Cross-Platform App Development Process 2023

Page reviewed by: Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on December 16th, 2023 2:38 pm

Cross-platform mobile app development is the process of developing a mobile application that can be used on multiple operating systems and platforms. This type of development allows developers to create applications that are flexible and can be used on a variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and even wearable devices.

Cross-platform mobile app development is becoming increasingly popular as businesses and organizations look for ways to reach more users. With the number of mobile users increasing worldwide, it’s important to make sure that your app is accessible to as many people as possible. Cross-platform development makes this possible.


  1. What is a cross-platform app?
  2. Why develop a cross-platform app?
  3. What are the different types of cross-platform apps?
  4. Native vs. Cross-Platform Apps
  5. Pros and Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile Development
  6. Challenges in the Cross-Platform App Development Process
  7. Top Frameworks For Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
  8. How to Choose the Appropriate Cross-Platform App Framework
  9. How to develop a cross-platform app?
  10. How to test and debug a cross-platform app
  11. What Are the Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps?
  12. 5 Tips for Cross-Platform Mobile App Developers
  13. Conclusion

Create Your App

What is a cross-platform app?

A cross-platform app is an application that runs on multiple operating systems. This type of software can be written in a variety of languages, including Java, JavaScript, HTML5, and others. Cross-platform apps are becoming increasingly popular due to the cost savings associated with not needing to write separate code for each platform.

They are typically created using tools such as Apache Cordova, Xamarin, React Native, and Titanium. These tools allow developers to create apps that can be used on multiple platforms with minimal effort. By using a single codebase, developers can focus on the user experience and design of the app, rather than worrying about compatibility issues between different operating systems.

Cross-platform apps are often used by businesses to create mobile applications for their products or services. By creating one app that works across all platforms, businesses can save time and money while providing users with a unified experience regardless of their platform. Additionally, cross-platform apps can be used to create games and other applications that can reach a wider audience.


Create Your App

Why develop a cross-platform app?

Cross-platform app development is the process of building an application that can run on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android. This type of development allows for more flexibility in how the app is used, as it can be installed on any device that supports the platform.

  1. The primary reason to develop a cross-platform app is to increase the reach of the application. By being available on multiple platforms, it can be used by a wider range of customers and potential users. For example, if a company develops an app that is only available for iOS, it will only be accessible to those who have an iOS device. However, if the app is developed for both iOS and Android, it can be used by both iOS and Android users.
  2. Another benefit of developing a cross-platform app is cost savings. Developing a single version of an app for multiple platforms requires less time and money than developing separate versions for each platform. Additionally, because there is only one version of the app, it’s easier to maintain and update since only one codebase needs to be managed. This helps to reduce the cost of maintenance in the long run.
  3. Furthermore, cross-platform apps use standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This makes them easier to develop since developers are already familiar with these technologies. By using a single codebase, developers can also share code between platforms which speeds up development time significantly.
  4. Finally, developing a cross-platform app allows for more consistency across devices. Since there is only one version of the application, all users will have the same experience regardless of which device they’re using. This helps to ensure that all users have a consistent experience when using the app which can help increase user satisfaction.

In conclusion, developing a cross-platform app offers numerous benefits including increased reach, cost savings, ease of development, and consistency across devices. These benefits make cross-platform apps an attractive choice when developing applications for multiple platforms.


Create Your App

What are the different types of cross-platform apps?

Cross-platform apps refer to applications that can be used across different operating systems, including desktop and mobile operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. These apps are typically developed using cross-platform frameworks that allow developers to create a single codebase that can be deployed across multiple platforms.

1. Native Cross-Platform Apps

Native cross-platform apps are developed using native languages for each platform. These apps are specifically designed for a particular operating system and use the features available on that platform to create a unique user experience. Native cross-platform apps can be developed using languages such as Objective-C, Swift, Java, Kotlin, and C#. These apps tend to be more robust than other types of cross-platform apps because they are tailored to the specific platform.

2. Hybrid Cross-Platform Apps

Hybrid cross-platform apps combine elements from native and web technologies to create an app that can be deployed on multiple platforms. These apps are typically created using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then wrapped in a native application framework such as Apache Cordova or Electron. Hybrid apps tend to have less of a native feel than native apps but are easier to develop and usually require less development time.

3. Responsive Cross-Platform Apps

Responsive cross-platform apps are designed to function on multiple devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. These apps use responsive design techniques to make sure that the user interface is optimized for each device type. Responsive cross-platform apps can be developed using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript or by using frameworks such as React Native or Ionic.

4. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive web apps are mobile web applications that use modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users on any device or platform. They are designed to work across multiple devices and browsers and can be installed directly from the browser without needing a separate download or installation process. PWAs use service workers to provide offline access and push notifications for an enhanced user experience.

Cross-platform app development has become increasingly popular among developers due to its ability to create applications that can run on multiple platforms without having to create a separate codebase for each platform. By using cross-platform frameworks, developers can reduce development time and cost while still creating an app that provides users with an engaging experience on any platform.


Create Your App

Native vs. Cross-Platform Apps

What is a Native app?

A native app is a mobile application that is specifically designed to run on a particular platform or device. Native apps are developed for a particular mobile operating system, such as Apple iOS for the iPhone or Google Android for smartphones. Native apps can access device-specific hardware and software, and they’re usually downloaded from an app store. Native apps usually provide the best performance and user experience because they’re designed specifically for a particular device and platform.

What is a cross-platform app?

Cross-platform apps are mobile applications that are designed to run on multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and even web browsers. These apps are built using cross-platform development tools such as Xamarin, React Native, or Flutter. Cross-platform apps are convenient because they can be used on multiple devices with the same codebase.

Differences between Native and Cross-Platform apps

Development process

The primary difference between native apps and cross-platform apps is the development process. Native apps are built specifically for one platform and can take advantage of device-specific hardware and software features. Cross-platform apps are built using a single codebase that can be deployed to multiple platforms.

User Experience

Native apps can provide a better user experience because they are tailored to the device’s operating system. This means that UI elements will be consistent with the platform’s design guidelines, and users will have an easier time navigating the app. Native apps also have access to device-specific features such as cameras, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Convenience

Cross-platform apps are convenient because they can be used on multiple platforms without needing to be developed separately for each platform. This can save time and money in the development process because developers only need to write one codebase that can be deployed to multiple platforms. However, cross-platform apps may require additional development in order to take full advantage of device-specific features such as camera, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Cost

In terms of cost, native app development is typically more expensive than cross-platform app development because it requires separate development for each platform. Cross-platform app development is usually cheaper because developers only need to write one codebase that can be deployed to multiple platforms.

Performance

In terms of performance, native apps usually provide better performance than cross-platform apps because they are tailored specifically for the device’s operating system. Cross-platform apps may require additional optimization in order to take full advantage of device-specific features such as camera, GPS, and Bluetooth.


Create Your App

Pros and Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile Development

Cross-platform mobile development is a form of software development in which applications are written using a single codebase which can then be deployed across multiple mobile platforms. This allows developers to create apps that are compatible with multiple mobile operating systems, such as iOS and Android, without having to create separate versions for each platform.

The Pros

  1. The primary benefit of cross-platform mobile development is cost savings. Because developers only have to write one codebase, they are able to develop an application and deploy it on multiple platforms. This saves both time and money since developers do not have to spend extra time and resources creating separate applications for different operating systems.
  2. Cross-platform development also allows for more efficient testing and debugging. When developers are working with a single codebase, they can easily spot bugs and errors across multiple platforms. This makes it easier to identify potential issues and fix them before deployment.
  3. Additionally, cross-platform development simplifies the process of updating applications. Once a bug or error is identified on one platform, the same fix can be applied to all the other platforms the application is available. This helps ensure that applications remain current and secure across all platforms.
  4. Finally, cross-platform mobile development allows developers to reach larger audiences. By creating applications that are compatible with multiple devices, developers can ensure that their apps have the widest possible reach.

The Cons

Despite its many advantages, cross-platform development also has some drawbacks.

  1. One of the primary issues is that cross-platform apps may not provide the same level of performance as native applications. Because they are designed to work on multiple platforms, they may not be optimized for any particular platform, which can lead to slower performance and fewer features. Additionally, cross-platform apps may lack access to certain hardware features or device-specific capabilities.
  2. Another potential problem is that some users may be turned off by the generic look and feel of cross-platform applications. Since these apps are designed to work across multiple platforms, they may not have the same level of visual customizability as native apps. This could lead to users feeling like the experience isn’t as personal or tailored to their needs.
  3. Finally, due to the complexity of developing multiple platforms, there is a greater risk of errors or bugs slipping through during testing and deployment. Developers must pay close attention when testing their apps to make sure all features work properly across all devices and operating systems.

Overall, cross-platform mobile development can be an effective way to save time and money while reaching larger audiences with an application. However, developers must keep in mind that there are some drawbacks associated with this type of development and take steps to ensure that their apps perform well on all devices and platforms.


Create Your App

Challenges in the Cross-Platform App Development Process

Cross-platform app development is a complicated process that requires developers to create applications that can be easily used on multiple platforms. The challenge of developing cross-platform apps lies in the fact that each platform has its own unique set of requirements and limitations which must be taken into account when developing the app. This means that developers must have a deep understanding of each platform and be able to adjust their work accordingly.

  1. One of the most significant challenges in cross-platform app development is the need to create a unified user experience across all platforms. Developers must ensure that users have the same experience regardless of which platform they are using. This can be difficult to achieve, as each platform has its own set of design guidelines and user interface conventions. Additionally, some features may not be available on every platform, so developers must also consider which features are necessary and which can be left out.
  2. The second challenge in cross-platform app development is performance optimization. When creating an app for multiple platforms, developers must ensure that the app performs well on each one. This can be difficult to achieve due to the differences in hardware and software capabilities between platforms. Developers must take into account the different specs of each platform and optimize their code accordingly to ensure the best possible performance.
  3. The third challenge in cross-platform app development is code portability. Developers must ensure that the code they write can be easily ported to other platforms without having to rewrite it from scratch. This can be difficult, as different platforms have different coding languages and frameworks, so developers must have a thorough understanding of how these languages interact to ensure code portability.
  4. Finally, testing is another challenge in cross-platform app development. Developers must thoroughly test their apps on each platform to make sure there are no bugs or unexpected behavior. This requires a lot of time and effort, as developers must test every feature on each platform separately and make sure all functionality works as expected. Additionally, testing can be difficult and expensive due to the cost of having access to real devices for testing purposes.

Overall, cross-platform app development is a complex process with many challenges along the way. Developers must have a deep understanding of each platform and its unique requirements to create successful apps that are optimized for performance across all platforms. Additionally, they must ensure that their code is portable between platforms and thoroughly test their apps on each one to guarantee a great user experience.


Create Your App

Top Frameworks For Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

1. React Native

It is a popular open-source framework created by Facebook that allows developers to create native iOS and Android apps using JavaScript and React. It enables developers to use the same codebase across multiple platforms with minimal effort. React Native is also highly customizable, allowing developers to customize their apps according to their specific needs.

2. Flutter

It is another popular open-source framework created by Google that enables developers to create native Android and iOS apps using the Dart programming language. It also uses a single codebase across multiple platforms, making it relatively easy for developers to create cross-platform apps quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, Flutter provides developers with powerful tools for creating high-performance UIs and optimized applications.

3. Xamarin

This is a Microsoft-owned cross-platform development framework based on the .NET platform. It enables developers to create native iOS and Android apps using C# language. Xamarin also allows developers to share up to 90% of their code across different platforms, making it an efficient option for creating cross-platform apps quickly and easily.

4. Ionic

It is an open-source framework based on HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript that enables developers to create hybrid mobile applications. Ionic provides developers with powerful tools and features for building hybrid apps quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, Ionic allows developers to use the same codebase across multiple platforms with minimal effort.

5. PhoneGap

This is a popular open-source mobile application development framework based on HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript that enables developers to create hybrid mobile applications for multiple platforms using the same codebase. PhoneGap also provides developers with powerful tools for building high-quality hybrid apps quickly and efficiently.

6. Appcelerator Titanium

It is another popular cross-platform app development framework. It is an open-source platform that allows developers to use JavaScript to create native mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. Appcelerator Titanium provides a wide range of components and tools that make it easy for developers to quickly build high-performance apps with great user interfaces.


Create Your App

How to Choose the Appropriate Cross-Platform App Framework

When it comes to choosing the right cross-platform app framework, there are several factors to consider.

1. Target Platforms

Different platforms have different requirements, so you must make sure that your chosen framework is compatible with each of the platforms you are aiming for. For example, if you are looking to build an Android and iOS app, you will need to make sure that the framework supports both operating systems.

2. App Features

Different frameworks come with different features and capabilities, so it’s important to make sure that the framework you choose can accommodate all the features of your app. This includes things like databases, user interfaces, and other elements.

3. Budget

Different frameworks come with different costs associated with them, so it’s important to make sure that you are able to afford the framework you choose. Some frameworks may require more upfront costs than others, so it’s best to do some research before making your decision.

4. User experience

The goal of any app should be to provide a great user experience, so it’s important to pick a framework that can help you achieve this goal. This means considering things like how easy it is for users to use the app, how quickly they can navigate through it, and how intuitive it is overall.

By considering all of these factors when choosing a cross-platform app framework, you should be able to pick one that best suits your needs. By taking your time and doing some research into what’s available, you should be able to find a framework that works for your project and provides a great user experience for your users.


Create Your App

How to develop a cross-platform app?

Cross-platform app development is the process of creating a mobile application that can run on multiple operating systems, such as iOS, Android, and Windows. This type of development is becoming increasingly popular as it allows developers to create a single app that runs on multiple platforms, saving them time and money. Cross-platform apps can be developed using a variety of technologies, such as HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and native code.

  1. The first step in developing a cross-platform app is to determine which platforms you will be targeting. Depending on what type of application you are creating, different platforms may be more or less suitable. For example, if your app targets a wide audience, it may make sense to target both Android and iOS as they have the two largest app store user bases. Once you’ve determined which platforms you will be targeting, you need to decide which technology you will use for development.
  2. If you choose to develop your app using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS then you will need to create your app using web technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. This type of development is often referred to as “hybrid” development because it combines web technologies with native code. There are several frameworks available that can help simplify the development process such as Apache Cordova and PhoneGap.
  3. Alternatively, you can choose to develop your app using native code. This means that you will need to create separate versions of your app for each platform you are targeting. Native code gives you the most control over the look and feel of your application but also requires more effort than hybrid development.
  4. Once your app is developed, the next step is to test it on all the platforms you are targeting. This is an important step as it ensures that your app works correctly on each platform before it goes live in the respective app stores. After testing is complete, the final step is to deploy your app to the various app stores. Each platform has its process for submitting apps for review and approval before they can go live in the respective app store.

Create Your App

How to test and debug a cross-platform app

Testing and debugging a cross-platform application is an important part of the development process. It involves ensuring that the application works correctly on multiple operating systems, hardware configurations, and other environments. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to test and debug a cross-platform app.

1. Define the scope

Before starting any testing, it’s important to define the scope of the project. This includes defining which platforms you need to test on and which features need to be tested. Once you have a clear scope, you can begin creating test cases for each platform and feature.

2. Include positive and negative scenarios

When writing test cases, it’s important to include both positive and negative scenarios. Positive scenarios are expected behavior and should ensure that the application works as expected in each environment. Negative scenarios should be designed to identify any potential problems.

3. Initiate testing

Once you have written the test cases, it’s time to start the testing process. This involves running each test case on every platform and logging any issues that arise. If any issues are logged, they should be investigated further and fixed before proceeding with the next test case.

4. Look for bugs

Once all test cases have been completed, it’s time to check for bugs. This involves running the application in different environments and checking for any unexpected behavior. If any bugs are identified, they should be logged and fixed before the application is released.

5. Use debugging tools

When debugging an application, it’s important to use logs and other debugging tools to identify where problems might be occurring. These tools can help you identify the source of any issues so that they can be resolved quickly and effectively.

6. Regression testing

Finally, once all test cases have been completed, it’s important to perform final regression tests on all platforms to ensure that any changes made during development haven’t introduced new bugs or broken existing functionality.

Testing and debugging a cross-platform application is a complex process that requires a lot of time and effort. However, with the right processes in place, it is possible to ensure that your application works correctly on all platforms. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your application is well-tested and debugged before being released into production.


Create Your App

What Are the Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps?

You should be aware of the cross-platform mobile app benefits before investing your time and efforts into developing them. Some of these are listed below:

  • Code Consistency Single reusable code is used to build cross-platform apps. The single codebase improves the code consistency of different versions of the app. Also, code consistency prevents time delays and human errors at the development stage of mobile apps.
  • Saves Money Every business desires to earn maximum profits with minimal investments. Cross-platform mobile apps enable businesses and enterprises to target the largest possible customer base with minimal costs involved. The cost of testing prototypes, updating changes in the app, and many other expenses are greatly reduced while developing a single codebase cross-platform mobile app.
  • Saves Time Cross-platform apps are time efficient as they easily avoid the uneven delays related to the backend development of different versions. Due to this, a mobile app can be launched for Android and iOS users simultaneously.
  • Expand Outreach With cross-platform apps, businesses can target a wider global audience, as they can support Android as well as iOS users. Improved outreach and expansion in the customer base, can result in better conversion and sales rates.

Create Your App

5 Tips for Cross-Platform Mobile App Developers

Cross-Platform App Performance

While developing cross-platform apps, you can encounter various challenges. Here’s a checklist to develop cross-platform apps efficiently.

  • Maintain Brand Identity Every mobile app is a blend of front end and back end. While the backend of a mobile app is uniform across all cross-platform mobile apps, the front end differs for each platform. Developers must take care of the user interface or front end of the app to maintain brand identity, and should be designed based on the core features of the brand.
  • Platform Independent Approach While developing cross-platform apps, developers should focus more on the app’s purpose rather than the platform. With a platform-independent approach, developers can focus on targeted results and the performance of mobile apps on different platforms.
  • Reliable Cross-Platform Apps Module The cross-platform app development framework should be efficient. Developers must choose a reliable cross-platform app development module equipped with efficient tools to reduce unnecessary delays and complications.
  • Focus Targeted Audience Cross-platform app developers must understand the behavior and interests of their customers before the app development to ensure that the front and back end of the application caters to their needs. With this, developers must aim to enhance user engagement and functionality of their mobile app.
  • Strategize Testing Businesses must strategize prototype testing for each platform before launching the full version of a cross-platform mobile app. Testing a prototype on each platform creates the opportunity for users to test the app and for developers to make necessary adjustments based on the testers’ responses.

Create Your App

Conclusion

In summary, developing a cross-platform mobile application requires careful planning and consideration of which platforms you are targeting and which technology you will be using to develop your application. Testing is also an important step in ensuring that your application works correctly on each platform before it goes live in their respective app stores. With careful planning and preparation, cross-platform app development can be an efficient and effective way to reach a wide audience with a single application.