How to Choose the Best Technology Stack for Mobile App (Comprehensive
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How to Choose the Best Technology Stack for Mobile App (Comprehensive Guide)

Avinash Sharma
By Avinash Sharma| Wednesday, August 1, 2018 17:12 PM |9 min read
How to choose the best tech stack for mobile app

If you are even a month old in the world of mobile application development, the probability of you having not heard of the concept of Technology Stack is very minimal.

No matter what mobile app development process you are planning to follow, it would never turn fruitful until you get together a set of robust technology stack. Technology Stack is what decides the future of a software product. Well, we will get to the exact definition of tech stack in a while. For now understand this – The present and future of your mobile app depends on nothing but its tech stack.

And it is the tech stack that has single-handedly made big brands what they are.

[Extra: Find out the Tech Stack of Famous Mobile Apps like Instagram and Fitbit]

In this article, we will be looking into the concept of technology stack in more detail, while throwing the light on the importance of knowing the technology stack that your mobile app would be based on. We will also talk about the tech stacks that power the apps on the basis of their type.

But first, let us quickly refresh our understanding of mobile app technology stack. 

What is a Technology Stack

The complete technology stack for mobile application development can be divided into four areas. And these are also the areas that also constitute as the anatomy of an application.

Here are the four components which together make one Technology Stack –

1. Frontend Development

The interface on which users interact with the mobile app

2. Backend Development

The part which takes the user input, processes it, and convert it into output

3. Development Platform

The place where interfaces and libraries come into the picture to design and develop the mobile application.

4. Additional Requirements

The technology elements that affect app performance, security, and robustness.

Now that you know what mobile app technology stack stands for, let us now look into the reasons why it is important for businesses to sit with their partnered mobile app development company and look at the technology stack that would be put into their mobile apps.

Why is it Important to Find the Best Tech Stack for Mobile App?

There are a number of elements that are dependent on the selection of the right mobile app tech stack. The probability of whether your app is robust or will it be able to scale to different operating system versions, relies heavily on the technology combination that you choose for its development.

Any wrong or hasty, uncalculated decision with respect to the selection of nothing but the best technology stack for mobile application, will affect its current performance and future growth prospects negatively.

While these are the issues attached at a much deeper level, which you would face only when you are deep inside the mobile app development process, there are a number of first level issues attached with the wrong choice of mobile app technology stack as well.

The time to market of app and the cost of app development also gets affected with the choice of mobile app tech stack.

[Extra: Talking of Cost, Know how much does it cost to develop a mobile app]

Since you now know what tech stack is and why it is important to know the technology stack, let us come to the section where we look into the technology stack that powers the development of powerful, scalable, and innovative mobile and web apps.

Native App Technology Stack

Native apps are known for their robustness and performance. The quality standards that a business usually looks to achieve in their mobile journey are the ones that their investment in Native App Development perfectly solves.

Native Apps allow businesses to integrate device’s in-built functionalities in their mobile app, without calling for an external third party API.

Now, when we talk about talk about Native app, we usually talk in the context of Android and iOS App development. The two platforms come with different capabilities, which call for different technology stacks as well.

Let us look at the most commonly used mobile app technology stack that goes in the iOS app development and Android app development.

Technology Stack for Android Mobile Apps

Android Tech Stack

Although Kotlin is the official programming language for Android app development, Java language is still used to a great extent by the Android app developers.

As for the IDE, Eclipse and Android Studio are most commonly used for the development purposes.

Using these Android tech stacks, developers have been able to increase the app count to over millions and have made the Android app development industry the one that businesses opt for when they are looking to reach the masses.

Technology Stack for iOS Mobile Apps

iOS Tech Stack

The most preferred languages for iOS app development are Swift and Objective-C. The toolkits that are most commonly used by the iPad and iPhone app developers are IntelliJ AppCode and Apple Xcode.

At the back of this technology stack, Apple app development industry has been able to brand itself as the market that businesses head out to generate revenues on their mobile apps.

While this was for Native apps, development of apps which run majorly on web would call for a different set of tech stack. The apps we are talking about here is Hybrid Apps.

Technology Stack for Hybrid Apps

Hybrid App Tech Stack

Hybrid apps are usually developed with help of the standard web techniques like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript. They usually consist of two sections – Backend and Native shell. These apps can run on all platforms and tend to provide access to API and acquire device storage and camera etc.

The three frameworks that are most commonly used for the development of Hybrid apps include – Cordova, Sencha Touch 2, and Ionic.

Now that we have talked about both Native Apps and Hybrid Apps, it is time to move our focus on the Tech Stack for Cross Platform App Development

Technology Stack for Cross Platform App

Cross Platform Tech Stack

Cross platform app development means using the same code to develop apps that would then run on multiple platforms – Android, iOS, and Web.

Businesses usually go with the cross platform app development because of the concepts business benefits that revolve around greater demographic coverage, low development cost, and faster go to market time.

Cross platform tech stack is usually made up of three major technologies – Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin.

Now that we have looked into the tech stack that powers the development of a variety of app types, ranging from Native apps to Cross Platforms and Hybrid Apps, it is time to look into something that matters to a mobile app development company more than knowing the tech stack – Knowing How to Choose the Best Technology Stack for Mobile Application.

How to Select the Best Tech Stack for Mobile App?

Factors Influencing The Choice of Tech Stack

The ideal mobile app technology stack that can power your product for success is an outcome of careful consideration and analysis of a number of factors.

Here are the factors that tend to influence the mobile app technology stack choice for development of a mobile app

  • App Considerations
  • The Goal of Mobile App
  • Development Team Skill-Set
  • Technology’s Parent Company
  • Choice to Operate on Multiple Platforms
  • Security Level of the Tech Stack
  • Compatibility with the Existing Technologies

1. App Considerations

There are a number of factors that vary from one app to another. The device on which the app would function, the network condition it would run in, the user experience you are aiming to achieve, the estimated go to market time, and the platform it would run, amongst others.

All these app elements clubbed together help decide the set of framework, library, languages, and the software that would be combined to develop the mobile app.

2. The Goal of Mobile App

The choice of tech stack for mobile application development also depends heavily on the goal that your mobile app is going to achieve.  

There would be a stark difference in the mobile app technology stack choice when you are looking to develop a high latency app vs a quick response, low latency mobile app.

Mobile app that is dependent on heavy load processing call for a much robust tech stack than the ones that operate around streamlined interactions.

3. Development Team Skill-Set

There are a number of languages and framework that tend to give the same result but have some differentiating factors that separate one from the other. Now, when you are to decide between two similar-ish tech stack, the ideal thing to do is to rely on the developer’s skill-set.

If you introduce a tech stack that your team is not acquainted with, it will increase not just the development effort and time but also the cost of mobile app development. While on the other hand, introducing a mobile app technology stack that your team is comfortable with, will help expedite the process while saving the quality compromise.

4. Technology’s Parent Company

The parent company of the technology stack that you are going with also makes a lot of difference in the choice.

There are some brands that offer a lot better documentation and community support than the others. Like, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe are known to offer a lot better community support and advanced development options than Facebook with React Native.

5. Choice to Operate on Multiple Platforms

The technology stack of an app that runs on one platform would be a lot different than of the one that runs on all – Android, iOS, and Web.

The level of scalability that you will have to introduce in your mobile app to make it portable on other platforms, e.g. in case of Hybrid App or Cross Platform App Development, would call for a different tool set than one that would go into the development of a Native app.

6. Security Level of the Tech Stack

While every modern day mobile app development technology comes prepared to combat the security related vulnerabilities that an app can come across after it is launched it is market. Problem comes when you choose a technology stack which is not sufficiently documented or which requires writing long line of codes, which make the development process prone to risks.

And then there comes the element of developers’ skills. No matter what technology stack you are including in your mobile app, hackers will find their way in if the app is not developed in a secure manner. So along with the tech stack, your app developers team need to be skilled as well.

7. Compatibility with the Existing Technologies

Going with a mobile app tech stack that is in line with the technology that you have functioning in the project is very important. Especially if you are introducing a new tech stack after the mobile app development process has started.

Apart from checking the compatibility of the tech stack with the current project, you should also check how compatible would the tech stack be with the tools that you might be planning to add in the app at a later stage.  

With this, you now know everything about technology stack that you need to get started with your first mobile app development project. Now no matter which technology you end up using, make sure that they work well with your present app structure and prepares your mobile app to be innovative and scalable.

How to Choose the Best Technology Stack for Mobile App

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Continue exploring the landscape of product design with these helpful resources: best technology stack for mobile appmobile app technology stacktechnology stack for mobile application development
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Avinash Sharma
About The Author

Avinash Sharma is the go to person for someone stuck in the glorious mesh of Android world. Currently associated with Appinventiv as a Solution Architect, Avinash has a knack for finding answers to areas that are yet to be explored. A strict out of the box thinker, he ensures that every blank space of Android app development process’s SDLC is filled.

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