Cross-platform App Development – Everything You Need to Know

Looking to develop a mobile app, saving lots of time, money, and effort? Here is everything you need to know about cross-platform app development.
Cross-platform App Development
27Jul July 28, 2021

By: Krishnendra | Views: 722
Mobile App Development | 10 Min

Mobile app development for Android and iOS devices separately is expensive and time-consuming, especially if you’re a startup or small business. You’ll need specific skill sets or dedicated developers for each platform, which will manifold development costs. Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem, called Cross-platform app development. Here is everything you need to know!

In This Article

What Are Cross-platform Apps?

A cross-platform app is a mobile application compatible with several operating systems and runs flawlessly on multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, wristwatches, and linked TV. These platform-independent applications offer several benefits:

  • 70–90% of the code is reusable
  • Easy maintenance and upgrades
  • Take less time to market
  • Increased visibility

What is Cross-platform Mobile App Development?

Simply put, cross-platform development is the process of developing a single mobile application that runs smoothly on multiple operating systems, in particular Android and iOS. The development is carried out in a single universal language that coders can easily export to any platform or operating system.

Since cross-platform development follows the “Write Once, Run Everywhere” (WORE) approach to build apps, developers have to write code only once. This eliminates the need for creating two separate apps for Android and iOS, which eventually saves time and money. Thus, being fast and cost-effective, cross-platform development is a go-to choice for everyone, specifically startups and small businesses.

What is the Difference Between Native and Cross-platform App Development?

The internet is flooded with the never-ending debate of native vs. cross-platform app development. However, both approaches have their pros and cons. Let’s analyze the differences in terms of:

#Codebase

Developers don’t need to write code multiple times in case of cross-platform development. On the other hand, native app development requires you to write different codebases for different platforms.

#Programming Languages Used

Cross-platform mobile apps are developed using the latest web development technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. In contrast, native apps are built on top of native SDKs, IDEs, and programming languages such as Java, Kotlin, Objective-C, and Swift.

#Cost

Native app development proves costly compared to cross-platform development. This happens due to multiple apps being developed for different operating systems.

#Turnaround Time

In native app development, the multiple versions of the app lead to increased turnaround time. On the other side, cross-platform app development allows you to build and then beta test your product rapidly.

How Do Cross-platform Apps Work?

Cross-platform applications are written in a single programming language, ranging from HTML and JavaScript to Python and Objective-C. Once the code is deployed, it’s forwarded to the so-called middleware. The middleware then converts the markup into the native APIs of platforms, such as Android and iOS.

Cross-platform Apps Works

How to Make Cross-platform Apps?

To build a cross-platform mobile app, you must be proficient in various programming languages and frameworks, such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Xamarin, React Native, Flutter, etc. Alternatively, you can hire mobile app development experts to build a custom cross-platform mobile app as per your specific requirements.

The Benefits of Cross-platform Mobile App Development

From startups to large organizations, cross-platform mobile app development provide a wealth of benefits:

  • Quick Prototyping
  • Single Code Base
  • Code Reusability
  • Wider Audience Reach
  • Faster Development Time
  • Uniformity Across Platforms
  • Easy Cloud Integration
  • Native App-like Experience
  • Cost-effective Development
  • Reduced Time-to-Market
  • Easy to Update
  • Effortless Upgrade, Maintenance, and Deployment

Top Cross-platform App Development Frameworks

Cross-platform app development frameworks provide developers a quick way to develop a single app for multiple operating systems. Thus they save a lot of developer’s time, cost, and effort. Here are the most popular frameworks used for cross-platform development:

  • Xamarin
  • React Native
  • Flutter
  • Apache Cordova
  • Ionic
  • NativeScript
  • Corona SDK

What Are the Challenges Faced in Cross-platform App Development?

With benefits come demerits as well! Some challenges that hinder the process of cross-platform app development are:

  • Limited tools and technologies available
  • Performance-based issues due to sluggish code
  • Difficult third-party App Integration
  • Finding problems in the entire code takes time

However, the advantages still outweigh the challenges of cross-platform mobile app development.

FAQ for Cross-platform App Developers

What are the latest approaches to cross-platform development?

The latest approaches to cross-platform mobile app development are:

  • Progressive Web Apps
  • Hybrid App Development
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • Windows Universal Apps

Which are some of the best resources to learn cross-platform development?

Some of the best resources to learn cross-platform mobile app development are:

  • JavaScript language tutorials
  • Eloquent JavaScript
  • Tutorialspoint
  • Pragmatic Studio
  • C++ language tutorials
  • Ruby language tutorials

Which are the alternative cross-platform editors and IDEs?

The alternative cross-platform editors and IDEs are:

  • Cocos 2D
  • RubyMotion
  • Mobincube
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • QT
  • Corona SDK
  • AppsMoment
  • Xojo

How cost-effective is cross-platform application development?

With cross-platform development, you can save up to 60% on development costs.

Is cross-platform development recommended for gaming as well?

Gaming works differently. It is recommended you go with the native app development approach for the best user experience.

How much is the deviation in cross-platform and native apps when it comes to time to market?

Cross-platform apps can be delivered approximately 20% faster than native apps.

Which kinds of apps are recommended for cross-platform development?

Cross-platform development is ideal for non-heavy B2C applications. Go with native apps for heavier applications.

Conclusion:-

In a nutshell, cross-platform app development is a cost-effective alternative to native app development. If you’re a business that requires wide mobile coverage through a cost-efficient application with faster time-to-market, then cross-platform development is your perfect way to go. Apart from all the information conveyed, a cross-platform mobile app development company can guide you better and help you make the best decision for your business. Share your details now to get a perfect cross-platform app for your business.

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