Frameworks for Android App Development

Top 3 Frameworks for Android App Development in 2020

Mobile applications are becoming increasingly sophisticated, interactive and user friendly as companies line up to join the mobile revolution. To meet demand, application framework developers have stepped up their game, providing superior technologies for app development. 

We scoured the web to find the very best Android app development frameworks in 2020, to create mobile apps that outperform their early predecessors and raise the bar for UX, functionality and overall performance. 

App Framework

What is an Application Framework?

An application framework is a software toolkit that enables app developers to piece together a finished product that meets the requirements of its proprietor. A framework provides the bones of an application, to be fleshed out with graphics, animation, special features and functionality. Application frameworks are designed to simplify the app development process, and make it easy to manage, modify and fix bugs down the road.

Different frameworks share many of the same attributes, along with unique features that make them better suited to certain types of projects. The application framework you select should be chosen with the specific requirements of your project in mind. 

Attributes of a Superior App Development Framework

With so many Android app frameworks available, finding those that stand apart and meet the needs of developers and stakeholders can be challenging. We used the following criteria to sort the sheep from the goats:

Cross-platform capability: Cross-platform frameworks enable developers to use the same codebase across all operating systems, meaning a single app will have the same look, feel and user experience on any device. Plus, any updates and fixes are universally reflected automatically. Even if you are primarily interested in creating an Android app, using a framework designed to accommodate multiple platforms can save time and money down the road.

Popularity among developers: App developers want to work with technologies that facilitate the creative process, with minimal speed bumps along the way. They also want to be able to test, troubleshoot and fix bugs in the least complicated and most time-efficient ways. 

User interface: As apps become more sophisticated and complex, being able to customize framework elements to achieve the best user experience for every project is fundamental  to high-end application development. 

Android App Frameworks

Top 3 Android App Frameworks

Here are our top 3 best framework picks for Android app development in 2020:

React Native

Overview: 

Facebook created React Native in 2015 as an open-source, cross-platform framework. It can be used to develop apps for iOS, Android, UWP and Web. With React Native, developers can build mobile apps using React and JavaScript, along with native Android app development capabilities.

What we like about it:

  • React Native implements native UI components, giving apps a high-quality user interface with a native look.
  • React Native’s expansive library of UI components speeds up development time.
  • The framework gives developers access to native functionalities, like camera and other features.
  • RN allows developers to use platform-specific native code to optimize individual apps.
  • Developers can apply immediate changes to an app without having to recompile it.
  • Support by Facebook ensures reliability. 
  • React Native is an open-source framework, making it free to application developers.

What’s missing:

  • React Native’s built-in navigation is not as seamless as Android native framework navigation.
  • The platform is not geared to building complex animation or complicated transitions.

Xamarin

Overview: 

Founded in 2011, Xamarin is owned by Microsoft and has been around for nearly a decade, making it one of the oldest application development frameworks. The platform provides developers with libraries and tools specifically compiled for building apps on Android, iOS, macOS, and others.

What we like about it:

  • Apps developed with Xamarin have high native-like performance.
  • Xamarin’s extensive ecosystem with C#, .Net, and Microsoft Visual Studio makes it one of the most complete mobile app frameworks available.
  • Xamarin’s platform-specific libraries give developers access to APIs from Apple, Facebook, Google and other platforms to enrich your app’s capabilities.
  • Enhanced user experience, thanks to Xamarin’s vast template library that lets developers reuse code across different platforms, or manually customize elements.
  • Like React Native, Xamarin is open-source, making it free to small development teams.

What’s missing:

  • Updates to Xamarin are often delayed before being reflected in the framework’s tools, which sometimes causes issues with individual apps.
  • Xamarin apps are often larger than native apps, adding about 5 mb for new releases and up to 20 mb for rebuilds.
  • Xamarin is not well suited to building apps with complex animation or complicated game features. 
  • Some parts of the UI code may need to be rewritten in Java or Kotlin to customize your Android app. 

Flutter

Overview:

Flutter is Google’s contribution to cross-platform application frameworks. Its first iteration, called Sky, was designed to run on the Android operating system. Flutter was released in 2017, making it one of the newer application development frameworks. 

What we like about it:

  • Flutter features an extensive app development toolbox that includes pre-built widgets, APIs, CLI tools, and a broad range of other application development tools. 
  • Flutter allows developers to create new widgets or customize existing ones. 
  • With the support of tech giant Google, Flutter is highly reliable. 
  • Flutter’s fast code implementation allows for speedy bug fixes. 
  • Like Xamarin and React Native, Flutter is a free open-source platform.

What’s missing:

  • Like Xamarin, Flutter apps tend to be large, forcing developers to compromise on images, animation and the number of libraries used. 
  • Flutter does not allow for the use of many native APIs, meaning developers may need to use third party packages or write their own code. 

Join the Mobile Revolution with a Customized App by Tateeda

Whether your existing mobile app needs an upgrade, or you are ready to jump into the fray with a sophisticated customized app that outperforms your competitors, Tateeda has the experience and knowledge to satisfy your unique needs. 

We select the best iOS and Android frameworks with your particular project in mind, to build your custom app from the ground up. We test and retest at every stage of the development process to ensure that your app performs flawlessly, without bugs or failures. Contact us today, and let Tateeda’s team of app development professionals bring your vision to life. 

Natalia Juhasz

Independent Business Owner at Social Rush LLC - Senior Marketing and Software Development Project Manager

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