What You Should Know About Cross Platform Apps

By Joel Cordle

According to a recent survey, more than 70% of the top Windows mobile apps are cross-platform. Similarly, companies like Nokia and Google have a wide range of apps that are not confined to their respective hardware platforms. Since Nokia has only recently ventured into this field, it needs to port its apps to other hardware platforms like iPhone and Android.

Considering the sudden surge of the mobile apps industry many businesses are now looking forward to deploying applications on more than one platform. This includes Apple Devices running iOS that comprise of iPhone iPod Touch, iPad and Android Phones and Tablets, Palm OS, Blackberry Smartphones, Windows 7 and Nokia OVI Store

Cross platform developers, make use of most up-to-date web technologies that includes JavaScript as well as HTML5 and CSS3. By using technologies such as these, the app developing companies can successfully deliver lucrative mobile apps that targets a much wider audience than applications targeted at a particular device or platform whether that is Android, IOS BlackBerry or any of the other popular platforms.

By opting for cross platform app technology, various companies have been able to devise iPhone apps and devices that run on a plethora of mobile platforms and devices. A fine example of cross platform app would be the messaging app WhatsApp. The app functions on iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Nokia and Android. The very fact that such a wide range of operating systems use WhatsApp will surely make it difficult for other messaging apps to compete effectively especially considering the large cross platform following that the app will naturally attract.

Cross platform apps have their own share of pros and cons though, such as:

Pros

  • A major advantage of cross platform apps is there is a minimal costs to make an app cross platform compatible so there is no need to invest in multiple teams for the platform or device in question.
  • Besides the modules and plug-in for certain functions, almost all frameworks have the options to directly combine with cloud services, that includes AWS and others.

Cons

  • 3D Support and High-End Graphics is usually restricted in cross platform apps. Luckily game-centric development platforms such as Unity help in filling in the gaps.
  • Almost all cross-platform frameworks develop their own JavaScript subsets. This means if you wish to move over to another platform, the cross platform coding will not be devoid of work.

Every good cross-platform app concentrates on the platform it is being written to operate on primarily, whereas bad cross-platform apps try to look like other apps. For example, if a certain Android app has navigation, control features at the bottom of the screen, but if you try to get that same look on iOS you will be way off.

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