Cross Platform Mobile App Development

Mobile Man / Friday, August 16, 2013

 Android and iOS have become the gold standard of mobile operating systems, offering applications tailored for personal and corporate use. Developers considering creating applications for both platforms can experience many benefits and some challenges along the way.

TechRepublic's Joseph Parker highlighted the pros and cons of mobile application development for both Android and iOS. According to Parker, cross-development solutions help developers improve speed and reduce costs because these tools can create apps faster than other methods.

Developers who create applications for Android and iOS can reuse this code for future projects, again speeding up the development process, Parker explained.

In addition to the cost and time savings of cross-platform applications, these tools are also very easy to use. Parker noted that such apps are designed on scripting languages such as JavaScript, CSS and HTML, making it easy for these apps to transition from the Internet to mobile devices.

Cloud computing is influencing many aspects of how companies operate, allowing firms to take advantage of the technology's scalability, affordability and functionality. The cloud is also having a positive effect on mobile application development. Parker noted that cross-platform tools integrated easily with cloud-based services and apps, making them that much more useful.

The Issues

There are some challenges associated with the use of cross-platform tools, according to Parker. Operating systems are often updated, and when Apple, Google or Microsoft release such patches, applications must follow suit. Another potential problem with cross-platform development involves longer rendering times because the code must be finished for each operating system.

Parker added that some solutions are restrictive because they require developers to use prescribed functions that potentially limit the software. In a "worst-case scenario," developers may have to learn certain preferences again if they are restricted.

Android and iOS are only growing in popularity, fueling the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the process. In addition to offering some of the most powerful gadgets available, these products are also accompanied by a huge library of mobile applications.

Those looking for easy ways to develop mobile applications based on Android, iOS or both do not have to have extensive training to do so. There are plenty of ways to create apps native to these platforms that are suited for even the novice tech users. Android controls and iOS controls are free options that help users produce apps for Android-powered smartphones, iPhones and iPads.