Why Cross Platform Mobile Development Works

Why Cross Platform Mobile Development?

In order to understand everything we are about to talk about, we must first clear out some definitions; what is it Cross-platform mobile development?

Cross-platform mobile development is the creation of software applications that are compatible with multiple mobile operating systems. Originally, the complexity of developing mobile apps was compounded by the difficulty of building out a backend that worked across multiple platforms. Although it was time-consuming and expensive, it was often easier to build native applications for each mobile operating system (OS). The problem was that the code built for one operating system could not be repurposed for another OS.

When starting to create a mobile application, developers always select an approach for building it first. Just some years ago, there was no other choice than to create apps using languages, SDKs, and IDEs belonging to a specific OS. Today, this is not the only solution. In particular, when cross-platform frameworks such as phonegap, React Native, Cordova appeared, it became possible to create a universal codebase that could easily be adapted to any of the platforms.

The Essence of Cross-Platform Mobile Development

Making software for a specific platform implies using only those development tools that were officially submitted by the person who maintains the OS. As a result, you get a solution that is fully adapted to the platform-specific capabilities. The received apps are fast, efficient, and can operate any of the software and hardware assets of the device.

The majority of such frameworks are based on the ubiquitous JavaScript. 75% to 90% of codebase remains consistent between app versions. The rest is the code that describes the access to platform-specific software and hardware capabilities. Thus, the development time and overall application budget to deploy the app to each intended platform are reduced. Moreover, the functionality and overall user experience with this approach are very close to native.

Today, it is easier for programmers to develop cross-platform apps. Newer approaches to cross-platform development include:

Hybrid Mobile App Development

Developers write the core of the application as an HTML5 or JavaScript mobile app and then place a native device wrapper around it.

Rapid Mobile App Development

Developers use code-free programming tools. RMAD offers business users the ability to quickly build and manage “good-enough” internal apps to address specific business issues.

Windows Universal Apps

One codebase for all Windows devices. The goal is to enable the same app to run on a Windows PC, tablet, smartphone, smartwatch or XBox.

Progressive Web Apps

Websites that look and behave as if they are mobile apps. PWAs are built to take advantage of native mobile device features, without requiring the end user to visit an app store, make a purchase and download software locally.

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