Mobility has exponentially evolved over the years, with the advent of numerous mobile platforms to the likes of Android, iOS, Windows Phones, BB10, Ubuntu and Firefox OS. With such a long list of mobile OS in the market, it has gotten difficult for developers to support their applications on various platforms. This has given rise to the cross platform development tools that make it easy for mobile app developers to build their applications on different platforms, without worrying about the native support.
The demands of mobile application development life cycle has often traversed towards a common ground that appeals all platforms. however, there is a distinction between all the platforms as they are designed to be at odds. This animosity exists through the overall platform language making it acceptable to the end user. With the advent of HTML5, there has been some respite to the developers for developing their applications on various platforms. The core functionality of HTML5 allows the developers to traverse on the frontend while the backend processing is managed on its own. However there is lack of the native support of the application that makes the overall use not at par with the native app.
In order to counter this issue, many cross platform development tools have come into existence, helping developers tackle multi-platform application. Although their use has been on the rise, developers need to keep certain aspects in mind before embarking on these development tools.
- Reduction of development cost and time cycle: It is a known fact that development tools often have made it efficient for developers to support their application over multiple platforms. Moreover the faster a developer can develop apps, the less money it costs on the overall development. Using cross platform technologies, it is generally faster to develop apps since the code is developed to easily migrate to various platforms.
- Common access via APIs: Cross Platform development tools offer various plugins similar to APIs for devices hardware features. This helps them avoid writing individual code for invoking device entities as the code is automatically modified as per the interface.
- Enhanced support for cloud and enterprise: One of the major attributes for these frameworks is that they allow easy integration of cloud services. As multiple security methods are not required it leads to easy data integration from the cloud over to user application.
- Issues with latest updates:There have been times when developers have faced some issues as these cross platform frameworks don’t support all the features released in various OS. When android or iOS adds a new feature in their SDK, the similar update takes time to be accessible via these cross platform tools creating an inherent challenge for developers to update their applications.
- Slower render time: The biggest drawback of any cross-compilation process is that it is highly tedious and requires more time for rendering the code. As the developer cannot use or modify the code during that time, it becomes a difficult if any errors are produced as they have to go through the overall process again.
- Inefficiency in coding: As the development process of the application won’t be happening in the native language supported by the individual platform, there will be inefficiency in the code generation and the final output would be determined by the translation engines in the tool. This could result in the bloated code hampering the overall performance of the application.
Although there are significant pros of using cross platform development tools, developers must weigh in their requirements beforehand. Over the years, these development tools have increased their efficiency, allowing their applications to be a hybrid of HTML5 and native support.