How JS Capacitor Provides the Benefits of Hybrid Mobile App Development

Feb 18, 2022 | Software, Trends

From dial-up connections to Wi-Fi and now 5G internet connections, we have come a long way as a technological society. Could you imagine 20 years ago that we would be connected to people sprawled across the globe with the help of tiny handheld devices? 

Smartphones and other technical hardware have evolved along with the software that fuels them. The same can be said about software development frameworks. In the beginning, it was incomprehensible to develop applications across multiple platforms using only a single stack of code. Now, it is a conceivable reality with the help of modern frameworks like JS Capacitor. Let’s explore its nature before we discuss how JS Capacitor provides the benefits of hybrid mobile app development.

What Is Capacitor?

Developed by the team at Ionic, Capacitor is a framework built using JavaScript to target hybrid mobile apps. Its design allows developers to create web apps that work on mobile and desktop devices while remaining equally fast and responsive. 

Much like the rest of the tools offered by JavaScript, Capacitor also comes equipped with versatile APIs that allow developers to create an immersive and excellent user experience while ensuring advanced features like push notifications, instant updates, and offline data sync. 

You can think of it as a wrapper for your JavaScript applications that can allow you to utilize existing web development knowledge with any native platform. Capacitor achieves this by compiling web technologies such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript into native code. 

As a result, you write the code using the abovementioned languages, and JS Capacitor focuses on packaging and delivering it to the correct platform, so your app works seamlessly on all major operating systems such as Windows, iOS, and Android. It is important to remember that Capacitor does not convert your code into a native mobile application; rather, it displays your web app code using WebView!

Moreover, it uses modern browser APIs, such as the Service Worker API, which allows it to function efficiently even in older devices and browsers while also providing native device features like touch input, sensors, and the camera.

So, what are the benefits of JS Capacitor, and why are developers choosing it over a plethora of other frameworks?

Benefits of JS Capacitor

Let’s take a look at how JS Capacitor provides the benefits of hybrid mobile app development and the reasons for its growing popularity in the development sector.

Google’s Support

You must be doing something right if your framework is backed by the undisputed global leader of the search engine segment. Knowing that frameworks can quickly become outdated, Google’s backing of the project offers a sense of reassurance to developers that the framework will be maintained in the future.

Part of the reason for Google’s support of Capacitor is owed to the fact that it is the amalgamation of the multinational company’s acquired Cordova framework and Ionic. In doing so, Google has reassured developers of the need for a unified development environment that stretches across all major platforms and makes app deployment less stressful.

Native Mobile Features

One of the biggest reasons for JS Capacitor’s growing popularity is due to the access it provides users to native device features. Mobile frameworks are used to access native features such as cameras, sensors, geolocation, or touch input, but in the past, it all came at the cost of reduced speed and increased development complexity. 

However, JS Capacitor has changed that dynamic by offering the required access through web technologies that allow all the benefits of web programming without compromising speed and efficiency.

Support for Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are applications that behave like native apps in the sense that they can be installed on user devices and used offline. With access to native device features, JS Capacitor supports PWAs by allowing users to include native functionality as well as web-based features to an application. 

Similarly, with the help of Capacitor’s plugin system, including web functionality as a fallback or using PWAs for implementing new features, such as voice commands or geotargeting, becomes easier.

Native Project Management

A prevalent issue in mobile app development has been the need to manage multiple projects and software development kits. However, JS Capacitor provides a native project management system so developers can easily access all native APIs for different platforms, like Android and iOS, in a single application. This makes processing, managing, and tracking different projects easier!

Moreover, Capacitor provides users the ability to build apps using both Cordova plugins as well as Ionic UI components, which makes cross-platform compatibility easier and allows for superior app development. Embracing native tooling, it also allows mobile developers to develop apps using their choice of language while also simultaneously exposing them to the Web layer using Capacitor’s JavaScript-to-native APIs. 

Custom Configs

One of the most demanded features in hybrid mobile app development includes the need for increased control and customizability with respect to different platforms. It means having the ability to include lines of code that execute on specific platforms or changing the look of app icons. Capacitor allows users to do just that by providing customizable app configurations for different platforms. 

Moreover, unlike other frameworks, you’re not just limited to what Capacitor provides you through predefined features! Including the ability to change existing features, you can totally add your own ones if they’re not included!

In addition, it also provides developers the option to modify backends of applications to enable native custom code to improve functionality. Capacitor essentially offers users more control over how their apps behave on different platforms such as Android and iOS while also improving cross-platform compatibility.

Cross-Platform Framework Support

One of the benefits of using JS Capacitor is that it is compatible with multiple frameworks, such as Angular, Ionic, and Vue.js. This compatibility makes the creation of multi and cross-platform apps easier. Traditionally, it was difficult and time-consuming to develop apps across varying platforms due to the native code being different; developers had to make different versions of the app, say, for Android and iOS.

However, using Capacitor, you will be able to use your current skill set and knowledge to write code that would work efficiently across all platforms. Currently, users write standard code in HTML/CSS/ JavaScript to create Android, Electron, PWA, and MacOSX apps. In short, developers have more freedom in hybrid development now because Capacitor allows them to use preexisting knowledge instead of having to learn a whole other programming language!

Furthermore, it supports cross-platform compatibility and updates the app’s code! Capacitor uses a versioned API that detects changes in every new release. Remember those time-intensive updates you have to make every time there’s a change to the code? Capacitor is automatically going to do that for you! 

UI Adaptability

As mentioned above, you don’t need to learn new frameworks or languages when using Capacitor. Better yet, it’s better if you stick to your strengths. For instance, if you know your way around React Native, you might use any existing React code with Capacitor. Similarly, if you know Angular2 or Ionic, you can make use of them in the same instance to speed up development. How cool is that!? 

Plus, JS Capacitor offers other features such as swappable JavaScript engines and tight integration with AWS Lamba, both of which entail easier scalability and faster performance. Capacitor can also easily be used with any text editor, unlike other frameworks that require XCode or Android Studio!

Did We Mention It’s Free?

One of the benefits of JS Capacitor is that it’s an open-source and free framework, which means promising developers can contribute to the source code! Moreover, Capacitor is known for its speed and performance because the web technologies it employs are optimized for just that!

Capacitor also facilitates faster app loading since they are packaged in binaries.

Is It Everything You Hoped For?

JS Capacitor is a revolutionizing framework based on Cordova and Ionic. We highlighted the main features of how JS Capacitor benefits hybrid mobile app development, mainly by eliminating the need for implementing native code or learning different frameworks.

To summarize, it is an open-source and easy-to-use framework designed for developers to build native mobile apps that work across all platforms while enhancing the user experience as well as making the development hassle-free! It’s the preferred option for both developers and clients! It is completely free, so go install it from Github along with your favorite text editor and witness the superiority of JS Capacitor firsthand!