POSTED ON July 9, 2024

Best Way to Build Cross Platform Mobile Apps: A Complete Guide to 2024  

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Since every day new development is made in mobile technology, it is now a question for developers about the best way to build cross platform mobile apps for better reach out and better performance. It is not a luxury, but a necessity to design a single application that will run without hitches in other operating systems. This article gives an overview of cross platform mobile application development, evaluating the benefits and the potential disadvantages of cross platform development and the main tools that enable cross platform development. Due to the cross platform development integration, the time-to-market and the cost of development can be significantly reduced while maintaining the user experience on different platforms. 

This aspect of cross platform development can be highly challenging due to the strategic as well as the technical factors that are involved. Explaining the cross platform and native approaches, this guide helps make the right decision with clear distinctions between them. From choosing the framework to apply to the use of sophisticated testing tools, every aspect of the software development process is captured. Regardless of whether you are a developer with many years of experience, or a business owner interested in the topic of mobile business, this guide will be a great help. When adopting the best way to build cross platform mobile apps, one opens new opportunities, increases engagement, and gains an edge in the fast-growing app market.

I. What is cross platform mobile app development? 

Cross mobile application development refers to the development of a single application that is designed to be compatible with multiple operating systems such as IOS and Android. They don’t build a new app for a new platform but build a code that can be used on all the platforms. This approach minimizes time and costs while at the same time making sure customers get the same experience regardless of the device they are using. 

To find the best way to build cross platform mobile apps, it is recommended to make use of dedicated frameworks and instruments. Such frameworks are React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin, where a developer can write a piece of code, and it will work for both iOS and Android. This method is also useful for accelerating the development cycle and for maintaining and deploying updates. 

The main advantage of cross platform development is the ability to target more users without the need to hire different groups of programmers. Since there is only one code base, the businesses can launch the applications to both iOS and Android users at the same time, which contributes to increased demand and less time to market. 

Therefore, cross platform mobile application development provides a workable solution where the objective is to attain the greatest return on investment on applications with limited time and resources to develop applications for each platform. This approach is especially effective in the modern world, where competition is fierce, and everyone is in a race against time.

II. Advantages of cross platform mobile app development 

Cross platform app development offers many advantages compared to native and other app development paradigms. 

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Low Entry Barrier 

Cross platform development is easier to start since it pertains to less complex environments. Hence cross platform application development is easier than developing native android and iOS apps as it involves lesser steps. 

Agile Development 

Another advantage of cross platform development is that it speeds up the process since all of the work is done on a single application, which can be run on different platforms. It eliminates the need to code and create different applications for the varying operating systems, minimizing the time taken to deploy the applications in business while enhancing focus on other aspects that may be important. 

Cost and Labor Efficiency 

The conventional method of application development involves significant costs, time, and resource investment in a team of professionals such as developers, designers, and others. Another benefit of cross platform application development is that it is cheap, and a small number of employees could perform crucial work. This efficiency makes it ideal for small businesses. More so, since the business discontinues are common with business persons. 

Simplified Code Maintenance 

Cross platform development refers to the act of developing a single project for two or more platforms using the same code. This specificity in terms of logic and elements of UI/UX reduces the likelihood of distorting biases, a lack of design consistency, and mistakes in comparison to the existence of multiple toolkits. 

Broader User Base 

Developing and releasing distinct applications for each of the mentioned platforms (Android, iOS, etc.) is feasible for certain ventures at most. Cross platform development allows for a greater reach of the intended audiences without the requirement of separate investments in different platforms. This way, all users will have the same app, which is easy to maintain, in turn making the application ideal for their needs. 

The use of these advantages of cross platform app development can help come up with the best way to build cross platform mobile apps, with the least comprehensive costs to launch on other platforms. 

III. Differences between cross platform mobile app development vs Native  

When one is attempting to identify the best way to build cross platform mobile apps, knowledge of cross platform and native apps is imperative. All these come with their strengths and weaknesses in the context of development and usage, including the time needed to create them, the speed of development, and the final user experience. Below is the comparison between cross platform development and native development based on several parameters regarding mobile app development. 

Feature Cross platform Mobile App Development Native Mobile App Development 
Codebase Single codebase to manage multiple platforms Unique codebases for different platforms, such as iOS and Android. 
Development Speed It is faster since there will be similar and related source codes shared between the two. Slower as each platform involves coding separately for each platform. 
Cost Efficiency Less costly than the prior type, requiring fewer bits and pieces. Higher costs due to the separate development and testing teams. 
Performance With only a slight efficiency disadvantage and considerable compatibility benefits, they are usually good overall but can be a bit slower than native apps. Overall usage could be maximized through the proper use of each platform. 

 

Maintenance With one codebase, it is easier to maintain More complicated and may have a different update that only applies to specific platforms. 
Access to Device Features Restricted access, there are a few features available only through plugins Total or comprehensive type of access to all the features and functionality of the devices. 
Time to Market Brief as it is possible to deploy the technology to one facility as well as to numerous facilities at the same time. Each of the apps has to be built individually and can simply be released 
Flexibility and Customization More rigid, with some defining ancillary characteristics of the material interface   High flexibility, which can enable a vast number of modifications. 

 

Security Typically safe, although they are not as thoroughly fortified as native applications. It is very secure, it operates at the lower level, interfacing directly with the underlying platform security measures. 

Ease of time, cost, and easy maintenance are the major benefits that make cross platform ideal when one is developing projects that are meant to target several platforms at a rapid period. On the other hand, native development gives better performance, user engagement, and underlying device capabilities, which can be mandatory for performance-intensive or feature-integrated programs.

IV. Top cross platform app development frameworks

It is important to choose the right framework, as it is the key to determining the best way to build cross platform mobile apps. 

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1. React Native

React Native is an open-source framework developed by Facebook that is considered one of the market leaders in cross platform development. This makes it possible for developers to use JavaScript to code the UI and then render the coded user interface using native components. It helps stay natural when used in conversations or applications with native English users and remains one of the most popular approaches.

2. Flutter

One of them, Flutter, was created by Google and is written in the Dart programming language. Some of its strengths include a wide range of predefined widgets and materials for the creation of custom applications, as well as attractive aesthetics. Flutter is an open-source framework that can work very fast in development cycles and has a good level of performance that is perfect for applications with many features.

3. Xamarin

A product from the Microsoft technology stable, Xamarin employs the C# and .NET frameworks for building portable applications that work for both web and desktop platforms. This is advantageous as it offers a single codebase that can be used in the development of applications for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Windows operating systems. Xamarin is well-optimized, it provides the most APIs as the non-VM equivalent of native APIs, so apps developed on Xamarin look and feel native.

4. Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM)

KMM is an extension of Kotlin, which is only chosen by many Android developers. It helps in the reuse of processes and common code between Android and iOS environments and simplifies the development and maintenance of the same. There are many things I like about KMM: it is flexible, and it allows developers to use native code when it is necessary, for example, to provide users with smooth work.

5. Ionic

App developers frequently choose Ionic, – it is one of the leading hybrid app development frameworks. It employs web development technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the creation of applications that are deployable across the environment. Ionic also has a rich array of components embedded in it, as well as integration with Angular which makes it the common go-to option for many. 

6. PhoneGap

PhoneGap, or as it is also called Apache Cordova, is the platform that assists developers in creating applications for mobile devices with the use of web technologies. It wraps the web application inside the native one, where native device permissions are gained every time. Explaining the development process in this manner is most useful for developers who have prior knowledge of web development and would like to exercise it in the mobile application realm. These frameworks provide different tools and options allowing developers to choose how a cross platform mobile app should be constructed using the given set of features and requirements. No matter what our priorities are: performance, flexibility, or time to delivery, there is a fit pattern to be observed.

V. Explore tools and frameworks to test cross platform mobile apps 

It is crucial to define how it is best to build the application, whether it is for a single platform or multiple. What it means is that you must have the right testing tools and frameworks so that you can be sure that your app is not slowing down your device or is not having compatibility issues on other platforms. 

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1. Browser Stack

Browser Stack is one of the frequently used cross-browser and cross platform testing tools available as a cloud solution to help test applications on numerous real devices. They benefit by providing an automated testing environment with over 2000 devices readily available for testing therefore making it suitable for compatibility and performance testing.

2. Appium

Appium is one of the most vital open-source tools for automating mobile applications that work on both Android and iOS. It operates the app through the WebDriver protocol, and developers can employ a variety of programming languages for constructing tests. Appium is very popular as it aims at testing mobile applications and can be used for both Android and iOS operating systems.

3. Xamarin Test Cloud

Originally called Calabash, Xamarin Test Cloud is a part of the Xamarin toolset that enables the testing of applications on thousands of real devices in the cloud. It has a low level of intrusion and works with Xamarin and other similar frameworks to give detailed reports along with screenshots to diagnose the problem.

4. Firebase Test Lab

One of the solutions provided by Google under Firebase is Firebase Test Lab, which provides a cloud environment for testing applications for Android and iOS. It gives the user access to several real devices and also virtual machines where necessary for both hands-on and automatic testing. The integration with Firebase services also provides extra features, such as the ability to monitor the app’s performance and handle errors through crash reporting.

5. Test Complete

Test Complete is a comprehensive tool for automated testing that enables the testing of applications for mobile devices, Web, and Windows-based systems. Some key advantages of Replika include keyword-based setup, good recognition, and compatibility with various script languages. It assists in performing the process of testing effectively when using various platforms and devices through the help of Test Complete.

6. Calabash

Calabash is an acceptance test framework developed in Ruby that gives developers a powerful tool for testing Android and iOS applications. They employ Cucumber, which is a BDD tool that helps in developing tests that are easy to comprehend, which makes it easy to determine the problem areas.

7. Espresso

Espresso is a testing tool used in the testing of android applications and has been developed by Google. It offers a small number of commands for developing outspoken and efficient UI tests with a clear interface. As it is an in-built tool of Android Studio and has the advantage of fast runtime, it has become popular among Android developers. 

These tools and frameworks enable developers to build functional, high-performance cross platform apps. Through these resources, developers can discover problems early enough and thus ensure that problems that may hinder the smooth running of an application on various gadgets are rectified in good time.

VI. Challenges in cross platform mobile app development project 

Nevertheless, several issues with cross platform development must be taken into consideration by developers who utilize the cross platform mobile app development approach. One must know this to determine the best way to build cross platform mobile apps. 

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Lower Performance 

For instance, the issues of performance and the complexity of the applications make the cross platform approach less effective than the native one. Native apps are also generally less resource-demanding, which is always an advantage if the business requires an app that must perform well. 

Code and Feature Limitations 

It is because native app development accommodates initial strategic code coding, which helps in the easy inclusion of other compound functionalities and adaptations. On the other hand, if development is done for multiple platforms, it complicates the process of implementing advanced functionalities because of the similar code base. This restriction may limit the ability to strengthen and enrich native applications through the development of applications with tailored features. 

Repetitive UI Elements 

Different operating systems have their distinctive features, and it may be more appropriate to use some features on these operating systems than on others. Having one or more fully developed and well-rounded platforms may result in many similarities and identities among some interface designs, which is not healthy for the general quality and usability of the app. 

Security Concerns 

Some features distinguish native apps: built-in security to control application access and device capabilities. Unlike apps specific to one platform, cross platform apps do not have this leverage, meaning they are more susceptible to threats. Increased issues of security and maintenance are also observed where cross platform app users are involved and get limited access to new SDK releases and updates. 

Compromised User Experience 

Processes in cross platform apps can be less optimized for a specific device and may not use indicators utilizing elements of a certain platform fully. It is a fact that users coming to native apps are likely to receive updates on new features much earlier than cross-app users. It can lead to an app that is not as interesting or interactive as those apps that are built natively. 

The above challenges can be attributed to cross-platform mobile application development issues, hence the need to embrace native applications. These are some of the challenges that, if understood, require special planning on how to accomplish them for the project to be successful. 

VII. How to choose the right cross platform app development frameworks for your project?   

Selecting the right framework is always important, and this is especially the case when trying to determine the best course of action to follow when designing mobile applications that are compatible with both Android and IOS platforms. Given that each project’s demands are rather diverse, the choice between the two frameworks is likely to influence the project’s process and its outcomes.

1. Project Requirements and Goals

The first step in establishing a project scope is to identify it as follows: Decide which elements and what types of functions will be required for your application. For example, if there is much customization and performance needed, Xamarin or Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile might be more appropriate. In contrast, for faster development and deployment platforms, you can use Flutter or React Native.

2. Development Team Expertise

Evaluate ability levels of your development team members. Choose a framework that is acquainted with their present knowledge. For instance, if your team is proficient in JavaScript, then they should comfortably work on React Native. Similarly, if your team is familiar with C# and. NET, which would be more appropriate for Xamarin.

3. Performance and User Experience

Think about the app’s performance expectations needed to function correctly on mobile devices. According to many applications, native-like performance, smoothness, and ease of use are vital. In particular, frameworks such as Flutter and Xamarin are associated with good performance and non-interference with the UI. Make certain the selected framework can adequately deliver performance in line with the viewers’ anticipation.

4. Budget and Resources

Within the selection of the right framework there is always the issue of the available budget and the resources that one has at their disposal. As a general rule, cross platform applications cost less than applications developed from scratch. However, certain frameworks may come with additional costs in terms of the plugins or other third-party services that it may utilize. Consider the pros and cons of its application to solve within financial capacity.

5. Community Support and Documentation

Frameworks that have a lot of support from the community and have lots of well-written documentation make it easier. Active communities also post useful information, describe possible issues when using it, and provide an update. React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin are well-documented, and it is evident that their communities are expanding, making them credible.

6. Integration with Existing Systems

In case your application shall communicate with other systems, servers, or third-party services, then the selected framework should support such an integration. Think about how well the framework matches the tools and technologies that are planned to be used, such as APIs, databases, and cloud solutions.

7. Future Scalability and Maintenance

Think about the app’s future viability and the relative ease or difficulty of further development and support. Select a design model that would allow further developments and modifications in the future with mini redesigning. Structural designs that enable code recycling and easy updates with minimal effort, such as Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile, are helpful for maintenance and scalability. 

VIII. How to develop cross platform mobile apps  

It is often effective and efficient to create cross platform mobile applications to target diverse users. 

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1. Define Your Project Goals

The following is a breakdown of the basics that should be put in place before developing an app: Identify the main characteristics and capabilities it must possess. Ideally, the creation will be informed by an understanding of your audience and the needs they will have.

2. Choose the Right Framework

Select an appropriate cross platform framework in your project specification, your team capability and within your cost consideration. A few of the leading solutions include Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, and Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile. Each of the frameworks has its benefits; therefore, determine which framework will suit your project best.

3. Set Up the Development Environment

Prepare the rigid development environment by installing the relevant tools and software needed. This also involves installing IDEs, SDKs and any plugins that may be provided by the selected framework. Make sure your development environment is active on both the Android and iOS platforms.

4. Design the User Interface

Create smooth and cohesive design to work on different devices and other platforms. Design wireframes and prototypes by using design tools available such as Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, or others. Check the specific guidelines of the platform to create a well-coordinated appearance for the users.

5. Develop the App

Decide on the framework for constructing the app and then begin developing it. Another question to ask is how one can come up with a solution that is the single best codebase that one can deploy across all platforms. Use the many components and libraries in the framework to create applications quickly. Clean code will cost less because it is cheaper to fix problems that may arise from it than to fix them in a code that is hard to modify.

6. Integrate APIs and Services

Implement all the active integrations with the required APIs and other third-party services for the app. This could be payment conduits, social media sign-ons, or tracking and performance tools. Make sure that these integration processes are safe, secure, and efficient across different platforms.

7. Test Thoroughly

Cross platform application development involves a testing stage, which is very important in the whole process. Automated testing tools include Appium, Browserstack, or Firebase Test Lab to run the code through bug checkers. This involves conducting performance testing to make sure that app operation and functioning are smooth on a range of devices and operating systems.

8. Optimize Performance

Fine-tune your app so that it will have a shorter loading time, consume less memory space, and not hog system resources. Concerning specific elements, be wary of the differences in designs for Android and iOS platforms to improve the user experience.

9. Deploy and Monitor

After being confident with the test results and app performance, release the app on the appropriate app store platforms. Some of the key tracking options are: Analyzing regularly the site’s performance to estimate the users’ feedback and improve the general performance. Beta releases of the app should be periodically released to address these issues, whereas actual updates should be created to add features to the application, as well as enhance its usability.

10. Maintain and Scale

Ensure that you frequently update your app to enhance its performance and also work on containing negative comments from users. Be specific on issues such as how the application would be designed to accommodate growing numbers of users and how it intends to add new functionalities to the app.

IX. Why Select Adamo as a Trusted Tech Partner for Your Project

It is, therefore, important that you choose the right tech partner whom you will work with in order to find the best way to build cross platform mobile apps. 

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Expertise in Cross platform Development 

Adamo is a cross platform mobile application development company focused on the delivery of effective applications, installed on various operating systems, using the newest frameworks and programming languages. 

Proven Track Record 

From the varied projects that have been highlighted in this paper, Adamo has a successful course of app development and is adept at meeting complex challenges to deliver efficient and superior results at faster rates. 

Tailored Solutions 

The services that are rendered by Adamo can be customized depending on the needs of a particular project or the goals of a specific project. Regardless of whether it’s performance tuning, visual design, or back-end integration, they adjust efforts according to the best outcomes. 

Robust Support and Maintenance 

In addition to the development process, Adamo has a support and maintenance service that ensures the application’s continual stability, safety, and functionality once it has been launched. We engage in post-launch enhancements and modifications when the solution requires one to make it better for the end users. 

Commitment to Innovation 

I would also like to emphasize that Adamo remains an innovator at the forefront of implementing new strategies and achieving their ultimate outcomes as part of each work. A very important aspect is loyalty as they guarantee that we will keep on developing, thus ensuring that your application remains relevant in the mobile application market, which is fairly competitive. 

Transparent Communication and Collaboration 

Clear organizational communication should be observed in the development process to enhance effective communication. For instance, Adamo aims to work closely with the clients while demonstrating our commitment to relying on mutual trust, timely delivery, and common objectives. 

Getting involved with us at Adamo makes it possible to enjoy an agile cross platform mobile application development process and a product that users will love to engage with. Hiring us is a safe bet for anyone serious about turning their app concept into reality as they are armed with professional experience, high standards, and an intrinsic focus on the client’s needs. 

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