How to Build Cross-Platform Mobile Apps
Nowadays the majority of businesses have to go mobile to reach a greater number of the target audience. Therefore, it becomes crucial for them to be presented on all possible mobile platforms.
Although native apps have proved to be fully interactive, intuitive, and perfectly consistent on all devices, it’s time-consuming and costly to build two high quality, perfectly performing products.
In contrast, cross-platform mobile applications are gaining more popularity because they offer access to different mobile platforms using one codebase. What is more, due to the constant technological advancement, they have reached the same quality level as native apps, but with significantly reduced development cost.
This cross-platform mobile apps guide will walk you through the most popular tools for cross-platform app development and their key features.
Major Cross-Platform Mobile Development Tools
The market for cross-platform app development is growing fast. Therefore, the choice of cross-platform development tools is becoming wider so any developer can find one that fits their goals. Here are the most famous cross-platform frameworks.
Pros and Cons
On the downside, React Native is a sophisticated framework. It needs a team of specially trained professionals as any error will cause a total project inconsistency.
Flutter is an SDK introduced by Google. Although it is a new tool, it has already gained popularity among cross-platform programmers. The founders state that it can be used to develop a fully-customized application for mobile, web, and desktop platforms. This UI toolkit works on Dart and at the same time supports Swift, C, Java, and other programming languages.
Pros and Cons
Flutter ensures an easy and fast development process with access to a rich set of widgets. When it comes to drawbacks, this framework is used to create large-scale apps and doesn’t provide enough support for Ready-to-Implement libraries.
If you’re choosing between Flutter and React Native, you may want to check out this article explaining the pros and cons of each tool.
Xamarin allows developers to build mobile apps for the majority of platforms such as Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. Although they all stand on a common codebase using C# there are no deficiencies in app quality. By using Xamarin developers can create unique UIs for one platform and then write some elements that can easily be used for others.
Xamarin lets developers write the UI code for a specific platform: one for Android using Xamarin.Android and another for iOS using Xamarin.iOS. After that, they should develop the business logic written in C# that can be applied on both platforms. Xamarin states that up to 90% of the code can be shared in this way.
Xamarin’s IDE (Xamarin Studio) together with Visual Studio by Microsoft stands tall among market leaders and provides a high-level environment for efficient work.
Pros and Cons
Xamarin platform stands out with its “one language” approach. C# is one of the strongest points of the framework as it was significantly improved in comparison with other programming languages. Xamarin provides mobile cross-platform support with code sharing of up to 90%. It reduces both the development cost (since each new release of iOS or Android is complimented by Xamarin) and the time necessary for the app launch.
Speaking about some cons, working with Xamarin requires some specific knowledge. The developer should not only know C# and .NET programming but also have some basic skills in Java, Objective-C, Swift, and be familiar with Xamarin IDE and UI features. Xamarin doesn’t have access to open-source libraries used for Android and iOS, nonetheless, it offers its own substitution.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to shortcomings, Appcelerator is notorious for being buggy and laggy. Although the tool has gained popularity due to its flexibility then developers start to notice many limitations. Neither is it as smooth and convenient as native app environments.
One of the most popular frameworks, PhoneGap, belongs to Adobe. It operates on Apache