AngularJS with NativeScript: The Why
According to the world’s foremost statistics analysis firm, Statista, AngularJS is among the top most used web development frameworks of all time, with over a fifth (20%+) of all developers worldwide opting to utilize the framework in their projects in some way, shape, or form.
This is because AngularJS is reputed to be one of the most developer-friendly toolkits on the market, which offers cross-platform development.
However, so far we have only covered web applications — when it comes to mobile applications, AngularJS is strides ahead of the competition in terms of building bespoke mobile applications (whether this is to supplement a web application, or just as a standalone mobile app).
As of late, a new tactic that is being utilized by the software development community is to use AngularJs with NativeScript to further improve both the developers experience, as well as the application’s UI (User Interface) and the app’s UX (User Experience).
There are numerous benefits to this marriage of the two technology solutions, which will be outlined for you further down in the article.
For now, let us begin with a rundown of the two technologies.
What is AngularJS?
AngularJS is what is known as a “structural development framework”, and it allows software engineers to create dynamic web and mobile applications.
AngularJS offers features such as its dependency injection and data binding capabilities that functionally work to eliminate huge chunks of code that the development team would have otherwise had to write with painstaking slowness.
This effectively creates a much smoother development process for web and mobile apps, and also works to increase the scalability of the application.
AngularJS uses HTML as the “template language” or base language in which the app is coded, and extends itself to DOM event handling and DOM Control structures (DOM stands for Document Object Model).
You are probably aware of the pros of AngularJS, so let us not waste time with the basics such as it being open source, easy testability, good Model View Controller, etc (If you’re not that familiar with Angular, there is a ton of documentation to get you started — here is the official AngularJS Documentation Guide).
Instead, let us take a look at what the three hidden benefits of AngularJS are, that will come in handy or have an effect when we couple AngularJS with NativeScript.
In a nutshell, the unexpected benefits and pros of AngularJS are:
- AngularJS allows for the decoupling of Document Object Model (DOM) Manipulation from Application Logic Processing.
- AngularJS allows reuse of the client side and the server side of the app by decoupling one from the other (Server-Side Rendering).
- AngularJS offers support for interactive elements with dynamic content in addition to being single-version compatible across various devices (and/ or browsers).
Side note: if you are looking to hire Angular developers, you would ideally want to ensure that any potential developers have the know-how to integrate AngularJS with NativeScript.
Another pro tip when hiring Angular Developers is to outsource: Full-time in-house developers can run you north of 100,000$ per year, and you won’t even be utilizing them to their full capacity.
This is why so many companies have now started remote outsourcing their development needs, as the rates offered by foreign developers are less than 20% of what is charged by full-time professionals — and this is in addition to giving the companies access to a truly global talent pool that is not bound by the boundaries and borders of geography.
What is NativeScript?
NativeScript is a web development framework (Just like AngularJS) that has one very specific purpose: it makes non-native mobile apps run as if they were native mobile apps.
What are native applications? Native applications are those apps that are coded for particular ecosystems (such as iOS and Android, or OneUI), that you download from application marketplaces that are specific and locked to those ecosystems.
These apps use the given ecosystem’s SDKs (Software Development Kits) to utilize every possible needed feature of the device (Camera, Microphone, Screen Dimensions, Display Resolution) to provide the best possible user experience to the client.
NativeScript can also be used to code native applications from scratch for multiple operating systems, as mentioned earlier.
NativeScript also has support for other frameworks, such as the combination you are reading about now — that of AngularJS with NativeScript.
In line with looking at hidden benefits, here are the pros of NativeScript that are offered to mobile developers, that are compounded when the development team uses AngularJS with NativeScript:
1. NativeScript has support for high-resolution displays and is comfortable with 60fps (frames per second) performance that is fast becoming the industry minimum refresh rate.
This creates an extremely shallow learning curve for NativeScript, if one is even a little familiar with the development process components.
AngularJS With NativeScript: Benefits Of Their Union
Here are the top benefits of marrying AngularJS with NativeScript:
1. Native Mobile Performance: When you combine AngularJS with NativeScript, you can easily build native-performing mobile applications that do not require exhaustive knowledge of CSS or JS.
You can get high refresh rate supportive applications for a fraction of the coding time that would otherwise be required to make your independently developed mobile apps high refresh rate (HRR) compatible.
2. Application Structuring, Restructuring, and Plumbing: AngularJS will provide all the required plumbing that will hold your app (some developers also call this the application scaffolding), which include things like dependency injection, data binding, the MVC, DOM Manipulation (DOM event handling with DOM Control Structures) —which NativeScript does not have support for.
On the other hand, NativeScript will provide the engines required to render these applications as native, allowing for numerous benefits and processing calculation decreases that drastically improve the performance of the apps that are being built.
This approach of combining AngularJS with NativeScript allows both technology solutions (AngularJS with NativeScript) to bring to the table the best of their worlds, that provide an extremely efficient way forward when designing and building a mobile application.
4. Community Support: Both of the technologies mentioned in this article have been around for a fair amount of time now, and have the backing of the huge MNCs that developed them — AngularJS has Google’s trust, and NativeScript has the backing of its parents, Progress Software and nStudio.
Each of the communities is extremely active, be it on StackOverflow, their own websites, online forums such as Reddit, social media sites such as YouTube, or even on course based learning websites such as Patreon.
This thriving online community is only growing by the day, and ensures that any snags that you might hit will be rectified within a very short period of time, because the ever-helpful people of the community will rack their collective brains to come up with a solution to your problem, should you ever hit a bump in the road.
5. AngularJS 2 Support for NativeScript: Even though AngularJS 2 is still in its beta stage, support for it has already been added to NativeScript, the main benefit of which is that developers now have a shared code base between their mobile (android or iOS) and web application that will potentially halve the time taken to develop these two application solutions.
On its own, AngularJS is an amazing piece of kit that is a developer favorite the world over, and has the support of one of the world’s largest companies, Google and Alphabet Incorporated.
Similarly, NativeScript was a game changer when it was introduced, and had the benefit of being developed for business solutions from the get-go, owing to the nature of its parent designer company, Progress Software (which makes the well-known products Sitefinity, Kendo UI, Telerik, Test Studio, OpenEdge, and WS_FTP, among others).
Separately, each of the products has its own use cases, but together, they are a match made in heaven.
These have been the reasons why people are fast becoming proponents of using AngularJS with NativeScript for their mobile applications, and I sincerely hope that this article has helped you in some way.