The future of cross-platform app development looks promising. However, with the rise in popularity, there is no telling what we can expect to see come into fruition in years ahead! This blog discusses the future of cross-platform app development.
The studies show that users spend 4.2 hours per day (on average) in apps. Also, the prediction for the overall mobile app market is for continuous growth, reaching a staggering $935 billion in revenue in 2023. This clearly shows that apps are expected to keep evolving in the years ahead, and it’s up for apps companies to stay on top of their game.
With the growing demand for mobile apps, businesses strive to further engage users by offering them the best mobile app experience possible. Better UX leads to maximum revenues, helping companies to stay ahead of their competitors. Therefore, leveraging the cost-effective yet one of the best mobile app development approaches (i.e., cross-platform development).
Cross-platform app development (aka hybrid app development) is one of the most popular methods for developing mobile apps. This approach allows businesses to save resources while maintaining app compatibility on multiple platforms such as Android and iOS devices.
So let’s dive in and see what the future holds for cross-platform, and will it be the future of apps? Let’s find out!
What Is Cross-Platform Development?
Cross-platform development is the process of creating and delivering mobile applications that can run flawlessly on multiple platforms (mainly iOS and Android). It is developed with a single codebase, so people often say ‘developed in one, utilized for all.’
In other words, cross-platform development is the process of creating an application that can work across multiple operating systems (like iOS and Android). React Native (by Facebook) and Flutter (by Google) are the two most well-known cross-platform mobile app development frameworks businesses widely use to build hybrid apps.
Popular Apps Built with Cross-Platform Approach:
- Google Ads
- The New York Times
Why Do Businesses Need Multi-Platform Apps?
With the recent boom in mobile devices, it is no wonder that companies are looking to apps to provide information about their products. However, developing an app for just one platform can be costly and time-intensive. Therefore, instead of investing countless hours creating separate versions of an app, businesses can opt for cross-platform development.
Developing a cross-platform app will enable businesses to maximize their audience by targeting both iOS and Android users. There are several benefits of opting for a cross-platform approach to app development:
- The cross-platform method delivers a native-like app experience.
- Based on the concept of ‘write once, run everywhere,’ cross-platform mobile app development can reuse code to reduce the development cost.
- It is easier to maintain a cross-platform-based app as it is one developed app that runs on all platforms.
- Due to the single source code for multiple platforms, the development process for cross-platform mobile applications is way faster.
- An agile approach allows developers to create a consistent user experience.
Top 5 Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks to Leverage
Launched by Facebook in 2015, React Native is considered one of the best open-source, cross-platform frameworks. Due to its ever-increasing demand and popularity, experts refer to React Native as the future of cross-platform app development. In addition, the concept of ‘learn once and write anywhere’ makes this cross-platform framework unique from others.
- Live Reload Option
- Quick Responses to Issues
- Strong Performance
Flutter is a multi-platform framework for building UIs, introduced by Google. It is used to develop mobile apps with one codebase that runs constantly on Android and iOS platforms. Even though it has only been in existence for a few years, Flutter is already one of the most used and treasured frameworks. It is a fierce competitor of React Native – see the detailed comparison.
- Ideal for MVP
- Employs Dart (Object-Oriented) Language
- Hot Reloading Option
- Increased Time-To-Market
- Consistent UI on All Platforms
- Write Once, Run Anywhere
- Supports Apache Cordova Plugins
- Standard Web APIs
- Enhanced Performance
- Native Look and Feel
- Built on AngularJS
- Cordova Based Plugin for Access to Native Features
- Theming Support with UI Components
- Drag and Drop Tool
Xamarin is a platform to build cross-platform apps. Its tools, languages, and frameworks are used to develop mobile apps using C# codebase to compile them into native code for the specific device. It uses C# as its primary programming language. There are also other features provided by this tool; for example, you can also use Xamarin’s UI components to build native UIs.
- Retains All Code in a Single Codebase for All the Platforms
- Supports Native Apps on Multiple Platforms Through One Shared C# Codebase
- Provides Features Like Debugging, Crash Reporting, etc.
- Provides Native Ui Controls and User Interface Options
- Future Scope of Cross-Platform Frameworks
Cross-platform frameworks are the key to consistency. Of course, Android and iOS have different UI, but when it comes down to UX, consistency matters more than how well designed your app looks on one particular platform versus another. If you want an app that will work equally great no matter which device it’s being used in, go for a cross-platform approach.
The best thing about cross-platform frameworks is — they only require one codebase to build an app that works flawlessly well on iOS and Android. And this trait saves time, cost, and effort, resulting in faster deployment. And we all know how critical “faster time-to-market” is for businesses (especially startups and small companies).
Since cross-platform apps are based on a single codebase, they are quicker to develop and take less effort for quality testing. Moreover, companies don’t need to hire two separate developers for app development. Instead, they can employ only one developer for cross-platform app development.
Improved Market Reach
If you (as a business) opt for cross-platform app development, you automatically expand your market base. How? Users are on Android and iOS platforms, and cross-platform frameworks allow you to develop apps for both using one codebase. Hence, it improves your market reach as it doesn’t let you miss out on either platform.
What the future holds for cross-platform app development is hard to say. However, cross-platform development is worth considering as it eases the process of mobile app development. The most notable advantage of opting for cross-platform technology is the faster development with minimal cost due to its single codebase use, which every business is craving. Have any thoughts about the future of cross-platform app development?
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