Before diving into the product development process, business decision-makers usually define the general vision of the future app, its goals, target users, and desired functionality. At this stage, one of the critical challenges is choosing the best mobile app development tech stack.
By selecting technologies that best align with your project’s needs and goals, you can save costs, accelerate your app’s time to market, and ensure it can be easily scaled.
While there’s no universal application technology stack, you may have a lot of questions, concerns, or doubts about choosing the right combination.
Thanks to TechWings’ years of experience providing comprehensive mobile app development services, we’ve established a tried-and-true approach to selecting the best-suited tech stack for various types of apps. And we’re eager to share our knowledge with you.
We’ve compiled this in-depth guide to help you make the winning decision for your specific business case. Here, you will learn everything you need to choose the best tech stack for mobile app development — and we won’t overload you with technical details.
Why it’s important to choose the right tech stack for mobile app development
It’s safe to say that choosing the right technology stack for mobile application development determines the app’s chances of survival and success in today’s intensely competitive market.
Below are the major factors to consider when choosing technologies.
Scalability. If you plan to expand your app’s features or accommodate a growing user base in the future, you need to select a tech stack that provides great scalability.
Platform compatibility. The first thing you should consider when choosing technologies for mobile app development is the platform you want your application to run on. iOS, Android, or cross-platform — while you make this decision based on your target market, the tech stack will depend on the platform(s) you prefer.
Smooth user experience. The mobile app technology stack also determines your app’s user experience. For example, some frameworks and tools ensure smoother animations, while others focus on more intuitive interfaces. As a result, the right technology allows you to create an app that can meet user expectations and provide a rewarding user experience to your target audience.
Quicker time to market. Mobile app development technologies can affect the speed of development, which translates to a slower or speedier time to market. For instance, some have pre-built components that enable developers to build apps much more quickly.
How to choose the right tech stack for mobile app development: 3 core factors
With today’s mobile development industry teeming with various technologies and tools, selecting the best tech stack for your mobile app might seem like it involves a lot of guesswork.
However, you must think carefully about a few fundamental aspects to narrow down your choice.
1. Your goals
Determining what you strive to achieve with your app is critical in helping you choose the right technology stack for mobile application development. For example, if your goal is to reach both iOS and Android users quickly, and you don’t mind sacrificing performance, you can go with cross-platform technologies.
But if you’re building a complex application utilizing native APIs and working closely with the device’s hardware, native development is a better choice.
2. Your product’s growth potential
It’s wise to determine whether you’ll need room for scalability in the early development stages. So if you plan to regularly add new app features and functionality, select a tech stack that will allow your app to grow, i.e., it’s able to support a stable system architecture when traffic increases.
3. Your preferred platform
As mentioned, you need to decide on the platform(s) for your application to run on, which in turn will determine the pool of technologies and tools to choose from. Basically, you have three options: native development (the app will operate on a single platform), cross-platform development (the app will be compatible with all mobile operating systems), or hybrid development (the app will combine the features of a native app and a web app).
Best mobile app development tech stacks to consider in 2023
Choosing between native, cross-platform, and hybrid development is the first thing to do when you start planning your app. It requires thorough consideration since each option has its impactful pros and cons.
Let’s take a brief look at some factors that may help you make a more informed platform choice and delve into the best mobile app development tools and technologies for each option.
Native mobile development
Native development refers to building separate apps for each platform (Android and iOS) with platform-specific programming languages and tools. In this case, you’ll have to create two different codebases.
High performance: native apps are fast and responsive
Seamless user experience: native software development kits ensure consistent UIs, making apps feel like an integrated part of the device
Full access to platform-specific APIs and hardware: a native app has direct access to the device’s microphone, camera, GPS location support, etc.
Higher production cost in comparison with cross-platform app development
Different codebases for each platform, which results in increased development time and slower time to market
Calls for rich expertise in many programming languages and tools
The best technology stack for Android app development nowadays boils down to Kotlin — although closely comparable to Java that’s becoming obsolete, this language boasts a more straightforward and effective syntax, which results in up to 35% fewer lines of code. You can also consider using the RxJava library if you want your app to simultaneously handle several tasks without compromising the responsiveness of your Android app.
Talking about the top technology stack for iOS app development, first of all, we mention Swift. This language allows you to build high-performance apps due to its exceptionally clear syntax, combined with the RxSwift library that helps develop dynamic applications efficiently responding to changes in data and user events.
Cross-platform app development
Cross-platform development means creating a single app codebase to run on different platforms. For this, mobile engineers use frameworks and tools explicitly designed for cross-platform development.
More cost-effective, less time and fewer resources are involved
Faster and more efficient development, developers create a single codebase for both OSs at the same time
Common logic, an application has the same logic across different platforms
Potentially lower performance in comparison with native development
Access to specific hardware functionality is restricted, however, not as limited as in hybrid development
Limited UI consistency, cross-platform apps tend to look and feel less native
Speaking of the best technology stack for cross-platform mobile app development, Flutter is currently the top choice. Flutter is an open-source framework that enables the development of iOS and Android apps using the Dart programming language. It offers a native look and feel across platforms and provides a customizable UI along with easy access to native device features.
If you work with the .NET stack, Xamarin is worth considering. Xamarin is now seamlessly integrated into the .NET developer platform, providing tools and libraries specifically tailored for building apps for Android, iOS, tvOS, macOS, and Windows.
What unites all these frameworks is the ability to maintain a single code base for all platforms while delivering a native application in the end.
Hybrid app development
Wide range of user interface customization options
Reusable code that translates into cost-effectiveness and quicker time to market
Access to native features through plugins
Reliance on third-party plugins for native functionality
Lower performance in comparison to native and cross-platform apps
The appearance of the application is completely dependent on your design, just like a normal web application
Limited access to platform-specific APIs and features
The best tools for hybrid app development include Ionic, Apache Cordova, and Capacitor, which offer robust cross-platform capabilities without compromising native features.
Backend development tech stack
The backend is vital for essential app functionalities such as data processing, authentication management, and providing API services. Here are some best backend technologies you can consider for your app:
Firebase. This is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform developed by Google, which offers a range of robust features combined with scalability and ease of use. However, keep in mind that it uses a NoSQL database.
.NET (C#) + ASP.NET Core + MS SQL Server. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Now, .NET is no longer limited to Windows only, today, it works on Linux platforms as well, and the framework's performance has also improved.
Flask/Django + PostgreSQL. Another popular combination provides a flexible Python-powered backend solution with plenty of third-party packages and plugins at your disposal.
There are many factors to consider when choosing between platforms like Firebase or your own backend solution.
Ready-made cloud platforms are not highly customizable or extensible, making them more suitable for simpler to medium-sized applications. On the other hand, custom server solutions are highly customizable, scalable, and better suited for complex, high-load applications as well as applications with complex business logic.
Ultimately, the choice depends on the specific application, and the choice of a server stack should be approached with the utmost responsibility.
Let’s select the best mobile app technology stack for your project together
All in all, choosing the right tech stack for mobile app development is crucial. By aligning the technologies with your goals, you can achieve cost efficiency, quick time to market, and excellent scalability.
We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your search for the best technology stack for mobile application development. At TechWings, we strive to stay up-to-date, and our engineers are proficient in various tech stacks. Get in touch with us today so we can help you build a profitable mobile app based on the right technologies.