Cross Platform development
With Smartphone’s came application and with applications came the complexity to maintain cross platform capabilities. Each mobile platform has its unique style and user base. The major mobile users are spread over iOS (Apple), Android, Blackberry and Windows platforms.
All these are different mobile platforms and each of them is universally accepted. Thus to gain a strong foothold your mobile application should be built targeting multiple platform users to be competent in today’s market. Therefore, there are many mobile apps that are built with cross-platform support, especially those that are entry level applications looking at tapping the larger market over time.
Native Application development though is the right approach; it has higher cost, time and complexity involved in development and deployment for each individual mobile OS platform.
Cross-Platform Application development in India is fast growing for those that are looking at quicker application development over multiple mobile platforms at very low mobile application development costs. Various Cross platform tools are available now and they enable development of mobile application that can run across multiple mobile platforms with single development efforts.
There are three approaches for development: Native (for the complex and involved app development), Web (for the light and still not there app development) and Hybrid (for those in-between apps trying to test the waters). For those who need Cross –Platform Development approach with reduced costs, below is our analysis of Pros and Cons of Cross Platform Development.
How Semaphore can help you use Cross-platform development
- 1Cost-effective and economical solutions
- 2Determine the strength and weakness of your application.
- 3Select the best approach for your cross platform application development.
- 4Optimally use the Core Functionality (platform independent and should not be modified) as much as feasible.
- 5Reduces the effort required, while ensuring (almost) similarity between the different platforms on which application is being developed.
- 6Get access to multiple market (platforms) using single development platform.
Pros of Cross-Platform Development
- Most tools offer visual drag-and drop environment giving easiness.
- Certain cross platform tools enable developers to create native platform extensions that can be used for maximizing the code and also retaining the flexibility.
- Similar functions on the platform usually have similar tool-level API, meaning a high level of reusable code for the business logic.
- Native apps are more expensive to develop.
- Cross platform apps are easy to maintain as change needs to be done in single code which reflects throughout all platforms.
- Higher Developer dependency for Native apps as each platform specific developer is required for development and maintenance.
Cons (Trade-off) of Cross-Platform Development
- You risk losing flexibility in terms of direct access to the OS platform APIs.
- Mixed development (using native platform plugin’s) adds to the complexity of the application code, making maintenance a nightmare.
- The tool provider may be tracking your application by using deep rooted analytics within the application code.
- Most cross platform tools have their own platform for development- what if the service closes (especially in case of poorly funded projects)? Study the impact it can have on your application.
- If the platform uses interpreted code then chances of it running slow compared to the native code are greater.
- Compiled Code means debugging complexity. On rare occasions a debug in the released version could be extremely difficult.
- An abstracted interface means a greater level of reusable code but a very low level of control the developer has over the final application.
Eg: If the tool has abstracted UI API’s than the application developed will not have a native look and feel on each platform. OR If the tool uses abstracted hardware-specific features than the developers cannot take full advantage of the hardware provided within the device.
- Native Apps are faster and more efficient and can be assured of quality functionality.
Deciding factors, when choosing App Development Platform
- Speed and performance- better experience on Native Apps
- Use of device-specific features- better experience on Native Apps
- Web Services API based- better experience on Native Apps
- Support multiple mobile platforms- better experience with Cross-Platform Apps
- Economical Budget- better experience with Cross-Platform Apps
- App monetization- better experience with Cross-Platform Apps