Develop apps with React Native and NativeScript

Purely Native

© Photo by Jordan McQueen on

© Photo by Jordan McQueen on

Article from Issue 214/2018
Author(s): , Author(s):

The JavaScript frameworks React Native and NativeScript build a bridge between web app development and native app development. We look at the advantages of these native frameworks against the background of the classic app framework Meteor.

Two open source JavaScript frameworks, React Native [1] and NativeScript [2], help programmers develop native apps for Android and iOS by using their IDEs with JavaScript. This approach has advantages over classical web app development in the style of, say, the JavaScript Meteor [3] framework, which relies on Apache Cordova [4] and WebView.

In the Beginning

Native apps for Android are traditionally programmed with Java or Kotlin; iOS uses Objective-C or Swift [5]. Because Android apps access native code internally with C or C++, developers rely on Java Native Interface (JNI) [6]. The Android Studio [7] and Xcode [8] development environments help in programming an application and bringing it to the corresponding app stores.

However, this approach has drawbacks: Installing Android Studio is quite complex, and Xcode runs exclusively on Apple's Mac OS X operating system. If you also want to adopt an Android app for iOS, you have to reprogram the code one to one under Objective-C or Swift. However, this significantly increases the development effort and creates additional sources of error through code redundancy.


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