April 13, 2022
  • Perspectives
  • Capacitor

How to Convince Your Boss to Choose Capacitor

Thomas Vidas

Capacitor Logo

Hello there! 👋 You’ve been tasked with finding the next platform to build your mobile app on and realized that Ionic makes some great tools for developers like you. Maybe you’ve already read our other post about choosing Ionic but your company already has a design system to adhere to. Choosing Capacitor in an enterprise environment can be a big decision.

Fortunately for you, Capacitor is perfectly capable of being used solo without any other Ionic tooling. After seeing the benefits, it’s time for you to introduce your team to Capacitor and build your next production app. Choosing a new technology for a team can be a huge business decision. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of reasons we think you should use Capacitor for building your next mobile application.

Capacitor is performant and built on existing web technologies

At its core, Capacitor is built on top of the native system WebViews. There have been huge performance increases on the web in the last five years. Capacitor performs similarly, if not faster to React Native and other cross-platform solutions when rendering UI. When it comes to raw JavaScript performance, Capacitor allows access to the fastest JavaScript engines available on mobile. Capacitor uses V8 (JIT) on Android and Nitro on iOS. Compared to other, embeddable JavaScript engines, V8 (JIT) is superior to every other option. The days of slow web performance are behind us. Fast web performance is here to stay.

Capacitor could cut your required cost in half

Android and iOS engineers cost more than Frontend engineers. Even if frontend developers were paid as much as their mobile counterparts, making two native applications requires two teams. Capacitor allows you to cut both your monetary and opportunity costs in half by having a single web-native team.

Feature parity, simultaneous releases, and live application updates

With Appflow, Ionic’s CI/CD and live update service, you can deploy releases through the app stores and to mobile devices directly. Having two separate deploy processes means that your iOS application and your Android application may get out of sync. Maybe your app is stuck in Apple’s review for weeks, while it was approved quickly in Google Play. With Capacitor + Appflow, you can utilize live updates to bypass the App Store review processes and immediately deploy changes to your application.

Capacitor is a Mature, Open Source project

Capacitor was created by Ionic, the team behind Ionic Framework, in late 2017 and hit a stable 1.0 in early 2019. Since then, we’ve created two major releases and are actively working on a 4.0 release for later this year. The project is MIT-licensed, accepts contributions from the community, and is actively being developed on GitHub. If your company needs to add a feature to Capacitor, it is possible to open a dialogue with our team, create a pull request, and release your feature as a core part of Capacitor.

Capacitor does not abstract away your project structure

When using most other cross-platform solutions, you often lose easy access to the native developer tooling. Instead, you’ll need to rely on a custom compiler, build scripts, and pipeline that restricts you to their ecosystem. When creating a project with Capacitor, you’re creating a native Android project. Capacitor provides some easy-to-use tools with the Capacitor CLI that allows you to change configurations about your project, but none of it is essential to your application’s build process.

If you need to modify your native project, we won’t stop you

Capacitor provides a scaffold for your native project and tools to easily update and modify it. But we won’t shackle your project to a specific build tool or process. Because it is just a native Android or a native iOS project, you can continue using whatever tools your business is already providing.

Creating a native integration is easy

On top of the native project being unmodified, Capacitor’s Plugin API allows you to easily eject to the native layer. And, if you have a native library your application needs to integrate with, creating a plugin that lives within your application will feel exactly the same as writing it in a native app. With a few annotations and a JavaScript interface to call from your web code, your plugin will easily integrate into your application.

Capacitor provides existing native plugins too!

While it is very easy to create native plugins, Capacitor provides a set of core plugins that many applications would need. Things like camera, filesystem calls, maps/geolocation, push notifications, and more all come with official support from Ionic. Plus, if there isn’t a plugin that Ionic has created, there are dozens of Capacitor and Cordova plugins maintained by the community that you can easily integrate into your application. If your business requires enterprise support, Ionic Advisory provides code reviews, integration assistance, and professional support for these community plugins. We’ll help you succeed in ways other vendors don’t provide.

Other Cross-Platform Solutions are Domain Specific

Capacitor requires 95% web knowledge, and 5% mobile knowledge. A team of frontend engineers can quickly build a mobile app with the knowledge they already have. The only time you’ll need to dive into the native code is when you are preparing for distribution on the App Store or Google Play.

With React Native, you’d need to hire React Native developers. With Flutter, you’d need to find an engineer that knows, or is willing to learn Dart; a language specific only to Flutter. But, with Capacitor, all you need is a web developer willing to put in a little extra effort for the mobile bits. The web is becoming more and more powerful every day. Why spend time learning a specific framework when you could use a powerful, existing platform?

Capacitor is stable and offers enterprise support

Businesses have different needs than developers. While React Native, Flutter, and Ionic all have thriving developer communities, Who is going to Support your Next Mobile App Project?. Often, businesses require an enterprise support contract to ensure that their development experience isn’t impeded by a lack of communication between the platform builder and the platform user. Capacitor is built by Ionic, and is free, open-source software. However, if your company wants a safety net when developing on a platform, you aren’t going to find it with any other cross-platform solution.

Capacitor has a large, welcoming community

Many developers in the Ionic community embrace Capacitor as the cross-platform runtime of their choice. If you’re looking for learning materials for your team, the community has created excellent videos and built tons of Capacitor plugins. Plus, Ionic has an official forum and Discord server that has sections focused specifically on Capacitor. Having enterprise support is important, but a good community and good documentation are equally important. With Capacitor, you get both!

Capacitor is actively used by enterprise companies

Disney, Southwest Airlines, EA Games, BBC, and more are all actively using Capacitor in production today. While some of these companies utilize Ionic Framework for their UI framework of choice, all of them use Capacitor to drive their native application experience. All of these companies were able to quickly create production-grade mobile applications with the help of Capacitor.

Capacitor works with ANY web library

If your company has an existing design system built with a tool like Stencil, you’re in luck! Capacitor works with React, Vue, Angular, Web Components, and more. Max Lynch, the CEO of Ionic, built a starter template that utilizes Next.js and Tailwind. Quasar, a Vue UI Toolkit has built-in support for exporting to Capacitor. Various templates for Nuxt, SolidJS, and Ember.js exist to help get you started with your favorite frameworks. If you’re bringing your own web framework, adding Capacitor to your project is a quick, three-step process: Install Capacitor’s dependencies, add your desired mobile platform, and run.

What now?

So you’ve shown your boss this article, and they have fallen in love with Capacitor! What’s next? We have a site dedicated to Capacitor, case studies of enterprise companies that have made the jump, and a guide for how to take your existing web application and turn it into a mobile app. Hopefully, your company has been thoroughly convinced, and your team is ready! And if they want to know more about how Ionic can support your company in the enterprise, we’d love to chat with them.

Thomas Vidas