Develop Powerful Mobile Apps Using NativeScript in AngularJS

NativeScript for AngularJS Mobile App Development

Angular has become one of the most popular and favorite JavaScript-based open-source frameworks in the software development industry. It’s used to develop dynamic and robust web and mobile applications. But developers have moved further by combining Angular with NativeScript to develop native mobile applications.

When NativeScript is combined with any of the JavaScript frameworks, the process of developing mobile apps for platforms like iOS and Android becomes simple and favorable. Furthermore, this technological mix aids in improving the performance of your Angular mobile app. And this reason makes the first choice of every Angular mobile app development company to choose NativeScript instead of the Ionic hybrid approach of development.

So, in case if you have no idea of NativeScript for mobile app development implementation, you must have basic information about it. In this article, we will share insights to build native apps using NativeScript in Angular.

But before that, let’s understand what’s NativeScript.

Here we go!!

What’s NativeScript?

NativeScript is a free and open-source framework for developing mobile applications. It is used to build truly native mobile apps using JavaScript. You can easily develop a native UI and higher-performance apps for your iOS and Android platforms using Angular skills.

NativeScript is a popular choice among developers who want to create a mobile app with Angular for every type of variety of application. However, because it’s a runtime framework rather than a web technology, your app won’t run as a mini-website.

Open-source NativeScript

NativeScript includes a JavaScript virtual machine, which offers a bridge module and a runtime. JavaScript code is interpreted and executed by the JavaScript virtual machine. The calls are then translated by the bridge module into platform-specific API calls, with the result being delivered to the caller. NativeScript allows developers to use JavaScript on the native platform, but not Java or Objective-C on Android or iOS, respectively. Instead of using WebView to render the app’s UI like Cordova, NativeScript uses the native platform’s rendering engine to provide a completely native user experience.

In a nutshell, NativeScript is a cross-platform mobile app development framework that uses different technologies like Angular, JavaScript, and CSS. The NativeScript framework also allows you to quickly develop native iOS and Android apps from a single codebase.

On the brighter side, NativeScript has 20.4K starts on GitHub.

Why NativeScript?

If you have a basic understanding and knowledge of JavaScript/TypeScript, then that would be easy for you to start development using NativeScript {N}. {N} is written in JavaScript or TypeScript.

You may create native mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms using code reusability, a single code base, and a common user interface.

{N}: Write Once and Run Everywhere

Using JavaScript, you can directly access the Native APIs and enhance the performance of NativeScript.

Uses of NativeScript

Major domains and companies leverage NativeScript to develop high-level applications. However, it all happens due to its native nature. Here are some big brands that use the NativeScript framework.

  • Social media apps (WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Qzone)
  • Geolocation apps (Banjo, Field trip, Glimpse, Walk for a dog)
  • News apps (Reddit, SmartNews, Feedly, Buzzfeed)
  • Gaming apps (Real Racing 3, Robot Unicorn Attack 2, Drop7, Crossy road)
  • Apps with live feeds (Broadcast me, Livestream, Periscope, Streamnow)
  • Video and music streaming apps (Deezer, Apple Music, iHeartRadio)
  • Chat apps (Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Snapchat, Messenger)

The Need of NativeScript for Mobile App Development

We can read the information on how to install {N} on NativeScript docs. Moreover, you have to install ‘NativeScript Sidekick’ for your flawless installation procedure. Also, you can develop cloud-based applications using Sidekick.

If you want to create cloud-based apps, you can develop them without depending on your operating system. This also allows you to develop iOS apps on Windows operating systems. Furthermore, you may also use Sidekick locally, but for that, you’ll need to build up your own setup using Android SDK and iOS Xcode. However, Sidekick comes up with many drawbacks, but it’s widely accepted by many developers.

NativeScript for Mobile App Development

Another plus point we can consider for NativeScript is LiveSync. With the modification of a rule in the code, the change will be delivered instantly to the phone via the cloud build, and the effect will be visible right away.

Developing a mobile app using
NativeScript is now super easy

Benefits of NativeScript for Mobile App Development

Benefits of NativeScript for Mobile App Development

In recent times, NativeScript has gained a lot of popularity in the market. The main benefit of NativeScript is that it enables you to create a native user experience across platforms while maintaining the cross-platform mobile app development methodology of using the same code base. Therefore, it’s time to focus on the major advantages that NativeScript offers.

Let’s go through it.

Native User Experience

NativeScript, as we all know, provides a native user experience and platform-specific performance while retaining excellent UI attributes. This appears to be visually appealing, entertaining, and user-friendly. It creates native user interfaces without the use of WebViews. And in the absence of WebViews, it performs native UIs. Furthermore, this framework provides open customization options for different devices.

Easy to Learn and Adopt

If you are a mobile app developer, it will not take much time to learn NativeScript for mobile app development. You must use your web development abilities and knowledge to create native apps with Native UI markup, CSS, and JavaScript.

Codebase Reusability

NativeScript allows developers to develop and deploy mobile apps on multiple OS platforms using a single codebase. The framework includes a wide range of native mobile app functionalities for both Android and iOS platforms. As a result, the same reusable web-based code may be utilized across several platforms using Angular, Vue, React, or other JavaScript frameworks.

Codebase Reusability

NativeScript allows developers to use more than 80% of their web code to develop native apps. So, developers have to write very less code and reuse their existing web code.

Angular enables data binding, which is a method for synchronizing template and component elements. It includes binding markup that instructs developers on how to integrate both Property Binding and Event Binding.

Native APIs Accessibility

NativeScript allows users to access native APIs for Android and iOS platforms easily. In addition, you can reuse Android SDKs, CocoaPods, different templates, a host of various plugins, and the same applications to improve your app design.

Strong Community Support

NativeScript has strong community support of NASDAQ: PRGS. The community has developed many successful software projects till date. Also, they extend their hands to provide enterprise support for many important projects.

Free and Open Source

Native Script is a completely free and open-source framework, allowing developers to develop iOS and Android apps very easily. You can check it out at market.nativescript.org. Moreover, it contains Apache 2 license.

What’s NativeScript Angular?

Define NativeScript Angular

NativeScript Angular is meant to develop native mobile apps with Angular Native. However, to develop an Angular Native app, you don’t need to learn a new framework. You just have to develop an amazing cross-platform with your NPM and CocoaPods libraries.

Well, you don’t have to write a single line of code in Java, Swift or Objective-C when you use these native platform APIs with JavaScript and TypeScript.

Why Merge NativeScript with Angular?

It will be quite simple to design an intuitive native app that is not limited to the web experience if you have a better understanding and knowledge of JavaScript. Since Angular Native is totally decoupled from browser APIs, you can use the NativeScript rendering engine to run your project as a native mobile app outside of the browser.

How much does it cost to build an app
using NativeScript and Angular?

NativeScript + AngularJS

Angular in NativeScript

As we know, NativeScript can also be written in Angular. So, if you are familiar with Angular, it’s a wise step to use Angular in NativeScript

The major difference between Angular and NativeScript is that the browser-based HTML elements like <div> and <span> are not present in NativeScript. Instead, you should use NativeScript UI components.

The DOM or browser is not used in NativeScript. UIs of NativeScript are native UIs, and therefore, they are detached from the DOM. Hence, Angular can be easily integrated with {N}. Unlike Angular, AngularJs is not compatible with NativeScript because the framework is integrated into the DOM.

Furthermore, you can reuse codebase across your existing web and Native apps using Angular in NativeScript.

Let’s consider the example here.

Here, you have to write the following code to create a new project.

$ tns create my-angular-app –ng

The new NativeScript project will be created. It will come up with all the needed native Angular app folders, files, and settings.

Here, the core team of NativeScript Angular collaborates with the Google team to ensure that NativeScript Angular executes seamlessly and provides a hassle-free experience to its customers. However, nothing can stop you from developing native mobile apps with native performance and power if you are familiar with Angular. Native web applications with excellent animations and direct access to native platform APIs are simple to create.

AngularJS offers a refined and structured approach to develop a JavaScript app. It’s easier to understand various features – dependency injection, routing, and animations as it requires less composition, clean code, and less blunder inclined.

You can develop web and mobile apps with AngularJS and TypeScript to get Native UI experience. Moreover, you can save your development time with the codebase reusability feature.

Till here, you might have got a clear idea of developing an application with the combination of NativeScript and AngularJS. Moreover, there are many advantages too you can leverage by implementing it for your project.

So here, with the help of Angular app developers, we have tried to create a project with NativeScript and Angular. However, we are going to give you basic information by creating your first mobile application.

Creating a Mobile App with NativeScript and Angular

Mobile App with NativeScript and Angular

To create a successful NativeScript with Angular, first, you should install the NativeScript CLI tool and Xcode and/or Android SDK. This will help you understand the entire mobile application development process and UI/UX differences between an Angular web application and an Angular NativeScript application.

Let’s execute the following command.

tns create NgProject –ng

Whenever your command line’s active directory is located, a new project directory, NgProject will be created. The –ng will help you create an Angular with TypeScript project. Since NativeScript does not require Angular to construct mobile applications, the –ng flag is required. It’s an option, and we’re going to make the most of it.

Adding Build Platforms for Cross-Platform Deployment

There are no build platforms for creating and distribution, such as Android or iOS, when you create a project and develop actively.

To build a platform-specific application, use NativeScript CLI to execute the given code.

tns platform add [platform]

As per your wish, you can replace [platform] with android or ios . Remember, to use iOS, you must have a Mac with Xcode installed.

iOS and Android App Testing

Testing plays an important for any application before it gets live in the market. Therefore, either on device or emulator, we will test an application.

Let’s write the given command and run it to emulate the application.

tns emulate [platform]

However, if you wish to test the application on a device, execute the following code while your device is connected.

tns run [platform]

Here, we have just replaced emulate command with a run .

In fact, the emulation process consumes time as there’s a process of recompilation. Furthermore, NativeScript CLI offers live-reload functionality called live-sync for an efficient development process.

So, now let’s take advantage of this feature with the given command execution.

tns livesync [platform] –emulator –watch

Changes to TypeScript, CSS, or HTML files will be automatically deployed to the given emulator after replacing [platform] to android or ios , faster than if you were to emulate the application simply.

Here, we can run the given command to deploy our app to the app store.

tns build [platform]

The binaries and build packages will be created after replacing [platform] with the appropriate platform.

Plugins and Packages Installation

Plugins and Packages Installation

There are external components in every Angular web application for a smoother development process. Well, this rule is also true for NativeScript applications. As long as there isn’t a DOM dependency, most libraries of JavaScript will work for a NativeScript application. NativeScript, as a native framework, does not employ a web view and doesn’t offer a Document Object Model (DOM).

In the below-given way, we can include JavaScript libraries via NPM.

npm install jssha –save

The above command will install the jsSHA – JavaScript hashing library.

Moreover, you will find native plugins which can only be used for NativeScript. And in some way, these plugins use native device functionality or interface with iOS and Android devices.

Let’s consider one example with the NativeScript SQLite plugin here:

tns plugin add nativescript-sqlite

Now, SQLite functionality will be installed for both Android and iOS.

Are you ready to explore
the new possibilities with AngularJS?

Understanding NativeScript UI/UX

Here, we will understand the web to NativeScript UI/UX differences. We will use Angular and CSS for attractive and responsive design but not HTML. Also, in place of HTML, we will use XML, which doesn’t have the same markup tags as compared to HTML.

So now the question is, how can you utilize your mobile UI and UX skills?

Well, here are some things that you have to consider to design your mobile application. Now, you have to concern about the components and layout of the screen.

Designing Page Layout

Designing Page Layout

<div> and <table> tags are common layout components to design a web application. A table is used to create a grid of rows and columns, while a div is used to create a stack of components because it acts as a container.

But when it comes to NativeScript, you have <StackLayout> and <GridLayout> tags instead of <div> and <table> tags.

Now, let’s understand the difference between web and NativeScript.

Now consider the following command with the given HTML components on a website.

<div>

<span> Hello JavaScript Developer </span>
<span> https://www.radixweb.com </span>

</div>

But when we execute the same command in NativeScript, we have to write the following command.

<StackLayout>

<Label text=”Hello JavaScript Developer”> </Label>
<Label text=”https://www.radixweb.com”> </Label>

</StackLayout>

In mentioned both cases, <div> and <StackLayout> tags are used to create component groupings.

In fact, the use of grids in NativeSctipts and on the web is quite different, but it follows the same approach.

Let’s consider the HTML here:

<table>

<tr>
<td> Android </td>
<td> iOS </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td> PHP </td>
<td> Java </td>
</tr>

</table>

Now while using NativeScript, you don’t have to use <tr> and <td> tags for rows and columns anymore. For that, you can use the below-given command:

<GridLayout rows=”auto, auto” columns=”*, *” >

<Label text=”Android” row=”0″ col=”0″ > </Label>
<Label text=”iOS” row=”0″ col=”1″ > </Label>
<Label text=”PHP” row=”1″ col=”0″ > </Label>
<Label text=”Java” row=”1″ col=”1″ > </Label>

</GridLayout>

We define two rows that take the height of their child components and two columns that stretch uniformly to fill the screen in the above <GridLayout> .

But what about a flexbox?

To develop a website, you may use display:flex for CSS attribute to give <div> tags a flexible appearance. This makes a device-friendly website for different screen sizes. The <FlexboxLayout> as a container can be used in NativeScript to get a similar result, which is essentially identical to the web implementation.

Conclusion

As a cross-platform app developer, you must ensure the best native user experience while developing cross-platform development projects. Well, your development process and project will face no difficulty while mering NativeScript with Angular technology.

Moreover, the latest version of AngularJs has made it possible to use it outside of the web browser. Also, AngularJS follows an organized approach to building a JavaScript application. It offers a modern approach to load views and modular code into the application.

So, if you are planning to develop an app with both technologies, then make sure to consult with a Top-rated AngularJs development company – Radixweb. Whether you are looking for business transformations or targeting a specific section of your enterprise, our services will be attuned to your business vision. Our experienced software developers will help you develop an Angular native app.

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Vinit kariatukaran is a senior mobile application development manager at Radixweb and passionate about developing and designing innovative high-reach mobile applications. He endeavors to keep himself abreast of all the latest technological changes and updates to deliver the best in the business. When at leisure, he loves to read books and have interesting conversations with his colleagues and friends.