What is NativeScript?

Learn everything you need to know about what NativeScript is and what it is used for. Find out all about this open-source mobile app development framework.

NativeScript is an open-source framework designed for building native mobile applications. This framework uses familiar web development technologies like JavaScript, TypeScript, and CSS.

Unlike traditional hybrid app frameworks, NativeScript allows developers to create performant apps. These apps run on iOS and Android devices, and don't sacrifice the native user experience.

By leveraging a single codebase, developers can craft cross-platform applications that access native APIs and components. This offers seamless integration and optimal performance across various mobile platforms.

In this guide from Propel Tech, we provide a comprehensive overview of what NativeScript is. We explore its functionality, benefits, and practical applications. Find out how NativeScript enables developers to craft unique mobile experiences.


Table of contents


What is NativeScript used for?

What is NativeScript

NativeScript is a versatile framework used for building native mobile applications across iOS and Android platforms.

NativeScript stands out by offering developers a bridge between JavaScript or TypeScript and native APIs, providing strong typing for a robust development experience.

Cross-platform development

NativeScript allows developers to build apps that work seamlessly on both iOS and Android platforms. By using a single codebase, developers can efficiently create and maintain applications for multiple devices.

Access to Native APIs

Developers can access native APIs directly from JavaScript or TypeScript, enabling the integration of device-specific functionalities and ensuring a truly native user experience.

Reuse of web development skills

With NativeScript, developers can leverage their existing web development skills in JavaScript, TypeScript, or CSS to create native mobile applications. This reduces the learning curve and speeds up the development process.

High performance

NativeScript apps deliver high performance by utilising native platform APIs directly. This ensures smoother animations, faster load times, and overall better performance compared to traditional hybrid apps.

UI flexibility

The framework provides flexibility in designing user interfaces by supporting various UI components and layouts. Thus giving developers the freedom to create customised and visually appealing interfaces.

Community and ecosystem

NativeScript benefits from an active community that contributes plugins, tools, and resources. This has expanded the capabilities of the framework and provided solutions to common development challenges.

Supported platforms and devices

Within the NativeScript ecosystem, developers have the capability to build native applications for both iOS and Android platforms.

NativeScript development on IOS

For iOS development, NativeScript integrates with Apple's ecosystem. This integration provides access to iOS-specific APIs and functionalities. Similarly, for Android app development, NativeScript allows developers to harness native Android APIs while coding in JavaScript or TypeScript. This ensures applications exhibit native-quality experiences on Android devices.

NativeScript development on Android

The framework keeps pace with the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology, by regularly updating to support the latest versions of iOS and Android. This commitment ensures developers can take advantage of the newest features and capabilities.

Whether developers are targeting smartphones, tablets, wearables, or other device types across Android and iOS, NativeScript accommodates various device form factors. It emphasises responsive design and adaptability, ensuring applications perform across different screen sizes and resolutions.

NativeScript further extends its utility through offerings like the NativeScript Playground. This online environment enables developers to write, run, and share NativeScript code snippets within the browser.

Moreover, the framework ventures into additional platform support, offering experimental capabilities for targeting platforms like Windows Universal. This exploratory approach allows developers to consider diverse opportunities for their applications beyond the iOS and Android ecosystems.

NativeScript vs. React Native

When it comes to choosing a framework for mobile app development, developers often consider NativeScript and React Native due to their popularity and capabilities. Let's delve into the comparison between these two frameworks:


NativeScript empowers developers to build native mobile applications using familiar web technologies like JavaScript, TypeScript, and CSS. It provides direct access to native APIs, enabling developers to create high-performance apps for iOS and Android with a single codebase. The framework emphasises a flexible UI, allowing developers to design tailored interfaces and deliver native-like performance.

React Native

On the other hand, React Native, developed by Facebook, also facilitates cross-platform app development but primarily uses JavaScript and React. It employs a "learn once, write anywhere" approach, enabling developers to reuse code across iOS and Android platforms. React Native emphasises a declarative programming style, promoting a more intuitive and efficient development process. Choosing between NativeScript and React Native depends on factors such as familiarity with the technology stack, desired UI flexibility, performance requirements, and ecosystem preferences. Both frameworks offer powerful solutions for cross-platform app development, each with its unique strengths and trade-offs.

Benefits and advantages of using NativeScript

Flexible UI design - The framework provides a wide range of UI components and layouts, allowing developers to create customised and visually appealing interfaces. This flexibility ensures that apps can be tailored to meet specific design requirements.

Strong TypeScript support - NativeScript offers robust support for TypeScript. This provides developers with strong typing and a rich development environment. This support enhances code quality and aids in identifying errors during the development phase.

Active community and ecosystem - NativeScript benefits from a vibrant and active community that contributes plugins, tools, and resources. This ecosystem continually enriches the framework and provides solutions to common development challenges.

Comprehensive documentation and tooling - NativeScript offers extensive documentation and a comprehensive set of tools. Thus making the development process smoother and enhancing developer productivity.

Final thoughts on mobile-app development using NativeScript

NativeScript allows for efficient mobile app development. It offers a unified platform for crafting high-quality native applications. Its cross-platform capabilities streamline development across iOS and Android, minimising redundancy and optimising productivity.

With direct access to native APIs, apps built on NativeScript exhibit top-tier performance and harness device-specific functionalities. Leveraging familiar web development skills such as JavaScript and TypeScript expedites the learning curve, allowing developers to focus on innovation.

The framework’s flexibility in UI design and robust community support further enhance its appeal. NativeScript emerges as a formidable choice, harmonising cross-platform efficiency, native performance, and developer familiarity for those venturing into impactful mobile app creation.

NativeScript development at Propel Tech

development at propel

Interested in leveraging the power of NativeScript for your next project?

Propel Tech are experts in NativeScript development. Our developers craft scalable, high-performance applications using NativeScript, bespoke to your requirements and industry.

Get in touch with us today to explore how Node.js development can benefit your business, alongside our full range of technologies.


What is the difference between Flutter and NativeScript?

Flutter is developed by Google. It is an SDK and framework for building cross-platform applications using Dart language. NativeScript is an open-source framework. It allows developers to create native iOS and Android apps using JavaScript or TypeScript. While Flutter emphasises a single codebase for both platforms, NativeScript focuses on utilising familiar web technologies to craft native applications.

Does NativeScript compile to native code?

NativeScript compiles JavaScript or TypeScript to native platform-specific code during runtime. This provides access to native APIs. It allows direct interaction with native components, ensuring near-native performance and capabilities. However, styling may need customisation to adapt to specific platform requirements, enhancing the app's native look and feel.

Is NativeScript production ready?

NativeScript is production-ready, offering feature parity with NativeScript Core, ensuring stability and reliability for app development. Like React, its readiness relies on the quality of implementation, but NativeScript's robust ecosystem, consistent updates, and community support affirm its suitability for production-grade applications.


Make successful provider migrations a possibility. Download our essential free guide.

Find out more

Your partners in possibilities

As experts across existing and new technologies, we don’t simply solve software problems, we find solutions that help manage change so that your business thrives and grows.

We’re eager to hear about your project goals and turn them into reality. Get a free consultation to make tech possible.

Brief us
microsoft partner logo crown commercial service logo istqb partner logo aws partner logo cyber essentials plus logo iso 27001 logo iso 9001 logo