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React Native vs Xamarin vs Ionic: Best Hybrid App Development Frameworks for 2019

The debate over cross-platform vs. native apps is long dead. With their low cost, quick development, and easy maintenance, cross-platform apps have captured the fascination of startups and enterprises alike. But that has led to the rise of a new debate- which platform is best suited to build such apps? With React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic leading the race let’s find out which one is the best:

React Native

Launched in 2014, React Native is an open-source framework built and largely maintained by Facebook. It uses the popular JavaScript as the development language and works on the philosophy of learning once, write anywhere. This means, applications for both Android and iOS can be built using the same set of tools. It also features a host of native libraries that can be easily integrated into the applications through a JS bridge.

Xamarin

A product of Microsoft, Xamarin is one of the oldest hybrid mobile app development frameworks and still commands a wide user base. It uses C# as the development language and offers a host of native libraries for most of the common features.

Ionic

Ionic is basically a UI development framework for cross-platform mobile apps and uses common web-based technologies like JavaScript and HTML to achieve its purpose. It works on the philosophy of write once, run anywhere and thus enables developers to use a common codebase for building both Android and iOS platforms. It also comes with numerous ready-to-use components to speed up the development cycle.

Now before we take our discussion any further, it’s worth pointing out that Ionic isn’t really in the same league as React Native or Xamarin. While both of these frameworks offer end-to-end solutions, Ionic builds only the user interface.

Ease of development

One of the key reasons React Native has garnered such immense popularity is that it makes building cross-platform mobile apps fairly easy. Its use of JavaScript- a popular web-based language ensures a quick learning curve compared to C# of the Xamarin.

Inversely, Xamarin offers a unified development environment where both Android and iOS apps can be built in the same .NET framework. That is, while React Native makes it easier for amateurs, seasoned developers still prefer Xamarin.

UI/UX

Among the two, React Native definitely has an upper hand when it comes to building native-like experience. Yes, Xamarin offers an extensive set of UI components and Xamarin Forms that can be customized for the platform-specific experience; it still lags behind React Native

Native features

Both React Native and Xamarin offer native functionality through native APIs but React Native again has a slight advantage. Given its open source tag, its native libraries are updated more frequently and quickly after every major OS release. So if you want to include a recently launched platform-specific feature in your hybrid app, you are more likely to favor React Native. 

Read also: React Native vs. Ionic: The Bulls Are On A Roll!

Closing remarks

If you have carefully gone through the above discussion, you must have noticed a common undertone. None of these frameworks are in absolute terms, better than the other. They just serve different purposes. While Ionic is best suited for quickly building native UI/UX, top React Native app development companies market themselves for building consumer apps. Xamarin, on the other hand, delivers its best for enterprise mobile solutions. Do depending on where your interests align; you can pick any of the three.

Best Programming Language for Mobile App Development

Best Programming Language for Mobile App Development

Mobile apps are just another piece of software and software, irrespective of purpose can be used to build by any language. At least in theory. In practice, however, the current mobile ecosystem is a virtual duopoly between Android and iOS and they both operate entirely different platforms and favor different sets of tools and languages. So unless you wish to spend your entire life building each and every component of your app yourself in the language of your choice, it’s a smart choice to use the official and popular languages that have a broad community of users. Keeping that in mind, here are the best languages for app development according to your platform of preference:

Native Android

Java

Java is the most widely used language in the world and is only one of the official languages of Android. In fact, even parts of Android OS itself are written in Java. While it is infamous for its verbosity and null point errors, the language is otherwise simple to learn and given its high interportability, comes in handy when integrating applications with other platforms.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a relatively new language that shot to popularity after it was accorded the status of an official language of Android. Basically, it offers the best parts of Java without any of its shortfalls. It is fully compatible with Java as well- to let you use Kotlin in existing Java code. if you are starting out as an Android developer, Kotlin offers a much better value proposition than Java.

Native iOS

Objective-C

This is the oldest language in this list and one of the oldest that’s still actively used on a large scale. For a long time, this was the only official language for iOS- thus leading to its immense popularity. Currently, however, it has largely lost relevance and is used only for ongoing and legacy products. If you are just starting out in the iOS development, there is little value that Objective-C can offer.

Swift

This currently the de facto language for building native iOS apps and if you wish to build one, you must learn Swift. The language takes many of its cues from Objective-C but is much easier to learn and less error-prone.

Cross-platform

C#

A product of Microsoft, C# is widely recognized as one of the most powerful yet versatile languages around but remains largely limited to Windows universe. Be it Windows desktop apps, client apps, backend apps, or even web apps, C# is well-equipped to build all of them. For mobile apps, it is used in conjunction with Xamarin- also a product of Microsoft, which compiles the C# code to iOS or Android binaries and works exactly like Swift or Kotlin work on their respective platforms. So if you wish to build mobile apps but don’t want to learn those official languages, C# can be quite a powerful tool in your skillset.

JavaScript

JavaScript has a long history in web development and for the most part, wasn’t even considered a full-scale language. But ever since the advent of hybrid apps, the language has seen an immense rise in popularity and is used by some of the most popular hybrid app development frameworks. Owing to the easy learning curve and lightweight, JavaScript has easily transitioned from a mere scripting tool to one of the best languages for app development.

Dart

This is the latest language on this list used by Google’s recently introduced Flutter SDK. Though the language is yet to gain wider traction, it is already being used by app development firms and holds a bright future. If you wish to learn a future proof language for mobile app development, Dart is the one you should opt for.

Want You Ride-Sharing App to Succeed? Consider These 4 Strategies from Juno

Earlier this year, Lyft became the first ride-hailing company to be listed on the stock market. Uber was close behind and two of the most popular ride-sharing startups are now public companies. Though all such startups continue to register massive losses, the wave of consolidation has certainly started and with it has brought a whole new space of opportunities.

If you as an entrepreneur is looking to build a ride-sharing app like Uber, the game is far from over. Despite the competition, there is ample room for a new player and you learn a whole lot of tricks from Juno’s playbook to make your ride-sharing app a success.

Attract the cream

When Juno initially started operating in New York, the only way to register as a driver was to be already a Uber or Lyft driver and have a rating above 4.9-stars. That is, they essentially poached the top drivers of both the incumbents. This strategy has three clear benefits:

  • It helps deliver an excellent customer experience
  • It helps create buzz- a potent branding exercise in the early days of any startup.
  • It brings down the initial cost of training as you already of the best professionals.

Take care of drivers

As Uber finalizes the process of its market listing, its drivers around the world are staging protests against the company. And not just Uber, this is a problem with virtually all big cab hailing services. Generally, the companies charge a commission of around 30% of each fare that drastically brings down the after-expenses earnings of drivers. Also, since they are just regarded as contractors instead of employees, they have little, if any, additional incentives.

Be quirky

Basically, every ride haling application offers the set of services and there isn’t much room for innovation. Pick up the customers from their location and drop them off to their specified destination- there isn’t much you can do in-between, at least not in a major way. That said, there are always ways to make your trips more satisfying than others, Juno for its part, kept lots of candies in its cars that customers could much upon during their ride. It’s a cost-effective method but substantially improves the customer experience. If you have deeper pockets, you can try what an Indian ride app Ola did- fit your cab with LCD displays featuring a wealth of content.

Discounts

Everyone loves discounts! This is one strategy that’s common across all startups and corporations alike and is known to work every single time. But it a free bonanza for all or highly tailored discount for only loyal customers, you can try numerous discounting strategies to boost your ridership and get that early momentum every startup needs.

Closing remarks

For taxi booking apps like Uber to succeed, you need two key ingredients- excellent customer experience and a cut-throat marketing strategy. While the latter would depend entirely on the market and competitors you face, the first requires a seamless mobile app and hassle-free services. Through these kinds of apps aren’t cheap to build, we would suggest you still hire the best app development firms to create long-term value for your app, not the services that leave the first impression.

Airbnb Alternatives: 7 Just as Good Vacation Rental Apps

Airbnb Alternatives

It’s amazing how one application with a fresh idea carries the potential to disrupt entire industries and what’s even more fascinating is how that one service over time takes the shape of some entirely new industry. And while there are numerous such examples, none is perhaps better than Airbnb. If you are reading this, it can be safely assumed that you already know what Airbnb is all about and so we’ll just skip to the next part.

Like we said earlier, one fresh idea paves the way for an entire industry and so the more Airbnb succeeds, the more apps like Airbnb flood the market. Now given how successful it already is, there are tons of similar apps- some completely identical to Airbnb, others with a subtle difference but the core service of renting vacation home remains the same. If for any reason you can’t find your ideal vacation home on Airbnb, here are some of the finest alternatives:

HomeAway

Having footprint in around 190 countries, this is the best contender to Airbnb and works exactly like it. With millions of listings on its platform, the users can create a free account, browse all available listings in any given localities, and use filters to find the most appropriate vacation home. The booking itself can be done on the platform itself.

Vrbo

VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Rentals that is everything like Airbnb but with a key difference. Unlike vacation homes where the owners rent out a part of their property, this platform offers only the unhosted homes- where you can stay alone. Given its exclusive feature, it does have fewer listings but the footprint remains the same 190 countries.

FlipKey

A subsidiary of TripAdvisor, FlipKey is a vacation home rental app that despite its seasoned parent has fewer listings. Though not as expansive as other services in the list, it offers pretty good offerings if it is active in the area you are planning to visit.

Turnkey

Unlike Airbnb and other applications that act merely as platforms, TurnKey is actually a service provider where you don’t deal with house owners but the company itself. This ensures the highest quality and customer service. So if you have had any bad experience with hosts on any such platform, Turnkey is the app you can rely upon.

Couchsurfing

This isn’t anything like Airbnb and is mostly suited for solo travelers. As the name suggests, the application is used to rent not homes but a place to crash. It mostly has listings of people willing to host travels on their spare couch. The cheapest on the list, this is a paradise for hitchhikers.

Wimdu

While it has a footprint across 150 countries, it particularly suited for European tours. With an extensive collection of vacation homes in the region- from cheap hostels to lavish villas, you destined to find your ideal stay at Wimdu.

Booking.com

Booking.com is a seasoned player in the hospitality industry that used to be one of the largest booking platforms for hotels. As the influence of apps like Airbnb grew, it too has thrown its hat in the ring with a separate segment of apartment bookings. The process remains as reliable and fluid as original Booking along with added amenities like cars, restaurants, etc. While the collection of apartments isn’t yet as exhaustive as other platforms, it is definitely a strong Airbnb alternative where you can head to in future.

Closing remarks

Despite all these applications and many more, the home renting segment is far from saturated. You would also find numerous such applications on local levels in the area you are touring. If you are interested in building such apps yourself, you can contact app developers in India for quality and cost-effective solution.

How Do Apps Make Money? The Best Strategies and Use Cases

How Apps Make Money

In the first three months of 2019, smartphone users around the globe spent a whopping $19.5 billion on mobile apps. With a projected YoY growth rate of around 17%, that figure is estimated to touch $150 billion annually by 2022. To put things in perspective, the entire personal computer industry is worth less than the mobile app market. So what’s the most appropriate strategy for your app to gain a piece of that immensely large pie? Let’s find out:

Paid apps

This is the simplest way to make money from an app and also possibly the toughest. As the name suggests, you put a price tag on your app that users pay upfront to download. The problem is, it’s really tough to convenience people to pay for your app without using it and to make things worse there are always free alternatives available. It is generally preferred by utility apps.

Bottom-line- tough to sell but consistent revenues

Free

Almost 90% of the apps on both Google’s Google Play and Apple’s App Store is free to download and though mobile advertisement has been consistently on the rise, it still isn’t enough to sustain millions of apps. While this monetization model is the easiest to implement, the returns are significant only after you have gained a large install base.

Bottom-line- negligible revenues unless userbase is substantially large.

Freemium

This is currently the most popular mobile app monetization strategy that deploys a mix of both paid and free models. These apps are generally free to download and use with a few features exclusive for paid users. Mostly used by mobile games, these apps tend to have a large user base owing to the “free” tag while the engaged users do not hesitate to pay for extra features.

Bottom-line- gold mine if you have addictive content.

Subscription

If you have a viable product, this is the most lucrative monetization model that would earn you the most. The key highlight of this model is that unlike other models, subscription continuously generates revenues from the same user but to keep those users interested, the application too needs to consistently deliver new content.

Bottom-line- endless revenues for consistent quality content

Sponsorship

This is a rather new approach to app monetization where the applications enter into partnerships with different businesses to serve promotional content. This model banks upon the large amount of personal data those applications collect- used for targeted advertisement by businesses. Given the recent outcry over data regulation and privacy, make sure you obtain the consent of users first before sharing their data.

Bottom-line- reasonably good revenues but mind the regulations

Mix and match

Monetizing an application requires the highest level of marketing skills and insights and for that reason; there isn’t a definite guide for everyone to follow. More often than not, applications would need to mix and match the above app monetization models to come up with a scheme that best suits their purpose. For instance, most of the advertisement model works in tandem with data monetization. Similarly, the subscription model is often skewed towards the freemium model through paywalls.

Bottom-line- design a monetization model that best suits the content and audience of your app

Closing remarks

Though the size of the mobile app market has ballooned over the years, the majority of revenues are still mopped up by a minuscule minority of apps. So if you want your app to make money, you would need extreme market awareness and couple that with appropriate app monetization models to turn your product into a viable business.