Are you finding it hard to choose between Android and iOS? Does the cost of developing multiple mobile apps for your business discourage you from going down that path? Well, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore, thanks to cross-platform app development. This article will serve as a guide to everything you should know about this technology and whether it is right for the development of your app. Let’s get started.
What Is Cross-Platform App Development?
You have probably experienced first hand the power of mobile applications. We cannot dispute that they have made our everyday life easier.
Nowadays we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing apps for different uses. And given the enormous number of mobile apps available today, you might be tempted to think that mobile app development is a simple and straightforward task. But it is not.
Developing an app is a technical task that becomes even more complicated as you introduce more platforms that the app should launch on. Not forgetting to mention the rate at which app development technology and trends have evolved in the past few years, which is nothing short of extraordinary.
Cross-platform development has emerged to address many of the challenges common in Android and iOS app development. Instead of developers having to start from scratch when they want to build your app for another platform, this technology makes it possible for them to just reuse the initial code.
The source code is compiled in a native code that can run on multiple platforms without any hitches. As you can imagine, this has a ton of advantages for both the client and the developer.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation regarding cross-platform development. That is why you should have all the facts before you decide if this kind of development would be best for your app. In the rest of the article, we take a deeper look at how it works, its advantages and myths.
Frameworks Used in Cross-Platform App Development
Mobile application development needs specific tools and software development kits. You are probably thinking to yourself, “That’s great, but why would I need to know about app development software?”
A little bit of knowledge will go a long way in helping you make the right decision when hiring the best company for mobile application development.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most used frameworks in cross-platform development.
React Native is hands down one of the most popular frameworks on the market. It was developed by Facebook in 2015 and has quickly risen to the top thanks to its utility and innovative design.
One of the reasons that a huge chunk of developers prefer it is the fact that they can write modules in the major native programming languages including
What’s more, React Native is an open-source framework which means fewer restrictions for developers.
Xamarin is another framework that ranks high on the lists of most developers.
Why is this the case, you might ask? Well apart from being backed by Microsoft, Xamarin has a test cloud feature that makes it easier and more convenient for developers to test their apps. This significantly cuts down on app development time.
The Flutter Software development kit is Google’s answer to React Native. Launched in 2018, it comes with a wide array of features that make cross-platform development a less complicated task for developers.
Its Hot Reload feature and cutting edge rendering engine are some of the major highlights. They allow developers to make changes on the fly and check the results.
As the name suggests, this framework allows developers to develop cross-platform apps faster than most of the options on the market.
It has many advantages but the one that stands out the most is code reusability. I agree that this is normal for all frameworks on this list, but Appcelerator has code reusability of 90%! Let that sink in.
As you can imagine, this will greatly cut down development periods for your app.
Advantages of Cross-Platform Development
Cross-platform development has a lot of benefits. Some more apparent than others. Let’s take a look at what you have to gain from cross-platform development.
This is the most obvious advantage of cross-platform development and the main reason for its rising popularity.
Writing code for an app is not a cakewalk, especially if the concept is complex.
Before cross-platform development was a thing, programmers had to write new code for every different platform the app was on. As you can imagine, this took a lot of time and resources.
With cross-platform development, programmers can use the same code for different platforms, making only a few changes.
This is a direct result of code reusability. Think about it. If the developers can use the same code for multiple platforms, then it will cost less time and resources to build your app.
This will mean less money spent on development. Who doesn’t want that?
Reduced costs also have the effect of allowing clients who could only initially afford a native app on one platform to launch their app on other platforms at roughly the same cost.
Every minor and major update you roll out for your app will have to be implemented separately if you opted for native development. This will cost you both time and money.
The good news is you can sidestep this with cross-app development.
Bundle app development makes it possible to embed changes and updates seamlessly across all the different platforms. For example, updates can be written in a single language and then converted to other programming languages when needed.
One of the biggest gripes that people have with using different apps on the various platforms is a disconnected experience. Creating native apps that offer a uniform experience across different platforms is hard, even for experienced developers.
This can be avoided by choosing cross-platform development instead. Fragmentation during development is not an issue since the source code will be reused.
There are lots of other factors that make cross-platform app development special and better than the other app development process and you can learn about them by speaking to an experienced and highly skilled mobile app development company.
Cross-Platform Development Myths
Cross-Platform Apps Are Not Secure
This is a blatant lie. Most people have the misconception that only native apps can be secure.
The issue of security comes down to the developer and the tools they use to create your app. You might choose native development, but if the developer is careless your app will be at risk.
The best way to ensure that the development of your app is safe is by choosing an experienced and skilled developer who puts security first.
Cross-Platform Apps Have Fewer Features
Another misconception about cross-platform apps is that they have a weaker feature set when compared to native apps.
Again, this comes down to the framework that your app is developed with. Modern frameworks like the ones we have looked at allow the developer to access features such as geolocation, camera and microphone.
What’s more, the developer can easily write plugins for anything they want to accomplish regarding access to phone features.
Poor UI and Design
Since cross-platform development is too good to be true, many of us imagine that the apps built through this process are riddled with bad UI and clunky design options. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Modern frameworks actually make it possible for developers to create beautiful UI elements on the same level as native apps.
Mobile application development -DepositPhotos