Mobile apps are one of the easiest ways for a company or business to stay ahead of the competition. While mobile app development is the right strategy, it often comes with a bigger price tag. However, businesses are now switching to cross-platform app development to reduce development costs and time. Compared to native app development, there are countless benefits that attract companies to choose this method. If you are still thinking about your development approach, this article will shed light on why you should choose cross-platform mobile app development.
What is Cross Platform App Development?
Cross-platform mobile app development is an approach that allows developers to build a single app for multiple platforms. Developers can use a single codebase, so they don’t have to develop multiple versions of the same application. They can write the code once and deploy it on multiple platforms to streamline development.
When it comes to developing apps that work across different platforms, the process can be quite complex. That’s where cross-platform development comes in. This involves using specialized frameworks and tools that can take shared code and convert it into native code for each platform. By doing so, developers can ensure that their apps work seamlessly on a range of devices without having to build separate versions for each platform.
These frameworks act as a mediator between the different platforms, allowing them to communicate with one another and eliminating any differences that might otherwise cause compatibility issues. This is important because each platform has unique features and functions, and developers want to take advantage of these in their apps.
By using cross-platform development techniques, they can do just that, creating apps that are optimized for each platform and can provide users with the best possible experience.
What is the Difference Between Native and Cross Platform Mobile Application Development?
Native App Development
Native apps are designed for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, and are written in the specific programming language. This means that they perform better and provide a better user experience by utilizing the features and capabilities of the platform they are running on. However, native app development is more complex and expensive, requiring separate teams for each platform.
Cross-Platform App Development
Developing cross-platform apps involves creating an app using a single codebase that can be utilized across multiple platforms. This eliminates the need for developers to write separate codes for each platform, thus saving time and reducing costs. Businesses can also launch their apps to the market faster with cross-platform development. Additionally, users can enjoy a consistent experience across different platforms as cross-platform apps use the same code and UI elements.
Native Vs Cross Platform Comparison
|Aspect||Native Mobile App Development||Cross-Platform Mobile App Development|
|Definition||Specific apps for one platform (e.g., iOS, Android) using platform-specific languages and tools||Apps that run on multiple platforms using a single codebase and shared programming languages|
|User Experience||Offers the best user experience, optimized for platform-specific UI guidelines||Aims to provide a consistent user experience across platforms with some differences from native apps|
|Performance||Typically, superior performance, direct access to device hardware and OS||Improved performance, but may not match native apps due to an abstraction layer|
|Platform-Specific Features||Access to all platform-specific features and capabilities||Provides access to a broad set of common features, but some advanced platform-specific features may require custom plugins|
|Development Time and Cost||Longer development time and higher cost, separate codebases for each platform||Reduced development time and cost, single codebase for multiple platforms|
|Expertise Required||Platform-specific expertise required for each platform||General web or mobile development skills can be used across platforms|
|Market Reach||Limited to a specific platform’s users||Broader market reach as the app runs on multiple platforms|
|Maintenance and Updates||Separate updates for each platform||Unified updates and maintenance across platforms|
|Example Frameworks||iOS: Swift, Objective-C; Android: Java, Kotlin||React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, NativeScript, etc.|
Popular Cross-Platform Development Framework
React Native App Development
Advantages of React Native Development
- Efficient Development
- Native Performance
- Reusable Components
- Large Community Support
Flutter App Development
Flutter is a powerful and adaptable framework for creating cross-platform apps. It employs the Dart programming language and offers a wide range of customizable UI widgets. Flutter compiles code into native ARM code for both iOS and Android, resulting in high performance and visually stunning user interfaces.
Advantages of Flutter Development
- Single Codebase
- Fast Development
- High-Quality UI
- Excellent Performance
Xamarin App Development
Xamarin is a development framework that enables cross-platform app building for iOS, Android, and Windows platforms using C# and .NET. Developers can share up to 90% of the code across platforms, which makes it a cost-effective option for businesses.
Advantages of Xamarin Development
- Native-Like Experience
- Access to Native Features
- Seamless Integration
- Robust Performance
Ionic App Development
The SDK employs web views to display app interfaces, providing a seamless user experience across all devices. With its ability to leverage web technologies, Ionic is a powerful option for developers seeking to create mobile applications that are both efficient and cost-effective.
Advantages of Ionic Development
- Cross-Platform Compatibility
- Rich Library of UI Components
- Fast Prototyping
- Access to Native Functionality
Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
While mobile app development is not cheap, it limits small companies and businesses to enter the market. Cross-platform app development is economical compared to native app development. Cross-platform development can save money on ongoing maintenance.
As there is only one codebase to manage, upgrading and problem-fixing are more streamlined and efficient. When updates are necessary, companies can provide them at the same time across all supported platforms, minimizing the costs of mobile app development associated with maintaining different versions.
Reduced Development Time
One of the primary advantages of cross-platform app development is the significant reduction in development time. Native app development requires the use of separate development teams to create apps for different operating systems, such as iOS and Android. This strategy increases development expenses and extends the overall project duration.
On the other hand, cross-platform development allows developers to design a single codebase that can be utilized across multiple platforms. Developers can prevent duplicating efforts by using a single codebase to produce apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms at the same time. Because of the single codebase, updates and bug fixes can be applied across all platforms at the same time, easing the maintenance process and saving critical time.
Wider Audience Reach
One of a company’s biggest hurdles is expanding its brand’s reach. Mobile app development can help with that, but it can limit their reach to one platform. With cross-platform mobile app development, we can build two applications that allow businesses to reach more potential customers.
A wide range of devices run on various operating systems in the market. With cross-platform app development, businesses can penetrate the market and find new customers. A wider reach also means more possibilities for app monetization and revenue-generating. Businesses with a bigger user base can experiment with different monetization tactics, such as in-app purchases, subscriptions, advertisements, or premium features, resulting in increased revenue.
When we develop an app using cross-platform, it has a significant advantage called the “Single Codebase” approach. It involves creating a single set of code that can be used to make apps for various platforms, such as iOS, Android, and more. This single codebase is then converted into native code for each platform, allowing the app to operate seamlessly on a variety of devices and operating systems.
The are many benefits of a single codebase which is why most businesses invest in cross-platform app development companies. It saves a lot of development time and effort by eliminating the need to write separate codebases for each platform. Developers can instead focus on creating and maintaining a single, unified codebase, which streamlines the development process, lowers redundancy, and accelerates the app’s time-to-market.
Consistent User Experience Across Platforms
Cross-platform app development offers the advantage of providing a consistent user experience across various platforms. Users always look for a seamless and familiar experience, whether they use an iOS or Android device or another supported platform. To achieve this consistency, developers use shared UI components and design principles with the help of cross-platform development frameworks.
To make a consistent user experience, it goes beyond just the visual appearance of an app. Cross-platform development allows developers to duplicate the same user workflows and functions across multiple platforms. For the user, the app maintains consistent behavior across devices for navigation and core tasks.
Seamless Integration with Third-Party Plugins
Cross-platform app development allows smooth integration of third-party plugins, which benefits the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the apps. These plugins, also known as modules or extensions, add features and functionalities to the app, improving the user experience and expanding its capabilities beyond its primary functions.
Integration with third-party plugins reduces the need for developers to create these features from scratch, which saves considerable time and effort. Instead of investing significant resources in building complicated functionality, developers can focus on the app’s essential features, speeding up the development process.
Simplified Testing and Quality Assurance
With native app development, testing and QA become more complicated and time-consuming because of its unique approach. Each app version goes through extensive testing to ensure that the functionality, performance, and user experience match the required criteria. This can result in a repetition of efforts and longer testing cycles. Cross-platform app developers use a single code base, which simplifies testing and QA.
Cross-platform frameworks have testing tools and automation support, which helps to streamline the testing step. Developers can run tests on many platforms at the same time, allowing them to find and fix issues more quickly. This consistency in testing methods leads to quicker bug detection and a more effective quality assurance process.
Quick Prototyping and Proof of Concept
When a company or developer has a new app idea, it is common for them to evaluate its economic viability, market potential, and user approval, as they need to understand it better before investing significant time and money in full-scale development. Cross-platform frameworks allow a speedy development environment in these situations so that developers can quickly build working prototypes and proof-of-concept versions of the application.
Cross-platform frameworks have features like “hot reload” or “hot restart”, which allow developers for real-time code updates and quick visual changes in the app. They don’t need to recompile the entire codebase to do this. During the prototype and proof-of-concept phases, this function allows developers to make changes quickly, fine-tune the app’s design, and address any possible challenges or concerns.
Technologies are always evolving, and businesses need to adapt to these changes to stay ahead. There are many advantages of native app development, but cross-platform app development has some merit to it. Cost-effectiveness, faster development, and wider reach make it a promising opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Also, cross-platform development provides developers with a uniform codebase, which simplifies maintenance and allows for faster update distribution. In this article, we have provided detailed information about cross-platform development, its framework, and its benefits. With various benefits and reasons, businesses should opt for cross-platform app development and take advantage of it.
Why Choose Vrinsoft Pty Ltd for Cross-platform App Development?
Vrinsoft is one of the most popular cross-platform app development companies in the market. They have skilled developers and years of experience in the field. Please consult with us today to build an effective solution for app development.