What is the real cross-platform development?
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What is the real cross-platform development?

Cross-platform mobile development – is an app development for the most popular platforms, adapted for most devices at the same time. This tool is useful because it significantly reduces costs and increases the speed of application development. In addition, this model significantly increases the audience coverage. Cross-platform tools are usually quite easy to use as they are based on common programming languages.


However, cross-platform development has a several disadvantages. First, mobile operating systems are frequently updated and this means that applications also need to be updated to be compatible with the new system. Second, rendering in cross-platform mobile development can take longer because each operating system requires a separate runtime environment.


In an ideal scenario, these applications run on multiple operating systems with the same codebase.


There are 2 types of cross-platform applications:


1. Own (Xamarin, Marmelade)


2. Hybrid 'HTML5' with (ReactNative, mobile angular user interface)


Native cross-platform applications

Each major mobile operating system has its own SDK (Software Development Kit) for creating mobile applications. The SDK has preferred programming languages supported by the OS. For example, for iOS Objective-C and Swift are prefered, while for Android the preferred languages are Java and Kotlin. Applications created in these languages using the official SDK are called native applications.


However, you can use the API (Application Programming Interface) provided by the native SDK in the other programming languages that are not supported by the OS vendor. This is how cross-platform applications are created.


Typically, a third - party vendor chooses a programming language and creates a single API on top of the SDKs provided by the various OS vendors. With this unified API, you can support multiple operating systems with a single code base. A third-party vendor provides a set of tools that manage the process of creating your own iOS and Android app package from a single cross-platform codebase.


So while the target application still uses its own APIs, cross-platform applications can achieve good performance without a visible lag for the user.


Hybrid 'HTML5' with cross-platform applications


Most mobile applications rely heavily on web server services. Roughly speaking, in mobile applications, especially in the field of automation of business processes, almost 60% of the code is associated with the interaction with the server. This is a huge victory, as the code is written only once.


iOS, Android and Windows Phone have very advanced browser component in their SDKs. For example, in some cases, using the WebView component, programmers can use standard HTML5 web technologies to develop and program parts of their applications. Thus, an application consists at least of its own frame and HTML/JavaScript executed in a WebView, so they are called “hybrid”. Application functions that require sensor input, such as geolocation, camera, or lower-level functions, such as file system access, typically use a native JavaScript bridge provided by the hybrid application platform.

The benefits of adopting cross-platform applications

With careful planning, about 50-80% of the code can be used for implementation on different platforms

This development has more advantages in service

Unit tests are written once for shared code

Do not need to learn specific programming languages, and you can use those that are already in the Arsenal of developers


* Cross-platform application ideal for automating business processes where deployment time and efficiency are critical

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