If trends are determining your tech stack choice for your mobile app projects, you’re doing it all wrong. Even the most reputable surveys on this subject feature plenty of bias in them that is impossible to discount. A successful mobile application satisfies many user preferences, and the right tech stack is necessary for speed, security, and an excellent appearance in mobile app development. This article covers the nuances of choosing the appropriate technology stack for your projects.
There are quick benefits when you choose a suitable technology stack for mobile app development projects. First, it saves time, and it offers a more manageable budget [so you save money]. It’s a more flexible approach, offering new prospects and making future development less challenging. How does a specific technology stack impact your development of an Android or an iOS project, for instance? What’s the best stack to proceed with a cross-platform mobile application?
These questions will define how we set appropriate goals for developing a mobile app.
What is a Mobile Development Stack?
When building anything, it’s wise to first consider everything the tools you’ll use to do so. If it’s a house, you begin by having a solid foundation to ensure that we have a sturdy outcome. That’s what choosing the best technology stack does for you.
The best tech stack pools together, the language, framework, platform, and so forth necessary to develop the application. Here are a few notable mobile stack categories:
- Back-end: This includes the data access layer which connects to databases, scripting, site architecture, and all the peculiarities of server-side development.
- Development: This category refers to the tools that provide interfaces and libraries to build the application.
- Front-end: This deals with the development of the interface through which the end-user can interact with the application. It’s appropriately known as client-side development.
- Supporting: Here, we consider ways to provide security, improve functionality, and foster long-term improvement.
The list we’ve just developed easily adapts to specific projects and the platform the app will run on.
Why is Choosing the Best Technology Stack Important?
How do we understand the role of a tech stack in building mobile apps, why do we need to choose the best technology stack for a project?
Well, the technology ecosystem is in a constant state of flux and evolves rapidly. Technology development stacks seem to multiply as fast as bacteria. Choosing an inappropriate or unsuitable stack can lead to the wrong application architecture or derail a mobile app project.
A technology stack then refers to the collection of software development infrastructure that you need to develop fully functional software.
Choosing a tech stack for mobile app development other than the best one easily leads to cost overruns, lasting error recovery, and missed deadlines.
How to Choose the Best Mobile Technology Stack
Choosing one set of technologies for all projects does not work. In reality, it’s downright impossible and unrealistic. Every project is unique in its technical requirements and purpose. The same reasoning applies when building a startup or the team developing the app.
Instead, begin by asking important questions and not just blindly selecting a stack because other apps are using it. For instance, newer toolkits may limit your product to users whose devices run on specific operating systems.
In another likely scenario, you’re working with a development team. Your tech stack should mirror those on your team. Your team should not just be good with the tools you choose, they should be great. Companies in finance and banking favor Java over other programming languages because it is robust and secure. There’s also a pool of resourceful talent to hire if need be.
Besides these, other factors critical to the choice of a mobile tech stack include:
1. The Goal of the Mobile App
Your goals determine the technologies you choose. Cross-platform tech stacks are best if you’re targeting Android and iOS users in the shortest possible time and performance is not a high priority.
Some apps require device-specific APIs such as ARKit, HealthKit, or Samsung Health. For those apps, you need to write native code in React Native to work with native kits. You may also need to use a third-party framework. However, you can’t do all your development on native toolkits.
There are obvious primary features that every app development focuses on first. However, as an app grows, it’s important to plan for scalability. So, your technology stack should support subsequent growth.
The appropriate technologies should support a stable system architecture as users and traffic grow.
- What server would you use?
- Who’s your hosting provider?
- What database would hold your data?
- What programming language(s) would you write the application in?
These are some important decisions that could impact your ability to scale your app.
Many app developers take for granted the fact that users value mobile app security. No matter the platform you’re using, security is a crucial consideration. Malicious actors are on the rampage and there’s eventually a price to pay for complacency. The slightest vulnerability is an open door for them.
Of course, modern mobile technologies ship with crucial security features. Choose a tech stack for mobile app development that has proper documentation, a lean and clean framework, and one where you don’t have to write lengthy code.
Complexity in mobile app development is mostly about how the app interfaces with the backend and underlying mobile features. An app requiring data caching or which receives data from the phone’s camera and sensors is apt for native mobile stacks. The native app tech offers access to specific features of the device. This approach isn’t applicable when building in a cross-platform environment.
An app that simply displays data from the backend is an appropriate candidate for cross-platform development tools. The social sharing app, Instagram, is built using React Native.
While complex cross-platform tools are possible, native development helps to complete the modules pertaining to the device hardware.
The number of apps released monthly on the various app stores keeps growing. It’s a competitive industry and the user is king. A fast development timeline is therefore vital, but it requires appropriate technology tools.
Take the case of developing an MVP that needs to be ready in the shortest possible time. The full version can use a slightly different stack feasible for developing more features over a longer timeline.
On a Final Note
Mobile app development continues to evolve as more enterprises adopt mobile technologies and brands embrace digital-first business models.
The first step to developing a highly functional mobile app is to choose the mobile app technology stack that supports your goals. Whatever stack that happens to be, is the best stack to build your app with.