Capacitor JS is emerging as the JavaScript framework of choice for many developers who want to create native mobile apps. It’s an open-source project that bridges web technologies (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) and native platform capabilities like sensors, camera access, touch input, etc. Plus, it’s backed by Google, which makes it pretty attractive to developers looking for stability.

In this article, we’ll discuss why more developers, including our developers here at Centogram in Cincinnati, are turning to Capacitor JS as their default web application framework.

What Is Capacitor JS?

Capacitor JS is a JavaScript framework that was created by the team at Ionic. It’s designed to make it easier for developers to create fast and responsive web apps that work on both mobile and desktop devices. It’s aimed at hybrid mobile apps, and compiles web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript into native code.

Perhaps, we can think of Capacitor as a wrapper for your JavaScript application that allows you to use your existing knowledge of web development with any native platform that the app is deployed on. The good thing about Capacitor JS is that it’s easy to get started with. But don’t let its simplicity fool you – it can be used for advanced features like push notifications, offline data sync, instant updates, etc., which makes it powerful, too.

Capacitor offers a wide range of out-of-the-box APIs that allow developers to focus on creating great user experiences rather than writing boilerplate code to access device functions. And in most cases, you don’t have to worry about platform-specific differences, as Capacitor takes care of that for you.

How Does Capacitor JS work? 

Capacitor JS is based on the popular Ionic framework, but it’s a completely separate project. It uses modern web technologies to create apps that can run on iOS, Android, and the web. You write your code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and Capacitor takes care of packaging it and delivering it to the right platform.

Capacitor JS makes use of modern browser APIs where available (like the Service Worker API), so it can fall back gracefully in older browsers and devices when needed. Perhaps, the best part is that it works across all major platforms: iOS, Android, Windows etc., so developers don’t have to learn new languages or spend time porting their apps to multiple operating systems.

Capacitor also provides access to native device features like the camera, sensors, and touch input. This gives you the ability to create apps with a more native look and feel than you would get with a traditional web app.

Why are Developers Choosing Capacitor JS?

The rise of Capacitor JS use has been a recent trend that many developers have taken notice of. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why more developers are turning to Capacitor JS as their framework of choice for web app development.

  1. Speed & Performance 

One of the main benefits of Capacitor JS is its speed and performance. Apps created with this framework are known for being fast and responsive, even on mobile devices. This is because Capacitor uses web technologies that are already well-optimized for speed and efficiency.

The fact that Capacitor apps are also packaged binaries means they load quickly. This is because the app doesn’t have to be rendered on the fly; it can simply be delivered as a pre-compiled package.

2. Ease of Use

Capacitor JS is based on Ionic, which is one of the most popular hybrid app frameworks for web development. As such, you can use your existing knowledge of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript to create apps with Capacitor. The framework is lightweight when compared to other native mobile platforms like Xamarin or NativeScript. 

Capacitor has made it possible for developers who are new to mobile app development to quickly build powerful apps that run on multiple platforms without spending too much time learning how everything works under the hood.

3. Native Mobile Features 

One of the main reasons for using any mobile framework is access to native features like touch input (swiping or multi-touch), geo-location, camera, etc. But this has traditionally come at the expense of speed and ease of development. However, since Capacitor JS uses web technologies under the hood, you get all the benefits of web programming like easy debugging and built-in CSS flexbox styling (for responsive layouts).

As we mentioned before, Capacitor also provides access to native device features like the camera and sensors. This gives you more control over the look and feel of your app and can help you create a more polished user experience.

4. Backed By Google

Another reason for the rise in the popularity of Capacitor JS is Google’s backing of the project. This gives developers a sense of assurance that the framework will be maintained and updated over time. This is important given that frameworks can quickly become outdated, and it’s reassuring to know that you can count on Google to keep things up-to-date.

If you’re wondering why Google is supporting the project, it’s actually because of Cordova. Google acquired the popular Cordova framework a few years ago and decided to merge it with Ionic. The result of this is Capacitor JS, which takes the best parts of both Cordova and Ionic into one new unified framework.

By continuing to improve Capacitor, Google has made a clear statement that they want to provide developers with a unified development environment that can be used to create high-performance apps across all major platforms.

5. Cross-Platform Support

Another reason more developers are using Capacitor JS is that your apps will work on both iOS and Android devices. You don’t need to create separate versions of your app for different platforms, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process. It’s also compatible with many existing frameworks like Angular 2, Ionic 2, React Native and Vue.js. 

Capacitor JS makes it easier to create cross-platform apps. It can create iOS, Android, Electron, PWA, WPF & MacOSX apps with the standard code you write – hence the name “Capacitor.” This gives developers more freedom when choosing or switching platforms because they can reuse their existing knowledge and skillet for almost all of them. 

6. Open Source & Free

Capacitor JS is an open-source project, and you can find the source code on GitHub. It’s completely free of charge, so it makes sense for developers to give it a try. It gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom as a developer, and there’s no risk or cost involved in trying it out.

7. Native Project Management

One of the main problems with developing mobile apps is the need to manage multiple projects and SDKs. This can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the process, and it can quickly become overwhelming. 

Capacitor JS helps solve this problem by providing a native project management system. This allows you to manage your project files and resources more easily, making it easier to keep track of your app’s progress.

8. Instant Updates 

Another benefit of Capacitor JS is its ability to update your app’s code using a versioned API that automatically detects changes in each new release. Developers don’t have to worry about updating their current app every time there is an update since it will be done automatically. This makes it easier to track updates and get new features without spending so much time updating.

9. Web App Ready 

Capacitor JS doesn’t make your app a website and then converts it into an app later on. It’s ready to be launched as a web app, and developers can easily put their own branding on it with ease. This is convenient for those who want to create an app that they can use right away quickly. Plus, they can help speed up the process by using pre-existing plugins, such as offline storage and navigation, so you don’t have to do everything from scratch.

10. UI Flexibility 

You don’t have to learn new frameworks or languages if you want to build mobile apps with Capacitor JS – Just stick with what you already know. For example, React Native works especially well with Capacitor JS so that you can reuse any existing React code. And if you already know Angular 2 or Vue.js, you can bring them in to help speed up your mobile app development process.

Other features of the framework include integrating tightly with AWS Lambda (which means easy scaling) and swappable JavaScript engines (which means faster performance). Plus, it’s easy to install and can be used with any text editor instead of requiring XCode or Android Studio.

11. Extensible & Customizable 

One of the best things about Capacitor JS is that it’s customizable and extensible. This means that you can add your own features or change how it works to fit your needs. If you want to add a specific feature that isn’t included, you can do so with ease. You’re not limited to what the framework provides, which is a huge advantage when compared with other frameworks that only offer a set of predefined features.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! These are some of the main reasons why more developers choose Capacitor JS as their framework of choice for web apps. If you’re looking for a fast and efficient way to create native mobile apps, then Capacitor JS is the best way to go. It’s free, open-source, customizable, and available on GitHub. All you have to do is install it with your favorite text editor or IDE, so what are you waiting for? Give it a try!