Introduction: Cross-platform mobile development

To make everything faster, smaller, and more portable, there has been a standard evolution of technology, and it is very natural that this concept has now come into the mobile development world. Originally mobile applications were native applications for each mobile operating system. Developing complex mobile apps got compounded by the difficulty of building out a back-end that worked across multiple platforms. But today it is easier for programmers to develop cross-platform apps. Cross -platform mobile development is creating apps that are compatible with multiple mobile operating systems. It is a concept in computer software development where you write application code once, and it runs on multiple platforms. This involves writing an application using a code base technology that allows the application deployment and gets distributed across multiple disparate platforms operating systems and devices.

Newer approaches to cross-platform development include:

Hybrid mobile app development – in this method, developers write the core of the application in HTML5 or JavaScript and then a native device wrapper gets placed around it.

Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) – developers use code-free programming tools. RMAD offers business users the ability to build and manage good internal apps addressing specific business issues.

Windows universal apps – uses one code base for all Windows devices. Enable the same app to run on a Windows PC, tablet, smart phone or smart watch.

Benefits of Cross-platform mobile apps:

1. Greater Reach

Only if more platforms get covered, the application will reach many people. With iOS and android competing for the top position, the number of smart phone users for this system is increasing day by day. Developing an application that runs on both iPhone and Android gives an added advantage of tapping into greater market potential. When most widely used operating systems and the platforms get catered to, the audience and its loyalty get assured.

2. Easy marketing

If the application gets developed as cross-platform, marketing becomes easier as separate niche messages are not required to cater a sector of people. Marketing the application on various media gets done through generalized messages for the masses.

3. Cost effective

If the team develops applications which run across all platforms, it is easier to maintain and deploy changes, as updates get synced across all devices and platforms. Developing cross- platform application proves cost-effective as well.

4. Uniform look and feel

User Experience is the most important consideration for apps and software today. If there is a single code running across all platforms the overall look and feel of the application gets maintained easily. A uniform UX across platforms and devices assure a great positivity to the application. Also if there is uniformity in UI for every update, it is easy to sync as well.

5. Development speed

It takes potentially faster time to develop a single cross-platform application rather than a native app for iOS and android. It is easy to maintain single code base and customize for multiple platforms than develop a new code base for each platform.

6. Usage of known technologies

The coding done in HTML5 gets converted into different mobile platforms using several tools. Hence by using known resources application gets converted for deployment across different platforms.

7. HTML5 vs. mobile developers

It is tough to find and hire the mobile developer but relatively easier to find HTML, CSS and JavaScript coders.

8. Reusable codes

The codes developed for cross-platform applications are reusable and customizable to build apps for all platforms. This is one of the biggest advantages of using hybrid or cross-platform mobile technology. By developing just one program, its reusable for all the mobile platforms where we want to have the app working with. Additionally, the codes can also be used in future projects if necessary.

9. Leverage high quality plug-ins

Most of the top cross-platform frameworks offer a wide range of modules and extension when seamlessly used with other tools and services improves app’s functionality, look, and versatility.

10. Improved Support for Cloud and Enterprise Services

The cross-platform frameworks facilitate an easy and smooth integration of the cloud and enterprise services. When Exchange Integration gets coded, the program will work automatically on the various platforms coded it for, and integrate with cloud services like Amazon AWS and Salesforce.

11. Searchable contents

Since the cross-platform application gets indexed by search engines, the chances of the applications being viewed by people searching on the internet are very high. This in turn increases the app accessibility tremendously.

Trending tools to develop cross-platform mobile applications:

PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an open source cloud based free resource based on Apache Cordova. First-time app developers can use this tool to translate code from HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. It is a great option for building cross-platform mobile apps based on existing web technologies. This tool is best suited for mobile applications that do not make substantial use of the phone’s native features. It allows creating hybrid apps using web technologies and allows deploying a single code base to different platforms. It follows plugin-able architecture that is extendable in a modular way.

Appcelerator Titanium

By deploying a single JavaScript code base, Appcelerator helps in building native apps ,while reusing anywhere from the 60% to 90% of the same code for all the apps made and saves a significant amount of time. This is an open source tool and leverages the existing skills of thousands of developers to create wonderful mobile applications. It provides tools for rapid application development and allows deploying data models with zero setup efforts. It also offers value add-ons including app analytics, Backend-as-a-service (BaaS) and others.

Sencha

Sencha Touch is an HTML5 mobile application framework which helps to develop the web applications having the look and feel of the native applications. This tool makes use of pre built components and hence saves coding time. Ext JS is the main product of Sencha for enterprise users. Developers can use it to create apps in HTML5, and then convert them into cross-platform apps with Adobe PhoneGap tool. Many top quality apps get built with well-tested, tightly integrated UI components and libraries using this tool. It’s even capable of building large business applications and maintaining them with ease.

Xamarin

Xamarin helps to create cross-platform applications using a shared C# code base. Apps developed with Xamarin are testable in any number of devices through cloud service. Native API access, forms interfaces for code sharing, adding components directly from an interface, and integration with backend are some of the main features of this tool. The sample apps provided by this tool makes it quick and easy to develop codes. The codes developed are reusable which decreases the cost and time to market.

Kony

Kony mobile platform is an integrated cross-platform mobile app used to build universal mobile applications. It comes with pre built apps which are suitable for fresh developers. It provides unified mobile infrastructure services for backend systems. Testing tools and its analytics gets embedded in the platform. It’s suitable for organizations dealing with large and diverse devices.

iFactr

iFactr is a cross-platform mobile app designed for speedy delivery of apps. It uses Xamarin to create iOS and Android apps and its solution also supports PhoneGap. With very minimal training, developers can start developing apps in this tool.

Advantages of Cross platform mobile development and tools for develop cross platform mobile development


Introduction: Cross-platform mobile development

To make everything faster, smaller, and more portable, there has been a standard evolution of technology, and it is very natural that this concept has now come into the mobile development world. Originally mobile applications were native applications for each mobile operating system. Developing complex mobile apps got compounded by the difficulty of building out a back-end that worked across multiple platforms. But today it is easier for programmers to develop cross-platform apps. Cross -platform mobile development is creating apps that are compatible with multiple mobile operating systems. It is a concept in computer software development where you write application code once, and it runs on multiple platforms. This involves writing an application using a code base technology that allows the application deployment and gets distributed across multiple disparate platforms operating systems and devices.

Newer approaches to cross-platform development include:

Hybrid mobile app development – in this method, developers write the core of the application in HTML5 or JavaScript and then a native device wrapper gets placed around it.

Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) – developers use code-free programming tools. RMAD offers business users the ability to build and manage good internal apps addressing specific business issues.

Windows universal apps – uses one code base for all Windows devices. Enable the same app to run on a Windows PC, tablet, smart phone or smart watch.

Benefits of Cross-platform mobile apps:

1. Greater Reach

Only if more platforms get covered, the application will reach many people. With iOS and android competing for the top position, the number of smart phone users for this system is increasing day by day. Developing an application that runs on both iPhone and Android gives an added advantage of tapping into greater market potential. When most widely used operating systems and the platforms get catered to, the audience and its loyalty get assured.

2. Easy marketing

If the application gets developed as cross-platform, marketing becomes easier as separate niche messages are not required to cater a sector of people. Marketing the application on various media gets done through generalized messages for the masses.

3. Cost effective

If the team develops applications which run across all platforms, it is easier to maintain and deploy changes, as updates get synced across all devices and platforms. Developing cross- platform application proves cost-effective as well.

4. Uniform look and feel

User Experience is the most important consideration for apps and software today. If there is a single code running across all platforms the overall look and feel of the application gets maintained easily. A uniform UX across platforms and devices assure a great positivity to the application. Also if there is uniformity in UI for every update, it is easy to sync as well.

5. Development speed

It takes potentially faster time to develop a single cross-platform application rather than a native app for iOS and android. It is easy to maintain single code base and customize for multiple platforms than develop a new code base for each platform.

6. Usage of known technologies

The coding done in HTML5 gets converted into different mobile platforms using several tools. Hence by using known resources application gets converted for deployment across different platforms.

7. HTML5 vs. mobile developers

It is tough to find and hire the mobile developer but relatively easier to find HTML, CSS and JavaScript coders.

8. Reusable codes

The codes developed for cross-platform applications are reusable and customizable to build apps for all platforms. This is one of the biggest advantages of using hybrid or cross-platform mobile technology. By developing just one program, its reusable for all the mobile platforms where we want to have the app working with. Additionally, the codes can also be used in future projects if necessary.

9. Leverage high quality plug-ins

Most of the top cross-platform frameworks offer a wide range of modules and extension when seamlessly used with other tools and services improves app’s functionality, look, and versatility.

10. Improved Support for Cloud and Enterprise Services

The cross-platform frameworks facilitate an easy and smooth integration of the cloud and enterprise services. When Exchange Integration gets coded, the program will work automatically on the various platforms coded it for, and integrate with cloud services like Amazon AWS and Salesforce.

11. Searchable contents

Since the cross-platform application gets indexed by search engines, the chances of the applications being viewed by people searching on the internet are very high. This in turn increases the app accessibility tremendously.

Trending tools to develop cross-platform mobile applications:

PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an open source cloud based free resource based on Apache Cordova. First-time app developers can use this tool to translate code from HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. It is a great option for building cross-platform mobile apps based on existing web technologies. This tool is best suited for mobile applications that do not make substantial use of the phone’s native features. It allows creating hybrid apps using web technologies and allows deploying a single code base to different platforms. It follows plugin-able architecture that is extendable in a modular way.

Appcelerator Titanium

By deploying a single JavaScript code base, Appcelerator helps in building native apps ,while reusing anywhere from the 60% to 90% of the same code for all the apps made and saves a significant amount of time. This is an open source tool and leverages the existing skills of thousands of developers to create wonderful mobile applications. It provides tools for rapid application development and allows deploying data models with zero setup efforts. It also offers value add-ons including app analytics, Backend-as-a-service (BaaS) and others.

Sencha

Sencha Touch is an HTML5 mobile application framework which helps to develop the web applications having the look and feel of the native applications. This tool makes use of pre built components and hence saves coding time. Ext JS is the main product of Sencha for enterprise users. Developers can use it to create apps in HTML5, and then convert them into cross-platform apps with Adobe PhoneGap tool. Many top quality apps get built with well-tested, tightly integrated UI components and libraries using this tool. It’s even capable of building large business applications and maintaining them with ease.

Xamarin

Xamarin helps to create cross-platform applications using a shared C# code base. Apps developed with Xamarin are testable in any number of devices through cloud service. Native API access, forms interfaces for code sharing, adding components directly from an interface, and integration with backend are some of the main features of this tool. The sample apps provided by this tool makes it quick and easy to develop codes. The codes developed are reusable which decreases the cost and time to market.

Kony

Kony mobile platform is an integrated cross-platform mobile app used to build universal mobile applications. It comes with pre built apps which are suitable for fresh developers. It provides unified mobile infrastructure services for backend systems. Testing tools and its analytics gets embedded in the platform. It’s suitable for organizations dealing with large and diverse devices.

iFactr

iFactr is a cross-platform mobile app designed for speedy delivery of apps. It uses Xamarin to create iOS and Android apps and its solution also supports PhoneGap. With very minimal training, developers can start developing apps in this tool.

Category : Mobile Application

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