 

Google, Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, LinkedIn, eBay, and other well-known companies use Java for software development.

Kotlin

Kotlin logo

Kotlin is a statically typed programming language that combines features of both object-oriented and functional programming. The language allows developers to extend existing classes with new functionality, reduces crashes at runtime, supports full Java interoperability, and comes with a lazy-loading feature. What is more, the language syntax is lean and intuitive and the code length is significantly reduced compared to Java. Null Safe function makes you avoid using nullable types and allows automatically removing mistakes and easing the process of debugging.

In 2020, Google estimated that 70% of the top 100 apps on the Play Store are written in Kotlin.

Android App Development Tools

Leveraging Android Developer Tools, you receive full support in the process of building applications for Android. Apart from Android-specific coding support, software engineers get access to emulators, debugging tools, a graphical UI builder, and more.

Android Studio

Android Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for the Android platform. The development environment is adapted to perform typical tasks that are solved in the process of developing applications for the Android platform. In addition to the capabilities of IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio has several additional features, such as a new unified application build, testing, and deployment subsystem based on Gradle assembly tools and supporting the use of seamless integration tools.

Android SDK

Android Software development kit includes a range of different components that are essential for building Android applications. It includes libraries, documentation, debugger, sample code, tutorials, and more. The components of the Android SDK can be downloaded separately.

iOS Technology Stack for 2022

Programming Languages for iOS App Development

Objective-C

Objective-C

Objective C is an object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. Objective-C received the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements from C, and also is complemented by the syntax for defining classes and methods. The Smalltalk style messaging makes the language very simple to understand and dynamic typing features also greatly contribute to the language’s potential.

Objective-C is used to support Apple platforms such as iPhone, Mac computers, Apple TV, iPads, etc.

Swift

Swift

Announced in 2014, Swift has become one of the most fast-growing languages in history. Compared to Objective-C, it has a simpler syntax and is able to interoperate with the huge body of existing Objective-C code developed for Apple products previously. Though it’s a completely independent language and has core features such as data structures, flow control, protocols, closures, etc.

Swift is a general-purpose programming language and now is a cross-platform language that can be used on Windows and Linux too.

iOS App Development Tools

Apple Xcode

Apple Xcode is a full-featured development environment that comes with integrated support for Git repositories, debugging tools, a graphical editor for building user interfaces, and documentation.

iOS SDK

The iOS SDK consists of tools used for developing apps for the iOS platform, including an application programming interface that functions as a link between software apps and the iOS platform. The newest version provides concurrency support, new kinds of shared experiences, powerful customization capabilities, and much more.


Cross-platform Technology Stack: React Native vs Xamarin

Cross-platform applications can run on different mobile platforms. Writing a code once, you can reuse its significant amount again for another platform. This makes cross-platform development less expensive and long and adapts to most devices.

cross-platform apps pros and cons
React Native

React Native is an open-source UI software framework for developing Android, Windows, and iOS apps. With React Native, the same code can be used for deployment on multiple platforms, you don’t need to write code in Swift for iOS, in Java for Android, etc. React Native uses JavaScript which is one of the most popular and widely used programming languages. The “live reload” feature provides two screens: on the one you modify code and on another can immediately see these modifications. Being built by Facebook, React Native is one of the most trusted frameworks for cross-platform app development.

Instagram, Tesla, Skype, Airbnb, and Walmart use React Native.

Xamarin

Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source platform for building iOS, Android, and Windows apps created by Microsoft. Xamarin uses C# language, which is one of the .NET framework languages, to create applications for all platforms. Xamarin is natively compiled, with strong safety-typing, a robust base class library, a native user interface, and native performance monitoring. Xamarin uses Visual Studio on Windows and Xamarin Studio on Mac OS X which are modern IDEs with plenty of features.

Technology Stack for Hybrid App Development

Hybrid applications are a mixture of native and web solutions. Functioning like websites, they run from within a native app and its embedded browser.

hybrid apps pros and cons
Cordova

Apache Cordova, formerly known as PhoneGap, is an open-source framework for building hybrid apps using JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 rather than depending on platform-specific APIs like those in Android, iOS, and Windows. The most prominent feature of Cordova is the ability to convert the code into a native application. The framework embeds the code into a so-called “native wrapper” which is able to access the device functions of several platforms.

Ionic

Ionic

Ionic is an open-source AngularJS based framework that leverages such web technologies as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5, using modern web APIs. Ionic has ready-made UI components and typography that help to create attractive user interfaces and seamlessly integrate with a number of frontend frameworks such as Javascript, Angular, React, and Vue giving your team members an opportunity to choose their favorite stacks.

How to Choose the Right Mobile Technology Stack

App Needs

First of all, you need to define your target audience, its demographics, set of features your app should possess, type of technology, platform, estimated go-to-market time, etc. All these elements will define the set of frameworks, libraries, and languages that will be used to develop the product.

App Goals

What is the “problem” you’re trying to solve with your product? What are the competitive solutions available on the market and what features do they have? Set a business strategy with a clear market and user research.

Skill Set of Development Team

Choosing between two similar tech stacks, the ideal option will be to rely on the developer’s set of skills. If you already have a team of devs, introducing a new tech stack will increase the effort, time, and cost of the development process. 

Budget and Timelines

The budget has to include money for all phases of the project, including maintenance and continuous updating. Budget and timelines depend on many factors such as the cooperation model you’ve chosen, the number of team members, their experience, technology, set of features, and type of your application. 

Mobile Technology Stack at inVerita

At inVerita, we use mobile stacks supported by good ecosystems and based on open technologies. Such an approach allows our developers to easily integrate updates in the future, ensure high scalability and security, and test the product’s MVP in the market in the shortest possible time.


We provide a full range of mobile app development services including Android and iOS native applications, Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, and Sencha cross-platform apps, and Cordova, Ionic hybrid applications.

You can learn more about inVerita mobile tech stack here.


Wrapping Up

The success of your mobile application is bound to many things, but the choice of proper technology must be the first topic that you thoroughly learn as soon as you decide to build an app. Clearly define the goals of your project, target audience, set of the features your app should have to be competitive in the market, and finally, choose the tech stack that will be perfect for your app. Expert opinion will be a big advantage.
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