In a market where competition is as intense as it could be, optimal use of time and resources becomes a crucial factor for success. As options for building apps have exploded, so has the demand for them. A staggering 77 billion downloads of mobile apps were reported only in the first half of 2023.
In a time when even small-scale businesses opt to have a dedicated application for themselves, cross-platform mobile development emerges as a transformative force that has changed the approach to creating applications.
What Is Cross-Platform Mobile Development?
Cross-platform mobile development is developing applications that can seamlessly run on multiple mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, or Oxygen OS.
Advantages of Cross-Platform Development
The significant characteristic of cross-platform development is that it has a unified and shared codebase for multiple OSes. This makes it cost-effective and efficient at the same time as developers only have to write the code once which can be shared and deployed on multiple platforms. Cross-platform apps can be roughly 30% less expensive than native ones when developing distinct iOS and Android apps. Fewer lines of code imply fewer opportunities for bugs. This cuts down on the time and work needed for code testing and maintenance significantly.
With a cross-platform mobile solution, you can simultaneously target multiple markets, such as iOS and Android, and expand your audience from the outset. As there are some differences in the building navigation and design of iOS and Android, having two different apps creates a dissimilar UI and UX for the user. Most common UI changes in cross-platform programming are addressed by default which makes it easier to create a more consistent brand identity and unvarying user experience for apps across the two platforms.
Disadvantages of Cross-Platform Development
Problems with cross-platform mobile development are mostly regarding the performance of the app, but they are typically negligible, especially for simple apps. They are also unable to support many native functionalities of mobile devices, like complex graphics.
Another frequent issue that leads to bad user experience is poor design. Cross-platform apps have to modify their features and designs to work across a variety of platforms as well as devices, each with its own set of unique characteristics. As there is a unified codebase for all the platforms in cross-platform mobile development, it also takes longer to provide updates for the app.
Cross-Platform Development Frameworks to Look Out for in 2024
Some of the most popular options for cross-platform mobile development for 2024 are React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Kotlin Multiplatform, and Ionic.
• Flutter is Google’s open-source UI toolkit to develop cross-platform applications.
• Xamarin enables developers to create native iOS and Android apps by sharing a single codebase written either in C# or .NET.
• Kotlin Multiplatform can create cross-platform mobile applications using Kotlin. It is officially supported by Google for Android app development.