Why cross-platform mobile applications?

Why cross-platform mobile applications?
Author

Sun Outsourcify

Mobile Developer
Date

Intro

Nowadays, to build a mobile application, many technologies are available, not only native anymore. Each of theses technology has its own pros and cons.
Native development has the highest performance, easiest to maintain and test, can access all platform API, and can scale into their ecosystem (macOS, watchOS, AndroidTV, wearOS) later on.
Hybrid and cross-platform development can target both iOS and Android with a single codebase and a single team, it’s cut time and cost in half and most of the clients will happily choose these types of development.

Cross Platform, mobile, app, application, development

Cross-platform more versatile than hybrid

Cross-platform development technologies use the native engines to render instead of the HTML engine used by hybrid technologies. The result has much higher performance, better feels to use, and can access most of the native platform API. This allows cross-platform development to be versatile as it’s a middle ground between hybrid and native development. It has many good things from both technologies, but not sacrifice too many things on them too.

Perfect for common application

Even if the performance is not the best and it can’t access all of the native platform API, cross-platform development is good enough for most real-world applications. If the application is not highly complicated and features-rich like Facebook, for example, the tiny performance loss will not even be noticeable by users. By using cross-platform, some native platform API’s can’t be accessed easily like ARKit (augmented reality), MLKit (machine learning), Metal (graphic rendering) but, is not a problem for most of the common applications because they do not need this kind of advanced features.
Most of the features we need for common applications like GPS (location service), notifications, universal linking, biometrics unlock, theme, language settings and many more are some included in cross-platform development technologies.

Suitable with most needs

Most of the clients need the cheapest pricing, fastest development time, good performance, good security, good user experience, and feels good when using, cross-platform development does tick all of these boxes.

A small team size

To develop a native application, we need at least 2 teams of 2 or 3 people to develop it. Each team needs to have seniors/experienced developers in a specific platform who can lead the team. And each team also need testers dedicated to the specific platform. This can be hard for a small company or startups to handle the cost and team complexity.
Cross-platform development can be done with only one developer if the project is simple enough. For a more complicated project, more developers can be added to the team. Each developer can bounce through many projects instead of sitting only on their own platform. This is a huge gain of time and money for startups/small companies because each developer is a huge resource for them.

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A single code base

A single code base means that each platform can be released simultaneously, can be updated at the same time. It allows having very close features without a huge, constant communication between each platform team.
Also single code base comes to a single-unit, single design, single integration, and single testing code. This can save a lot of time for developers and companies.

Summary

We think that cross-platform development is a middle ground sweet spot between hybrid and native development. It covers most of the use-cases. It can do what most customers want for common needs.
Cross-platform is very versatile for development and can be done by one small team to get the best cost and time efficiency development.

Cross Platform, mobile, app, application, development
Sun Outsourcify · Mobile Developer

Graduated from a Software Engineering major, Sun is passionate about front-end mobile application development, using hybrid frameworks but also always looking forward to learn new technologies and trends.

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