Whats the meaning of Cross Platform in mobile

  Nowadays, there are devices with multiple operating systems and to gain more audience, it is crucial to launch your application for each of these operating systems. Since creating a mobile app for each OS is time-consuming and needs lots of cost and manpower, it is logical to use cross-platform development tools. Cross-platform mobile app development is the process of creating an app that can be used on multiple platforms. Instead of developing the app multiple times, it can be published on multiple platforms by sharing a codebase between platforms. Cross-platform mobile development can either involve a company developing the original app on a native platform such as iOS, Android, Windows, etc. or developing it in a singular environment for development that will let the app be sent to many different native platforms. It has both problems and advantages which will be explained in details.


Native platform or cross-platform

Deciding between choosing a native platform or cross-platform mobile apps, depends on the type of project you want to build, the features the project requires and the money and time you want to spend on that project. The lifetime of the project is so important in choosing what platform to use. If it’s something short-lived, it is ok to use whatever you want.

One of the profits of using cross-platform app development is that it decreases costs and increases the speed at which apps are developed. Cross-platform development tools are easy to use as they are based on the common languages for scripting, including CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. Another profit of cross-platform frameworks is the fact that you’ll be able to share a codebase between platforms. The amount of shared code depends on the framework you choose.  Cross-platform development tools save you the hassle of having to learn multiple programming languages and instead offer you one substitute for all of these different technologies. Cross-platform development allows you to save the cost of having multiple teams working on different versions of your app and substituting them with one team. Most cross-platform development tools are also free to use, with some offering paid subscriptions for additional features. By publishing your app on multiple platforms, you’re casting a wider net and increase your chances of having a larger user base and consequently a higher return on investment and higher revenues.


Define more about mobile cross-platform

However, this platform has drawbacks too. First of all, mobile operating systems are often updated. The applications must be updated whenever a mobile OS is updated to be compatible with the new system. Another property that can be considered as a drawback is the long rendering times with cross-platform mobile development as each operating system needs a separate set of code. The main downside of these frameworks is that, by using an extra framework, you add another layer that can be a source of bugs (no software is bug-free). Like any other library, this framework has to keep up with every update from each platform, otherwise, you’ll be left behind. Cross-platform development tools aren’t known for delivering the best graphics and user experiences and can lack access to core OS libraries like graphics. Cross-development might not be the best option for you if your app relies heavily on graphics, which is the case with many mobile games. Cross-platform development tools can give you access to different aspects of your device, like the camera or GPS, but if your app needs to access and deal with the device hardware directly, then it’s better and more efficient for you to develop a native app.  While cross-platform development tools offer many of the basic features shared between different platforms, they can lack some of the specific features offered by Apple, Google, and Microsoft on their respective operating systems. While some cross-platform development tools provide you with performance that is close to a native app, they are still never quite as good. That’s why you shouldn’t be using cross-platform development tools if your app’s performance is a high priority for you.


Hybrid apps are basically web apps that are wrapped and packaged inside a native container using each platform’s browser built-in component, allowing it to run on each platform as if it’s a native app on that platform. Hybrid cross-platform apps are mainly developed using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. Hybrid cross-platform does not require internet connectivity as they are running a native shell. Hybrid apps can also be published on the app stores where users can easily find them, increasing the chances of discoverability and consequently your number of users. Hybrid Cross-Platform Apps Development Tools are Apache Cordova, Ionic, and Adobe PhoneGap.

Native cross-platform tools allow you to write your code once and then have that code translated into the native code of multiple operating systems and then publish your mobile app on different platforms with minimal effort. Native cross-platform apps are the perfect combination of hybrid apps and native apps, giving you the code reuse features of hybrid apps with an improved performance similar to that of native apps. Native Cross-Platform Apps Development Tools are React Native, Xamarin and Titanium.

Using cross-platform development tools helps saving time and to reach a large number of users by launching the app on different platforms while using the least amount of resources and sharing one code base between different platforms. However, they are not completely perfect and before using cross-platform development tools, it is necessary to know all the profits and problems of these tools and then decide which one to choose or whether to do native app development or not.

The best way to decide on the cross-platform development platform that works best for you would be to try them all and go with the one that works for you. If you don’t have the time, which is usually the case, a little research on some of the top cross-platform development frameworks can be sufficient. Weigh the pros and cons of each one, see which one suits your needs, and accept the fact that you’ll have to take the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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