As a freelance developer or part of a tech team that is going to build a new app, the first question that comes to your mind is about your app’s language/technology. It is hard to choose between them because once you decide and start building a wrong decision may cause a loss of time and money. This article will help you select a suitable language for your app.

Currently, four technologies are dominating the market Native (Swift for IOS and Java or Kotlin for Android), Flutter (developed by Google), React Native (developed by Facebook), and Ionic (supported by MIT). As a developer who wants to learn a new language or a company or an investor who wants to decide which technology or language to use, you need to compare some core competencies to reach a logical result. 

You won’t base your decision on which technology is the best; you will base it on efficiency, time, and money triangle. It’s not about which technology is the best; it’s about each technology’s specialty and how it fits in the one or more side of efficiency, time, and money triangle.

1- Converting the code of any technology to a mobile app in your customers’ hands

  • Native Languages( Java/Kotlin for Android and Swift for IOS)

There is no coding process if you choose the Native languages or the original language of the mobile.

  • Flutter Language

For Flutter It depends on dart coding that can be easily converted to a binary code. It works on the mobile hardware directly, so the final result is close to Native programming efficiency with more prominent apps because the conversion process will not be 100% efficient.

  • React Native Language

Regarding React Native, its programming depends on JavaScript. Only the screens are converted to Native code, which allows a better user experience, navigation speed, and browsing with high efficiency similar to Native. But the integration between the screens and other mobile features like the camera, maps, or Bluetooth will be through an intermediary resulting in a slower experience depending on the size of the function itself that the developer will use and his ability to achieve the highest quality or app efficiency.

  • Ionic Language

When it comes to Ionic, its programming depends on JavaScript as well. Still, there will not be any native code conversion because the screens work with web technology. The integration between the screens and other mobile features like the camera, maps, or Bluetooth will be through an intermediary like the React Native programming.

2- Developer’s ability to write code and reuse it in various operating systems

  • Native Languages( Java/Kotlin for Android and Swift for IOS)

As a developer, if you chose the Native languages, then the reusing percentage is zero because each operating system has its language, and there is nothing common between them.

  • Flutter Language

Flutter language is an excellent option in that case because some parts of the code are suitable for both operating systems. Yet, there are some parts that developers need to write for each system specifically.

  • React Native Language

If you chose the React Native language, it is another good option. However, there are some parts that you will write for each operating system compared to Flutter, particularly when it comes to screen programming. As previously agreed, in Flutter, only screen programming is converted to Native code, in addition to code conversion, the conversion system itself is less smart than Flutter programming.

  • Ionic Language

What if you chose Ionic language? The answer is perfect; as in that case, you will use web technology without any code conversion. The whole idea is the code’s consistency with the screen size, regardless of the type of the operating system except in minimal cases.

So we can say that if your app’s code is native, it will need 1000 hours and two operating systems, with Flutter, you will need almost 600 hours, with react native 700 hours and ionic 550 hours.

3- Developer’s ability to learn code and use it in various operating systems

If you are using the native languages, then the percentage is zero. With Native, you are dealing with specific programming code for each operating system, and there is nothing common between them. As for Flutter, React Native and Ionic, the percentage is 100% because you can easily manage the programming processes for the operating systems. The only obstacle will be the company’s financial resources, how much will your clients be able to pay. 

4- To what extent is the used technology disseminated in the programming community and to what extent do organizations support this technology

Native is the most common language in terms of spreading scale between developers, and many organizations support its technology. Flutter has been growing massively over the past two years, and it has been scaling worldwide, yet it is not that popular in the Middle East. As an organization, you will rarely find specialized professional developers in Flutter. But one year from now, we will reach global rates and have unprecedented support from big sized companies like Google. 

React Native technology is already in the market even before Flutter. One of its most essential features is a lot of organizations use this technology in their apps and a lot of expert developers in the field, which makes the organization’s job more comfortable when it comes to finding or hiring a react native developer in your team. One other notable feature is that many organizations support React Native tech, making the developers’ job way easier.

In 2016 – 2017, the Ionic language was massively growing worldwide and in the Middle East, respectively. And the company itself provided significant support, especially in readymade components, to use it for screen programming. This helped speed up the process during the implementation phase. 

From an aspiring developer perspective, who has an opportunity to learn the mobile language, Flutter will be a significant asset. However, it is still relatively new, yet it will be the most commonly used language. Unlike Swift and React Native languages that most developers became exceedingly expert in the industry.

From companies’ and investor’s perspectives, finding a Flutter developer who is familiar with Native, React Native and Ionic programming is not an easy job because currently, most of the developers in the Arab region are new to this programming language. This means that if the developers face any unfamiliar problem, they won’t find the support needed, and this won’t be the case if they use Native or React Native languages.

5- Which language is suitable for my mobile app?

To answer this question, we will showcase the most common examples that fit every language best.

Example 1: An investor that studied all market perspectives and knows what he exactly wants, and he doesn’t want to try, and on top of that, his budget fits the project requirements. Here developers’ perfect choice is Native Language because they won’t need to save time or money. All they need here is only to take care of the app’s quality.

Example 2: If a tech company has a small tech team and wants them to be a joint team between the web and mobile projects, the best choice is React Native. Because a multitask team that works on both web and mobile technologies will enable you to maneuver them according to the required job.

Example 3: A company that wants a mobile app to manage their employees internally. In this case, Ionic will fit best because the company will be able to develop a mobile app with a feasible quality in a short time at a reasonable cost. You will not need a high-quality app since it will be used internally.

Example 4: An app with high usage with features such as live videos causes high consumption of the mobile’s hardware rams. And as a developer, you must reach the highest efficiency as much as possible. However, if the allocated budget is lower than the required budget for the app, then the best alternative is Flutter. Flutter language will give you more or less the same result with minor differences.

Example 5: If you are building an e-commerce app, you need to focus on UX and UI and the user’s ability to navigate the app quickly and easily without lagging. To do so at a reasonable cost, use a React Native language because there won’t be extensive integrations with the mobile features. The entire app is built on data presentation and user interactions.

Example 6: A company or an investor with an app idea that they want to build, but at the same time, they want the highest quality possible with the lowest cost. Here as a developer, you may choose between Flutter, React Native and Ionic languages; your choice depends on the apps capabilities, future advancement, and whether there was a market study for their idea or they need a cheap, fast change to experiment the market. 

In conclusion, each case has its own choice, and the project’s technical, financial, and delivery time circumstances will influence your decision.

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