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How to Get Started With Cross-Platform App Development

How to Get Started With Cross-Platform App Development

One year you use Android, and then you buy your first iPhone with iOS. In 2018 you had macOS, and today you think about having a new version of Windows. Or Linux. Or anything else these guys from Silicon Valley come up with. This way we create new trends in app development. We are polygamous and transfer from one platform and OS to another easily. We are monogamous having a great battlefield where we come up with 1000 reasons why you should use Android or iOS. These extremes meet, and either way, companies strive to embrace all popular platforms – to satisfy both types of tech-love.

How do they [coders] develop an app for different platforms?

They can build a native app for each platform separately and write different codes (compilation). Also, they can write one code and then the interpreter will adapt it to the needed operating systems (interpretation). Say, we want to make a mobile app for memes creation. How do you implement it in both Android and iOS?

Compilers. Here, we will code from scratch for each platform separately. For Android – in Kotlin. For iOS – in Swift. We code native apps. Although it takes a lot of time and effort there is a great advantage. The compiled apps will work faster. This process of coding will not be referred to as cross-platform because you write different codes.

Interpreters. Here, we choose a tool for cross-platform development. Let’s say we take React Native. You write your code in JavaScript and the app will automatically interpret it to the native requirements of Android and iOS. For mobile apps and web pages, this solution is good. It takes less time and money to launch them. Theoretically, you can use it for complex computer apps as well. You will just need to set up different interpreters for each platform and each coding language. However, it may result in more bugs, errors, and overall damage to the app’s quality. The less native the app is, the more troubles emerge after the setup. The money saved on coding native apps, you will spend for maintenance.

How do the cross-platform apps look?

They look good on Windows. They look great on Linux. They work wonderfully both on iOS and Android. In a perfect world.

In the real world, you’ll have to take what you are given. To minimize the quality loss, you will choose between two-three platforms at a time: Android, iOS and Windows 10 OR Windows, Linux and macOS. Creating one code for everything and then interpreting it is a hard coded task. Let’s make the core of your development less hard with these cross-platform tools.

  •  Qt allows you to code in C++. It also has an anchor to other languages: Python – PtQt, Java — Qt Jambi, and PHP — PHP-Qt. It “targets any operating system, on any device, on any screen”.
  • Flutter allows code in Dart – coding language built by Google. Then it directly links the code to the native platform. It has a Hot Reload feature that enables you to rebuild an app in a short time to fit the needed platform. However, it is supported only by iOS and Android.
  • Xamarin is supported by iOS, Android and macOS. You can code in C# here. It integrates with many hardware platforms (MacBooks, smartphones). It also has offline app support.
  • React Native is just like Flutter and is suitable only for mobile cross-platform development. It can implement a set of native iOS/Android components. Here is your code in JavaScript.

No matter what you choose: using cross-platform tools or building native apps for each platform separately, SapientPro development teams are there for you!

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Jack is Andorra CF official website editor. Having written for a number of magazines and websites, there's no aspect of soccer news and great predictor.

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