Applications that perform well across different platforms are considered best in software field and in mobile app field also. Yet there’s some amount of compromise that is made while developing such mobile apps. Sometimes the performance is compromised and some other times the functionality. It will be interesting to analyse the pros and cons of cross platform mobile apps.
With android apps ruling the mobile market, most of the mobile apps have an android version. The next major player is iOS. So most mobile apps are being developed to work on Android and iOS platforms.
The positives of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps
When you develop something that can be used across platforms you save a lot of development time and money. The same code can be used later on to develop similar mobile apps or an extension to the particular mobile app. The situation is like hitting 2 targets in 1 shot.
Cross platform applications have easy access to plug-ins to be used in other tools and services. For example instead of writing fresh code to talk to Samsung’s GPS and iPhone’s GPS separately, a plug-in will do the talking.
Cross platform mobile apps can be easily integrated with cloud and enterprise services. They can use the same security methods which are supported by both Android and iOS.
The negatives of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps
Like every coin has 2 sides, cross platform development also has some disadvantages.
When the mobiles update their device software all supporting apps may not be updated since the framework may not give away the details of updates. Since each device will have a different set of updates the mobile app will not upgrade according to each device update.
Developers have to learn the special tools and software that lets them create and deploy cross-platform mobile apps. It may be something many people has to learn from the scratch and which may have no resemblance to the languages they have worked on earlier.
As with any cross platform software, cross platform mobile apps are also slower and take longer to load. Since double to code will be written to handle multiple platforms the processor has to churn out all that and then only process what is required.
The code written may not be the most efficient since the developer’s code is translated into the native code of the device automatically by translation engines. This may result in inefficient code in the final run.
Comparing the good and bad effects of cross-platform mobile apps, we can conclude the following:
Cross platform mobile apps keep the costs low – if your biggest concern is cost go for cross platform mobile apps.
Upgrading and maintenance are easier and less expensive
Can easily convert web applications into mobile apps and vice versa – keeping the costs low, you can have mobile and web apps simultaneously.
Easily integrated with cloud and enterprise computing – if you plan for these cross platform apps are best for you
More processing time – if your apps are time sensitive do not go for cross platform mobile apps
Less efficient code – if you intend to work further on the app later on native apps will be better
Full functionality will go missing upon device upgrades – native apps can fix themselves easier upon device software upgrades whereas cross platform mobile apps may not be fully functional.