With the increasing number of mobile devices and reducing internet usage cost worldwide, the penetration of mobile and mobile apps has increased significantly in last few years. There are close to 5 billion active internet users in the world and more than 50% of the internet traffic is via mobile devices. This number is expected to increase in the coming future as more users will get hooked to the mobile ecosystem.
The two major platforms/players which dominate the mobile market are iOS and Android. Combined they both own around 95% of the market share worldwide with almost 3 million apps on each platform. The application developed for one platform cannot run on another platform hence, separate app needs to be developed for both these platforms. But since the competition is very intense between these two platforms, it becomes difficult to choose which platform to target for Mobile App Development. Developing independent app for both the platforms is a time consuming and a costly affair, whereas leaving out any platform could be risk for the success of the app and company profitability. Hence, companies prefer to develop app for both the platforms for maximum customer reach.
Technology has helped companies in developing an app using single code base which can run on both the platforms. Thus, reducing the time and cost substantially. Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks has helped companies in achieving the same with minimal cost and high quality. Let’s look at some of the mobile app development frameworks available in the market.
PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are web apps with a look and feel of a mobile app. Advantages of developing PWA’s are, these apps do not required to be installed in the device and they load very fast compared to any traditional websites thus offering a seamless user experience. PWA’s offer a very good caching mechanism and hence, they offer a good level of service in the areas where the internet connectivity is very good.
There are certain flip sides to all the technologies, and PWA is no exception to it. Some flaws with PWA’s are that they are not compatible with Safari browser, PWA’s cannot access some important phone hardware features like Camera, GPS, and fingerprint scanner. Also, PWA’s consume substantial amount of battery, hence, using them could drain the phone battery fast.
As mentioned above, Android App Development and iOS App Development are two different platforms. Developing independent apps for these platforms require coding in their respective compatible technology like Java and Kotlin for Android platform, Swift and Objective C for iOS. Such type of apps is called Native apps and offer rich and seamless user experience as compared to hybrid apps. The downside of developing Native app is that the cost of app development and maintenance is very high.
Cross-Platform App Development are ones which are developed using a single code base and they run very well on both Android Mobile App Development and iOS App Development platforms. Hence, the benefit of Cross-platform framework is that it helps in substantially reducing the cost by having only one cross platform app development team, and as the code base is common, the cost of maintenance is also low.
Considering the constraints with PWA’s and high development costs for Native Apps, many companies/developers prefer programming apps in cross-platform framework because of the immense benefit it offers. Due to increasing demand of the cross-platform frameworks, there’s a rise in the number of cross-platforms available in the market and there’s an intense competition in upgrading the existing frameworks for the ease of development. Some popular cross-platform app development frameworks are React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin.
BENEFITS OF CROSS-PLATFORM APPS DEVELOPMENT
Some of the benefits which Cross-platform apps offer for the businesses are:
1. Lesser Development and Maintenance Cost:
As the code base is same, you need only one team to develop the app unlike the native apps where two separate teams are needed. In future if there is any upgrade or bug fixing is required in the app, it needs to be done on a single code, hence the cost of maintenance is also low.
2. Faster Time To Market:
As there is only single code base which needs to be developed and maintained, hence, it substantially reduces the development time. Also, if there is any issue which needs to be fixed, it needs to be addressed in only one code base unlike at two different places in case of Native apps. Cross-platform apps reduce the overall development time and decrease the time to market for the businesses thus, giving the competitive advantage.
3. Market Penetration:
Cross platform apps have a better market reach as it caters to both Android and iOS platform which together constitutes to `95% of the total market share.
It’s a very good opportunity for the companies to cash in the opportunity provided by the cross-platform frameworks. Cross-platform companies are investing huge in this framework to bridge the quality gap between Native and Hybrid apps at the earliest. Tech giants like Facebook and Google are the driving forces behind the famous cross-platform frameworks React Native and Flutter respectively, and they try and release a new version every year with it of Mobile App Developer and user-friendly features. The advantages offered by Cross platform app development frameworks is one of the major reasons why there’s a huge influx of apps in the market recently and we expect this wave to continue in the times ahead.
The gap between the quality of native and hybrid apps is closing, and it’s closing fast. Huge companies like Facebook and Google are putting their money behind cross-platform app development by launching hybrid app development platforms like React Native and Flutter, respectively. Cross-platform app development is going to take a big leap in 2020 and beyond.
New versions of React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin are releasing every year as the companies behind these frameworks are working to improve them with each iteration.
Cross-platform development has really upped the ante of mobile app development. With millions of new apps expected in the coming years, Cross-Platform App Development will play a vital role in taking the mobile app ecosystem forward.
Nimish Gupta is the Director (PMO) at Pixel Values Technolabs, a top-rated Mobile App Development Company in India. Nimish has over 13 years of experience in the Information Technology & Telecommunication industry. He has done lots of projects for the Government of India. He is very determined to ensure that solutions presented to the clients adopt the right technology and are scalable to adapt to new platform requirements of the ever-growing Information Technology industry.
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