According to Statista's 2022 data, Android and iOS collectively dominate nearly 99% of the global mobile operating system market, boasting around 3.5 million apps in the Google Play Store and approximately 2.22 million mobile apps in the Apple App Store.
In today's fiercely competitive and rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses recognize the need to extend their presence across multiple platforms. Given the high costs associated with developing native applications for each platform, there has been a growing preference for cross-platform app development.
A projection from Forrester indicates that more than 60% of organizations are already engaged in or utilizing cross-platform app development.
What is a Cross-Platform Application Development Framework?
A cross-platform application framework is a tool designed to operate seamlessly across various platforms and operating systems, including Android, iOS, and web applications. It adopts a one-size-fits-all approach to coding, eliminating the need for separate coding for different platforms or operating systems.
Cross-platform application development involves creating a software product or service that is compatible with multiple platforms and operating systems. This can be achieved by either developing separate versions of the app or utilizing a cross-platform app development framework.
Cross-platform mobile apps employ a bridge, similar to hybrid apps, allowing the programming language to run on any device without the necessity to rewrite the program for different platforms.
To cut down on expenses and time, many enterprises choose to develop cross-platform applications either through their in-house development teams or by outsourcing the project.
What are the Major Platforms and Operating Systems?
Here are a few key platforms and operating systems:
Android App Development Company, It is an open-source mobile OS owned by Google and mainly designed for touchscreen devices like smartphones, smart tech, smart TVs, and smartwatches. It is the most popular mobile operating system.
iOS Apps Development Company, It is the second-most popular mobile operating system powered by Apple. It is a closed OS with open-source components. It is mainly associated with Apple’s products like iPhone, Macbook, iPad, and so on.
A Web app is a third-party software or application program in a remote server that you can access over the network through a browser on your device.
Which Programming Languages are cross-platform?
Difference Between Native and cross-platform App Development
Both native and cross-platform development are dynamic and rapidly evolving technologies. While cross-platform development has become a prominent trend, native application development remains popular due to its inherent advantages.
Native app development focuses on crafting sophisticated, sustainable software with seamless performance and consistent high-quality user interface on a specific platform. In contrast, the cross-platform approach seeks to extend compatibility across multiple devices, often at a more cost-effective rate.
Native App Development
1. Seamless performance since all features and functions are built to suit a particular OS
2. Higher development cost
3. Higher time to market since code needs to be written from scratch for multiple platforms
4. The Platform Software Development Kit assures access to the API of the device without barriers
5. Comes with several in-built security features
6. A highly consistent user interface
Cross-Platform App Development
1. High performance, but compatibility issues and lagging may occur, sometimes
2. Relatively lower development cost
3. Code reusability significantly lowers the time to market
4. No guaranteed access to APIs of the device
5. Comparatively less secure
6. Relatively lower UI consistency
Examples of cross-platform Application Development Framework Based on Programming Languages
Here are a few examples of common cross-platform app development frameworks and the language they are based on.
Cross-platform App Development Framework
1. React Native, NativeScript, Cordova, Appcelerator
5. BeeWare, Kivy
6. Codename One
What are the Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development?
Provides Wider Market Research
In comparison to the native app development approach, which grapples with the challenges of limited reach and confined market scope, cross-platform app development emerges victorious with its expansive market research and broader user reach.
Native app development involves creating applications exclusively for Android and iOS, restricting user accessibility. On the contrary, cross-platform app development empowers developers to introduce the same app across multiple platforms. Market research is greatly enhanced when there are no constraints tied to a particular device or platform.
Cross-platform app development boasts a faster turnaround as developers need to create only one app for all platforms, instead of multiple apps for different platforms. This results in a reduction of development time and workload.
Reduced Development Cost
Leveraging cross-platform app development technology not only trims down development hours but also curtails the overall project budget. A reduced development budget translates to lower costs across associated services such as deployment, quality testing, and ongoing support.
Opting for cross-platform mobile app development, as opposed to the native app development approach, enables organizations to slash overall costs by nearly 30-40%.
Seamless performance and an appealing user interface (UI) and experience (UX) are key factors in attracting users. Cross-platform app development streamlines this by utilizing a single development team and a unified codebase to achieve a consistent look and feel across diverse platforms. This implies that the technology behind cross-platform app development delivers an identical user interface and user experience on all platforms.
Moreover, cross-platform development guarantees that the app's UI/UX remains consistent with every update, ensuring easy synchronization.
Easier Maintenance & Deployment
Cross-platform app development, facilitated by frameworks such as Flutter, simplifies the processes of app development, maintenance, and deployment. Maintenance is a critical aspect once your high-quality apps are successfully deployed to both Android and iOS users, and with a single codebase, this becomes a streamlined process.
While the development cycle may appear straightforward, the reality involves addressing inevitable bug fixes and making improvements even during the operational phase. Envision the challenge of maintaining and deploying multiple applications across various development platforms for a single business. It doesn't sound practical, which is why cross-platform development technology serves as a comprehensive solution for all these challenges.
Quicker Development Process
In contrast to native apps, which are tailored for a specific platform such as Android or iOS, requiring the development of two separate apps, two sets of codebases, and two teams, the cross-platform approach utilizes a single codebase for all platforms. This eliminates the need to rewrite code from scratch each time and accelerates the development process.
Challenges in the Cross-Platform App Development Process
Cross-platform app development process offers several benefits, but it is not without some challenges. These drawbacks are not a deal-breaker, but it is essential to note them.
Best cross-platform App Development Frameworks
The rising popularity of cross-platform app development has given rise to numerous cross-platform frameworks. We have listed the best five cross-platform application development frameworks in the market pool of multiple tools.
React Native, introduced by Facebook in 2015, stands as one of the most widely used cross-platform app development frameworks.
Flutter, an open-source and free cross-platform application development framework, was crafted by Google in 2018. Despite its relatively short time in the market, its features and capabilities have propelled it to become one of the most favored frameworks among developers, as indicated by the Developer Survey Results from Stack Overflow.
Xamarin, an autonomous and open-source cross-platform app development framework, was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Established in 2011, it stands as one of the oldest frameworks in this domain and boasts a sizable developer community.
Ionic is an open-source Software Development Kit (SDK) and stands out as one of the highly favored cross-platform app development frameworks. It empowers developers to craft outstanding user interfaces with user-friendly features. Additionally, Ionic supports the development of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).
How to Select a cross-platform App Development Framework for Your Enterprise
Here are a few parameters that can drive you to make the best decision.
Security: If your project has sensitive data involved, you should choose a framework that offers maximum security benefits.
Workload of the development: If you have a large project that involves several functions and processes, you should opt for a cross-platform app tool that can support heavy workloads.
Scalability: If seamless performance is your primary goal, you can choose a platform that offers the best app performance.
Compatibility: If you’re a brand with a target to cover as many end devices and platforms as possible, you can choose the most compatible framework.
Opting for cross-platform App Development?
Opting for cross-platform app development and selecting a framework is just the beginning. The process involves several steps, spanning from hiring developers, planning, and development to testing, updates, bug fixes, and software rollout.
You have two options: either enlist help to hire the best cross-platform app developers or outsource the entire project. At Adware, we offer staffing services and specialize in custom cross-platform app development using frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, and Ionic.
Adware Technologies has been empowering enterprises and startups globally for the past 14 years with intelligent solutions, delivering sustainable technology. We prioritize building enduring relationships with our customers by providing them with affordable, timely, and effective solutions.
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