Cross-Platform Applications and Frameworks Pt. I

Mar 14, 2019
Blog

Mobile applications can be of two types: native and cross-platform ones. The main difference between these types lies in operating systems the application designed for: native applications work only on one particular OS, while cross-platform apps can function on several systems. One of our previous articles was devoted to native application development for Android and iOS, hence now it’s the right time to highlight the topic of cross-platform solutions.

Now let’s get started. As mentioned above, cross-platform applications are those that work on more than one platform being developed in only one language. It means that if you develop an application of this type, it will be available for both Android users and iPhone owners. The cross-platform solution has several advantages. Mainly they are a wide spectrum of users, delivering product in shorter terms, and relatively cheap development if compared with native apps. As for disadvantages, such applications are characterized with slow operation speed and non-native interface (every platform has its own design requirements). Anyway, if the disadvantages don’t scare you and the advantages seem attractive, cross-platform development is what you need.

There are three frameworks for the cross-platform solution: Xamarin, Ionic, and React Native. These tools have their peculiarities, advantages, and disadvantages. In order to choose the right specialists for your cross-platform project, we suggest you get acquainted with each of them.

Xamarin

Xamarin appeared in 2011, and currently, it is one of the oldest cross-platform frameworks. The community of Xamarin developers amounts to about 1,5 million engineers in 120 countries. This framework is used by many large companies such as Slack, Siemens, and Pinterest. The technology is mainly applicable in enterprise environments, in fields like energy, transport, healthcare. Apps of this type support Android 4.0.3+, iOS 8+, Windows 10.

Xamarin is able to build an application that is as close to native as possible by providing the possibility to use UI native development tools and UI native elements. Therefore, both Android and iOS users feel comfortable working with the app, as there are no differences with the interface they are used to. Besides, Xamarin app perfectly interacts with IoT devices, so if your application is supposed to receive data on the user’s location or embedded sensors readings, this tool is what you need. The framework is a perfect choice if you are planning a large scale project or an app with complicated architecture. The only thing Xamarin sucks at is games with complicated animation.

Ionic

Ionic was created in 2013 by Drifty Co. Since that time several versions of this tool was released. Nowadays it is considered to be the most popular, available, and well-funded framework: Ionic community is growing rapidly and amounts more than 5 million engineers in around 200 countries. The latest version of the framework supports Android 4.4+, iOS 8+, Windows 10.

Unlike other tools mentioned here, Ionic is aimed at creating applications of the hybrid type, the popularity of which is growing with each day. One of the main advantages – fast development speed. We advise Ionic programmers in case you need a prototype, a multi-functional application with minimum changes in the code, or simply in case you are eager to try the application as soon as possible.

React Native

React Native was introduced by Facebook and soon became widespread. React Native utilizes JavaScript which is one of the most dynamic and popular programming languages. This framework is used by such companies as Airbnb, Walmart, Skype, Uber, and Tesla, and Facebook lists over 100 applications created with it. React Native supported platforms are Android 4.1+ and iOS 8+.

React Native, similar to Xamarin, allows developing close-to-native applications, having a lot of UI components. Plus, React Native gives the opportunity to build the product really fast, as the code base for iOS and Android is almost the same. Choose React Native development in case you are planning complex applications with access to the necessary functionality of devices and need it quick and cheap.

 

In conclusion, we would like to assure you that no matter what type of cross-platform development you choose or how complex the application you need, we will find the most qualified specialists for it and provide a top-notch solution. So if you need a cross-platform (and beyond), contact us.

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