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Popular JavaScript Frameworks for Mobile Apps Development

September 27, 2022 312 Views

Nowadays, mobile apps have become part of daily life. The number of app developments has gone through the roof over the past few years, thus resulting in billions in revenue generated by the usage of these apps. With such high numbers on the table, it’s a battle for mobile developers to build mobile apps that stay at the top with user experience and provide a solution most effectively. Thus, JavaScript for mobile apps is a good solution to this. In this article, we will answer the question, “what is the best JavaScript framework for mobile apps.”

JavaScript Frameworks

JavaScript, among all programming languages, has caught the attention of millions. The construction of dynamic websites and mobile apps favors its use as a client-side scripting language. Consequently, JavaScript has become a popular choice for startups and large organizations. Additionally, here is a guide on using JavaScript to learn extensively about it.

JavaScript frameworks are regarded as the best when it comes to developing and creating efficient mobile apps, especially Android apps. They are a collection of JavaScript code libraries that allow web developers to use pre-written code in their development. Many people who want to create their mobile apps have found that JavaScript is the best option due to its effectiveness, cheaper cost, tremendous community support, and easy learning curve. You can explore more JS test frameworks using this guide to JS test framework.

These frameworks are compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. Developers that are well-versed in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript may create powerful and efficient mobile apps.

Why Use JavaScript for Mobile App Development

One of the main reasons to use JavaScript for mobile apps is because JavaScript allows you to develop mobile apps quickly since it doesn’t require a significant upfront investment or a lot of labor.

The process of creating apps with JavaScript is well-known to developers across the world. They can, therefore, employ JS mobile frameworks without investing a lot of effort in learning.

A better UI/UX experience, interactive maps, dynamic 2D/3D visuals, and scrolling video jukeboxes are just a few of the appealing features offered by JavaScript.

A hybrid app can be produced from your programmed version using JavaScript frameworks. Thus, this takes the place of the laborious and difficult process of creating an application in many languages for multi-platform access.

Top JavaScript Frameworks for Mobile App Development

Some of the most popular JavaScript frameworks for mobile app development are as follows:

Sencha ExtJS

Sencha touch as an example of Javascript for mobile apps

The mobile app development landscape witnessed a significant change with the merger of Sencha Touch and Ext JS. Sencha Touch, once a popular framework, reached its end-of-life (EoL) status and has been integrated into Ext JS. This convergence consolidates the strengths of both frameworks, enabling developers to leverage the power of Ext JS for mobile app development.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive Component Library: Ext JS offers a rich set of pre-built components specifically designed for mobile applications. These components provide a seamless user interface experience, ensuring interactive and visually appealing mobile apps.
  • Data Visualization and Charting: With Ext JS, developers can effortlessly create visually stunning charts and graphs to present complex data in an intuitive and understandable manner. The framework provides a wide range of charting options, enabling effective data visualization in mobile apps.
  • Responsive Design: Ext JS empowers developers to build mobile apps that are responsive across different screen sizes and orientations. The framework’s responsive design capabilities ensure optimal user experience on various mobile devices, enhancing accessibility and usability.
  • MVC Architecture: Following the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, Ext JS facilitates the development of structured and maintainable mobile applications. This modular approach enhances code organization, reusability, and maintainability, resulting in more efficient development workflows.
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: Ext JS eliminates the hassle of browser compatibility issues by providing built-in support for cross-browser compatibility. Developers can build mobile apps that seamlessly run on different browsers, ensuring a consistent user experience across platforms.

How to Integrate Ext SJ With Native Mobile Apps

Integrating Ext JS with a native mobile app using Cordova offers several advantages. By integrating Ext JS with Cordova, you can leverage the same Ext JS codebase to build apps for multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and more. Also, Cordova provides access to native device capabilities through its extensive set of plugins. By integrating Ext JS with Cordova, you can utilize these plugins to access device features such as camera, geolocation, contacts, file system, and more.

Here are the steps to integrate Ext JS with native mobile apps using Cordova.

Set Up Your Environment

To set up your environment, you need to install Java JDK (version 8 or later) and Node.js with npm (Node Package Manager). Once installed, you can proceed to install Cordova globally by running the command npm install -g cordova. After that, visit the Sencha website and download the latest version of Sencha Cmd, which is the command-line tool for Ext JS. Follow the provided instructions to install Sencha Cmd on your system.

Create a New Cordova Project

With the environment set up, you can create a new Cordova project by opening a terminal or command prompt, navigating to your desired location, and running the command cordova create MyApp com.example.myapp MyApp. Replace “MyApp” with your preferred app name and “com.example.myapp” with your app’s package identifier. Change into the project directory using the command cd MyApp.

Add the Desired Platforms to Your Project

Next, add the desired platform(s) to your Cordova project by executing the command cordova platform add <platform>, replacing <platform> with the target platform, such as “android” or “ios”. Once the platforms are added, you can generate an Ext JS application using Sencha Cmd by running sencha -sdk /path/to/extjs-sdk generate app MyExtApp ./app. This will create the necessary Ext JS files and structure for your app.

To integrate Ext JS with Cordova, copy the entire contents of the generated MyExtApp folder and paste them into the www folder of your Cordova project. This ensures that the Ext JS resources are included in your mobile app.

Configure the Cordova Build

In the Cordova project’s root directory, you will find the config.xml file. Open it and customize the configuration settings such as the app name, description, icons, and permissions according to your app’s requirements.

To build the Cordova app, execute the command cordova build. This will compile your app for the added platforms. You can then use Cordova’s command-line tools or an integrated development environment (IDE) to test the app on emulators or physical devices for the targeted platforms.

Customize and Extend Your App

Customize and extend your app by modifying the Ext JS code located in the app folder of your Cordova project. Leverage the Ext JS framework and its components to create the desired user interface and functionality for your mobile app.

As you iterate on your app and make changes, repeat the build process (execute cordova build) whenever you want to test or deploy an updated version of your app. This ensures that your changes are incorporated into the built app for each platform.

Sencha Test offers a comprehensive set of testing tools and features to elevate your mobile app testing to new heights. Try the Sencha Testing Solution to explore more about its capabilities!

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React Native

React Native enables developers to build native mobile apps for iOS and Android. Moreover, you can create a mobile application using the same code base thanks to React Native’s hybrid nature. The main goal of React native is to improve mobile user experience. Additionally, a native app offers speedy, high-performance development and cross-platform mobile app.

Key Features

  • React has a one-way data flow feature that gives developers more control over the development process. Users who visit React-generated pages more frequently may be less likely to leave them.
  • React Native is quite simple to apply and leverages Node Package Manager for installation. NPM is well-known among JavaScript programmers, and learning its commands isn’t too tough for beginners.
  • One may deploy the same code for both Android and iOS platforms using React Native.
  • It is straightforward for various developers to build an application using another person’s project, thanks to the modular and user-friendly interface.

Ionic

The ideal usage of this open source framework is building hybrid mobile apps. The Ionic framework saves costs and decreases development effort. It uses just one piece of code across multiple platforms and has a range of Cordova plugins. The Ionic framework allows custom themes, making it simple to adapt to the intended application.

Key Features

  • Allows the development of personalized, reusable components for use in web pages and web applications.
  • Ionic’s v4 functions as an independent web component library. The majority of front-end frameworks, including React.js and Vue.js, allow us to use it.
  • The software, which is based on the Ionic framework, can be deployed using a single code base across a variety of platforms, including Android, native iOS, desktop, and the web.
  • Finally, pre-designed elements, typography, interaction paradigms, and a base theme are all included in the Ionic application.

Mobile Angular UI

Mobile Angular UI has been used as an open-source online and mobile application framework. It has aided in building and testing applications using the MVC and MVVM architectures. Mobile Angular UI is one of the most popular mobile app development frameworks due to its plug-and-play components, native-like experience for hybrid apps, and directives.

Key Features

  • Mobile Angular UI is a low-code framework.
  • The View layer of MVC perfectly replicates the Model layer, and they remain in sync. Users may see any changes you make to the model automatically in the view model. As a result, it cuts down on crucial development time.
  • With Bootstrap and Angular JS, you can create HTML5 mobile apps using Mobile Angular UI. Additionally, it contains important, uncommon functionality like switches, overlays, and scrollbar regions that depend on fastclick.js and overhtrow.js to function properly.
  • By converting templates into code, Angular redefines the current JavaScript virtual machine. Angular apps load more quickly than any other front-end framework used today.

Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova is one of the most well-liked JavaScript frameworks for mobile development since it is open-source and adaptable. It connects to the native functionality of mobile devices and the operating system via the built-in JavaScript API. The same scripts that developers have created in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS may be used with PhoneGap.

Key Features

  • A selection of pre-made plugins for Apache Cordova gives access to the device’s camera, GPS, file system, and other features.
  • Cordova offers basic components that can build the app’s framework so that we can devote more time to implementing our own logic.
  • Finally, Cordova’s CLI allows the development of new projects, compiling them on many platforms, and executing them on actual hardware or emulators.

jQuery Mobile

jQuery mobile is a user interface framework for HTML 5, to build responsive websites or applications accessible on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. In order to create websites with the least amount of programming, the framework combines HTML5, jQuery, and jQuery UI.

Key Features

  • A built-in theme system in jQuery Mobile allows developers to choose their own application style.
  • Enables developers to create apps that can be accessed by any number of browsers and devices.
  • To provide touch, mouse, and cursor focus-based user input functions, developers can also integrate a simple API.
  • Has a lightweight size of about 40KB when minified.

Summary

In conclusion, the creation of mobile applications is changing daily, moving from single-platform applications to cross-platform native apps. Thus, with such a rapid expansion in technological adaptation, it will be interesting to observe how hybridized our apps develop.

In the future of front-end and back-end development, JavaScript will be crucial. Thus, the leading JavaScript frameworks for mobile app development are Sencha Ext JS (Sencha Touch), React Native, Angular, jQuery, Ionic, and Apache Cordova. According to the features and functions of the project you are working on, there are a variety of JavaScript framework solutions available.

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