Editorial

Features of cross-platform development

It would seem that we have cross-platform development, which makes it possible to create universal applications for different platforms.  I wrote the application faster, immediately released it everywhere – profit!  And no native development is needed. Or is it still needed?

Mobile developer is a broad concept.  A developer who implements parts of a mobile operating system is also a mobile developer.  And if the goal is to become just such a developer, then you need to start in general with learning C ++, a mobile operating system.

If you mean a developer who implements custom mobile applications, then you need to start with native development.

Why is that?  Native development allows you to better and deeper understand the capabilities of specific operating systems (and applications for them).

From the user’s point of view, native development clearly wins.  Native apps work faster, their interface is more responsive and more familiar to users of a specific mobile operating system, they make better use of the hardware capabilities of devices and work better offline.

The original idea behind cross-platform development is to reduce developer effort.  Briefly it can be expressed like this: “I did it once, it works on anything.”  The idea is good and correct (from a developer’s point of view), but there are quality issues.  Any kind of versatility comes with a compromise, and mobile development is no exception.

When choosing the type of development for a specific task, the developer needs to evaluate how this trade-off is acceptable.  There are a number of tasks where the use of cross-platform development will be quite justified, for example, in test projects, mobile versions of sites, games using frameworks like Unity 3D.

At the same time, for projects that solve mobile business tasks (with a high load, the need to support offline mode, aimed at long-term development), native development is seen as the only optimal (and for some tasks the only possible) option.

At the same time, the main disadvantages of native development are development time (it takes more) and the need for diverse resources (developers in different native programming languages).  There are ways to mitigate these disadvantages – for example, to use some mobile application platform (MEAP class) for development, which allows you to create native applications.

If you want to develop a good and high-quality application, then it is very important to turn to professionals, or rather to find a cool cross platform app development company.

Also, a completely working model will be the simultaneous mastering of the basic elements of the two approaches, there is nothing impossible in such a learning task at the initial stage.  For example, such a scenario may turn out to be quite feasible and promising: to start working in a cross-platform paradigm, and in parallel, independently or with the help of colleagues, study what native opportunities exist for developing current solutions and how they can be applied in practice.

In this case, it is easier to achieve a comprehensive understanding of how the mobile development process works in principle, which is called in an end-to-end manner.  It is also useful because any, even the most advanced, universal platform lags behind the native one in its capabilities: manufacturers of hardware and mobile operating systems often work together and constantly increase the capabilities of final solutions – the capabilities of mobile development platforms, especially cross-platform solutions, inevitably lag behind.

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