The term “cross-platform app development” means the process of creating smartphone software or called as a mobile application that can be used on more than one mobile platform such as Android, iOS, etc.
The ability to run on several mobile platforms is a highly desired attribute in the mobile application development industry. It is not surprising that corporations want their product to be accessible to as many customers as possible, sometimes even outside of mobile app development.
On the other hand, poor adaptability is frequently a result of the complexity of cross platform app development. That means it is often impossible for app builders to use the same programs or tools on different mobile platforms.
Clear evidence of this may be seen through the period of the creation of cross-platform mobile apps. The popular method used by app developers to create mobile apps at the moment is native app development.
Insights of cross platform app development:
Creating native apps requires app builders to create platform-specific codes. As everyone knows, Android and iOS have long been the two most popular mobile operating systems out there. The only native programming languages for Android app development are Java and Kotlin, and for iOS app development are Swift and Objective-C.
Most mobile app experts agree that using native tools results in superior performance, despite the fact that native programming produces some serious bugs when it comes to portability from one device to another.
The creation of cross-platform app development is made possible nowadays by a variety of sophisticated technologies used in cross-platform app development.
Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks:
Today, there are numerous frameworks that can be utilized to create cross-platform applications.
Below are a few of them:
- Native Script
- React Native
Each of these has distinct features that make it stand out.
But remember that creating a cross-platform app differs from creating “hybrid” apps, which by definition is a combination of both native and some web technology. The creation of both hybrid and cross-platform apps, however, requires code sharing.
In the end, the fundamental challenge is whether cross-platform frameworks and technologies can offer sufficient flexibility to have little to no impact on app performance.
Process of cross platform app development
App builders create mobile applications that run on multiple mobile operating systems and devices thanks to advancements in the cross-platform app development industry.
Before these recent advancements, creating cross-platform mobile apps required a significant amount of work and time because of the difficulty of creating and maintaining a backend that functions on multi-platforms.
Recent developments in this field have made it possible for app builders to build and design apps that work well on iOS, Android, and other platforms as well.
Newer strategies consist of the following:
- Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) – Programming tools without any code are used by developers.
- Progressive web apps (PWAs) – Websites that replicate the user experience of a mobile app.
Why you should choose cross-platform development?
- To identify the suitability of a product or service proposition for multiple mobile platforms by evaluating it.
- It takes less time for customers to reach the market.
- if someone wants to develop applications that work with various mobile operating systems.
- Budget Restrictions
- Applications that need less CPU and GPU power, such as those that include a lot of graphics or complicated logic.
- Consistency of navigation and user interface (UI) across multiple mobile platforms.
Advantages of cross-platform app development:
As companies are currently in a race to provide their customers with product or service-based mobile applications that can be utilized on many devices with a single codebase, cross-platform mobile app development is in great demand. This Cross-platform compatibility of a mobile app guarantees quick and accurate app delivery and thus creates more sources of income.
1. Widens the scope of market research
According to Statista, when cross-platform app development is used, it enables businesses to earn more money with less work by leveraging the combined worldwide market shares of iOS and Android. According to Statista, “smartphones with the Android operating system have an 87 percent share of the worldwide market in 2019, and this is likely to grow over the future years”. The mobile application’s wider market penetration and higher profits are both achieved at the same time by making it equally accessible to iOS and Android users.
2. Cost-effective Deployment
The app builders create apps using a single source of code, which further decreases development costs and speeds up product/service delivery. Simple product maintenance guarantees long-term resilience and lowers the overall cost of the app’s development. It would cost twice as much to create a native mobile app for each of the two platforms, iOS and Android if a company wants to do so for any reason. Comparatively, undertaking a cross-platform app development project for the Android and iOS platforms at the same time would naturally reduce expenses.
3. Decreased workload
App builders can work more with their accustomed tools and languages thanks to cross-platform app development. A Java developer, for example, may create an app for a platform that typically needs Swift development. Companies can now use the developers they currently have on staff to create apps for a range of platforms, reducing expenses and expanding their market.
4. Continuity of Platform
The fact that the right tools (i.e., frameworks and libraries) were used by app builders to design the mobile app in question can handle all platform-based operations. The app builder does not have to worry about coding for a specific platform. This system ensures that all apparent inconsistencies between the Android and iOS platforms are handled by the system by default. The iOs platforms can be such as UI/UX design, functions, and native procedures.
Moreover, it improves the customer experience with more standardized business operations, common data models, and features. Cross-platform compatibility also makes it easier to maintain apps over time.
In short, cross-platform app development will enable companies to access a larger audience. It will also enable speedier development of their apps at cheaper prices. Under such circumstances, it is not one of the most important factors i.e. which platform has a larger market share for the brand.
Disadvantages of cross platform app development
1. Possibly Slower
The tendency for cross-platform mobile apps to be slower than native ones is one of their primary drawbacks. The main factor is that they are frequently built using open-source frameworks. Some frameworks are not as efficient as native solutions, as they are not completely optimized to run across multiple platforms.
The second drawback is that due to their complexity, cross-platform apps can have more bugs than their native versions. If the app builder doesn’t spend enough time testing, then these bugs might result in very bad user experiences and even privacy and security issues.
App builders must write more code in order to create a single app. This app can run on various mobile operating systems. This might lead to a bulkier application that takes longer to load. It requires more storage space and uses more battery power which is not liked by anyone nowadays.
The fact that these applications have several interconnected components makes testing more challenging because each component requires its unique set of tests that affects different behaviors depending on the app’s specific usage scenario. Besides that, a feature that works correctly on one operating system might not work correctly on another.
Future of cross-platform app development
According to HackerNoon, the demand for cross-platform application development will top $7.9 Billion in 2020. With a forecasted growth in outsourcing of cross-platform development of 72.97 percent in 2020 alone.
According to Forrester’s predictions, more than 60% of businesses are already working on cross-platform projects, TechBeacon adds. As quickly as new technologies emerge, customer expectations for their digital experience are also continuously increasing.
Businesses in various industries are finding this to be difficult, but the retail industry is feeling the effects the most. With customers seeing things on their Desktops and subsequently purchasing them using their mobile phones in the evening, omnichannel marketing is currently taking center stage.
This procedure serves as an example of the value of cross-platform software development.
An average app user uses apps for 4.2 hours each day. According to StraitsResearch, it is anticipated that the mobile application development business will expand more this decade. The expectations are to reach USD 583.03 billion. Thus, to keep ahead of their rivals, forward-thinking app companies should take advantage of this trend.