A Comprehensive Guide on Cross Platform App Development
Cross platform app development is currently a popular form of app development. As per the latest trends, one-third of global developers have used cross platform app development between 2019 and 2021 to save time, cost, and excessive efforts.
This article aims to address the basic concepts related to cross platform development along with the best tools to speed up this type of development. So, let’s dive in.
What is Cross Platform App Development?
Cross platform app development is associated with developing an application that runs on different operating systems. The main purpose of this development approach is to produce applications that are compatible with all digital environments and can be accessed by a broad customer base. Cross platform app development approach has a major cost advantage without compromising on speed and quality of applications.
The Differences Between Native and Cross-Platform App Development
Both native and cross platform app development have their fair share of pros and cons. The topic – “native vs. cross platform app development” has invited a lot of debates and arguments over the years. Truth be told, both these application development approaches have witnessed a lot of evolvements in the past years. It ultimately depends on the developers and their requirements.
Here are a few differences between cross platform app development and native app development that you must consider before making a final decision:
- Native app development generates high development costs, whereas cross platform app development is much more affordable.
- Native apps run on a single platform, while cross platform apps run on multiple platforms.
- Native app development is time-consuming, whereas cross platform app development is faster with only one development cycle.
- Native apps are consistent with the UI components, while cross platform apps have limited UI consistency of a particular device.
To put it simply, if saving time and cost is your priority, go for cross platform app development. Alternatively, if your focus is on factors like responsiveness, and in-depth functionality, choose a native app development approach.
Importance of Cross Platform App Development
Cross platform mobile development is one of the most rapidly growing sectors. Here are some of the critical benefits of this app development approach:
A Cross platform app development framework helps developers reuse a single code base for different platforms. This saves a lot of time as developers don’t need to develop the same sets of code again and again. In fact, it is the top feature of cross platform mobile development frameworks that adds efficiency to your development lifecycle. The exciting part is that reusable code helps you enhance on all platforms through bug fixing. Hence, developers won’t have to write different code versions for different platforms and devices.
Fast application development
Cross platform application development is an efficient approach where developers can save a lot of their time. Since using a particular source code across multiple platforms, time and development efforts can be reduced to a significant percentage. That means, faster turnaround times and the ability to complete the deliverables within stipulated deadlines.
Cross platform app development takes off a load of application development from developers to a certain extent. Developers can write the code once and use it over and over as per development requirements. Hence, the application’s development, maintenance, and updating become much easier and more affordable.
Cross platform app development frameworks help developers to reduce the time-to-market and opt for fast deployment. This is possible because the least time is spent on writing code for different platforms and devices.
Different apps require different levels of customization based on their functionalities. As a result, the app development process becomes seamless with a faster-time-to-market.
Wider customer outreach
If you can deploy the same mobile app across different platforms like Android, iOS, etc. the possibilities of broader customer outreach will become much higher. Both Android and iOS are currently holding 98% of the market share for the global operating system landscape. Hence, businesses cannot ignore any of these, and the applications they produce should be specific to both of these platforms.
Cross platform mobile development liberates the organizations as it allows you to write code once and reuse it across multiple operating systems. Hence, the scope of customer outreach is much bigger with cross platform app development.
Challenges in Cross Platform App Development
Cross platform development is a flexible and adaptive form of mobile application development. However, there are some challenges associated with this framework that developers must be aware of:
- Cross platform app developers often face difficulty keeping up with cross compliances of various operating systems.
- Cross platform apps can show technical glitches in case of poor development, leading to unfulfillment of customer expectations.
- Cross platform apps come with the risk of data breaching.
Remember that these challenges can vary from framework to framework.
Benefits of a Cross Platform App Development Framework
A cross platform app development framework empowers the developers and business users of an organization with tons of features and benefits. You can make the most of such frameworks by leveraging the following benefits:
Launch apps on different platforms seamlessly
You can launch cross-development apps on multiple platforms with a single app development process. Cross development platforms help you launch multiple apps with a single source code that is written for different platforms. Therefore, you can launch cross platform apps without forming dedicated teams for different platforms. Hence, launching and updating apps has become simpler than ever.
Easy to upgrade
Cross platform mobile apps are based on the internet, and hence, updating these apps become simpler and faster. Users don’t need to download different versions of these apps as the apps are on auto-update mode. As a result, these apps live up to the expectations of the users.
Smooth cloud integration
Cross platform application development frameworks are compatible with different cloud integration plugins. You can use a single source code that is compatible with different extensions to accelerate the scalability of the applications.
Best Cross Platform App Development Frameworks
Here are some of the top cross platform app development frameworks that businesses can use in 2022:
DronaHQ is a modern cross platform app development tool for developers to build internal tools and operation apps for web and mobile. DronaHQ utilizes visual app development to build internal tools as per the requirements of employees. This cross platform application development framework simplifies app development for both developers and app developers with reusable templates, drag-and-drop app builder, and custom code.
- DronaHQ sports over 100+ pre-built UI components like charts, tables, layouts, grids, etc. that designers can use to build cross platform frontends
- Build beautiful internal cross-platform applications like dashboards, admin tools, form controls, and so on
- Over 50 ready connectors to APIs and databases like MongoDB, Airtable, PostgreSQL React Native
React Native, Facebook’s own cross development app development platform, was launched in 2015. Currently, it is one of the most used app development platforms by developers all over the world. The community support that comes with Reach Native is also huge!
- React Native allows you to reuse up to 80% of the code base for the same app on other platforms when you write source code for one app. The code reusability feature is significant for this framework.
- React Native’s Hot Reloading feature is extremely useful as it helps the developers note the changes based on code quickly.
- React Native focuses a lot on UI and helps developers to build extremely responsive applications.
Flutter is an open source cross platform app development framework for Android and iOS. It helps you create attractive mobile applications for both Android and iOS in the quickest possible time. Google develops flutter, and it deserves a special mention for its powerful community support.
- Apps developed on Flutter look completely like native apps and hence it is a perfect choice if you are planning to develop an MVP. Flutter limits your excess spending on two different apps and evolves the MVP as per your requirements.
- Flutter leverages a programming language called Dart. Dart is simpler and has been easy to learn for developers.
- Flutter develops beautiful Android and iOS interfaces applications with its efficient stack of widgets.
- Ionic is an open-source app development framework that provides several instances of alterations to the developers to save their time and efforts.
- Ionic is a dedicated cross platform mobile development framework that supports you in developing robust yet attractive apps and multiple UI components.
- Ionic uses Cordova for getting quick access to in-built device features like mobile cameras, GPS, recorder, etc.
Microsoft acquired Xamarin in 2016 and it is one of the most credible cross platform mobile app development frameworks. Xamarin is different from the cross platform development frameworks mentioned till now. Xamarin app development framework is suitable for Android, iOS, and Windows apps, and it is based on C#. Developers can reuse up to 90% of the code base for other operating systems if the source code is written in Xamarin.
- C# is an advanced cross platform app development language and Xamarin is entirely based on this framework.
- Xamarin’s unique class libraries and the reusable code feature helps companies to reduce significant cost and time spent on writing and rewriting code for various interfaces.
- Xamarin’s excellent native user interface assists developers to build responsive, native-like applications.
Important Factors for Selecting the Best Cross Platform Development Tools
Are you struggling to select the appropriate cross platform app development tool for your business? Here are the major factors to keep in mind:
The central purpose of getting a cross platform app development tool is to reduce the developers’ workload. So, don’t forget to check the ability of the framework to meet development workloads. Higher the development workload capacity, the better.
When choosing a cross platform development framework, the compatibility factor is a key decision-making factor. Clearly, you need a highly compatible framework with different interfaces like Android, iOS, and the web.
Scalability is the long-term goal of most applications. As the app evolves, various scalable requirements can come into the picture with time. Hence, look for this factor to ensure that the cross platform development framework you are selecting is aligned with your organization’s strategy.
The app development framework you freeze must not be vulnerable to security and privacy threats. The framework should protect your applications and critical user data from all possibilities of data breaches.
Why DronaHQ is the Best Cross Platform App Development Tool?
Looking for a cross platform app development framework? Your search should end at DronaHQ.
It is one of the cross platform app development frameworks because:
- DronaHQ supports seamless whitelabeling of applications across Android, iOS, and web interfaces.
- DronaHQ follows the “Write once, use everywhere” approach.
- DronaHQ’s in-built user management can scale your apps by accommodating multiple users at once.
- All plans of DronaHQ support unlimited users.
Want to know more? Try DronaHQ for free and explore for yourself.
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