Cross Platform App Development: What is it ?

Nidhi Inamdar|October 13, 2022|12 Minute read|
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In recent years, the term "cross-platform mobile development" has grown to become quite popular. Anyone interested in creating an app is instantly exposed to content that describes it and highlights its benefits. You've come to the correct place if you're seeking information on whether it's worthwhile to use cross-platform development in your app.

This piece will give you an overview of cross-platform app development, some advantages, details on the technology involved, and details on the specifications it satisfies so that you can decide whether going down this road is best for your company.

What exactly is cross-platform app development?

Instead of creating unique apps for each platform (operating system) or device, it refers to the simultaneous development of apps for numerous platforms (or devices) using the same code base. In this manner, a single developer might, for instance, create mobile apps for iOS and Android. Different techniques can be used to create such an app.

Sometimes developers create one code and then use APIs to make minor modifications to it for each platform, resulting in many compilations of the same program for various operating systems.

Usually, cross-platform app development speeds up the process of making the app accessible to more people. However, it can be inefficient if it necessitates redundant procedures or data storage folders for the numerous systems that it is meant to support. That's the broad idea, but we'll cover more cross-platform programming benefits and drawbacks.

What is a cross-platform app development framework?

A software program that is compatible with numerous operating systems, including iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows, is referred to as cross-platform. The goal of creating cross-platform apps is to enable developers to write code once and use it across other platforms.

A cross-platform application development framework allows developers to construct cross-platform applications using a variety of programming languages. The most widely used languages include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Java. They can also make use of certain programming language extensions and libraries.

Name of the Framework
Native Programming Language
Percentage of User in Current
Average Annual Increase in Users
Ionic
CSS, HTML5, JavaScript
16%
-2%
React Native
JavaScript
38%
-4%
Flutter
Java
42%
+12%
Appcelerator
JavaScript
8.99%
-2%
PhoneGap
CSS, HTML5, JavaScript
4%
-1d>
Apache Cord
CSS, HTML5, JavaScript
16%
+2%
Sa Touch St
JavaScript
1%
0%
CodeName One
Java, Kotlin
2%
+1%
Kivy
Python
1%
0%
Corona SDK
Lua
3%
-3d
Beeware
Python
1%
0%
RubyMotion
Python
1%
0%
  1. React Native- One of the best cross-platform frameworks

    Cross platform app development

The developers can use JavaScript Framework to not only write code but also give the application a native feel. Due to this capability, big mobile application development businesses as well as independent developers favor react-native. In terms of class JavaScript libraries, it is one of the best frameworks. Mobile app development is a trusted practice worldwide. Several React Native apps are available on Google Play.

Features of React Native:

  • The ability for app developers to write once-off code for both the Android and iOS platforms.
  • It has excellent compatibility with a variety of third-party plugins, including Google Maps.
  • React native improves an application's user interface. It supports the creation of user-friendly and engaging mobile device user interfaces for developers.
  • For improved usability, developers can also use third-party plugins.

Familiar Examples: Facebook Walmart

  1. Flutter- Latest cross platform app framework
    Mobile app development

On this entire list, Flutter is likely the latest cross-platform app framework. This application is open source and freely accessible for the creation of mobile applications for both Android and iOS. Flutter's dynamic and consistent methodology enables applications to run smoothly across several platforms.

Features-

  • Flutter utilizes GPU rendering to operate without error in any situation.
  • The UI elements don't need to be updated manually with this framework.
  • An in-built graphics Engine is part of Flutter. It enables the development of distinct Android and iOS user interfaces.

Familiar examples: BMW, Google Pay

  1. Ionic
    Cross platform app development framework

Ionic is a cross-platform app framework powered on AngularJS. Using this framework, programmers can access many native language combinations, including CSS, HTML5, JavaScript, and even Cordova wrapper. The ionic framework allows developers to design stunning user interfaces while also keeping them straight. Ionic accomplishes this by maintaining the applications' native-like dynamic nature.

Features -

  •  This framework was built on the SAAS UI framework.
  • Because of its interaction with AngularJS, it can offer extensions to HTML syntax.
  • The Cordova Plugins enable it to access the device's functionalities.

Familiar Examples: Calla, Sanvello

  1. Xamarin
    Cross platform app development framework

One of the most efficient Frameworks now on the market is Xamarin. This Framework is mostly used by developers to create apps for iOS and Android. It is compatible with the C# and.NET programming languages.

Features -

  • Using Xamarin, developers may reuse roughly 90% of the current code while creating applications for several platforms.
  • C# is a relatively recent programming language that is mostly used by Xamarin. It allows the integration of Java and Objective-C.
  • This Framework aids the developers in ensuring that the software is hardware compatible on all platforms.
  • Xamarin helps to lower the overall cost of developing mobile apps while also accelerating the process.

Familiar Examples: Insightly, The World Bank

Node.js

Cross platform app development framework

 

Another well-liked cross-platform application development tool that can run code outside of a web browser is Node.js, which is based on the ChromeV8 JavaScript engine. Scalable networking applications and server-side development are its prime uses.

Features-

  • As Node.js servers don't wait for API data, they support asynchronous programming.
  • The tool has a library with fast code execution capabilities.
  • To expedite stream data access, the framework includes buffer classes and modules like stream buffers.

Familiar Examples: Linkedin, Netflix

How Can You Pick the Best Cross-Platform Framework?

  • You must keep in mind that nothing in the world of app development is flawless a developer. Each Framework offers a balanced number of benefits and disadvantages. Therefore, these considerations cannot influence the decision-making process. Let's outline some useful elements that can aid in decision-making instead.

  • Make a list of the features that are similar to those found in native apps that you wish to be offered by the cross-platform app development framework of your preference. Additionally, you should be knowledgeable about the creation of hybrid apps, mobile operating systems, in-app advertising, and various platforms.

  • You need to know exactly where you want the application to go in the future before choosing the framework. It will incorporate every modification and a new function that your business plans to make to the application over time.
  • Determine all the cross-platform app development framework constraints that can have an impact on the project. The cross-platform development tools must also be examined.

  • Select a framework with an easy-to-use UI and a short learning curve. In terms of simplicity of use, usefulness, and accessibility, it will be advantageous to the developers. Additionally, try to avoid frameworks that require a lengthy setup procedure. For a business that develops mobile apps, it also enables the implementation of native platform controllers. Developers must first construct hybrid mobile apps before they may use native platform controllers.

  • You must have a thorough understanding of the framework's progress and your development requirements. It will assist you in determining whether the Framework can survive in the cutthroat future app development market. Native libraries must be available from the framework to create hybrid mobile apps. The cross-platform development of mobile apps can also be advantageous for native apps.

Advantages of cross platform mobile developmentAdvantages of Cross platform app development framework

  • Enhanced reach across several platforms

You simply don't have to question whether your target audience prefers Android or iOS when you reach out to many platforms at once. When you create a mobile app for all users at once, your reach is enhanced, and your app can target all the groups.
  • Reduced time for mobile app development

By writing a single, reusable code instead of different codes for each platform, cross-platform development helps developers save a lot of time. Then, each widget can be altered by its unique operating system, although this won't save you as much time as creating an iOS or Android app from start.
Naturally, this also implies that the app is made available to users sooner and can begin making money more quickly.
  • Cost Savings

For those that need to deliver the app quickly and who want to cut costs, cross-platform mobile development is a time and money-saving solution. Reduced development time inevitably results in lower costs. Developers spend fewer hours writing the code, regardless of whether the task was outsourced or done by an internal team.
  • Easy development

Again, writing a single codebase for platforms greatly simplify the task of engineers. They can modify features and add particular widgets to suit each platform. Additionally, even after the software is published in app stores for mobile devices, developers can continue to make adjustments and changes with each update.
  • Superb app design

When using Flutter to create cross-platform apps, you'll quickly see that every component of the app's design complies with the requirements of every operating system. Two kinds of widgets correspond to the operating system's language: Cupertino widgets mimic Apple's iOS design and Material Design widgets follow Google's design language.
The widgets not only assist in improving the aesthetics of your UI, but they also maintain their visual consistency between Android and iOS versions.
  • High-quality app performance

You can find almost the same performance with cross-platform apps as with native programs. The functional difference between native and cross-platform mobile apps is virtually undetectable from the perspective of the user.
  • Simple to maintain

All of the aforementioned benefits apply to both the initial setup and ongoing upkeep of the app. Any upcoming modifications in upgrades are simpler to execute because the program runs on all platforms. You don't need to worry about modifications individually for iOS and Android because updates are also coordinated.

    Frameworks for cross-platform app development have made it easier for web development companies to combine ease with quality. These app development frameworks' major objective is to advance universal interoperability while upholding an application's financial viability. To select the ideal framework, the developers must evaluate the requirements of the development project as well as the business requirements. As a developer, you must always keep in mind that maintaining the highest possible level of customer happiness is your major priority.

    You can get in touch with Lucent Innovation if you're interested in developing a mobile application. We offer premium digital solution services. We also provide Flutter Developers for hire.

    Hire Flutter Developers from us

     Also, read: Implementing Highcharts library in a React application.

    Nidhi Inamdar

    Sr Content Writer

    One-stop solution for next-gen tech.

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