Today, businesses wish to target as many customers as possible. That’s why they are interested in the compatibility of their apps with all possible devices. You never know which device your next client is going to use, but you wish your app would run flawlessly on any of them. This is the reason for the high popularity of cross-platform development requests in Google Trends.
Cross-platform development assumes your app should be interactive and responsive on any device, with any browser, and on any system. Most mobile phones today use the iOS or Android systems. They are quite different, which is why it may come up as a challenge for a developer to create the same app for both of them.
In this article, we will discuss tools for cross-platform development that will make the process of building applications less stressful and more productive.
According to the Digital 2022: Global Overview Report, a typical mobile user spends 4 hours and 48 minutes a day on their mobile phones. 92.5% of that time is spent on mobile apps. This is a strong argument in favor of cross-platform development. The current situation shows a tendency towards the total usage of mobile devices for personal needs in the future. We may soon need our computers or laptops only to work on them.
As far as the two leading systems are concerned, Android is the total winner with a 70.97% market share worldwide compared to iOS’s 28.27%, according to Statcounter GlobalStats. However, if you are looking forward to conquering the world with your next app, it should be compatible with both systems. To make it happen, there are three options.
A native app for each of the two
This is a logical, yet very debatable, option. In terms of performance, there is nothing better than an app built in a native language. However, the fact is that you will need double time, money, and effort for the development process. If your resources are not limited, the native languages for Android are Java or Kotlin, and for iOS, Objective-C or Swift.
An option worth considering is PWAs. The latter stands for progressive web applications. They are web-based applications that are also compatible with smartphones and other devices other than desktop computers and laptops. It means those applications can adapt to the functionality of mobile phones, the differences in screen size, PUSH notifications, camera settings, and so on. This way, it can be given a chance. However, PWAs show less productive performance than native apps.
This is the option we are going to focus on in more detail. Cross-platform development means using the same code for multiple platforms. It is definitely easier than building two separate native apps, but it has its drawbacks as well. Let’s outline the pros and cons of it.
|Significant market share As we have mentioned in the beginning, targeting the two leading systems will guarantee your app is available to every person in the world.
|Performance issues Native apps are built carefully and with more attention to detail. With cross-platform apps, there may be problems with responsiveness or speed, especially if your project is very complicated with a lot of sophisticated features.
|One code for all Writing one code is faster than writing two of them. You will definitely have some troublesome issues, but the process is shortened because of the smaller workload.
|Poor UI and UX Followers of the iOS platform will not favor an app that looks different from what they are used to. So, spending less time on writing code may go sideways when you turn to UI/UX development.
|Saving resources You will need less time, less money, and fewer developers to build an app.
Cross-platform development trends in 2022
Finally, we have come to the most interesting part. What are the tools and frameworks worthy of our attention in 2022?
This is an open-source framework. It was acquired by Microsoft, which speaks volumes about its reliability. It has a complete ecosystem and full support. The framework expects its users to be aware of such languages like .NET and #C. The cloud service provided by Xamarin allows developers to test their apps on every imaginable device.
Webix is a JS framework for cross-platform development. There are 102 widgets and controls offered by the framework. They all match each other. The documentation is full, and there is a live blog and forum. There is also the possibility of outsourcing. The library’s technical experts are eager to assist you with your project remotely.
Is cross-platform development a curse or a blessing? It all depends on the project you are dealing with. Some requirements are too specific, and it is too complicated to realize them in both systems. In this situation, it is better to opt for either Android or iOS and turn to native languages. At the same time, cross-platform development is a perfect option if you wish to attract as many users as possible to your app. Besides, it significantly saves time and resources. However, IT specialists with deep knowledge of Android and iOS systems would be invaluable to the team, as each system has its own quirks. So, the best approach is to weigh all the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision for each individual project.