Cross-platform mobile app development has gained a great value in recent times. Some companies can focus on having the app for just one operating system. But for most of the businesses, it is not enough to just have an app for one platform. Even the small and medium sized businesses need to have a plan to support various platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, etc. in order to target larger base of audiences and customers.
Developing native apps for all the platforms is challenging especially for businesses with limited resources. The solution for this challenge do exists in the form of languages and development tools that is known as cross-platform mobile framework. Frameworks like Xamarin, Phone Gap, Appaccelerator Titanium, etc. can be used to develop cross-platform apps.
Some of the key benefits of choosing cross-platform mobile app development:
Easy Development: It is the easier job for developers to jump in and use cross-platform frameworks. Most of the cross-platform frameworks supports HTML 5 and CSS 3 that makes it easy to work on app strategies for all platforms at a time.
Cost effective: Development of cross-platform apps reduces the cost for obvious reasons that you don’t have to pay to developer for working on different ecosystems separately.
Reusable code: The most basic and amazing feature is that the developer need to write code only once and it can be applied to all platforms.
Despite of having such advantages, one cannot go blindly for development of cross-platform apps. Although the platform like Xamarin provides the convenience of building cross-platform apps, but every business should first review its requirements thoroughly and then come to conclusion whether you actually need the Xamarin app for your business. Because hybrid app platforms have their own limitations too.
Some of the limitations of Cross-platform or Hybrid apps
- Cross-platform apps are heavier in size and require more space in device as compared to native apps.
- As a new layer over the native environment you don’t have real control of what is generating as the final code that will be running on the device. So it would be difficult to debug to the root cause of the error or crash.
- Although all layers except UI layer is Cross-platform, the percentage of transferable code for them can hardly exceed 50-60%. Xamarin mobile solution for code transfer is intended to simplify work with GPS, camera and contacts, but can’t be an option for other features.
- Popular Cross-platform Xamarin lacks the ability to share code outside of Xamarin. In other words, any code written by developers using Xamarin and C# cannot be shared with other developers that are using only Objective C, Swift or Java, whereas you can import and bind Objective C and Java with C# in Xamarin.
- Cross-platform introduces its own set of bugs that affect product quality and developer productivity. The problem is not that cross-platform gives a bad product, but that adding any large or complex system to the app tool chain comes with problems and bugs that do not exist in native apps.
The developer may achieve the objective of developing cross-platform apps in time, but the biggest concern is its performance. Developer will have to spend months to achieve the best performance similar to what native apps provides.
To conclude, Cross-platform apps development can be preferred in case where applications are more data driven and requires minimum UI controls, as it would encourage code reusability. Hybrid apps is a good option if you need a simple app. But if you need a complex app with lots moving parts, then the complexity is much more and developer will end up in writing lot of code, almost similar to writing code for different platforms for native apps. This will be a more time consuming and costlier affair as compared to developing native apps for various platforms.
So cross-platform apps have their own pros and cons, but you can decide whether to go for it or not based on evaluation of your requirements. You can also try for technical consultation from active software and mobile app development professionals. Hiring the right resource will help you in taking a right decision over it.
Krify, is a multinational mobile, web and wearable app development company. We have expert team of app developers for various native platforms as well as cross-platforms. We believe in thoroughly reviewing the clients’ requirements and providing them the best possible solution for app development to boost their business. Reach us today for the perfect mobile and web solutions.