Open-source technology has disrupted the entire mobile app development industry. From developers to mobile app development companies and business owners, it provides the most affordable and accessible technology option to build mobile apps for all. It has changed age-old development practices and empowered stakeholders with various benefits.
And therefore, the use of open-source technology for developing mobile apps has increased dramatically in the past few years. Whether you are a developer or business owner, it is important to understand how open-source is driving mobile app development in the industry. In this post, we will discuss and highlight this emerging technology trend.
What is Open-Source Technology?
Open-source technology is software or application development platform that provides source code to its users. This technology allows developers to inspect, modify, enhance, or write code. Open-source technologies give access to non-proprietary software or code which developers can further modify as per their own requirements.
This technology is highly beneficial for software engineers, programmers, and developers that need a ready-to-deploy source code. Therefore, open-source technology empowers mobile app development with various benefits. From developers to mobile app development companies, this technology is used in developing all kinds of mobile apps and other features.
Types of Open-Source Technology
Open-source technology is a wide technology term. It could be anything like operating systems, databases, software development kits (SDK), programming languages, testing tools, or others. Hence, open-source technology isn't just restricted to coding or programming. It can serve design, learning, or any other different purposes.
Since open-source technology provides source code, creators can customize the open-source platform as per their own specific needs and innovate accordingly. There are many popular open-source technologies in the market which businesses and developers use for various development purposes.
Here are the popular open-source technologies in 2023
1. Mozilla Firefox
3. React Native
9. VLC Media Player
15. GNU Compiler Collection
Growth of Open-Source Technology in Mobile App Development
Mobile app development is a dynamic and broad-level software development process. Creating apps for mobile devices requires consideration of various features and technical aspects. For instance, screen size, hardware specs, mobile device, operating system, and more. And since there are different mobile operating systems like Android, iOS, and Windows, developing apps requires a dedicated approach.
In conventional mobile app development practices, developers have had to depend a lot on proprietary software for creating apps. This not only limits their flexibility for innovations but also impacts them in terms of costs. But with the predominance of open-source technology, mobile app development has been fully transformed. At present, open-source platforms contribute to the major share of building mobile apps.
According to a GitHub report, around 97% of applications are built with open-source code. And 90% of companies prefer open-source technologies for creating software or applications. Most businesses hire React Native app developers and other professionals for creating apps with open-source development frameworks.
This is because of the massive smartphone penetration in the market. As the product of innovative smartphones is increasing, the demand for more mobile apps is also enhancing. And as a result, businesses look for fast, convenient, and cost-efficient technology for creating mobile apps for different mobile devices and features.
How Open-Source Technology Is Transforming Mobile App Development?
Open-source technology provides numerous benefits. Since its inception in the industry. It has broken the traditional dominance of propriety software that takes full control of source code and other segments. With open-source, users get many advantages in various aspects. In mobile app development, open-source technology empowers developers, programmers, and engineers in creating different types of features and functionalities for all kinds of apps. To understand more, here is how open-source technologies are driving mobile app development.
Contrary to conventional property software, open-source technology provides better flexibility. It allows developers to create mobile apps for different operating systems with dedicated features. Companies use open-source platforms for building apps as per their own specific requirements. They can customize the code, functionalities, features, and design of mobile applications. It gives broad freedom to add or remove components and integrate third-party features and functionalities too.
This helps app development companies and app owners save huge effort, time, and cost in the app development process. For instance, cross-platform app development technologies like React Native, Flutter, Ionic, etc, allow their users to create apps for all OS platforms from a single codebase. This allows app owners to build apps at highly reduced development costs.
Technology is ever-changing. With growing advancement and innovations, mobile apps always need scalability to incorporate up-to-date features and changes to timely meet users' expectations. And in this context, open source provides great scalability to make any kind of required changes to mobile apps.
Mobile app developers can add or remove any features in mobile apps as per market demands or emerging technology trends. Hence, it helps companies and app creators stay competent in the market by providing better scalability.
3. Reduced App Development Cost
This is one of the prominent advantages that open-source technology gives to mobile app development. Open-source offers open accessibility for developing mobile apps. It also provides scope for customizing the source code and adding third-party integrations in the app for free.
In addition to this, open-source technology mostly uses popular or widely-used programming languages. Hence, it makes it easier for developers to write code or do programming for apps. This enables app creators to save significant costs in mobile app development.
4. Faster Development
Mobile app development industry has become a big sector. At present, there are over 3 million mobile apps running on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Every industry is adopting mobile apps for offering their products & services on digital platforms. Due to this rapid and extensive adoption of mobile apps by industries and consumers, the mobile app development market is becoming more competitive.
Consequently, the need for faster app development has become the need of the hour. And open-source technology fulfils this requirement by empowering developers with fast and efficient app development capability. It provides a wide array of ready-to-deploy components and functions which ultimately enhances the development speed.
5. Staying Up-to-Date
Open-source technologies are dynamic and open-ended in nature. They are not restricted or limited to a certain range of capabilities. According to time and requirements, it can bring innovative and improved solutions for app development. For example, Flutter is a popular cross-platform development technology owned by Google. The company first introduced Flutter for UI development. But later on, Google added more capabilities in Flutter for developing additional features for apps.
It is due to the flexibility and scalability of open-source technologies. They are always compatible and ready for incorporating new development capabilities. As a result, it enables businesses and app owners to stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and updates in the market.
Open-source technologies are widely used by businesses, app development companies, and developers. Most open-source platforms are owned by leading brands and professional developers. Currently, most apps are built with open-source development frameworks.
Source code generated by this technology is used across the entire developer community. So, the user base of open-source platforms is wide and extensive. Hence, it becomes a reliable and future-proof technology for app development since it is used by a large user community.
7. Flexibility to Migrate
Since the mobile app market is ever-changing, you never know what new features may emerge. In some particular regions or periods, Android OS might perform well, or in some iOS. In this case, open-source technology provides enhanced flexibility to switch to another platform or open-source technology.
If a mobile app is built on a certain open-source technology, it allows you to migrate to another platform. It means you can migrate your existing mobile app to another OS platform or technology. For example, migrating Android apps into iOS apps. This migration facility of open-source technology gives freedom to app stakeholders to switch to another technology as per their choice.
Security is the topmost concern for any technology. And open-source technology here perfectly stands out in terms of security aspects. Unlike traditional proprietary software which doesn't grant access to the source code, open-source technology provides secured access to the owner and also permits it to modify.
It enables the owner to even get into bits and bytes of the freely available source code to review deeply what's going on inside. As a result, it enables developers to identify and rectify potential flaws and bugs in the code or functionalities. And this makes the mobile app fully protected from external threats.
Open-source technology is undoubtedly a revolutionary technology. Its flexibility, security, and open-ended nature make it a highly suitable solution for developing feature-rich apps while saving significant costs and time. From startups to enterprises, every business size is adopting open-source technology for creating a variety of mobile app development solutions.
And therefore, its usage will increase more. For business owners and startups, open-source technology is certainly a beneficial resource for launching their mobile apps. But it is better to take assistance from the top mobile app development company that specializes in using this technology for app development.
Ishan Gupta is the CEO and Co-founder of RipenApps, a leading web and mobile app development company specializing in android and iOS app development. Deploying feature-loaded mobile & web app solutions to SMBs globally transforms business all around.