Before the advent of Cross platform mobile application development tools, it was the reign of Native applications in the areas of web development and mobile applications development.
Native applications, work the best on the platform for which they have been developed and can be harnessed to bring the results when required. But when the applications need to work across multiple platforms and devices, different set of code needs to be written and maintained for different operating systems. Maintaining enterprise applications and apps can become a challenge for every platform with increased time, QA efforts and costs.
Cross platform mobile application development solves these issues to a large extent. With technologies like HTML5, cross platform mobile app development has now become possible. Applications and solutions developed in cross platform technologies provide similar user experiences and ensure a wider reach. They promote the use of newer technologies keeping the development costs drastically low as compared to developing individual applications for each platform.
HTML5, JQuery, and CSS3 are the most standardized development technologies which are software and hardware independent, for cross platform development. Like any other technology, the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages of this methodology need to be weighed.
Advantages of Cross Platform Mobile Application Development
Faster Development and Deployment Cycles
- It is always faster and easier to develop a cross platform mobile app rather than a native app for individual platforms
- A single code thus developed increases the speed of development as the teams do not need to develop an app for every platform from scratch
Drastic Reduction in Costs
- The costs reduce dramatically if the rollout of any cross platform system is done with proper thought
- Development and deployment on multiple operating systems is easier and less cumbersome
- Updates to the software can be easily implemented across platforms without carrying out the exercise for various platforms
A Wider Audience Reached
- The reach of the mobile apps and the solutions increase dramatically when developed using cross platform techniques
- It goes without saying that when most widely used operating systems and the platforms are catered to, the audience and its loyalty is assured
- User Experience is the most important consideration for apps and software today
- A uniform UX across platforms and devices pitches the application on a very positive note
- The UI/UX are assured to remain uniform for every update and are easy to sync as well
- The contents on HTML 5 and generated by other cross platform mobile application development tools can be crawled and indexed by search engines
- The chances of them being discovered by people searching on the internet are very high
- This increases the accessibility of the app tremendously
Disadvantages of Cross Platform Mobile Application Development
Uniform but Compromised User Experience
- Native apps are developed for a specific platform, they can easily interact with various features of the operating system
- Cross platform mobile app development has the disadvantage of losing out on special functionalities of native app development
- The User Experience is uniform but compromised
Loss of Security
- Native application are more secure as they use native frameworks and APIs
- Those developed as Cross Platform mobile apps stand a chance of security issues and breaches
Challenges for the Development Teams
- The development teams have different Tools and Languages to master
- Platform Integration has to be done meticulously
- Cloud Storage and Availing Cloud Services has to be generalized into one platform after insightful deliberations
- Integrating the apps with different local settings, preferences and notifications apps is a big challenge for cross platform mobile application development tools
Loss of Nativity
- The uniqueness and specialties of individual platforms are lost
- The special features of each versatile operating system cannot be availed when cross platform applications are used
Popular Cross platform tools in 2015
Cross platform Development: To Be or Not to Be?
It is in fact an endless debate and development teams need to analyze and take this tricky decision very objectively.
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