Cross-Platform Mobile App Development: What Is It and Why You Might Need It?
If you are looking to develop a mobile app, you might be wondering if cross-platform development is the right solution for you. Cross-platform development allows you to create a single app that can run on multiple platforms – such as iOS, and Android. This can save you time and money, but there are some drawbacks to consider as well. In this article, we will explore what cross-platform mobile app development is, the pros and cons of using it, and how it compares to native mobile app development.
What is cross-platform app development?
Cross-platform mobile app development, as the name suggests, allows you to create one application that will work on different platforms. The most common of these platforms are Android and iOS. Although Apple is only a quarter of the global mobile market, you should not omit iOS users when creating your mobile application. Research shows that iOS users have a higher average income and statistically spend more time with their phones. Therefore, if you would like to create an application for Android, which more people use, and iOS, where users are more willing to pay for your application, cross-platform development may be a good solution.
How cross-platform app is created?
The development of a cross-platform app is most often carried out by an experienced mobile app development company because for its performance to approach a native application (which we will mention later), it must be developed by qualified specialists who know how to write one code that will be able to work in different environments.
In most cases, a framework created by the technological giant – Facebook is used to build cross-platform apps. We are talking about React Native, a framework derived from the technology designed to develop web applications – React JS. It is a solution that has been loved by thousands of developers and companies worldwide. We do not want to bore you with the technical specification of this solution, which is really extensive, and instead. That is why we will briefly outline it.
What is React Native?
- Saved resources
You only need one team for React Native instead of two: one for native Android app development and another for native iOS app development. Fewer developers mean lower costs for your firm. However, a small number of React Native app creators does not imply that the process will be time-consuming. Because one written code can execute two mobile applications, using React Native significantly reduces the time it takes to get apps published.
- Easy integration with plugins
- Great UX/UI
If you would like to know how React Native could be beneficial for your project, contact an experienced React Native development company.
Pros and cons of cross-platform development
Like any solution in this world, cross-platform development has advantages and disadvantages. So let’s look at what aspects we’re talking about here.
Pros – Wider market reach
A cross-platform code may be used to create apps for as many app stores as desired. As a result, products have a far higher potential for expansion and hitting different platform users.
Pros – Fast Development
Cross-platform development allows you to create one code that will become the basis of two applications. This means that developers do not have to produce two completely different codes; thus, time-to-market is fast.
Pros – Relatively cheap
Cross-platform development is related to the fact that to build an application, you do not need two separate teams to make an application for a given mobile platform. Fewer people means less money spent.
Cons – Performance
If you compare two identical applications, one native and one cross-platform, there is a high probability that the native one will have a better performance. However, technology is advancing so fast that there are really slight differences at this point.
Cons – Stability
Cross-platform applications sometimes have problems with stability. It is due to the fact that they function on different platforms, and it is possible that the application will not perform well on one of the platforms. However, high-quality maintenance will prevent such situations if specialists create the mobile app.
Native application development
Native application development is a solution that is best used if you want to create only one application that will operate on one predetermined platform, such as iOS or Android. Generally, native applications have better performance and user experience than their cross-platform counterparts. However, creating two native applications is much more expensive than creating one cross-platform application.
As with cross-platform applications, native apps also have their own frameworks in which they are created. In the case of Android, it is Java or Kotlin, and in the case of the Apple platform, which is iOS, these frameworks are Objective-C and Swift.
Cross-platform vs Native app development
We already know what native and cross-platform development are when it comes to creating mobile applications. Now let’s look at how these two solutions compare to each other in terms of cost, time to market, performance, and user experience.
Cost: Cross-platform mobile app development generally requires less upfront investment than native app development. This is because you only need to develop one codebase rather than two (or more).
Time to market: Cross-platform mobile app development can also help you get your product to market faster. This is because you can leverage the same codebase across multiple platforms, which cuts down on development time.
Performance: Native apps usually offer better performance than cross-platform apps. This is because cross-platform apps need to be built for a variety of different devices and operating systems, which can impact performance.
User experience: When it comes to user experience, native app development generally offers a more seamless and intuitive experience for users. This is because native apps are designed specifically for each platform and take advantage of all the latest features and capabilities offered by that platform.
So there are some things to consider when deciding whether cross-platform or native app development is suitable for your project. Ultimately, it comes down to factors like budget, time frame, performance, and user experience. If you need a quick and cost-effective solution that will allow you to target two mobile platforms at once, cross-platform app development might be the way to go.
However, if you’re looking for the best possible performance and user experience, native app development is usually the better option. Remember that once you choose an experienced software development partner, a cross-platform app will not vary very much from the natively created application.
Whichever route you choose, make sure to do your research and weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision. Thanks for reading!
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