Cross-platform mobile development
If you’re building a mobile app, chances are you want it to function on both iOS and Android platforms, perhaps alongside lesser-used operating systems such as Windows 10 Mobile. But developing two or more separate versions of your application in their native languages can be resource-heavy and time-consuming. Here, we’ll explore the options for fast and efficient cross-platform mobile development.
Native app development
As we’ve seen, native app development – building mobile applications using platform-specific languages – can be a costly process, requiring specialist developers for each platform. The work will be duplicated every time you develop for a different operating system. However, native apps do have some advantages, offering superior performance and better user experience. If your core audience overwhelmingly favour one operating system over others, you might choose to focus your resources on developing a native app for that environment. But if you are looking for a genuinely cross-platform solution, it’s good to explore the other options open to you.
Web application development
You might decide to develop your app using web technology. A web-based mobile app isn’t strictly an app; instead, it’s a website that behaves like an app, but is accessed through a smartphone browser. The benefit of web application development is that it’s fast, quick and easy; however, performance will never be as responsive or interactive as that of a genuine mobile application. It also has the disadvantage of requiring internet connectivity in order to function.
Hybrid app development
One solution to the cross-platform problem is to choose a hybrid app development platform. This allows developers to do the bulk of the development work using a single language or set of languages, before tweaking the code to customise it for different mobile operating systems. Effectively a cross between web and native app development, the hybrid approach can be a good option for those on a budget – but in order to create apps that work well in each environment, it may still involve a significant amount of custom coding.
NativeScript: a truly native cross-platform solution
We worked with five-a-side football company Powerleague to create a mobile event booking app that can run on iOS or Android. Because only one piece of code was needed, the app was completed in just 3 weeks!