Is JavaScript the future of native apps ?

In the last six months I have created many Apps for iOS and Android using Ionic 2 (three are already available on the stores) and they are very good in:

  • to display the data acquired by the mobile devices (native Apps)
  • to allow a two factors auth using push messages
  • to display the content of a 4 days congress

The development using Ionic 2 is quite fast compared to the time required for the development of the native apps, the Apps are fast, they use CodePush so they are updatable whitout a new review by Apple, and they work well and the customers are happy.

The common element is that all the three apps are online app, and it means that they expect to have a working phone data connection. Besides none of them produces content but they consume content.

When I started using JavaScript about 15 years ago, there where no unit testing tools, the development were done using notepad.exe and each line have to be tested in the browser; there were no ES6, no classes… a nightmare.

Now writing JavaScript code is a smooth operation thanks to editors and tools, but what about writing a native app using React Native or NativeScript where the requirements are:

  • Off line working mode (the operator must be able to work even when there is no connection)
  • The operator has to inout lot of data (using selections from lists and writing data using the virtual keyboard)
  • Full access to the native API (camera, gps, …)

I will answer to this question in the future starting to work on the answer this week. I will start first using NativeScript: it seems more complete compared to React Native, full support with few money, access to the native API, and easier to write plugins if needed.

If the NativeScript is successfull I will not test React Native, due to the fact that the platform is less complete and it requires more code specific for each platform.

Is that true that is possibile to have and API that is the same for iOS and Android ? Difficult to believe but this is the aim of the test with NativeScript.

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