Cross-Platform Mobile App Development [App Development Approaches & Solutions]

Mobile application development involves diverse approaches to conceptualize, plan and build highly functional & user-friendly apps. Within these mobile app development approaches the cross-platform method is one in which developers build the application once and run it on many platforms.

This post introduces readers to the sub-divisions within the cross-platform mobile app development such as cross-compilation approach, virtual machine approach, and web-based approach.

In addition to this, the post also explores component-based approach, cloud-based approach, and merged approach; these three being the latest additions to the overall mobile development solutions which signify cross-platform mobile app development.

A detailed report on this topic can be accessed here.

In order to develop the same mobile application for different operating systems, i.e. iOS and Android, use of appropriate programming languages and APIs forms the crux of the process. The app development process also includes taking into consideration different computing capabilities and hardware configurations of devices.
App development for cross-platform purposes would also require developers to repeat tasks based on the chosen programming language.

Let’s look at some of the core aspects of each mobile app development approach/solution:

Cross-Compilation Approach

– The prime advantage when using this approach is that the existing source of can be re-used to run another application on a different platform.

– In addition to this, the resulting applications are native, making it a highly functional native app.

– However, the cross-compilation approach cannot achieve mapping between source language and target language, resulting in its focus only on the common elements of diverse platforms.

Web-based Approach

-The only benefit users can derive with the web-based approach is that it is easy to use as it depends on the web technologies.

– As opposed to the user interface of the native app, web apps have a toned down look and feel.

– Also, performance of web apps is not as high to other approaches.

Virtual Machine Approach

– This approach works well with apps which have a longer response time.

– As mobile apps developed using this approach are smaller in size, they can be downloaded faster.

– All libraries and methods needed for the app are stored in the virtual machine.

Component-based Approach

– This approach implements the set of components with defined interfaces for the new platform.

– Among all supported platforms only the common functions are focused on.

– The onus is on the developer to learn the various component interfaces and build accordingly.

Cloud-based Approach

– The entire app development process can be entrusted to the cloud.

– However, cloud networks need high-speed connectivity and computational ability.

– The devices used to run the applications need a robust internet connection.

Merged Approach

– As the name suggests, the merged approach derives benefits from each approach

– The developer has the flexibility to choose from a range of features and functionalities while developing the mobile application

– However, this also means that the development process itself is quite layered and requires a detailed plan supported by consistent physical effort

Also read our blog List of Technologies Used for Mobile Application Development