The present age of mobile technology and the internet has brought many changes in the way we live. It is important for every person to stay connected with the emerging trends on the internet and other communication technologies. Smartphones have helped a lot in bridging the gap between people and technological advancements.
The main reason for this is the fact that when an individual has a device which offers helpful information and guidance about using technology to their advantage through applications on the device. Quite simple to learn something with the teacher in your hands, isn’t it? However, the domain of mobile technology has also witnessed the introduction of different operating systems and platforms which created formidable setbacks for development of applications or software needed for particular mobile platforms.
This immediately called for a solution which emerged in the form of cross-platform development. Let us talk about cross mobile application development and the top five platforms that provide flexible options for creating mobile applications suited for multiple platforms in the following discussion.
Clearing the Basics at First
Before we move towards exploring the different features of the top five cross mobile application development platforms, it would be reasonable to emphasize the definition of cross-platform mobile application development. The advantages of cross-platform development would also be reasonable support for understanding the large scale popularity of cross-platform development. At a present market evaluation of $7.5 billion, the cross-platform app market is turning many heads in the domain of mobile technologies.
This has translated into the increasing demand for cross-platform application development tools. In the most basic sense, cross-platform mobile development refers to the creation of mobile applications which could be used on different mobile platforms without any problems. The process of cross-platform mobile development involves the use of a code base for products that are compliant with different mobile operating systems.
The notable benefits that can be derived from React Native as the favorite choice among other mobile application development platforms include optimal performance, access to a large community of developers and support for third-party plugins alongside a simplified user interface. However, it also suffers some setbacks such as lack of robust security and higher time for initialization that is complicated further by the fact that React Native is comparatively new to other programming frameworks.
Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile app development framework that was developed by the Xamarin Company for creating apps for different mobile operating systems. The major highlight of Xamarin is that it is provided in the integrated development environment of Microsoft Visual Studio. The enterprise features of Xamarin are accessible on Visual Studio Enterprise.
The prominent feature noted in the case of Xamarin is that it is the sole integrated development environment which could be used for the development of native iOS, Windows and Android apps in the Microsoft Visual Studio environment. The add-ins found in the case of Xamarin provides reliable support for helping coders in the creation of Windows, Android, and iOS apps. Furthermore, it also facilitates credible support for building, deployment and debugging of apps on a device or simulator.
The notable advantages that set Xamarin apart from other mobile application development platforms include a single tech stack to ensure faster development, reduced time to market, guaranteed native performance as well as undeterred user experience and ease for maintaining updates.
The apps developed in Xamarin are dependent on a single programming language of C# along with the cross-platform implementations to reduce the tasks for developers. The platform-specific features which are updated regularly can be integrated with the development of mobile apps by using Xamarin. On the other hand, Xamarin also poses certain disadvantages which include higher costs for enterprises, the larger size of the app and higher levels of complication for using all open-source libraries.
The notable benefits that can be derived from PhoneGap in the development of mobile applications for multiple operating systems include flexibility, ease of development and higher levels of compatibility on different platforms. Uniformity could be observed in the app’s look at different operating systems while the minimal requirements of programming skills ensure the ease of development and flexibility.
However, the setbacks associated with this open source framework for the development of cross-platform mobile applications include limited support for all functionalities, limited performance levels in the cross-platform apps developed using PhoneGap and concerns of inefficiency with native apps.
The prominent advantages that you can get from Cordova in development of mobile apps compatible with multiple operating systems include the coverage for all platforms, wide variety of plugins and modules and the ease of accessibility through app stores. On the contrary, the setbacks associated with development in the case of Cordova include the slowdown of performance due to its cross-compilation process and possible chances of confusion between the different plugins.
Ionic is another mobile app development framework which is based on HTML5 and is tailored to the development of hybrid mobile apps. It is the front-end user interface framework that is similar to ‘bootstrap for native’ alongside support for a wide assortment of common native mobile components as well as beautiful design and slick animations. Developers can find some of the superior alternatives to existing HTML5 development frameworks with Ionic and also includes the use of a native wrapper just like PhoneGap or Cordova.
The promising advantages that can be derived from Ionic include use of AngularJS for the creation of robust and enriched applications as well as higher functionality of reusing code after developing it once. The focus on JS, CSS, and HTML for development in the case of Ionic provides the much-needed benefits of cost efficiency, faster development, and lower maintenance costs.
On the other hand, it would also be reasonable to take a look at certain disadvantages of Ionic framework. The negative points in Ionic include slower in-app performance and requirement of specific skill sets for the development of complex apps due to the use of AngularJS. Furthermore, the development of in-app navigation could be highly complicated since the UI-router is presently in an immature stage.
With the availability of so many cross-platform mobile application development frameworks, it can be difficult to make a definitive choice. However, making a list of your requirements and objectives combined with detailed research on the top five platforms for mobile application development could prove to be the much-needed support.
If you have any confusion in choosing technologies, don’t hesitate to call TECHCRISTA TECHNOLOGIES
A passionate PHP developer in Techcrista working with Laravel. Curious to work on many more languages; learning and growing. Self-valued. Visionary Sportsman. Proud Citizen Republic Of India.