The range of operating systems creates a big obstacle for software development. Having to create a whole new app for every device you want to support is difficult and costly. Fortunately, developing an app doesn’t have to be that hard. One of the most common applications development phenomena is cross-platform development.
Cross-platform technology is about creating a single application that can run on several operating systems rather than creating separate software versions for each platform. A cross-platform framework (such as React Native, Xamari or Flutter) can help in developing an app that can support multiple platforms. The source code is written once and is applicable to all platforms. It increases development speed and because of that, time-to-market for platforms is shorter.
Native vs. Cross-platform Development
Native applications are custom-made for each platform. Typically, developers create native iOS and Android applications. That means when you are developing a native mobile application, you must create different versions for Android and iOS, using a different programming language – Swift/C for iOS or Java/Kotlin for Android. You also have to recruit a separate team of app developers to design and maintain each of them. This is a better choice when you need a seamless user experience and dedicated functionality.
Cross-platform applications are cost-effective and look similar to native apps. Most of the code is reusable and the time required to fix issues is faster. It also allows you to build software in a common programming language. Additionally, one development team can develop an app with the same toolset using frameworks.
Cross-platform App Frameworks
There are many cross-platform development frameworks available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Despite their differences, these development tools have the same goal: to create applications on many platforms using the same technology.
One of the most popular frameworks is React Native and Xamarin. Flutter, a Dart-based technology that was recently launched, is a highly promising technology. The strongest feature of this framework is the support of widgets and various expressive UI features to provide native-like performance.
To learn more about cross-platform development, see the blog posts below.