A Complete Guide To Cross Platform Development

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Native app development has been the tried and true standard for years now. More and more companies, however, are considering cross platform development as a faster and easier way to get an app to launch. As opposed to native, which involves developing an app for one platform exclusively at a time (i.e. iOS, Android), cross platform development lets you go through the development process once and end with an app that functions across platforms. Is this the right option for your app endeavor, Builders? Let’s consider all the components.

A Little More About Cross Platform Development

The big selling point with cross platform development is straightforward—you only have to go through development once. In native development, you have three different production cycles for iOS, Android and Windows. What’s more, you have to prioritize which one you want to get to market first. Not to mention, you need multiple teams that can address bugs, updates and modifications in each of the three platforms on an ongoing basis. That’s a lot of work! Cross platform presents itself as a “one-stop-shop” alternative. 

Appealing? Yes. Let’s look at what else you can get with the cross platform approach.

Why Consider Cross Platform Development?

What this single development cycle does, of course, is shorten your timeline significantly. Three separate development cycles, running months each, are compressed into one cycle. This shorter timeline brings with it everyone’s favourite business advantage—a more cost-effective approach. Three in one means savings, and maintaining one app moving into the future instead of three means more savings, as well.

From the user perspective, cross platform creates UI uniformity so that a user moving from one device to another doesn’t get confused (or worse, disengaged) from your app. Everything looks the same and works the same whether you are on your Android phone or an iOS device. Finally, the very nature of cross platform development means that you have reusable code on your hands that you can extend to new operating systems as needed. If you want to release on iOS first and then segue to Android as part of a large-scale business plan, that’s fine. The code is ready to go and reusable, and you have one codebase to maintain in the future.

Cross Platform Development Tools You Need

cross platform development

As with most any project, using the right tools defines how well your project comes out in the end. Given the upsurge in cross platform popularity, there are a number of tools out there that you can leverage in your development efforts. Let’s take a look.

Cross platform development can involve any one of several coding languages, including Java, JavaScript and HTML5, Ruby, and C#. As your starting point, you need to decide which of these is the best fit for you and your team. Maybe your team already has extensive experience with one or the other. Their individual advantages are myriad, and you can discuss the ins and outs with your team. Once you’ve settled on a language, you can then focus on the tools you need to pursue your cross platform project. These can include:

  1. React Native – Facebook’s development framework that extends from their React JavaScript library. Utilizes JavaScript with JSX and React.JS.
  2. Xamarin – Microsoft solution based in an open source .NET framework that utilizes C#.
  3. Apache Cordova – Utilizes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Cross platform development is a great solution for smaller enterprises looking to release an app across multiple platforms without using enormous resources. While native app development may be the strongest solution for each platform, cross platform works well as an all-in-one for those who prioritize cost and time savings.

Considering cross platform yourselves, Builders? Leave the technicalities to us. Get started on your big idea with Builder Studio today.

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