With the innovative and ever-evolving mobile tech market continuing to dominate the consumer and ecommerce space, it’s no wonder that developers are increasingly adopting cross-platform mobile frameworks such as React Native and competitors.
During a lively React Native Leadership roundtable event, facilitators Henry Moulton and Harry Jell from Yonder welcomed mobile specialists from a variety of UK organisations to outline the pros and cons of these challenger frameworks and predict what the future holds for mobile tech.
Consider the customer experience
Over the past decade, mobile apps have developed from gimmicks and games to fundamental tools essential for everyday life in a modern world. As such, usability and customer experience are key when designing, building, and deploying mobile apps, keeping the consumer journey at the forefront of development considerations.
It’s important to think about target market; if your mobile and web apps are equally utilised, the customer experience needs to align across both. If one is clearly more favoured, consider how your mobile framework will influence the development of your dominant platform and affect the usability of subsequent platforms.
Updates are imperative
Access to the latest mobile version is vital, especially in cases such as banking where innovation often comes hand-in-hand with security. App stores across both iOS and Android are the gatekeepers when it comes to updates. Although Apple’s App Store has historically had a stricter app review process, Google’s Play Store has caught up with a similar review process and guidelines.
One of the advantages of React Native is that it offers Over The Air (OTA) updates, which allows app developers the choice of not having to go through the review process for updates that don’t materially change the functionality or product, for example, an update to fix a bug.
The talent challenge
Hiring for a specific tech stack is often problematic; niche skills mean the talent pool is certainly smaller, and the inevitable competition for top candidates drives remuneration and benefits packages to the high end of the market.
Successful React Native teams are often made up of typescript engineers and iOS and Android engineers, who are able to combine their complementary skill sets to benefit building with React Native. Moving to mobile is a paradigm shift; it’s not considered web technology, so expecting an already established web team to adapt is unrealistic.
If you’re delivering features across multiple teams, consider how those teams will interact with each other. As with any complex project, establishing a structure that results in efficiency is key, whilst also ensuring clear communication and performance measurements for each area of responsibility.
Looking to the future
The future of tech has been debated and predicted by experts across the industry – virtual reality, artificial intelligence, further alignment with the Internet of Things – but all of these share a commonality; the future of tech will depend on delivery speed. Consumers already want immediate interaction, and apps that put agility at the top of the features list will come out on top with the next wave of development.
Frameworks that can handle rapid rendering and dynamic user journeys are a consideration for the next generation of capability. As we discussed at the beginning of our event, increasing the quality of the customer journey will be the key consideration for the future of mobile technology.
A quick look at mobile frameworks
– Always a package for what you need, saving time
– Large community to tap into
– Can push updates and new features relatively quickly
– Original architecture can cause performance issues
– Route through the web is questionable
– Upgrading is a big problem
– Great toolchain makes process more efficient
– Cross-platform development allows for flexibility
– Strong support from Google
– More competition for talent
– Dart is a unique language
– Smaller community of specialists
For help building your mobile, digital, or development team, or to find out more about our talent solutions, contact Jacob Brown.