{Revealed} Tech Stack of Famous Mobile Apps like Instagram and Fitbit
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{Revealed} Tech Stack of Famous Mobile Apps like Instagram and Fitbit

Avinash Sharma
By Avinash Sharma| Monday, June 4, 2018 10:52 AM |6 min read

Tech Stack are the underlying elements which your mobile application is built on. These are the frameworks, software product, and languages the app is built on.

I know it sounds too technical for a non developer person. But knowing the tech stack of what your app would be built on is too important to let slide casually.

Here is why it is Important to Know and Implement a Strong Mobile App Technology Stack

1. Your Tech Stack Influences the Stability of your Product

There can be a number of combinations when it comes to choosing between the different languages, frameworks, and the underlying software modules. While the right combination, which mixes in the best of all elements can make your mobile app stronger, a weak combination, the one that is a combination of the good and average of the elements, will stop your app from reaching its potential.

The difference in both is something that is very crucial to be discussed with your partnered mobile app development company.

2. Your Tech Stack can Make Your App Bug Free

When you have a solid mobile app technologies’ background in terms of both software and the QA elements, you get to ensure that your mobile app development process is so strong that is bug free and impossible to hack.

3. Your Tech Stack Would Change with Your App Purpose

Whether you wish your mobile app to be scalable or your aim is to develop an app that can be deployed faster, your tech stack will be chosen according to that.

While in all the cases you will be aiming for a strong mix of software elements, from purpose to purpose the mix would vary.

While these were the direct effects of Tech Stack on your mobile app, there are some rippling effects as well.

4. A Satisfied User Base

One of the biggest perk of a strong and well chosen Mobile App Technology Stack can be seen in the app performance, which ultimately ripples down to the users who are very satisfied with the end product.

It Lowers the Need of Changing the Whole App With the Changing Demand

A good set of mobile application development platforms prepare your mobile app to be scalable. It is made of software elements that prepare your mobile app for not just today but for the foreseeable future to come. With a strong tech stack, you don’t have to worry about constantly rolling out major updates for keeping your users hooked, nor do you have to make investments time and again in name of new features development.

So, here were the direct and indirect set of benefits that a strong Tech Stack comes with. And now that you know that, let us move forward with what we came here for – To know the tech stack of some of the most famous mobile apps across categories.

Why should you care about the tech stack of apps that managed to get on top of the crowd of thousands?

Simple, To help develop an app that is based on the similar set of tech stack that would increase your mobile app chances to join the league of the famous apps. Ins hort, to help you decide the best technology for mobile app development.

Here are the Technology Stack of some of the most Famous Mobile Apps of their Category –

1. Social Media Apps

Technology Stack for Social Media Apps

Instagram

Launched in 2010 for iOS and in 2012 on Android, Instagram bagged 100K users in under a week and since then there is no stopping them. They have today managed to keep over 800 million users invested in their app.

In fact, over 60 photos are shared on Instagram every second, on an average.

Instagram Tech Stack

Application and Data

Language – Python, Java, Objective – C

Framework and Libraries – Django

Cross Platform Mobile Development using React Native

DevOps

Exception Monitoring – Senty

Load Balancer – HAProxy

JavaScript Testing Framework – Jest

Server Configuration – Fabric

Facebook

Launched in 20117 as a mobile web, Facebook from its inception stage itself was optimized for small screens, allowed sharing of photos and enabled sending and receiving of messages. It was only in late 2010 that the brand realized the mobile website was not ideal for the activity that was happening on the app. And in 2011, they finally launched their mobile app and till date, they have continued making their presence known in the industry.

Facebook Tech Stack

Application and Data

Languages – PHP

Framework – Tornado

Javascript UI Libraries – React

Database – Cassandra

Utilities

Mobile Test Automation – Testroid

Mobile Prototyping and Interaction – Origami, Framer, and Pop

DevOps

Continuous Integration – Jenkins

Performance Monitoring – Datadog

Server Configuration – Chef

Code Review – Phabricator

Business Tool

Project Management – Confluence

Email Marketing – Campaign Monitor

2. Education Apps

Tech Stack for Education Mobile Apps

Coursera

Coursera – the globally used online course website, launched their mobile app in 2014. Since their mobile appearance, they have been making a series of additions in their app for users – Transcripts, Option to take notes, and even the possibility to Set Reminders.

Coursera Tech Stack

Application and Data

Cloud Hosting –  Amazon EC2

Cloud Storage – Amazon S3

SQL Database as a Service – Amazon RDS

Big Data as a Service – Amazon Redshift

Utilities

Content delivery network – Amazon CloudFront

Payment Service – Stripe

DNS Management – Amazon Route 53

Transaction Email – Amazon SES

DevOps

Code Collaboration – GitHub

Website Monitoring – Pingdom

Monitoring Aggregation – PagerDuty

Browser Testing – Sauce Labs

Business Tool

Productivity Suite – G Suite

Group Chat & Notification – Slack

Issue Tracking – JIRA

Udemy

Aimed for professional audience, Udemy was launched on iOS in 2013 and its Android version was launched in 2014. Unlike Coursera that works on the model where a teacher educates the students, in Udemy, the users are given the work to upload their course on Udemy and teach the other professionals on the platform.

Udemy Tech Stack

Application and Data

Framework (Full Stack) – Django

Language – Python

Javascript UI libraries – React

Javascript MVC Framework – AngularJS

Utility

General Analytics – Google Analytics

Content Delivery Network – CloudFlare

Transactional Email – SendGrid

A/B Testing Analytics – Optimizely

DevOps

Continuous Integration – Jenkins

Exception Monitoring – Sentry

Performance Monitoring – Datadog

Front-End Performance Monitoring – SpeedCurve

Business Tool

Project Management – Trello

3. On Demand Apps

On Demand Mobile Apps Tech Stack

Uber

Uber was launched by the name of UberCab in 2011, with the idea that sharing a cab makes it more cost effective. In the beginning, the app only allowed users to book a luxury cab that was 1.5 times of that of a taxi. Slowly after the launch with the provision of booking a luxury cab, the brand entered the Uber X segment in 2012 and then Uber Cab in 2014.

Uber Technology Stack

Application and Data

Languages – Go, Java, Python

Cloud Hosting – Amazon EC2

Framework (Full Stack) – Node.js

Databases – Cassandra, MongoDB, PostgreSQL

Utilities

Funnel Analysis – Mixpanel

A/B Testing Analytics – Optimizely

Transactional Email – SendGrid

General Analytics – Google Analytics

DevOps

Exception Monitoring – Sentry

Monitoring Tools – Nagios

Server Configuration – Puppet Labs

JS Build Tools – Brunch

Business Tool

Help Desk – Zendesk

Project Management – Asana

Productivity Suite – G Suite

Team Task management – iDoneThis

Instacart

Launched in 2014 on Smartphones, Instacart is the brand that sets new standard in the on demand delivery service.

The app works on same day delivery model, where users have the provision to even get 1 hour or 3 hours delivery upon paying an amount.

Instacart Technology Stack

Application and Data

Cloud Hosting – Amazon EC2

Cloud Storage – Amazon EBS, Amazon S3

Realtime Backend – Firebase

Utilities

Content Delivery Network – Amazon CloudFront

Payment Service – Stripe

DNS Management – Amazon Route 53

Transactional email – SendGrid

DevOps

Code Collaboration – GitHub

Continuous Integration – CircleCI

Log Management – Papertrail, Loggly

Business Tool

Help Desk – Zendesk

Project Management – Asana, Trello

Productivity Suite – G Suite

4. Online Payment

Online Payment Mobile Apps Tech Stack

PayPal

PayPal is the brand that we think of when we think of online payment and fund transfer. Ever since its launch on Mobile, PayPal continues to make changes in its app. In fact, in 2016, PayPal completely overhauled its mobile app with the aim to offer simplified experience to its users.

PayPal Technology Stack

Application and Data

Language – Python

Utilities

Mobile Test Automation – Testdroid

DevOps

Code Collaboration – Bitbucket

Mobile Error Monitoring – Crashlytics

Cluster Management – Apache Mesos

Open Source Cloud – OpenStack

Business Tools

Issue Tracking – JIRA, FogBugz

Project Management – ProductPlan

Square

In 2011, Square its first consumer app called Square Wallet, which allows user stoi walk into a store and make payment just by taking their name. The brand has come so far that today it allows bitcoin trading in its Square Cash app as well.

Square Technology Stack

Application and Data

Cloud Hosting – Amazon EC2

Realtime Backend – Firebase

Languages – Ruby, Java

Utilities

Mapping API – Google Maps

Big Bounty as a Service – HackerOne

DevOps

Performance Monitoring – New Relic

Monitoring Aggregation – PagerDuty

Beta Testing – TestFlight

Exception Monitoring – Bugsnag

Business Tools

Group Chat – Slack

Issue Tracking – JIRA

5. Fitness Apps

Fitness Mobile Apps Tech Stack

BodySpace

BodySpace app, launched in 2013, gives users the resources that has top-rated training exercises and programs. It has a set of fresh, concentrated content that helps users begin, maintain and then achieve their ideal fitness goals.

BodySpace Technology Stack

Application and Data

Languages – Objective – C, Java, Javascript

Framework (Full Stack) – Spring, Android SDK

Utilities

General Analytics – Google Analytics

Search Engine – Solr

Content Delivery Network – Amazon CloudFront

A/B Testing Analytics – Optimizely

DevOps

Continuous Integration – Jenkins

JS Build Tools – Grunt

Mobile Error Monitoring – Crashlytics

Server Configuration – Puppet Labs

Business Tools

Productivity Suite – G Suite

Group Chat – Slack

Fitbit

Fitbit is an all rounder health monitoring mobile app that looks into different segments such as the number of steps you have taken, your calorie intake, and even your quality of sleep. Through the app users can even wirelessly sync all their Fitbit devices.

Fitbit Technology Stack

Application and Data

Languages – Objective – C, Java, Javascript, HTML5

Dedicated Cloud Hosting – SoftLayer

Framework (Full Stack) – Android SDK, Spring

Utilities

API Tools – Runscope

Content Delivery Network – Fastly

DevOps

Code Collaboration – Github

Performance Monitoring – New Relic

Website Monitoring – Pingdom

Monitoring Aggregation – PagerDuty

Business Tools

Issue Tracking – JIRA

Project Management – Confluence

Group Chat – HipChat

Help Desk – Desk.com

So this is what these renowned brands chose to base their mobile app on. How should you make the choice?

How to choose the best Mobile Tech Stack for your App

Not everyone who wishes to enter the mobile domain comes from a technical background. In fact, the chances of that happening is next to very low. So in case like this, how do you choose which mobile application technologies would best meet your criteria?

You talk to the experts.

Once you have settled on one mobile app development company after the diligently shortlisting many, discuss the technology stack of your mobile app with them.

While, it is true that since they have an experience in mobile app development, they would know of the various different permutation and combinations of a tech stack, do your own study as well. Look at the mobile application technologies that apps similar to yours are having and then make the choice.

Related Articles:

Continue exploring the landscape of product design with these helpful resources: mobile app technology stackmobile application development platformsmobile application technologies
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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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