Cross-platform mobile apps are trendy due to their features. However, for developers planning to enter the industry, it is crucial to be prepared for the benefits and challenges they are going to face. We have prepared this in-depth guide to help developers with the same. We are sure you will find it useful to plan your project.
The basic goal of mobile apps is to make users’ lives easier than ever. Whether we talk about streaming or educational apps, music apps, or gaming apps, the goal is to ensure users are more comfortable when they use apps. That is why, with time, app developers are upgrading their app development practices with time by leveraging technologies that are evolving in parallel as well.
One of these major evolutions of apps is cross-platform apps. Cross-platform apps are designed to run smoothly on multiple devices. And the investment by businesses in technologies that enable cross-platform apps is also rising. Furthermore, in this blog, we will discuss some crucial benefits of this app development trend along with some challenges that are being faced by cross-platform developers.
Later on, we will list down some of our favourite cross-platform frameworks that have empowered developers for years.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Benefits of the cross-platform development strategy
- Cross-platform syncing of accounts
The major advantage of cross-platform apps is that these apps allow users to use a single account on multiple devices. Syncing a single account on multiple devices is helpful, especially for apps that offer personalization, premium services, saved preferences or content, etc. OneDrive, Canva, Grammarly, and Trello are some of the leading examples of cross-platform apps with such features.
- Reduced requirements of resources
Cross-platform development makes it faster to develop and deploy apps on targeted platforms and devices. The biggest advantage that developers get is the freedom from having to write codes from the ground up for each platform they are planning to target. Cross-platform development is cost-efficient as well thanks to the fewer requirements of resources. Here’s how cross-platform development reduces the requirement for resources-
- Saves you from having to write codes separately for each platform
- Takes fewer developers to work on apps no matter how many platforms you want to target
- It is easier to debug and find flaws in codes thanks to the single codebase
- Saves time and money even if you are planning to deploy your apps on all platforms
- There are plenty of cross-platform development tools existing with prepared resources that reduce the development time further
- These tools also offer plenty of drag-and-drop features for UI and UX to help you build apps with less customization faster
- Massive community support is available
Cross-platform development tools like React Native, Xamarin, Flutter, and Node.js among others are super popular among developers. So, these tools come with massive community support as well. For developers building a new digital product or if they are new users of these cross-platform tools, it is easy to find help for these tools.
There are several guides published on Flutter and React Native on the internet. Additionally, developers have been using Reddit, Quora, and Github among other platforms to ask fellow developers for help if they are stuck.
- Easier debugging and maintenance
Cross-platform apps are easy to maintain and debug. Developers can simply locate the bug once and fix it to solve the issue for all platforms. There are plenty of automated software tools existing as well now which are used by leading app development companies in the UK, the USA, India, and in other corners of the world. Some popular names in this list include Appium, Selenium, Testsigma, etc.
Challenges of the cross-platform development strategy
- Performance concerns are basic challenges
Cross-platform apps are usually restricted in terms of performance. Compared to native apps, cross-platform apps are able to support fewer features. To ensure faster loading time across all platforms, developers also keep these apps visually limited so there are not many heavy graphical elements impacting the sizes of in-app pages.
- Cross-platform apps require the Internet to function
Most of the cross-platform apps also require a permanent internet connection to function. So every time a user wants to use a cross-platform app, they will need to switch on their internet connection first.
This makes cross-platform apps unsuitable for any urgent or emergency requirements. Its dependency on the internet also makes it hard for developers to optimize apps with freedom, especially if these developers are planning to target various separate markets.
- Restrictions in Optimizing the user experience
As mentioned above, cross-platform apps are heavily dependent on the Internet. So, it is hard to maintain the loading time of apps along with too many high-quality visual elements. That is the reason why most of the time cross-platform apps usually lack animations, videos, and other high-quality elements in their user interfaces.
- Limited customization with development tools
Another important drawback that comes with cross-platform apps is the limitation of customization available in cross-platform development tools. These tools have a limited number of drag-and-drop elements that can be used to build UI and UX. However, using these resources restrict the customization of apps. The only solution to build fully customizable apps is to write codes from the ground up.
Leading cross-platform development frameworks
Developers love Ionic due to the resources that it offers. The leading cross-platform development tool has an international reputation. Ionic is popular among the leading app developers in the UK, India, the USA, China, and in many other countries. The SAAS UI framework is optimized for mobile apps and has plenty of ready-to-use resources.
- React Native
Another leading name, Flutter is owned by Google and has one of the largest userbase. Flutter developers find it more comfortable as it is easier and faster to update UI on the framework. The framework is also super popular among MVP developers.
Well, that is all for this blog on the rise of cross-platform mobile app development: benefits, challenges, and frameworks. The facts that we discussed in this blog are taken from real-world examples and suggested by industry experts.
If you are planning to build and deploy a cross-platform app, hopefully, our blog is going to help you prepare better for the process. Do not forget to bookmark MakeAnAppLike.com to access more well-researched tech blogs faster in the future.