In the world of mobile development, cross-platform software has become one of the best ways to create flexible, native-feeling apps efficiently, with reusable, shareable code bases that can be transformed to run natively on a variety of platforms. But accomplishing that native user experience without native app code comes with a few compromises: app file size, performance, overhead, and in some cases, cost. Which platform you choose for your cross-platform app will largely depend on your goals for your app.
Not all cross-platform mobile app solutions are created equal, so it’s important to get an idea of the strengths of each, pros and cons, weighing how much integration you’ll need, how much your app needs to scale up, your budget, timing, what other components are in your technology stack. Whether you’re head of a mobile development team or a solo developer working on an app, you’ll want to choose the technology that best meets your requirements and gives you the tools you need.
WHAT ARE CROSS-PLATFORM APPS?
First, a quick refresher: What are cross-platform apps, and why might you be creating one over a native or hybrid app? Creating native applications for each different operating system—iOS, Android, and Windows—requires a lot of effort: different source code versions, developers who know each platform, then the time to build, maintain, and update each version.
Cross-platform apps have an advantage: they allow a developer to create one source code for an app, which the platform then converts into code for the native environment. The immediate benefits? There’s a much more native app-like performance than a hybrid app. Also, developers can reuse code that’s already been written, letting the platform handle the compiling. This makes it faster and more cost-effective. Read more about the benefits and compromises of cross-platform apps.
Now, let’s take a look at two top mobile app technologies, Xamarin and Phonegap, with differences between the two and a few pros and cons to help you decide which is best for you.
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