What are cross-platform mobile apps

Cross-Platform App Development - The 5 Best Tools

Because of the variety of platforms and devices that define the mobile market, the cross-platform app development proved to be the most economically viable solution. In contrast to native app development, code that was generated with a cross-platform development tool can be used for various platforms and devices. In this way, app programming with a cross-platform tool not only curbs programming costs, but also saves you the hassle of updating and managing your apps.

These cross-platform app development tools help you build great hybrid apps for both Android and iOS.

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1. Xamarin

In Xamarin, the C # code base can be universally applied to multiple platforms. Nevertheless, unlike other frameworks, the tool allows developers to work with native IDEs, languages ​​and APIs. In addition, the Git integration is an integral part of Xamarin Studio.

PER

  • Xamarin offers some sample apps that make it quick and easy to get started.
  • Almost three quarters of the code can be shared across major mobile platforms. In this way, you can not only contain development costs, but also the TTM value (time-to-market).
  • Xamarin supports functional testing and quality monitoring for a wide range of devices. It also has an Android emulator.

CONTRA

The prevailing compatibility problems with open source libraries for Android and iOS are a bit of a deterrent to developing a full-fledged app with Xamarin. This is a topic that the Xamarin community has yet to address to encourage developers to use Xamarin to implement a substantial project.

2. PhoneGap

Developed by the team behind Apache Cordova, this open source tool is equipped with a compiler, a debugger and testing tools that are tightly interwoven with popular web technologies such as HTML, CSS3 and JavaScript. The rumors that PhoneGap is only suitable for simple apps and that PhoneGap apps hardly exploit the capabilities of the device have recently been increased by the integration of a large selection of plugins such as the Image Capture Plugin, the Media Recorder Plugin, the Push Plugin and various others, cleared out.

PER

  • PhoneGap is based on web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This enables developers to fall back on existing skills.
  • The cross-platform use of code (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Firefox OS) can reduce the TTM (time-to-market).
  • PhoneGap has a plugin-compatible architecture. This enables developers to access the full range of features of the device via APIs and in this way to program featured apps.
  • PhoneGap supports in-app purchases for the App Store (iOS), the Google Play Store (Android) and other stores.

CONTRA

You may experience performance problems with graphics-intensive apps. However, developers can overcome this challenge by implementing third-party solutions that improve caching and speed up graphics. With OEMs offering better technical specifications, you shouldn't worry too much about this issue.

3. Native script

This open source platform uses a native user interface for Android and iOS based on Angular, TypeScript or JavaScript. Developers get access to native APIs via JavaScript and can recycle NPM, CocoaPods and Gradle packages. In this way, they can develop feature-rich apps or improve existing features of apps.

PER

  • NativeScript includes support for Angular and TypeScript.
  • You can use almost any JavaScript library.
  • Apps use native components and have direct access to the native APIs, which also includes full access to the development libraries.
  • The tool has a cross-platform declarative UI support, which allows you to first develop a user interface and then implement it on different platforms.

CONTRA

One potential problem in NativeScript is multithreading, which should be improved in later releases. In addition, detailed examples and documentation of the individual features are missing.

4. MonoCross


MonoCross supports the cross-platform development of apps with the help of C #, Microsoft .NET and the Mono Framework. Developers can secure the application, controller and model code across platforms while playing with the platform container and the view that represents the user interface to deliver a native experience across all key platforms. The tool also makes app porting easier than ever. In this way, companies can cope better with the rapid changes in the platforms.

PER

  • With the support of various APIs, MonoCross makes it easier to use the entire capabilities of the device.
  • Third-party API support also reduces development time as developers don't have to grapple with the intricacies of each platform.
  • The use of MonoCross for app development only requires the compatibility of C # and .NET.

CONTRA

Beginners in particular may have difficulties with the tool as there is little documentation and support available online.

5. Kony AppPlatform

The low-code app development framework Kony App Platform is the right choice for companies that want to cope with the increasing demand for mobile applications in their home. Developers with JavaScript skills can use the platform to create both native and cross-platform apps. The biggest advantage of Kony App Platform is that developers can simply drag and drop the features they need from Kony Marketplace or the associated API library. Developers can rate the app and validate its API connectivity. In this way, the framework speeds up the development process.

PER

  • Kony offers demo apps that give developers an easier start.
  • The platform supports a wide range of backend systems.
  • Kony has a powerful visualizer to validate its powerful multichannel JavaScript APIs.

CONTRA

As with MonoCross, the documentation and support available on the web are insufficient.

P&M as an app agency

Our app team has supervised a wide variety of projects in recent years and has gained experience in a wide variety of fields. We will be happy to provide you with the competence you have acquired in consultation and design of your mobile solution. Because advice comes first with us!

About the author

Phillip Schulte

Phillip Schulte is the "P" in P&M and thus co-founder and co-managing director of the agency. He coordinates the project management of the app development, custom software and online marketing teams.