POSTED ON July 11, 2023

Best way to build cross-platform mobile apps in 2023

Mobile app development is an arduous endeavor for businesses. This article aims to help businesses to find the best way to build cross-platform mobile apps.

Cross-platform mobile apps have unique benefits that contribute significantly to their current prevalence. With the expansion of its reach, several cross-platform app development frameworks and tools began to appear on the market. Slowly at first, then all at once, every other mobile app development company attempted to utilize this unique and intriguing technology.

Numerous new tools have emerged on the market as a consequence of the rising demand for the rapidly advancing cross-platform mobile development technology. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the one that best meets your requirements. This article will help you to find the best way to build cross-platform mobile apps in 2023.

I. What is a Cross-Platform Mobile App?

A cross-platform mobile app is an app that is designed to run on multiple mobile operating systems, such as Android and iOS, using a single codebase. Cross-platform mobile apps can be developed using various frameworks or technologies such as React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter.

II. Advantages in Cross-Platform Mobile App Development 

Cross-platform mobile apps have become one of the most prominent areas of software development in recent years. In 2023, it is anticipated that the demand for cross-platform applications will exceed $7.9 billion. 

The cross-platform approach offers some benefits that are highly valued by both programmers and project managers. So let’s examine the principal benefits.

1. Mobile App for Multiple Platforms

The greatest advantage of using a cross-platform mobile app is that the output of the development process can be utilized on multiple platforms. This strategy is optimal where business functionality is simple and rapid time to market is desired.

2. Saving Budgets 

Typically, a technological product requires 3 distinct development workflows: web, Android, and iOS. A cross-platform mobile app can reduce effort by more than 50%.

3. Agile Development Process

Using a single code base will naturally reduce the number of hours required for the development process. The option to choose between native, web, and hybrid apps enables sub-teams to optimize their development workloads. Thus, CPU-intensive or gaming apps will need more native development and optimization than e-commerce applications.

4. Simpler Code Maintenance & Usability

When it is time to add or remove functionality from an application, having a single code base for multiple platforms means that only a single set of revisions is required to update the app across platforms. In addition, having a singular codebase for testing eliminates the need for excessive horizontal scaling of testing efforts. Instead, you can concentrate on test case prioritization.

5. Easy Cloud Integration

Since this is a relatively new phenomenon, the tools and platforms for cross-platform mobile apps are built with current tech trends in mind. This means that most platforms support modern development methodologies such as CI/CD, automation, cloud deployments, etc. With cloud-based testing platforms such as BrowserStack Automate and App Automate, you obtain a highly configurable and modernized methodology that integrates DevOps and QAOps.

6. Faster Turnaround 

Since only a single cross-platform mobile app is required to accomplish functionality across all platforms, it requires significantly less time than developing two or three apps for each platform. And the sooner you develop and deploy your mobile application, the sooner you will reap its benefits.

7. Uniform Design

Cross-platform mobile apps can produce consistent and effective designs, even if this is difficult to achieve in some cases. Utilizing the hierarchy of components and microservices to decompose front-end and back-end functionality, respectively, responsive design principles are incorporated into the program’s core.

III. Challenges in Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

1. Lengthy integration process

A cross-platform mobile app development can pose integration issues. It is difficult to integrate your app with local settings, notifications, and preferences due to the cross-platform design.

You may be able to surmount your integration issues by utilizing a third-party cloud service. However, this approach can compromise the security of your app and is not advised.

2. User experience concerns

It can be a significant challenge for developers to create a consistent and intuitive user experience across multiple platforms. Although cross-platform mobile apps provide some standardization, each platform has its own design and interaction guidelines. Therefore, developers must establish a balance between adhering to these guidelines and maintaining a uniform user experience across all platforms.

3. Limited updates

The operating system may not always support all of a framework’s features, thereby impacting the overall experience. For example, whenever there is an iOS update or a new feature is introduced, you cannot utilize it until you update the iOS version of your app. However, until Google releases the corresponding update or feature, you cannot update the Android version.

4. Security

Every application is susceptible to cyberattacks. While frequent updates give native apps the ability to patch vulnerabilities, cross-platform mobile apps struggle on the security front as a result of fewer updates. Therefore, organizations that must routinely manage vast quantities of business data are less likely to utilize cross-platform mobile apps. 

Cross-platform app development companies rely on cutting-edge tools and architecture to resolve this issue and improve the security of their applications.

5. Maintenance

Cross-platform mobile apps can be more difficult to maintain than native applications because updates and bug fixes must be implemented simultaneously across all platforms. This may result in lengthier development cycles and higher costs.

6. Update lag

When an operating system adds new features, they may not be instantaneously accessible on your cross-platform framework.

These new features cannot be utilized until the framework is updated. This can frustrate your users, who frequently anticipate instantaneous updates and feature releases.

7. Lacking features

Sometimes it’s not a lack of updates, but the inability of your development framework to accommodate certain features.

You may encounter a scenario in which your cross-platform mobile app development framework does not support the hardware functionality you wish to utilize, such as notifications, cameras, GPS, etc. It is uncommon, but it is still a prospective disadvantage.

IV. Best Way To Build Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

To aid you in creating a successful cross-platform mobile app, we have outlined some important considerations.

various stages to build cross platform mobile apps for 2023

1. Select Your Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tool

There are numerous cross-platform mobile app development tools on the market. The selection of the platform is the most crucial phase in the development of a cross-platform mobile app.

Below are some best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools:

  • Xamarin
  • RhoMobile
  • Kony Mobile Platform
  • Monocross
  • NativeScript
  • Sencha Touch
  • Appcelerator
  • PhoneGap
  • Codename One

Other editors and IDEs:

  • IntelliJ
  • Visual Studio
  • Cocos2D
  • Qt
  • MobinCube
  • AppsMoment
  • RubyMotion
  • Ionic
  • Dropsource
  • Yapp
  • Corona
  • Define UI/UX Design

To address the requirements of various platforms, developers must also consider distinct UI guidelines. This is essential in the development of cross-platform mobile apps that provide a unique user experience.

Before building the app, the developer should be conversant with all requirements and guidelines for multiple-platform app development. Once familiar with how the app operates on each platform, the developer has a deeper comprehension and knowledge of how to navigate the platform’s cores to ensure that the app is compatible with all engines.

2. Pick Reliable Cross-Platform Apps Modules

There are numerous advantages to using modules to facilitate cross-platform mobile app development. This reduces the amount of time spent developing various engines and provides the greatest exposure to native SDKs. The modules can also contribute a wealth of useful information to the process.

3. Choose Dedicated API Services

It is common to deploy platform-specific mobile applications for Apple iOS, Google Android, and the web using a single API. This uncomplicated strategy may work for medium-sized projects or projects in which all clients have identical requirements, but it can also lead to bottlenecks.

Developers need to customize the API service to the platform’s specific requirements. 

Developers must decouple the API from other extant API services to accomplish this. Using a technique known as dedicated API services, developers can expose a group of functionalities to the back end. With dedicated API services for each platform, developers can autonomously modify the back-end API. Dedicated API services can also enable developers to eliminate team and product dependencies.

4. Dealing with Multiple Platforms

Divergence is not merely a ‘cross-platform’ issue; devices on the same platform have different capabilities. Other device attributes may vary and require an application to check for certain capabilities and behave differently based on their presence. The most apparent and fundamental is screen size.

Platform-specific attributes:

  • Screen sizes
  • Navigation metaphors
  • Touch and gestures
  • Push notifications
  • Keyboards

Device-specific features:

  • Camera
  • Geo-location & maps
  • Accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass
  • Near Field Communications (NFC)
  • Twitter and Facebook

5. Testing and App Store Approvals

This is the final step to launching your cross-platform mobile app successfully.

Testing

Before being released, mobile applications must undergo a certification procedure. Therefore, testing is essential to ensure that your application reaches the market. Testing can take many forms, ranging from unit testing at the developer level to managing beta testing across a wide range of hardware.

Using the simulator/emulator to test multiple versions of the operating system and various device capabilities/configurations is a best practice.

App Store Approvals

Waiting for an application to be reviewed can be very stressful, as business pressures frequently necessitate that applications be submitted for approval with little room for error before a “targeted” release date. 

There is limited feedback on the status of your application until it is ultimately rejected or approved. Rejection can result in missed marketing opportunities, particularly if it occurs multiple times and weeks pass between the app’s original launch date and when it is finally approved.

Apple and Microsoft each operate a single store on their respective platforms: the App Store and the Marketplace, respectively. To control the quality of applications available for download, they lock their devices and implement a stringent app review procedure. 

Due to Android’s open nature, there are various store options, ranging from Google’s Play, which is widely available and has no review process, to Amazon’s Appstore for Android and hardware-specific initiatives like Samsung Apps, which have limited distribution and approval processes.

V. Sum Up

As a leading software development company in Vietnam, Adamo Software has profound experiences in developing mobile apps and web applications in various fields from travel and hospitality industry, healthcare, fintech applications to entertainment and media apps. If you are looking for a mobile app development company, Adamo is here to help. 

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