Mobile development has become more stable in recent years – in the beginning, there weren’t any useful libraries and tools to use, information was scarce, and there weren’t many tutorials on the web.
Recently, however, all this has changed. Now, the problem isn’t that info and tools are scarce. On the contrary – there are too many tools, libraries, and frameworks you can use to create a mobile app.
The paradox of choice strikes again, and many people want to dive into the field have a hard time knowing how even to begin (that’s if they don’t want to outsource it to software developers).
In this guide, we’ll go over the most popular approaches to mobile development, their advantages, and their drawbacks.
The Native Tools Provided By Each Platform
Where do people usually begin when they start coding for mobile? That’s easy – with the tools provided by the owners of the platforms, which mostly means Google and Apple.
The Pros Of Using Official Tools
Thanks to the fact two software giants are behind the two most popular mobile operating systems, a lot of resources and effort has gone into creating the official tools, and these have granted them some certain advantages:
- Thanks to their status as the official tools to use with these OSes, they are the most popular by far. They have a huge community of users, which means it is straightforward to find solutions to problems and get support from other users. You’re never on your own using these tools.
- Thanks to being owned by big corporations, they are surprisingly well-developed. Everything works as it should, and you’ll rarely face a bug. Overall, operating these tools is much smoother than the alternative.
- You can fully harness the power of the devices. You’ll be able to use every functionality, optimization, and feature the OS has to create the best app. Most non-official tools don’t offer the same level of support.
The Downsides Of Official Tools
Nothing is without its downsides, and the official tools have been facing a lot of competition recently:
- You’re going to get tied up in the company’s ecosystem. Especially when using tools created by Apple, they want you to use nothing but things made by them, and they discourage and prevent you from using any tools that are not officially supported by them. This poses a severe restriction and can be a dealbreaker for some developers.
- These tools support only their respective platform. Google isn’t interested in creating a tool that supports iOS and vice versa. This means that if you’re building your software for both operating systems, you need to rewrite most of your code, which is tedious and time-consuming.
Unofficial Platforms, Tools, And Libraries
From the early days of Xamarin and Ionic to the recent splash React Native-made, there has always been a market for simple tools, and that’s due to the advantages they provide:
What Makes Them Better Than Android Studio And XCode?
- Diversity is one of the main advantages these tools have. There are specialized tools to create games, ones to import websites, etc. Some tools cater to most niches, and if your project falls under one of those, a tool will speed up your development considerably. These tools also work great with SEO, and maybe you should contact an SEO company in London to learn why.
- Multiplatform support. Frameworks like React Native support both operating systems out of the box. This means you can have a shared codebase if you’re going to target both platforms, which is another great time saver.
- The learning curve might not be so steep compared to the official tools. You have to know either Java, Swift, or C++ well if you want to use XCode or Android Studio. While these languages are quite common, if you don’t know them, you have to invest significant time in learning them. The unofficial ones use almost every computer language imaginable, so they are much easier to start with.
What’s Wrong With Them?
Their level of documentation and support doesn’t match the official tools. Sometimes you have to spend hours just dealing with a simple bug because you can’t find a resource on it online.
It usually takes some time until they implement the latest features, and they always apply them after the official tools. It takes a lot of resources to keep up with the official tools.