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Top Ten Questions About NativeScript from Ng-Conf

May 11, 2016 — by Jen Looper

We had a blast talking to developers at the Telerik booth at ng-conf, the US’s largest AngularJS conference, where we were happy to discuss any and all questions about NativeScript. We also participated in several podcasting sessions, video recorded interviews, gave a session talk and a two-hour workshop, did Experts Panels and AMA’s, and took part in the many social activities hosted by the awesome ng-conf organizers. Throughout the nearly week-long event, we tried to give our best answers to sometimes complicated technical questions. Here are the top ten, with detailed replies!
10. How secure is it?
NativeScript apps, like all apps built with JavaScript, are as secure as you decide to make them. You might want to compress and/or obfuscate your JS code if securing your app is important to you. There are a couple of tools to help do this, including jsscrambler. There are also some community projects built to help with securing your app, and stay tuned for an officially supported app protection plugin coming in the following weeks that will provide full code encryption.
9. Do I have to write a lot of native code to get anything to work?
One of the great things about this technology is that NativeScript offers is abstractions to support modules to help you avoid writing native Objective-C or Java code. You can use, for example, a simple <Switch></Switch> bit of XML in your presentation tier and the NativeScript runtime will do the work of marshaling native code to build your screens.
8. Will NativeScript support the Angular 2 RC soon?
Yes, we are actively keeping up with the evolution of Angular 2; as Google makes changes, we adapt our integration of Angular 2 with NativeScript. The latest RC is already supported. Our Angular page is the best way to keep up with the latest NativeScript and Angular information.
7. What’s the story about Windows Phone / Windows Universal support?
Windows Universal support is coming soon. It’s on the road map and you can see a proof of concept here: nativescript-runtime-preview-for-windows-10.
6. Can you use Swift and Objective-C CocoaPods?
We’ve always supported Objective-C CocoaPods (NativeScript cocoapods docs) which really enhance an iOS interface.
In order to support Swift Cocoapods, you must have a build.xconfig file and set  EMBEDDED_CONTENT_CONTAINS_SWIFT to true. Check this plugin for sample usage: nativescript-dialog
5. Is it kind of like React Native?
NativeScript and React Native, as well as Xamarin and Titanium, are all trying to solve the same problem: the unfulfilled promise of hybrid mobile development. While hybrid mobile development has enabled web developers to use their skills to build cross-platform mobile apps, the look, feel, and performance of this type of an app has been lacking. Building apps that run in a WebView using hybrid mobile strategies got us halfway there, in that we have tooling such as Apache Cordova to build cross-platform using a single codebase. These newer technologies, however, are attacking the problem in a different way, avoiding using the WebView in favor of building truly mobile apps. To learn more about these differences, check out this article: What are the key difference between ReactNative and NativeScript?
4. Did I actually see CSS keyframe-style animations translated to Native Animations in that talk? Is that sorcery?
Not really! It’s just really innovative programming from our extremely talented engineers in Bulgaria! Learn more here: animation-css.html
3. What’s the dark side of NativeScript?
In my opinion, the dark side of NativeScript is also its light side…it is a rapidly maturing product that is evolving in realtime. This means you need to keep your codebase up to date to ensure that you are leveraging all the new features that come with each release…sort of like any software product.
2. Will it produce something I can send to the app stores?
Yes, when you build your app for release, an .apk is produced for Android stores and an .ipa file is produced for Apple. You can upload your app to iTunes Connect and to the Google Play stores quickly once your app is properly code signed.
And the number one question, asked again and again in all different formats by all different audiences is…
1. What’s the difference between NativeScript and a Cordova-based app such as Ionic?
This answer can almost be summed up in a hashtag: #NoWebView. NativeScript is a different technology - it is a runtime, not a web technology. Your app will not run like a mini website in a WebView; it will be more performant. Don’t believe us? Take our sample app for a spin! And stay tuned on this blog for a more detailed explanation of the differences.