• Exploring Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

    Exploring Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

    With a myriad of mobile devices with different operating systems, it is not possible for any business to focus just on one OS (operating system). Businesses need to consider at-least the mobile OSs which have majority devices in the market. This comes down to 2 mobile OSs – iOS and Android which together have more than 99% of smartphone OS market.

    With this as the need of an hour, the mobile app developers are focussing on developing cross-platform mobile apps. So, what are cross-platform mobile apps? Cross-platform apps are based on ‘Write Once Run Anywhere’ philosophy and ideally run on different mobile OSs with a single codebase.

    To explore cross-platform mobile apps further, these are of 2 types:

    1) Native Cross-Platform Apps

    2) Hybrid (HTML5) Cross-Platform Apps

    Native Cross-Platform Apps

    In order to ease the development of mobile apps using mobile OS, each OS vendor provides with its own SDK (Software Development Kit). These SDKs expose functionality in the vendor preferred programming languages like Objective-C/ Swift for iOS and Java for Android. The apps created using these programming languages using the official SDKs are called native apps.

    This means that developing apps for different OSs means writing code from scratch for each of these OSs. This poses a great challenge to the turnaround time and third party vendors have tried to solve this by writing a unified SDK on top of the OS vendor specific SDKs in a unified programming language of their choice. This unified SDK handles the intricacies/differences of the vendor specific SDKs and hides this from the app developers using this unified SDK. The app developer writes a single codebase using this unified SDK in a unified programming language and the apps developed using this unified SDK are called Native Cross-Platform Apps. Since the app developed finally uses the native APIs, native cross-platform apps are nearly as performant as native apps.

    The best and upcoming Native Cross-Platform framework is React Native which is built by internet giant Facebook and is now open-sourced for the community to extend it. Thousands of apps are built using React Native including Fortune 500 companies and hot new startups. Some of the apps that have been developed using React Native are Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb etc.

    Hybrid (HTML5) Cross-Platform Apps

    All OS SDKs include advanced browser component (Web View) to leverage the popularity of HTML5 and to aid the web developers to develop HTML5 based web apps. This has led to the birth of Hybrid Cross-Platform Apps. Third party vendors have created frameworks each of which has a native container to access native platform features and a WebView to execute HTML5/JavaScript. In effect, the Hybrid Cross-Platform Apps are developed using HTML5/JavaScript/CSS and access to the native OS specific functionality is provided by the Hybrid Application Framework.

    One of the examples of Hybrid Cross-Platform Framework is Apache Cordova which was originally called PhoneGap.

    Services we offer

    At ChicMic, we offer both Native Mobile App Development for iOS & Android and Cross-Platform Mobile App Development using React Native. Our clients range from startups to large enterprises and we offer complete development from idea till launch and iterations there-after. We offer the following mobile app development services:

    • Cross-Platform Mobile App Development (React Native)
    • Cross-Platform Mobile Game Development (Unity and cocos2d)
    • Native iOS App Development
    • Native Android App Development

    Contact Us:


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    This post was written by ChicMic

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