About eight years ago, while speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, Mark Zuckerberg remarked that the biggest mistake some companies make is betting on HTML5 over Native. Today, the future hangs on cross-platform app frameworks.
Cross-platform app development frameworks enable developers to design mobile applications that are no longer restricted to a single operating system but can work on multiple operating systems.
Benefits of Cross-Platform Apps
- Possibility of increasing the reach to the target audience via both iOS and Android platforms.
- These apps feature reusable codes and agile development, helping keep the overall cost of development low and affordable.
- With a single app running on multiple platforms, maintenance is rendered easy, and deploying codes is not very challenging.
- Single-source code is used in all platforms, thus reducing the development efforts almost by half.
Here are some popular cross-platform apps:
Most developers will swear by this platform, which was launched as a cross-development framework and later acquired by Microsoft, adding to its popularity. The primary purpose of launching this open-source framework was to help surmount the problem posed by disjointed native technology stacks, which were a deterrent to mobile app development, besides the high costs.
Xamarin can work seamlessly on iOS and Android as it uses C# for coding. It boasts over 60,000 contributors from a plethora of companies. Xamarin is free for individuals and startups; if yours is an enterprise, you’ll have to pay for Microsoft’s Visual Studio.
An offering from Facebook, React Native was launched in 2015 and was something of a sensation in the hybrid frameworks market. This popular Cross-platform app development framework claims that 80% of its codebase can be shared across platforms. Besides reusing the code, a developer can also view the results right away, and thanks to ready-to-apply elements, the app development time is reduced drastically. It also has a hot reloading feature that lets developers view changes made to the code instantly, unlike with native apps where it takes a few minutes.
With the focus on UI, the interface is highly responsive. Moreover, React Native promises a native-like user interface because of its native functionalities like camera and accelerometer.
This open-source, cross-platform framework is free and can be used for creating native interfaces for iOS and Android. Released by Google in 2018, Flutter was followed-up with Flutter 1.7 in 2019.
Although Flutter and Android Native Framework are both developed by Google, Flutter is a cross-platform framework that works on iOS. Flutter figures among the top 3 cross-platform frameworks, with its Hot Reloading feature a favorite with developers. It is probably the best framework for MVP development, where you need not spend money on two apps but go for a single mobile app that works natively on iOS and Android.
You can also create your app directly as it has a cloud solution as well. It has the edge over its competitors as it allows access to third-party tools, a host of plugins, etc.
This open-source, cross-platform framework from MIT relies on HTML5 for translation. Inspired by Angular JS for the design and structure, it has also borrowed ideas from iOS and Android. Using Ionic, you can build not just native-like cross-platform apps but also progressive web apps. It is based on a SaaS UI framework and is meant predominantly for mobile operating systems.
Summing it Up
Cross-platform solutions are evolving as hot favorites of developers today. With the mobile app development world running on two platforms, iOS and Android, cross-platform solutions offer the perfect answer.