Mobile apps have become an indispensable part of our lives. They are used for almost everything, from learning, socializing, traveling, and shopping to watching movies or TV shows, etc. Since there is a mobile app for every functionality, platform, and device, the entry barrier for new apps is significantly high.
One of the most crucial aspects of developing a successful mobile application is “Technology.” Mobile application development requires multiple tools, components, libraries, frameworks, and assisting technologies. Besides, there are specific considerations for different devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches) and platforms (android, iOS, windows) that need attention.
So, how to create applications for specific devices and platforms while reducing costs? The most robust and cost-effective solution is cross-platform application development. According to Statista, over 42% of developers globally use cross-platform technologies to develop applications.
What Is Cross-Platform App Development?
Imagine you are traveling to another country that has a different currency. There, you cannot use your native currency to carry out transactions. The same is the case with mobile application development for Android and iOS. The mobile app requires different code to run successfully on specific platforms, which can be very resource-intensive and time-consuming.
This is where cross-platform app development comes into play. It refers to the application development process that enables the application to run on multiple platforms using the same codebase.
Benefits of Cross-Platform Development
- Faster Time to Market: Since a single cross-platform application needs to be developed to work on all platforms, it significantly reduces development time and accelerates the market launch.
- Single Source Code: As the same business logic is used to run the app on multiple platforms, it helps in avoiding potential errors and simplifies changes to the application logic. Moreover, the same code can also be reused to develop more applications in the future.
- Saves Costs and Higher ROI: Leveraging a single technology reduces the number of working hours and, ultimately, the project budget. All the costs related to development, quality testing, deployment, and support are reduced. This also contributes to a higher return on investment.
- Uniform Interface Across Platforms and Devices: Cross-platform mobile app development ensures that the look (user interface) and feel (user experience) of the application remain unified across all the platforms. As such, the same application can be used on any device.
- Easy Product Maintenance: The development cycle requires constant bug fixing and improvement. Imagine resolving multiple errors for multiple applications. But with cross-platform app development, it is easier to fix bugs associated with a single code and maintain the product conveniently.
Cross-Platform Application Development Technologies
There are various framework options for developing cross-platform applications. Every framework has its unique set of features and offerings. Take a look at the most relevant technologies:
1. React Native
- High speed and performance
- Swift code debugging process
- Compatible with third-party plugins
- Responsive user interface
- Not prone to bugs
Developed by Google, it is yet another powerful open-source technology. It leverages a single codebase to build cross-platform mobile applications that deliver native interface and performance. Flutter has gained immense popularity as it provides a rich set of customizable widgets, ensures speedy rendering of components, and creates expressive designs. The stateful hot reload features help in experimenting easily, adding features, and fixing bugs while the framework rebuilds the widget to display changes. Some of the benefits of Flutter include:
- Fast development
- Customized in-built widgets
- Expressive and flexible user interface
- Own rendering engine
- Reduced time for the development of code
- Possibilities to go beyond mobile
- Over 5,000+ APIs can be leveraged
- Live reloading feature
- Large community support
Why Choose Flutter for Your Cross-Platform Application Development?
Undoubtedly, Flutter is one of the best development solutions for Android and iOS. Google itself leverages Flutter for various applications like Google Assistant and Google Home Hub interface. Many popular eCommerce providers such as Groupon, and eBay have also used Flutter for their applications.
Flutter has already earned a top position in cross-platform development due to its extensive community support, ease of learning, and reduced development time and cost. Interested in learning more about Flutter’s role in cross-platform development success? Get in touch with an expert today!