There are over 5 billion internet users in the world, with more than 80% accessing the internet via mobile devices. This percentage continues to grow each year. These statistics indicate that limiting your software products to just one platform or failing to adapt them for mobile use can result in a loss of both audience and revenue.
So, how can you develop your application or website for multiple platforms without incurring significant costs and difficulties?
Cross-Platform development can help
Why use it? Cross-platform development allows for the creation of applications that work on different platforms, such as iOS and Android, using shared code. This saves time and money that would otherwise be spent developing separate apps for each platform.
However, like everything in this world, cross-platform development has its pros and cons. For example, it may be less productive and less effective compared to platform-specific development. Additionally, some features may be limited as they may not be supported on all platforms. But even these drawbacks cannot hinder the popularity of creating cross-platform applications due to significant savings in time and money.
Currently, there are many tools and frameworks that make it easy to create cross-platform applications with high quality and efficiency.
The most popular framework for cross-platform development is React Native, which is used by well-known IT and non-IT companies, such as Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Airbnb, and others.
In addition to React Native, there are other well-known tools such as Xamarin, Flutter, and Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap). Each of these frameworks has its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as specializing in creating applications for different platforms.
Let’s make a small comparison to understand what’s what.
React Native provides fast development, easy testing of results, and significantly reduces resource costs for development. It has a wide community of developers that ensure the support and development of the framework.
A framework created by Microsoft that uses C# to develop mobile applications. It enables developers to build applications for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone (if anyone still does that).
Xamarin allows developers to use various .NET libraries and tools for development, making their work even easier.
Initially created by Google for their own internal development, Flutter uses the Dart programming language to develop mobile applications. It also allows developers to create applications for Android and iOS using a single codebase.
Like React Native, Flutter significantly streamlines the development process, has a large community, and is constantly evolving.
Apache Cordova enables the use of web technologies for mobile app development, making the developer’s job easier. However, because it uses web technologies, applications developed with Apache Cordova may have limited speed and functionality compared to applications developed using native programming languages. Additionally, Apache Cordova has a smaller developer community compared to React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter.
Let’s sum up
The final decision on choosing a tool for cross-platform mobile app development depends on the company’s needs and business strategy.
When it comes to choosing a framework for your project, it’s important to focus not only on the advantages and disadvantages of each option but also on the big picture and project goals. Cross-platform development can be a compromise between creating separate development teams and achieving high-quality results.
Furthermore, cross-platform development is perfect for startups.
In both cases, it’s better to focus on what’s available now, rather than on theoretical perspectives of creating the perfect product. Available assets include existing products (code that can be reused), employee competencies, and framework popularity (ability to hire new employees, framework, and plugin development).
For example, if you have a desktop solution on .NET, you will probably choose Xamarin, which will allow you to effectively utilize your current expertise.
If you need a simple solution to support the mobile platform of your web product, PWA or Ionic (with distribution through app stores) will be your best choice.
If you prefer Angular or React, and everything else is “blah, blah, blah,” if you don’t have time or desire to learn something new, and you need the app yesterday, you will probably choose React Native.
For startups, it’s best to choose between React Native and Flutter because of their popularity and support from big companies. The former is a mature and experienced framework with established development practices, a rich library, and a large community. The latter is a young, fast, and promising framework with a rich set of built-in UI components and excellent developer experience.
And if you need a cross-platform app now, you can always turn to professionals. At Itera Research, experienced professionals are working…