Node.js + Android App – Is It Right Choice? (Backend Developer Expert Opinion)

“Is it a good choice to create an Android app with Node.js backend?” – backend development specialist answers a marketer’s questions about the most popular backend framework.

This interview will help you decide which technology to use for server-side development for your mobile application.

Is it popular today to use a Node.js server with an Android app?

In recent years, I’ve seen that using the “Node.js + Android App” is becoming more and more popular because Node.js has performed exceptionally well in many ways.

Of course, Node is not as stable as PHP, which is around 25 years old and has a lot of good frameworks. Nevertheless, Node.js is developing intensively, it has very high-performance indicators, and in some of them, it outperforms PHP at times.

Is it a good solution to create Android app with Node.js backend?

Yes, but it depends on the business problem. The main advantage of using Node.js is in things like handling API requests. But computational capabilities are a weakness of this framework, as Node.js bandwidth is limited to a single thread by default.

Now, in Node.js versions 15/16, multithreading is being added, but it is not yet clear how it will behave. This is expected to improve the processing power of Node.js.

Is it possible to run Node.js on Android?

You cannot run Node.js on Android, as these are unrelated things. Node.js runs on the server, while Android is the operating system. Of course, it is assumed that in the future emulators will be developed on which it will be possible to run Node.js, but at the moment this is technically impossible.

Run Node.js on Android

Node.js works independently, it cannot be installed on Android OS as it is a server service that simply responds to requests. These are the requests that Android sends. By the way, it doesn’t have to be Android, it can be any operating systems.

What operating systems can Node.js be installed on?

Node.js server can be installed only on Linux, Mac and Windows.

How to run Node.js?

  1. Download Node.js at the official site.
  2. Install source code or a pre-built installer for your platform.
  3. Write command in the console to start the server.

What frontend technologies are Node.js compatible with?

Compatible with all frontend technologies! With everything that’s popular right now, you can find connectors for Node.js. This is a fairly advanced technology today: you can find a “connection” with any client. Plus, Node.js has a very active community.

What databases will Node.js be most compatible with Android applications?

Node.js is compatible with any database. Considering that Node.js is written in C ++, any code written in “pluses” can be run in the Node.js environment without any problems. Accordingly, if you write a module in C ++ and run it in Node.js, the performance will be even better.

What are the restrictions in Node.js with Android App?

The only limitation in Node.js is the inability to use custom methods in the HTTP request, which are POST, PUT, DELETE, etc. All methods, being part of the protocol, are written very strictly in Node.js.

Communication between an Android application and a server written in Node.js is done using POST / GET requests, right?

Quite right, this is a client-server interaction, in our case Android acts as a client, and Node.js acts as a server. By the way, the list of allowed requests is on GitHub.

How will a Node.js backend written for an Android application interact with an iOS app?

The same. The platform for which Node.js is written does not affect anything, because it will interact with the client (Android and iOS) via the HTTP protocol, or for example, via a web socket.

“Node.js + iOS app” – what are the differences from
“Node.js + Android app”?

The differences will be in which packages will be used to send the requests. When I talk about packages, I mean libraries. For example, in PHP these will be packages that will be named differently, and in Python, they will be named differently.

Is it possible to work in Android Studio with Node.js?

As far as I know, this is technically possible, but most likely you will need to install the required plugin. If Android Studio can work with JavaScript, then Node.js won’t be a problem either.

You don’t need a shell to run Node.js, you can just run it from the console. Android studio acts as a text editor that helps you write code. There are probably some debugging points where you can run Node.js in a special mode.

These are exactly the conveniences that an IDE can present to you. Android studio is useful in that it has a built-in emulator for showing an application that is in development.

Ok, if you work in Android Studio, do you still need to install Node.js on your operating system?

Well, how will your operating system know that now it can execute a command that should be executed in the Node.js environment? Just like you can’t start a game until you install it on your computer. This is an absolutely identical situation.
Node.js cannot be executed anyway if it is not installed on the operating system.

What is the customary way to work with Node.js? Is there a popular solution that everyone uses?

It can be a regular code editor. Node.js is another programming language for writing commands that the processor can understand. The question is rather whether the syntax will be highlighted. For example, there is WebStorm with paid and free versions, which is one of the most popular IDEs. The free version does not support JavaScript, only Java. That is, you can write code, text, but it will not be recognized and highlight some keywords.

Is it convenient to connect the backend of an Android application on Node.js to Python / PHP / Java / React Native / Flutter and so on?

No problem. Everything connects, everything fits together. Simply because Node.js supports all network communication packets, including TCP and UDP. Any client listed in the question is capable of making requests, which is a key factor for a Node.js server.

Which is the best choice for the backend development: PHP / Python / Java or Node.js?

I can’t compare them, but in terms of development they are no lower than PHP. Perhaps Node.js will perform better than Python and Java.

In any case, a lot depends on the business task and the goal of the project. For example, we need to create an application that requires large calculations, there will be a lot of tables and data, and this should be a composite result or the result of calculations. Node.js is pretty weak with computations, so it won’t work here. In the development of such applications, it is better to use Python, which has proven itself well in terms of computing power.

android app with node js backend

To understand what is better to use for the Andriod app backend, you need to consider each case separately. If you need help with this, write to us, we will help you with the choice.

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