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    NativeScript 6.0 Update – Improvements and New Features of JavaScript Framework

    NativeScript 6.0 Update – Improvements and New Features of JavaScript Framework

    Tracy Watson


    8 min read


    Recently we have seen the release of NativeScript 6.0 which is the newest version of an open-source network called Progress. It is handy for creating native mobile apps using JavaScript and other widely used languages. The latest release allows for faster updates to the apps and smaller app binaries. The newest version will be of special interest for enterprise customers since it allows for even faster delivery of high-quality cross-platform apps. It gives the user the best experience possible. Before we get into unpacking everything that was included in the release, let’s refresh our memory in terms of what NativeScript is.

    What is NativeScript?

    As we mentioned above, NativeScript is an open-source framework, but the feature that makes it stand out is that you are able to access the native APIs via JavaScript. The apps that are created with NativeScript have a platform-native user interface written in commonly used programming languages and integrations. These include Vue.js, CSS, Angular, and TypeScript. Its primary focus is to create modern apps with rich features. In addition to everything already mentioned, here is some additional information to show you just how popular NativeScript is:

    • Not long after it was released in March 2015, it got 3000 stars on GitHub and more than 1,500 Twitter followers.
    • More than 700 plugins on the market today.
    • The company that created NativeScript, Progress, was called a “visionary” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
    • Now that we know all about NativeScript let’s take a closer look at what is included in the newest release.
    JavaScript framework

    What’s in it?

    NativeScript 6.0 includes the following improvements and capabilities:

    1. You will now be able to build Android apps 30% faster, and the startup time for iOS has decreased by 10%.
    2. The marking Mode “none” is now officially supported as far as Android is concerned. While this offers performance improvements, users might experience errors or crashes since some objects might be prematurely collected. Therefore, some additional code is required to make sure that a Java object is not released as long as the JavaScript component is still running.
    3. Some new layouts have been introduced, including TabView that give you the power to create more complex layouts without having to write as much code.
    4. All NativeScript apps will now be fully integrated with the webpack module bundler. This makes sure that the proper file size is chosen for any given architecture.
    5. A better-streamlined store approval process offers a faster time to market.
    6. Angular 8 and the Ivy renderer are now included.

    A mobile app development company will usually have to decide between using NativeScript or Ionic. With this in mind, here are some of the differences between these two frameworks.

    NativeScript vs. Ionic

    One of the most significant distinctions is that NativeScript apps can work straight in the device that you are using. It does not have to cross-compile anything or any browser interaction. Ionic will require some plugins to provide a native-like appearance. They both leverage Angular JS which developers enjoy using and they pretty much do the same things but with different models. The area where Native has a distinct advantage is in terms of user experience. Ionic cannot match the structure that it offers via mobile-ready features.

    Having said this, Ionic is a good framework in its own right. It offers excellent performance across all major platforms and allows a developer to use Angular, which is also evident in Ionic 2 and 3. The downside is that it uses WebViews to create the interface and depends on plugins to access the hardware of the device. Ultimately, the choice will depend on the type of app you are trying to create, the requirements, and the end-users.

    NativeScript 6.0

    Give NativeScript 6.0 a Try

    Developers are excited about this new release and given all of the features that we mentioned above, it is easy to see why. NativeScript gives them the ability to create apps with one JavaScript codebase that can be shared across iOS, Android, and other platforms. According to Progress, the newest release will allow for as much as 70% of code to be reused across both mobile and web apps. NativeScript takes advantage of the JavaScript virtual machines that are built-in on both Android and iOS to gain access to the native user interface elements and the APIs on those platforms.

    If you are a plugin author, it is vital to verify that your product is compatible with Webpack and AndroidX. This will eliminate any obstacles in the transitioning your existing users of your plugin. If you require some assistance, NativeScript offers some examples of plugins that have already made a successful transition to the newest version. So, you can see how they did it.

    The important thing to remember is that this new release is the culmination of a year and a half worth of work and NativeScript’s tireless crusade to make Webpack a household name. Users will have a couple of weeks to give NativeScript a try and send feedback about what they think. However, give all the hype and excitement that can be seen on the NativeScript website and developer communities, it is pretty safe to say that it will be a big hit. This is a truly significant development, and it is worth taking the time to give the newest version of NativeScript a try.

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