Can Web Developers Make Mobile Apps?

With the advent of smartphones and tablet devices, there has been an explosion in the number of mobile apps available for download. So it’s no surprise that businesses are keen to use their app to reach customers. But can web developers make mobile apps? And if so, what skills do they need? This blog post will teach you how to create a mobile app and look at what you need to know to get started.

Web Development vs. Mobile App Development

Web development and mobile app development are two different fields of work; however, they share some similarities. Both are forms of software development that cater to the needs and requirements of all kinds of businesses, large and small. Both also have unique challenges and skill sets that need to be mastered over time.

There are many differences between web development and mobile app development as well. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Web development is a broad term to describe all the work involved in planning, designing and building websites. A website is a collection of pages that are hosted on a server and can be accessed using an internet connection.

A mobile app is a software application that can be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet device to provide service or entertainment to its users. The most common types of apps include social media applications like Facebook or Twitter, productivity tools such as Google Docs and games like Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds 2.

How Can Web Developers Make Mobile Apps?

Web developers can make mobile apps using a variety of frameworks. Some of the most popular frameworks include React Native, Ionic Framework, Xamarin and Cordova. The following is a brief overview of these frameworks:

REACT NATIVE

Facebook created the REACT NATIVE framework in 2013. It allows developers to create native apps using JavaScript and React, a popular library for building user interfaces.

As a result, you don’t have to learn Objective-C or Swift to build an iOS app. You also don’t have to learn Java or Kotlin for Android development. Instead, you can use the same programming language you already know (JavaScript) and package it as a native app.

Some of the popular apps built with React Native include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Shopify
  • Flipkart
  • Tesla
  • Wix
  • NerdWallet
  • Uber Eats
  • Bloomberg
  • Coinbase

While web developers use many ways to make mobile apps, React Native is one of the best frameworks. With this framework, you can quickly and efficiently create high-quality, interactive mobile apps. If you’re a web developer looking to jump into mobile app development, React Native is definitely worth checking out.

IONIC FRAMEWORK

The Ionic framework is one of the most popular frameworks used by web developers for creating mobile apps. It allows you to develop cross-platform applications for Android and iOS devices without having to learn any native code languages like Objective C or Java. The framework uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript like any other web application.

The Ionic framework is built on top of Apache Cordova, a platform that allows developers to build cross-platform native applications using Web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript instead of writing native code in Objective C or Java.

Some of the mobile apps made with Ionic include:

  • Sanvello
  • NHS
  • EA
  • Amtrak
  • Etc.

Ionic is a great framework for quickly putting together mobile apps, and it has many features and plugins to choose from and is easy to use. If you’re looking to make a mobile app quickly, Ionic is a good choice.

CORDOVA

Cordova is a framework for building native mobile applications with web technologies, including JavaScript, CSS and HTML. It allows you to package your app as a native application deployed to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Cordova provides a JavaScript API that gives access to native device capabilities such as the camera, contacts database and location services.

A Cordova application consists of an HTML file (index.html) and additional assets, such as CSS files and images. The Cordova CLI compiles these assets into a .apk file which can then be installed on a device.

XAMARIN

Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile app development framework that allows you to use the same codebase to develop Android, iOS, Windows and Windows Phone apps.

It is an open-source platform that web developers can use to develop native mobile apps. It allows you to write C# code and share it across multiple platforms. You don’t need to learn new languages or tools when using Xamarin because it uses the same language and IDE as Visual Studio.

Some of the applications created with Xamarin are:

  • JustGiving
  • Ups
  • Olo
  • Storyo
  • Evolve
  • PictureX

With web design and development becoming the dominant technology for mobile app development, it is essential to understand what options are available for web developers. There are many other mobile app development frameworks, such as Onsen UI, Native Script, Framework7, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cross-Platform Frameworks?

Cross-platform frameworks are similar to native SDKs in many ways. They offer a set of APIs that you can use in your code to build an application. However, unlike native SDKs, cross-platform frameworks do not require you to learn a new programming language or about the platform’s architecture or API. Instead, they allow you to write code in JavaScript or TypeScript and then compile it into native code for each target platform.

The advantages and disadvantages of cross-platform frameworks are:

Advantages:

Inexpensive: Cross-platform frameworks make development cheap because you only need to write the code once, but you can use it on various platforms.

Easy Maintenance: Since only one codebase exists, updating or adding new features does not require much effort. This also makes it easier to maintain the app for your customers.

Only one codebase: A cross-platform framework gives developers one codebase to write their apps in, which makes it easier for them to focus on developing their apps rather than maintaining multiple versions of their apps for different platforms.

Open-source: Cross-platform frameworks are usually open-source, meaning anyone can contribute to them if they find bugs or want to add features. This way, other developers will benefit from your work too!

Faster Development: You can build your app faster as you don’t have to learn two different languages; one language is enough for coding your app

Disadvantages:

Slow: While these frameworks let you build native applications, they’re still slow compared to natively written apps. This is because the mobile app runs in a web browser on top of the operating system — which means it has to render everything twice.

Rely on third-party packages: Cross-platform apps rely on third-party packages provided by the framework developer, who can change them anytime without warning or notice. This means even if your app works fine today, it might not work tomorrow — and there’s no way to fix it unless you update your codebase too.

Performance issues: The most significant disadvantage of cross-platform frameworks is that they don’t perform as well as native apps. This is because they use a web view instead of the native SDKs provided by Apple or Google to render their opinions on the device. Web views are slower than an app’s native code, affecting both performance and battery life.

It also has limited access to device features such as location data, accelerometers, cameras, etc., making it difficult for you to create an app with advanced functionality.

Web developers can clearly create mobile applications using their existing knowledge of technologies and skill sets. As a result, many web developers now have a larger window of opportunity.

How Does A Web Developer Create Desktop Applications?

When web developers want to create a desktop application, they have three main options: Electron.js, Tauri, and NW.js.

Electron.js is the most popular option for creating desktop applications, and it’s used by Slack, Microsoft Outlook 2016, Skype, and many other big names. It works by using Chromium (the open-source version of Google Chrome) as its underlying foundation, so any browser-based code you write will be familiar to you. The downside is that it’s not relatively as lightweight as some of the other options out there.

Here are some of the apps made with Electron.js:

  • VS Code
  • Whatsapp
  • Figma
  • Skype
  • Discord
  • Slack
  • Drawtify Designer
  • Codex
  • Mongomix
  • Devbook
  • TwitterTron
  • QuickRedis
  • Dynobase
  • Bootstrap Studio
  • Android Messages
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Laravel Kit
  • Panda 2
  • GrapgQL Playground
  • Twitch
  • GitHub Desktop
  • VK Messenger
  • WordPress
  • Atom
  • Nuclide

If you’re a web developer who wants to build desktop apps, Electron.js is worth checking out.

Tauri was created by Facebook to be a lightweight alternative to Electron but still be compatible with all the same libraries and packages that Electron uses. It still has some issues with compatibility with certain packages like Meteor (a web framework), but it’s catching up quickly with each new release.

NW.js isn’t quite as popular yet as Electron or Tauri. Still, it has its benefits over both: it’s entirely open source (with no ads), has better keyboard shortcuts than either one, supports custom themes out of the box (both Electrons require additional packages), and can run on Linux!

Conclusion

While there are many similarities between the two disciplines, great mobile apps require a much different set of coding skills. This is because the mobile app industry has evolved to the point that there are clearly defined roles within a project team. The good news is that it still makes sense for web developers to learn how to make mobile apps; with a bit of training, web developers can make the personal app they’ve always wanted and give their careers a boost.

FAQs

What languages are used to make mobile apps?

The most common programming languages for mobile app development are Java, Objective-C and C#. Other options include Python, JavaScript, Swift, Kotlin, and Go.

Who earns more, app developers or web developers?

In general, app developers earn more than web developers. The average annual salary of a web developer is $80,000 to $85,000, compared to $110,000 for an app developer.

How do I create a mobile app for my website?

You can use the same development process that you use to make websites to create mobile apps. It’s simple: setting up a URL and deploying it to your web server. The only difference is that you’re not writing HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript code — instead, you’re writing code in PhoneGap (or other languages).

Is web development an app?

Web development is not an application, it is a process. The term was coined to describe the creation of websites and applications on the internet, and it’s a broad term that can be broken down into many different tasks.

Which coding language pays the most?

The answer to this question depends on what you mean by “pays the most.” If you are looking for a job with a high salary, then it is clear that C++ is your best choice. However, if you are interested in getting rich quickly, Python might be better suited.

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