Will React Native mark the demise of Native App Development?

React Native Main Image

You can use your existing web development skills and can produce native iOS and Android app using those skills. It’s completely possible to utilize your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills to develop native Android and iOS apps.

I’m not talking about hybrid apps or just an app wrapper around a mobile website but actual native apps–pure, native apps that you design in iOS using Swift or in Android using Java or Kotlin. Thanks to React Native, native apps can now also be developed with common web technologies: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

If you still don’t believe me that these apps can be really be awesome. Take out your phone and have a look at one of these apps: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Skype, and Airbnb. They are developed in React Native.

Companies using react native

What is React Native?

Facebook was facing a lot of problems about redesigning their apps and everything. The problem was handling many users and rolling out new features. Facebook needed something more robust, fasts that can handle a lot of traffic as well as can be designed really quickly. The brilliant team at Facebook started working on a JavaScript library, which came to known as React.

The best part is React employs faster virtual DOM. Although React is a library, lightweight component can be injected anywhere. You can use react with PHP, MySQL, Firebase, MongoDB or any database system of your choice.

You must be wondering isn’t React for designing web applications? Consider React Native as the successor of ReactJS for mobile app development. All the things that you learned in React like components props, States, Redux, Modal, etc. are part of React Native as well.

The things that you learned in React can be applied in React Native in the same workflow. Components, props and states are all used in react native and thus you got your native application.

The dual advantage of React Native

In React Native unlike native Java and Swift codes, you don’t ever compile your app. You just reload it just like do you a website in a web browser.

Moreover, you don’t have to maintain two separate codebase for your application. For example, let’s say you are a business and I am application development company whom you have outsourced a mobile app project.

Of course, you want an app for both Android and iOS in addition to the web. It requires two teams one for each mobile platform: one team for Android application and one team for iOS application. Those you aren’t aware implementing the same, exact features in iOS and Android app require a lot of communication exchange between those teams: app features, deadline, delivery, client expectation and requirements, etc.

Performance vs. Native Code

React Native apps perform, more or less, like an app written in Native iOS code. A Medium user ran a few tests to compare its performance with the native code and found performance at par with an equivalent app in Swift, sometimes even better. The Medium article measured performance in three areas: CPU, GPU and Memory utilization at the run time.

In CPU usage the performance was similar although maps performed better in Swift.

CPU Usage

To calculate GPU performance, Native vs React Native, the author calculated frames per second (FPS) of the application under GPU load. Surprisingly, although by small margins, React Native outperformed Swift code by more 6.25 frames per second.

GPU Usage

For memory tests, the author concentrated on maps as the memory footprints of other features was negligible to figure out a contrast. Evidently, at the peak performance, React Native used a whopping 61.11 MiB less memory than Swift. While performing the task and recording the measurements, a spike in Memory usage was observed at the exact moment, he pressed the “Maps” tab, which prompted the MapView to find my current location and highlight it with a blue, pulsating dot.

Memory Usage

React Native is the smartest way to develop Mobile Apps

In the React Native, you just have to maintain a single codebase and that code will produce native Android app as well as iOS app. React Native is getting a lot of attention nowadays and people are loving how the things are shaping for React Native and the community is growing. You must be jumping on your couch. Finally, you can use cheaper web developers to design native Android and iOS app. You no more have to hire programmers or train them in Java, Kotlin, or Swift.

CTA - Talk to us

Is this the end of Native App development?

No, there existed always side-by-side technologies. Some businesses prefer React Native while others prefer native codes in Kotlin or Swift. It’s always good to have many mobile technologies around to choose from. Desktop application developers always had a lot of programming languages and technologies to choose from and most of them are still here, going strong.

For example, there are still apps that are being developed in Ruby on Rails, Django, PHP as well as node.js. Technologies evolve as per the demand.

The biggest takeaway of React Native is now there are more options than ever. Developers can go with Android development using Java or maybe Kotlin. Likewise, they can go for iOS development using Swift. With React Native, they have one more option to native development. Not to mention, now everyday web developers can also be part of native app development party.

The Tremendous Growth and the Future

Nevertheless, React Native is growing at a tremendous pace and if the growth sustains, soon, we will find more React Native developers than those into Swift or Kotlin development. This development in mobile ecosystem will mark a huge shift from the traditional form of mobile development. The field will evolve to absorb React Native development or any similar emerging or upcoming technologies into mobile app development.

React Native Trends

Google Trends is a popular tool to understand people’s interest in a search term. When used to forecast people interest in technology or a mobile development technique in this context, it can tell which of them are growing which are plummeting.

React native Google trends

Source: Google Trends

Clearly, while React Native, as I said, has grown exponentially and iOS development has remained static, Android development has a seen a huge plunge. This made me think. Is the growth in React Native at the expense of Android development? It is too early to say but one thing is for sure: iOS development is here to stay while the future of Android because of React Native is in quite a disarray.

Android developers have a consistent complaint. They don’t earn as much as their iOS counterparts and the ROI is hard to come by. And the revenue gap is almost twice in a few demographics.

World wide app store revenue

Source: App Annie

Perhaps, app platforms find React Native as the answers to their Android development vows.

Blurring lines between Android, iOS and Web development

The popularity of React Native and similar JavaScript frameworks are blurring the lines between web and mobile app developers. For the first in the history of mobile development, a developer can say I don’t want to learn Java or Objective C and still can build a mobile app.

For businesses looking to develop mobile apps, React Native brings a sea of opportunities. They can target both the mobile platforms at the fraction of the cost. As businesses prefer iOS to Android for the reason I mentioned, React Native will give a new lease of life to Android development.

CTA02

Progressive Web Apps – Blurring the Lines between Web and Mobile Apps

Progressive Web Apps

Steve Job jobs kicked off the smartphone revolution when he introduced the iPhone and on the iPhone there was kind of mobile browser but it was a poor experience of going online. A year later Apple kicked off the App Store and you’ve got the native apps and this is a really good way of getting online in interacting with online content and I’m sure you’ve all use that loads of apps over the last 10 years.

Gmail app for sending emails, Twitter for sending tweets, and Snapchat for sending two delightful pictures of yourself. Talking about view time with those apps, I’m sure you would have spent many weeks and months playing Flappy Birds

Since 2008, the mobile web has increased dramatically.I’m sure that many of you are reading this in Chrome.

What is exactly a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

Well, the idea goes back to 2015 in an article written by Alex Russell, who is a Google engineer. In there, he outlined the requirements for PWA, or progressive web applications. Since then, the whole industry has been working towards progressive web apps. So, Google Chrome supports it. Edge will be supporting it in Redstone4. Even Safari is getting a version of it in11.3, later on this year.

What makes progressive web apps unique are its abilities. For the first time, web applications can work offline and in the background,and that’s done through a thing called service workers.

Think of service workers as little web components that work in the background. They pull in notifications. They cache app data. That’s how they work offline. When you launch a progressive web app, it doesn’t look like you’re in the browser. It looks like an application.

instagram-native-and-pwas

For instance, Instagram has a PWA. If you go to Instagram on your Android phone, assuming it’s a modern one, and you log in, you’ll be asked if you want to pin this to your start screen or your application screen and would you like to receive notifications. Once you do that and then you open that app, it looks just like the regular Instagram application. In fact, the scrolling is better than a native app of Android, which tells you a lot.

Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps

PWA Features comparison with Native apps

Native apps have a huge benefit in loads of areas: they are fast and quick to respond. You’ve got a really nice icon that you can click on. As soon as you click on that, you get really nice ‘scaffolded’ app screen that comes up. Let’s say you go onto Facebook. It’s kind of a nice blue look and you have a Facebook icon.

Benefits of Native Apps

When I get my Twitter wrap up,I’ve got a load of tweets there. From Twitter app, I can see those straightaway there’s no going into Chrome and trying to find a URL and load up a page.

Apps also have a smooth consistent, self-contained UI that looks really good on your smartphone. The best part is this that native apps works consistently well offline.

PWA vs. Native Apps

If you are checking your emails in no dead zones, that’s not a matter. You can check your emails in basements, tube stations, and other no coverage areas the app seized during the day. You can even reply to those emails. When you come in coverage area, it goes and all works well.

App Development can be Painful

Native app development can be painful. There are different languages between Android and iOS. You got Java. Perhaps, your funk-in-hipster uses Kotlin. Otherwise, you’re using Swift. You can use React Native and still have to change the way you develop a whole load of things.

In React Native, you have to do different stuff depending on the platform you’re on and even then you can have to develop differently for the web. You’re already developing for three different platforms. It’s expensive to develop.

CTA1 - PWA

If you want to release apps on the web, it goes to your customer straightaway whereas a native app you have to go through app stores’ certification. There are separate app stores for Android and iOS.

Progressive Web Apps to the Rescue…

One of the best things about progressive web apps is it used web standard technology. It uses JavaScript. It uses JSON.

It got most of the benefits of native apps, including performance and UI tweaks.

Write once work everywhere. You just build it once and hopefully it should work everywhere. You have one team. Maybe you need a few tweaks depending on the target platform.

What does Progressive Mean?

In the old days, we just have static HTML pages and then JavaScript came around and we wanted to enhance our pages. JavaScript can make the app faster and feel better but if you didn’t run JavaScript, it would still work. It’s a kind of the same thing. Progressive enhancement is a whole bunch of features that you can add to your app. There’s a level that Google lists and each of these should improve the experience for the customer. If their platform doesn’t have one of those features, it shouldn’t break your app.

Progressive web app is a case of extra technologies. They can add to the performance of your app. With more of the features, the benefits across desktop and web kind of always keep comparing against native apps but a lot of these performances are also on the website.

If you have a website you don’t really care so much about your mobile customers, a lot of these technologies can really improve the performance of your websites.

Discoverability and Future of App Stores

Since progressive web apps are websites at the end of the day, app stores don’t need permission from their publishers to publish on their platform. All they’re doing is putting websites in the store. They will act much like websites directories. App stores will have to look at PWA sites that are live right now and if they meet certain standards, they’re going to be putting these in the store automatically. So, we can expect probably a couple hundred maybe even a thousand of these things to all of a sudden show up in the store.

Now since no money is being transpired here, the app store is not making money on ads through these things. It’s all just pulling in a website from a company. There’s no reason there that a company needs its permission. Twitter is Twitter. If Twitter wanted to deny a PWA on Windows10, they would be effectively saying, you can’t go to twitter.com on your web browser, which would be insane.

By putting progressive web apps right in the store and it’s going to be therefor users but without the discoverability problem of having to go to the website,log in and then pin it to your start screen. It’s a unique thing and it should be happening a lot more in coming times.

What is the State of Progressive Web Apps Right Now?

Many progressive web apps are already out there, including Google Maps. You can pin it to your start screen and have a PWA of Google Maps that uses your location and works just like the app itself.

Starbucks has a preview version. If you go to app.starbucks.com on your phone,you can see it there, log in, and pin that to your start screen and that is a PWA, as well. You also have Twitter, you have Instagram,you have Tinder, you have Uber, and you have Lyft. Even Pinterest has a PWA. All the major companies are embracing this, because again, companies hate paying developers. They would rather just have a web developer, make a PWA website, and call it a day.

What does the Future Hold?

I also expect a lot of banks to jump into this because maintaining a banking app is super expensive. There’s a lot of security involved. There are many laws, in effect,that they need to be compliant with. That’s one reason why Windows 10 always had an issue with banking apps. They’re very expensive to maintain.

But, what is always maintained? A banking website. In fact, that is updated even before any iOS and Android apps. So, if a bank can maintain a PWA website, well that’s a win-win for everybody, including them and their consumers.

CTA2 - PWA

How to Determine the Target Audience of Your Mobile App

Target Audience of Your Mobile App

One of the biggest mistakes made in app development world is putting the technical details first and neglecting the target customer base. Coming up with a unique idea is just not enough to climb the ladder of success; you will have to create an app that delivers value for the target group of people. It is crucial to define target market so that you can know whether they will use the app and can even identify if there’s a demand for the type of mobile app you’re developing.

By figuring out the target audience for your app, you can:-

  • Develop features as the per user preferences
  • Plan strategies for the marketing campaign
  • Use the best monetization techniques

But, how would you identify the right target audience for your mobile app? Let’s dive-in deep to know more…

General Understanding

Knowing target audience is the first step of mobile app development process. For instance, if you are planning to develop a food delivery mobile app in New York, one can assume that your target audience will be the one who is living in New York. In –case, if you are unable to decide on who is your end-customer, you need to work on your app concept to come up with the refined target audience.

Secondary Research

Secondary research includes in-depth analysis of the industry, competitors and actual customers.  For instance, food delivery app, it would be boon for the people who are busy working late-nights or get back home late. You can even focus on how often people order from your app, what are the common items they generally buy, which factor is driving them to buy – new products, discounts, reviews etc. and you must keep an eye intact on competitor’s audience.

Understand buyer’s demography, behavior and lifestyle

You need to know the nitty-gritty of your ideal customers! The more granular you can get with the information, the better you can know the buyer’s persona. Look at the traits such as:

  • Demographics: This information can include gender, age, location and culture. This becomes very important if you are looking to develop food app, travel app, restaurant app or lifestyle app. The demographic information will help in determining the specific group of audience who will be interested in using your mobile app
  • Psychographics: This information goes beyond demographics and identifies more about customer’s psychology, interests, values, attitudes, behaviors and much more. The psychographic information will help you to know the reason for using your mobile app
  • Technographic Segmentation: This information is related to the devices! The number of customers engaging with your product via mobile device, type of device – smart-phone, feature phone, tablet, brand, version, model and other technical attributes. The technographic information will help you to learn where to reach your different audience and on what device.

The above-mentioned information is essential in basic profiling of your customer…

Conduct surveys

You can conduct surveys by directly interacting with the target audience and asking about their preferences. However, there are different ways of conducting the survey.

  • Combining survey and interactive prototype where an interactive prototype is created to draw traffic to your app and survey is done to know the likes and dislikes of the customers
  • Combining mobile MVP with the actual feedback; Opt for this, if you have gathered information about your target audience. You can develop an app with sufficient features and gather feedback from various groups and communities.

Use marketing strategies

  • Focus on the groups to know what users look for
  • Take up social media platforms to promote your app idea just to know what audience think about your product

By using effective marketing strategies, you can gather deep insights about your app’s target audience.

Research competitor’s app

Apart from figuring out the behavior of the customer, closely monitoring competitor’s app will help you to know what they are doing right and their weaknesses. Check out features and designs that are missing in your app and peep through the review to know what people are saying. Make a note of positive and negative reviews; check out what users say about the app speed and performance. With all this insights, you can develop an app which is more in line with the preferences of your target audience.

Wrapping it up…

Now, you may have clear idea for whom you’re developing your app for, what are the opportunities and how your app can fill the gap and gain popularity on app stores. Doing thorough research and developing effective strategies can help to know your potential customers and can aid in getting ahead of the competition.

Would you like to know more about how to define the right target audience for your app to open up countless opportunities? Connect with our experts to know how TOPS Infosolutions can help to get you an edge over your competitors.

Mobile App Deep Linking: How it Works and The Benefits it Offers

Mobile App Deep Linking

Mobile App Deep Linking is a uniform resource identifier (URI) that links to the specific page or the locations within a mobile application.  The purpose of the deep linking is to provide relevant information to the user and that can be done via E-mail, social media, push notification, SMS etc. It largely drives user engagement and improves user retention ratio.

Without deep links, URL’s can only direct users to the home screen but can’t direct to a particular content.  However, Deep linking has changed the way apps interacts with each other and seamlessly bridges the gap between websites and apps.

Deep links takes user to the app content from:

  • Website to App
  • App to App
  • Social Media to App
  • Search Result to App
  • Mobile Phone Search to App
  • Ad to App
  • E-mail to App
  • SMS to App

Various Types of Mobile App Deep Linking:

  • Traditional deep linking: Using your app’s URL, it directs users to a specific screen of your mobile app. But, it works only if the users have installed your app otherwise it will show the user an error page.
  • Deferred deep linking: This type of link doesn’t require the app to be downloaded on user’s phone. When the user taps the link, it will direct them to the app store or play store for downloading the app. On downloading the app, the user will be able to view the content.
  • Contextual deep linking: This type of link take user directly to the specific location or content; it also stores contextual information like who shared the link, the source from where it is shared, where the users want to go etc. This data helps in providing a personalized experience to the users with the appropriate content based on their preferences.

Benefits of Mobile App Deep Linking:

  • Drives Re-engagement

It may happen that, your users have installed the app but haven’t used it/ inactive for months. Here, push notifications can be used for promoting a special deal or relevant content in the app to bring back customers. Directing these users to the specific content they are looking for will improve the chance of becoming more active user. Including the deep link in your message encourage user to update the app or download a new feature or improve the chances of becoming an active user. Some of the past research states that, apps that have deep links, are likely to be visited a number of times compared to which have not.

  • Improves App Discoverability and Increases App Downloads

Let’s say, you have a website that drives a good number of visitors per day through but you are unable to drive visitors on your app although you’re putting all your efforts. If this is the scenario, you can get a mobile app deep linking installed for searches, your app will be displayed on the Google search result page. As Google indexes the mobile app deep links, the content appears in the search result similar to website. On clicking that link, users will be directed to install your app. This process can ultimately drive more number of installs to your mobile app, becomes easy for the new users to find the app and can engage users on the current platform.

  • Connect Two Apps

With deep linking, it is easy to establish a connection between two apps. Let’s say, if you have developed two e-commerce apps, one app deals with grocery products and other app is a lifestyle app that includes garments, accessories, décor items and much more. Once the user has completed buying grocery products, you can easily create a deep link and direct users to your other lifestyle app or vice-versa. Linking apps with each other can help you with increased customer-base, high revenue generation as well as cross-selling of products.

  • Provides Convenience in Content Promotion

A deep link enables to create link on the website, e-mails, social-media that directs to certain content in the app. It serves as a promotional tool which links back to your deal or newly launched product that you want to show-case to your customers. Rather than asking users to open up your app, when promoting app content, you can link them directly to the content you are promoting.

Brands Harnessing The Power Of Deep Linking

  • Zomato – When you search for any restaurant in Google, Zomato reviews are generally on the top results. When you click on that, it will ask you to download Zomato app (if not done) and then redirects you to restaurant page, which provides you with all the information that you are looking for. Moreover, when you click on the restaurant address, it will directly take you to the Google Map to show you direction; making the entire process of searching restaurant hassle-free.
  • Google Maps & Uber/Ola – When you search for the direction in the Google Maps, app provides the option of ‘finding ride service’. On taping that, app will ask you the option to opt for Uber/Ola and will tell you the estimated time to wait as well as the cost of reaching the destination. On tapping that, it connects you to Uber/Ola app and automatically inputs your destination information.

Wrapping it Up

Mobile app deep linking has certainly proved to be an important element in revenue generation and enhanced user experience. As competition is high in the mobile app ecosystem, it’s high time to get started with mobile app deep linking today. If done in a right way, it surely increases the profitability of the mobile app.

Haven’t stared App deep linking yet? It’s high time you get started now. Talk to our experts to get started on upgrading your mobile app.

 

Quick Inquiry

Quick Inquiry