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Cross-platform development is needed to speed up the development of applications and reduce costs. Most companies now have mobile apps. Creation is a costly, complex process. The article provides detailed information about the features of the approach, advantages and disadvantages, frameworks and scope.
What is cross-platform development?
When developing cross-platform applications, adaptation to several systems takes place (only one code is used).
Approaches to using this type of encoding:
- The cross-platform programming language is translated into native at the stage of application launch. This is due to the transpiler (a program that converts the code).
- Plugins are added to the source code that translate calls from non-native code to native system functions.
The benefits of cross-platform development include:
- Comparatively low price and fast results. This is because you don't have to write a lot of code.
- One code can be used on all platforms.
- Requires fewer resources (no need for a large staff).
- Work for a large audience. The resource makes it possible to attract more traffic, as it is available for all types of mobile devices.
- The ability to use the same interface and design on all devices.
The disadvantages of cross-platform development are:
- Difficulties in implementing complex application functions due to framework errors.
- Difficulty adapting to iOS and Android mobile systems due to their differences.
- Code maintenance.
- Less information on troubleshooting as most programmers use the native approach.
- Slow speed of the program.
- The need to work with the interface of each platform.
Frameworks are tools that are used to increase the speed of an application, optimize it for different platforms and implement new updates.
Let's consider the most popular of them.
Cross-platform development can take place on net core. It is a modular platform compatible with Windows OS only. Supported programming languages: C#, Visual Basic .NET, and F#. Each module can be updated individually. The application does not depend on the update. Microsoft maintains the framework and releases updates.
C++ programming language is used to develop cross-platform qt applications. Supported platforms: Linux, Apple, Microsoft. There is detailed documentation, with many examples, so there will be no difficulties when studying the modules. It is possible to communicate between objects in real time.
Most often, the development of cross-platform applications takes place on unity. The framework allows you to create various interactive content:
- 2D and 3D games;
- virtual reality services.
More than twenty-five platforms are supported.
- Visual environment.
- 24/7 support
- Detailed documentation.
- Modular system of components.
- Difficulties when including external libraries.
- Difficulty in working with multicomponent circuits.
A tool created by Google. Used to develop cross-platform mobile applications with a single code base for desktop and mobile devices.
Programming language: Dart.
- With Flutte, you can easily create beautiful interfaces because it has its own graphics engine.
- It has the function of adding new code without reassembly and a set of ready-made widgets.
- Using this framework, you can release applications for different versions of Android and iOS without involving additional resources.
- High performance.
Facebook framework. Helps increase productivity so that cross-platform mobile development is similar to native.
- There is a Hot Reloading feature that allows you to add new code and make edits.
- Extensive support, there is a rich selection of third-party libraries.
- Custom modules in languages for native development are used, but they will need to be written for each OS.
Cross-platform mobile development framework from Microsoft, supported on Windows.
Programming language: C# + .NET.
- Two tools: Xamarin.Android/iOS and Xamarin.Forms.
- Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS give your app the same experience and functionality as native solutions.
- Xamarin.Forms is used to speed up coding (all elements are fully compatible with any platform).
One of the tools for cross-platform development of hybrid applications.
- Easy to use.
- Automatic adaptation to any platform.
- The ability to conduct quick tests directly in the browser.
Web technologies are used.
- A collection of HTML pages with native properties.
- Pages are stored in a special storage (cloud), and when launched on a smartphone, they get access to device functions through services.
- Poor performance.
For which applications cross-platform development is suitable
Using cross-platform development technology is not suitable for all companies.
It will be relevant and convenient for customers if:
- I have a website and need to create a themed business app.
- You need to create a simple application that has many common elements for different platforms.
- Constant autoloading of content and updates is not required.
- We need to quickly prototype a complex project for multiple platforms.
The most striking example of an application for which the approach will be relevant is a simple mobile game.
Every day, the number of mobile device users increases by 800,000. Stationary devices are used less and less, so the creation of services for smartphones and tablets is now more relevant than ever. Cross-platform app development will help companies increase traffic and draw attention to their brand through the release of a new product.