With the ever-increasing number of smartphone users, mobile applications are an extremely hot commodity in 2019. As new and emerging businesses flourish under their prowess, benefits such as sales growth, process automation, customer loyalty and more, help provide an advantage over industry competitors.
While Apple and Android continually compete over market share, your organization doesn't have to choose a side. With cross-platform development, you are able to develop one application that fits both platforms.
In this post, we will compare five free popular frameworks that you can use to develop mobile applications with.
2019 Cross-Platform Mobile Development
In 2019, if you’re not developing your mobile app using a cross-platform framework, you’re behind the curve.
Rather than developing separate codebases for Android, iOS, and maybe even Windows phones, develop one unified application that can be used to update each platform at once. This allows for greater code reusability and a major reduction of bugs. In turn, cross-platform development is more cost-effective, as you do not have to manage two to three teams to write the same app on multiple platforms.
Furthermore, user interface components can be easily shared and transferred across these platforms to give your users a more unified experience. No matter the operating system you’re running, the app should look consistent and clean.
Comparing the Frameworks
Here, we'll dive into some of the most popular cross-platform frameworks available: React Native, Flutter, Ionic, Xamarin and PhoneGap.
The first cross-platform framework is React Native. This framework is a popular software solution because it was created by the well-known social network company, Facebook, to build user interfaces for mobile platforms.
React Native also just released a build tool that allows developers to build projects for Windows. Before this tool was created, developers had to use outside resources to connect Windows and React Native. The knowledge of the newly-released tool is continually expanding and being shared within the community of developers.
React Native is a popular choice for creating mobile apps for numerous platforms, but the framework is still young, which makes for necessary room for improvement. Despite its youthfulness, developers worldwide utilize the framework to build mobile apps with cross-platform capabilities.
Our next mobile development framework is Flutter. This framework was created by Google in 2019, making it a fresh addition to the software world.
If you’re creating apps for Google Fuchsia – Google’s new operating system for mobile devices – Flutter is the way to go. The cross-platform mobile development framework offers developers hot reloading and speed capabilities, which is one of the main selling points of this framework. A second selling point is DART: the official, custom programming language of Flutter.
Despite Google’s homage to the Android operating system, iOS applications can also be crafted using Flutter. A single codebase makes it simple to create apps for both of the major operating systems.
Unfortunately, due to the framework’s young age, Flutter has limited libraries and TV support among other aspects the community is working to develop.
Up next in our mobile development framework lineup is Ionic. Ionic was created by Drifty Co. in 2013.
The open source project is maintained by a team of developers, as well as a community of contributors looking to further the framework.
Ionic’s advantages are support for web applications, as a well as development tools. According to its website, “Ionic apps are made of high-level building blocks called Components, which allow you to quickly construct the UI for your app”. It has a stable API, too.
Ionic is not a native application, so security is a risk when developing apps for high-security products and services such as banking and financial accounts. People looking to develop apps with an expected amount of security should consider other frameworks.
A fourth mobile development framework utilized by mobile app developers is Xamarin. The software company was created in 2011 by Microsoft.
Developers love the native user interface controls and the fact that they can develop applications on PC or Mac.
Aside from those features, its core benefit is arguably the integration with .NET and Visual Studio. Developers can access tools and content that will aid them in creating an app their users will love.
Full hardware support pairs with simplified maintenance due to the cross-platform capabilities of the framework. A community of developers continually work to improve the features of the software for simple app and prototype development.
The last framework to cover is PhoneGap. PhoneGap was purchased by Adobe Systems in 2011 following its release in 2009 under Nitobi.
One of the greatest drawbacks of the framework is problems with plug-ins. App functionality could be compromised with outdated plugins, making the need for support great in this area of development.
Mobile apps are a great resource for your business. The apps are channels for communication, audience building and more. Creating a functional, memorable user experience begins with determining the mobile development framework used to program your app.
If you’re looking for the right team of developers to create your mobile app with cross-platform capabilities, look no further. Code Authority can develop your app with one shared code base and propel your business into the modern world where mobile apps benefit your business in a variety of ways.
For more information about our mobile app development services, contact us today to request your free consultation!