In this article, we take a look at Meteor.js and why it’s a promising framework for mobile app development.
Aside from Meteor allowing full stack development, it also allows cross-platform development with support for different devices and form factors. In addition to creating web applications, Meteor also enables the creation of native mobile applications, as well as native desktop applications, so the process of Meteor app deployment to different operating systems will require minimal effort. Thus, you can use Meteor build an iOS app, an Android app, and a web app with mostly just one codebase.
Moreover, Meteor is open-source, so its entire codebase is available to the public for use, and the online community of developers can contribute to Meteor by modifying its code, adding features, or fixing bugs.
Here are some of the top applications and websites that were built using Meteor, taken directly from the Meteor website’s Showcase section:
- Mazda Car Configurator – An mobile app for configuring Mazda car specifications for Mazda Netherlands
- Mixmax – A scheduling application with event tracking and Gmail polling features
- CodeFights – A game application where developers compete with each other on programming challenges and tournaments
- Rocket.Chat – An instant group messaging application
- Dispatch – An app for the management and monitoring of field services
When developing a mobile app with Meteor, some knowledge or familiarity of a couple of other technologies is required, such as:
- Mobile web views – The runtime environment for mobile applications are web views, and these have features that vary by operating system. For iOS, Meteor uses WKWebView, while for Android, the web view is based on Chromium. Meteor developers must be aware of the limitations and subtle differences between these web views to properly optimize a Meteor JS Android app for the Android system, and a Meteor JS iOS app for the iOS system.
- Prerequisite technologies – Some prerequisite software must be installed on a developer’s local machine before being able to create mobile apps with Meteor. For iOS, you must have Apple Xcode on a computer running MacOS, while for Android, you must have the Java Development Kit installed, and an Android Studio installation is recommended to acquire Android SDK and other required tools.
Here are five big reasons for you to hire Meteor developers or use Meteor for mobile apps:
Meteor supports multiple platforms, and this means that a developer only needs to write one application and deploy it as a web app and a native mobile application for Android and iOS with minimal if any, code modifications. Cross-platform means you don’t have to hire separate web, Android, and iOS developers to develop three different versions of an application, and ultimately, it will lead to considerable savings in app development costs.
Meteor is a full stack framework with codes that run smoothly from front to back, including database integrations. Full stack means that a single technology can be used to create all layers of an application instead of having to use different techniques with different layers, which is otherwise typical of full stack development. This feature results in much quicker development and can lead to additional savings.
Meteor’s codebase is accessible to the general public, and one benefit of this is that Meteor developers can rely on free and robust support from Meteor’s online community of developers. As of writing, there are a good 354 contributors to the Meteor project.
Mobile application maintenance usually is very cumbersome, because every time the developers do any bug fixes, modifications, or additional features into the app, they will need to resubmit a new version to the app store and wait for the updates to be approved and published. However, Meteor has a neat feature called hot code push, which allows developers to instantly update their applications directly without having to go through the submission and review process. This feature makes mobile application maintenance a breeze.
Many frameworks offer two-way data binding on the client, which allows the view to change as the model changes, and vice versa. Meteor takes this one step further with its tracking system that enables data binding from the client all the way to the server so that changes in the database will immediately reflect on the application views without having to trigger or code a synchronization mechanism. This feature gives Meteor real-time reactivity, and building a real-time web application with Meteor JS would be a piece of cake.
Let’s take a look at the usage of Meteor JS across different countries, and how developers from across the globe perceive the Meteor framework.
According to Alexa, a website that analyzes website traffic, the country that visits the Meteor website the most is the United States, with 23.0% of all traffic coming from that country. Then China (10.6%), India (6.9%), Japan (5.2%), and France (4.0%) follow. These data may suggest that usage of the MeteorJS framework is likely to be the highest in these countries.
Alexa Data on Countries with the Highest Traffic on the Meteor Website
Meanwhile, concerning web searches, Google Trends shows that the countries with the highest Google search count for the term “Meteor.js” are Ukraine, Ireland, Russia, India, and Canada. These data suggest a high level of interest for the Meteor framework within Europe.
Google Trends Data on the Google Search Trend for Meteor.js
We have explored the benefits that the Meteor framework offers to mobile development, and how it makes it very convenient to create a Meteor Android app or Meteor iOS app instead of going the usual route of using native mobile application languages. We have also taken a look at the popularity the Meteor framework in different countries, and how developers perceive it. For your next mobile app, you should give Meteor JS a chance and find the right dedicated Meteor JS or Node JS developers for hire to help you create the perfect portable and cross-platform application.