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What is The Best Tool for Cross-Platform App Development?

January 9, 2020

The modern consumer demands customer service on their terms. Businesses realize that they cannot take their customers for granted anymore. As the competition heats up, only businesses that respond to evolving customer expectations will survive and thrive. To pull ahead of their competition, businesses around the world spend millions of dollars to design and revamp their mobile strategy. An effective mobile strategy involves more than just having a responsive website. To get your target audience talking about your business, you need to generate buzz for your brand. A mobile app helps you achieve exactly that.

There are more reasons for having a mobile app for your business than you could imagine. A mobile app can help increase your business’s visibility. A well-designed mobile app can help improve customer engagement and cultivate customer loyalty. Having an app, however, won’t make any substantial difference if it works on a select few platforms. Earlier, developers got away with targeting only a single platform. This is a cardinal sin today. To get as many consumers as possible to rally around your brand, you need to develop apps for multiple platforms.

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Cross-Platform app development: An introduction

Put simply, cross-platform app development involves developing apps that work on multiple mobile platforms, including Android and iOS. To develop cross-platform apps, developers compile a single app source code into multiple native codes for different operating systems.

Benefits of cross-platform app development

    Codes can be reused

    A substantial benefit of cross-platform app development is that developers have to write the code only once. The code can be used to develop apps across different platforms. When developers don’t have to repeat codes, they have more time on hand to think of ways to improve the performance of existing apps.

    Helps simplify the process of implementing updates

    There are several platforms that allow developers to write codes in HTML 5 and convert them to be used on different platforms. This allows synchronization of updates in real-time across different platforms.

    Cost-efficiency

    Unlike native and hybrid application development, where businesses are required to pay for tools and technologies particular to platforms, businesses opting for cross-platform application development pay for a particular set of tools and technologies. With cross-platform app development, businesses pay a one-time fee to get a functional app that runs on different platforms.

    Improved market reach

    One of the major drawbacks of investing in native app development is that a native app functions only on the platform for which it is developed. Cross-platform apps, on the other hand, function on multiple platforms, allowing businesses to access the audience of the platforms.

    Speeds up the process of app development

    Because developers can reuse codes, the time taken to develop apps drastically goes down. Businesses investing in cross-platform app development can take their apps to the market swiftly, which improves their revenue-generating ability.

Popular cross-platform app development tools

    Adobe PhoneGap

    Adobe PhoneGap utilizes the open-source platform Apache Cordova. It is one of the most reliable tools for cross-platform app development on the market. PhoneGap is designed to help developers avoid complexities when translating codes from JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS. The tool has easy to use plugins. PhoneGap maintains the software development kits. Once you have developed your app, you can easily share updates with your team members.

    You can use PhoneGap to develop apps for multiple mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows. The Hydration feature of PhoneGap helps save time when developing and debugging apps. PhoneGap allows developers to reuse existing tools and frameworks.

    Corona

    Corona allows you to use just one code base to create apps. It is one of the most user-friendly cross-platform development tools on the market. Corona is usually used for developing 2D games. Corona’s programming language Lua has a small digital footprint and works well with mobile apps. Corona allows developers to save changes easily, instantly view results, and update code in real-time.

    Appcelerator

    Appcelerator is famed for simplifying the entire process of app development. Developers can use a single JavaScript code to build native-like apps for different platforms. A substantial benefit of using Appcelerator is that it can be used for developing apps for any device or OS. The tool allows you to use automated mobile tests to monitor your app’s performance. Thanks to Appcelerator’s schema-less data store, deploying data models is as easy as 1,2,3. The tool provides connectors for Salesforce, MongoDB, MS SQL, and MS Azure.

    Sencha

    Thanks to a long list of advantages of using Sencha, several Fortune 100 companies rely on it. The tool provides modern Java and JavaScript frameworks that help you speed up and simplify your app development process. With Sencha, you get more than 115 fully supported and test UI components that can be easily integrated into apps. Sencha’s Themer allows you to create themes that can be used multiple times. The tool consists of a data visualization table designed to help you track your app information. In-built features allow you to test the performance of your app. These and other features make Sencha one of the most popular tools for cross-platform app development.

    Xamarin

    A popular cross-platform app development tool by Microsoft Visual Studio, Xamarin allows developers to develop apps for different mobile OS, including Windows, Android, and iOS, using a single code. Because the cross-platform tool uses native interfaces, apps built using it look very similar to native apps. Xamarin offers tools for UI design, debugging, and code editing. When it comes to testing the performance of apps, Xamarin is second to none. The tool allows developers to test their apps on 1,000+ devices. Some famous users of Xamarin include Microsoft, IBM, and Foursquare.

    A tool that works wonders for other businesses can fail to produce results in your case. Look for a cross-platform app development tool with features that are aligned with your business needs.

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