Before the emergence of cross-platform apps we were only accustomed to the major giant platforms, Android and IOS, but as time went on the Facebook developed a mobile application framework that can run on more than one operating system.
Our in-house developers took out time to further explain to us what a cross-platform framework is, and how it really works.
WHAT ARE CROSS-PLATFORM APPLICATIONS
As the name implies, these are applications written with a language or framework that runs on one or more platforms or operating systems.
In mobile development, the most common platforms are Android and iOS, long before the existence of cross-platform applications, applications were developed using native languages. For Android, the popular languages used were Java and Kotlin, while the less popular one was Groovy which was compatible with Java syntax. For iOS, the native languages used are Swift and Objective-C .
EMERGENCE OF CROSS-PLATFORM APPLICATIONS
The second cross-platform framework was Flutter. Flutter is a UI framework developed by Google which uses the Dart programming language for development. The Flutter framework was also written with the Dart programming language which was also developed by Google. It is rumored that the flutter framework was released to enable the development of Google’s new Fuschia operating system which would help in developing IOT (Internet of Things) applications.
ADVANTAGES OF CROSS-PLATFORM APPLICATIONS
1. THE SAME FEEL AND EXPERIENCE
Working with a cross-platform framework enable developers to create the same UI and experience across different operating systems without having to worry that the product will look different on another operating system. This helps to keep consistency in design. Ensuring the same user experience across different operating systems.
2. COST EFFECTIVENESS
From a business perspective, it’s costs way less to develop a cross-platform application relative to a native one. This is so because, there will be a need for only one development team, and not having two teams for application development on two operating systems.
3. WIDER MARKET REACH
As a result of development for various platforms happening at the same time, this causes mobile applications to be released to stores at the same time, ready to serve users thus making products more popular and having a wider reach.
4. WRITE SOURCE CODE ONCE
For a developer, this is very important as it enables them to write reusable code that is written just once.
5. EASY PRODUCT MAINTENANCE
Developing a product from a single codebase facilitates easy maintenance and bug fixes, as one maintenance done is applied across two platforms at the same time. This makes it easier and faster not to only test but to deploy fixes and upgrades.
6. FAST PROTOTYPING
Prototyping ensures that the product is being developed as it should and that the idea is slowly coming to life. The quick development process makes prototyping simple and effective.
In conclusion, for small businesses and start-ups with little funding, cross-platform apps are a more ideal route to take, to get your product to the market as soon as possible, reduce development cost and resources, analyze how the users interact with the app, and be able to create rapid updates.