Cross-platform apps are riding the popularity of mobile application development. Its ability to run on multiple mobile platforms allows startups to save costs and decrease development time. In this article, you will know more about cross-platform mobile app development and how it can significantly benefit startups.
What are Cross-Platform Apps
Cross-platform mobile applications are mobile apps developed to function for multiple mobile platforms. These apps are compatible with more than one operating system, such as iOS and Android.
With cross-platform mobile app development, developers can build applications that can run on different platforms with one single code system. It means the company can release the product faster and with better quality. Since it is compatible with various mobile operating systems, the application can reach a broader audience.
Its rapid development, turnaround time, and cost-effective quality make it very suitable for startups. Building a cross-platform app can help with some common mobile application development challenges.
Native vs. Cross-Platform
Choosing between native and cross-platform mobile app development is a never-ending debate for developers. In their way, both frameworks have their advantages and disadvantages.
Native apps are relatively different from cross-platform apps. One of its notable differences is the loyalty of native mobile apps to running for a single operating system. Native applications use a specific programming language for a particular operating system—Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android.
Native apps are deemed superior compared to cross-platform apps. Mobile apps in native perform faster and provide a high degree of reliability. This is expected for applications that are built solely for a single operating system. It is specially made to match the layout, UI, and functions that use the utmost advantage of the mobile platform.
However, creating a native application can be very costly. This is the very reason why theadvantages of cross-platform apps outshine native apps.
Since native apps are built solely for a single platform, companies are forced to create duplicate versions of the app that can also run on other platforms. This process requires additional development time as well as developer costs.
Rather than spending more time and money developing multiple app versions, startups prefer single-code cross-platform apps to launch one application for every platform.
If you are concerned about performance issues, then your worry is misplaced. Cross-platform development technology is constantly innovating to create better apps. Currently, there are a lot of tools and technologies that app developers can use to create cross-platform apps that can run similar to that of a native app.
Choosing between a native and cross-platform framework notably depends on the current state of your business. Weigh the pros and cons of both frameworks and see what works better.
To help with that, here is a brief overview of how a cross-platform app is created.
Choose a Cross-Platform Development Tool
As mentioned before, there are a lot of current tools and technologies that developers can use to create fast and reliable. And here are a few popular tools that you can choose from:
This cross-platform framework was introduced by Facebook in 2015. React Native caused an enormous wave in the trend for hybrid frameworks. Since its debut, it has become one of the most popular mobile application development frameworks.
Well, it is due to its code reusability feature and ready-to-apply elements that considerably shortens development time. Also, this framework can render a native-like interface that users love.
Xamarin is the oldest cross-platform framework in this list, launched in 2011. The framework was once independent but later acquired by Microsoft. Xamarin is an open-source framework that uses C# coding, which means it can work on any platform, including Android and iOS.
Flutter is the latest framework among the three on the list. This is another open-source, cross-platform framework that seamlessly creates native interfaces for Android and iOS. This framework is perfect for startups building a minimum viable product (MVP). Instead of creating two separate apps for Android and iOS, you can build Flutter cross-platform apps that look native on both platforms.
Deal with Multiple Platforms
Be aware that platforms are diverse. Yes, you are building a single app for multiple platforms, but keep in mind that these platforms have different requirements. You will find guidelines for UI, platform-specific attributes (screen size, keyboards, touch, and gestures, etc.), and device-specific features (camera, maps, social media apps, etc.).
Don’t focus your learning on one platform; again, they are diverse. Once you are familiar with the guidelines and requirements for every platform, you can confidently create across-platform app design for all engines.
Never forgo the testing process. Before you publish or launch the app in the market, make sure to do thorough testing of the mobile application. You must conduct different testing levels to ensure objective testing results. First is the developer-level unit testing, then conduct beta testing.