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In today’s business world, the cross-platform approach for mobile app development has become a popular choice due to the numerous benefits it provides. This blog will discuss what the future holds for cross-platform app development.
Per BuildFire, people spend 90% of their mobile time on apps; in fact, 57% of all digital media usage comes from mobile apps alone. Also, it is estimated that mobile apps will generate nearly $189 billion in revenue by 2020. Statista reveals that there are 1.8 million apps available on Apple Store and 2.5 million on Google Play Store, with those numbers increasing daily.
The stats mentioned above demonstrate the strong demand for intuitive and glitch-free mobile apps in today’s technology-driven world. Therefore, businesses are striving to further engage users by offering them the best mobile app experience possible. Better user experience leads to greater revenue and helps companies to stay ahead of their competitors.
Thus, with technological advancements and several significant benefits, cross-platform technology allows businesses to go with cross-platform app development for better ROI.
What Is a Cross-Platform Development?
Cross-platform development is the process of creating and delivering mobile apps that can run fluidly on multiple platforms, mainly iOS and Android. It is developed with a single codebase, which is why people often say ‘developed in one, utilized for all.’ React Native by Facebook and Flutter by Google are the two most well-known cross-platform mobile app development frameworks available in today’s market.
Why Do You Need a Cross-Platform Mobile App?
Leveraging a cross-platform approach allows you to build an app over various platforms, including the web. 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 a cross-platform approach to app development:
- Cross-platform technology 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.
- With an agile approach, it allows developers to create a consistent user experience.
Pros and (Very Few) Cons of Cross-Platform App Development
Growing demand for mobile apps brought new ideas for developing one app that must be compatible across all the major platforms; that’s how cross-platform technology came into existence. However, like any other technology, the cross-platform approach also has its share of pros and cons. Let’s dive deeper into knowing more about it.
Pros of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Many businesses struggle to choose the platform they want their apps on. However, the cross-platform app development approach makes it easy as it has a broader market reach, which allows you to target both iOS and Android.
Reusability of Codes
The most significant advantage of cross-platform application development is the reusability of codes. It allows you to create a single codebase for both iOS and Android at the same time, which makes development more efficient.
The use of a single code base across all platforms results in significant cost reduction. Therefore, this sole benefit of cross-platform technology has the potential to make the future of cross-platform bright.
The cross-platform approach to app development is considered to be one of the fastest methods for mobile app development. The use of single-source code across multiple platforms can reduce the development time by 50-80% and make the development process much faster.
iOS and Android differ substantially in terms of both UX and UI. However, the cross-platform app development approach makes the design consistent by handling UX/UI disparities by default. This emerging technology makes the app design consistent and easy-to-navigate.
Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Apps developed on the cross-platform framework have the same functionalities as native apps, but native apps are slightly faster. Cross-compliance makes the app a little sluggish. However, these performance differences are not significant and can be neglected in most cases.
Limited User Experience
iOS and Android both differ in navigation, buttons, lists, and many more. Due to a single codebase, cross-platform development cannot take advantage of all the native-only features, which may limit the user-experience.
Must-Consider Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks
There are many cross-platforms app frameworks available in today’s market, but not all are used. We have handpicked some competitive and widely popular mobile cross-platform app frameworks that are must-advisable to consider.
React Native, launched by Facebook in 2015, is considered to be one of the best open-source, cross-platform frameworks. Due to its ever-increasing demand and popularity, many refer to React Native as the future of cross-platform app development. The concept of ‘learn once and write anywhere’ makes this framework stand out from others.
- Time and cost-efficient.
- Use of code on multiple platforms.
- Immediate results expedite the development process.
- A hot reloading feature allows developers to see the changes made in code instantly.
- Developers can easily access native functionalities such as camera, accelerometer, and more to improve user experience.
- The React Native framework responds quickly to issues.
Flutter, released in 2017, is also an open-source, cross-platform framework by Google. Although it has only been in existence for three years, Flutter is already one of the most used and treasured frameworks. It is a fierce competitor of React Native – see the detailed comparison.
- Perfect for MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to give a native look in iOS and Android.
- It works with an object-oriented programming language known as Dart to ease the job of developers.
- Developers can highlight code changes with a short time with the help of a hot reloading feature.
- With the help of various ready-to-use solutions for iOS and Android, developers can work without any hindrance.
Xamarian was founded in 2011 and gained momentum when Microsoft acquired it in 2016. Today, it has over 60K contributors. It requires good command over two languages, .NET and C# to build a Xamarian-based cross-platform mobile application.
- Xamarian makes the process of app development faster and easier.
- After being acquired by Microsoft, it has received massive support from more than 3700 companies.
- Due to C# coding, Xamarian-based developed apps work flawlessly on iOS and Android.
- Xamarian enables developers to share one code across multiple platforms.
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, which every business is craving for. The cross-platform approach to app development is an emerging technology that will continue to grow in the future.
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