Selecting The Best Cross-Platform Apps
When you hear the words “cross-platform”, what comes into mind? In the context of computer programs, software that has cross-platform capabilities can work no matter what operating system it is installed on.
When we talk about cross-platform apps, it basically follows the same premise. The application in question can be installed on any mobile device- no matter what operating system it uses.
Although there were many mobile operating systems present before, with the likes of Windows Mobile and Blackberry OS, there are now only two challengers that are vying for the top spot: Android and iOS.
For an app developer to build apps with cross-platform functionality, they must use a mobile app development platform that supports that. Two of the most popular development platforms that have cross-platform support are Xamarin and PhoneGap.
In this article, I will talk about both of them and tell you exactly which one is better for cross-platform app development.
Xamarin used to be a development company that specializes in different software. The company has since been bought by Microsoft and after the acquisition, Microsoft turned it into a highly popular cross-platform app development framework.
PhoneGap is another very popular development framework that is used to build cross-platform apps. “Nitobi” created the company and the program was used to be called “Apache Cordova”. However, since it was bought out in 2011 by Adobe, the new owner changed the name to PhoneGap.
Features (Pros and Cons)
An article pitting two of the most popular cross-platform development frameworks together will not be complete without the inclusion of a pros and cons section.
Pros of Xamarin
- This development framework uses only one codebase which means that you greatly simplify the app creation process
- Whenever you need to fix bugs, it would be much easier since you only have a single codebase to work with
- Xamarin supports all known mobile operating systems including the now defunct Windows Mobile and Blackberry OS
- Even though the rights to the framework has been acquired by Microsoft, the program remains to be open-source which means that other developers can tweak this framework to their liking.
- You must learn some programming languages for you to unlock the framework’s full potential. If you’re going to create Android Apps, you need to learn Kotlin and Java. If you want to build apps for iOS, you need to learn Swift or Objective-C
- This framework is not suitable for the development of graphically-intensive apps.
Pros of PhoneGap
- It gives developers the ability to rapidly test their apps
- You do not have to learn difficult programming languages to use this
- The user interface of this framework is pretty convoluted, at least, when compared to Xamarin
- PhoneGap apps pale in comparison to apps created by Xamarin in terms of performance
- It only has a few UI widgets available.
In summary, if you want to create apps with better performance, I suggest that you use Xamarin. You just have to know the different required programming languages and you should be good to go.
On the other hand, if you want a simpler solution, then use PhoneGap. Although, bear in mind that its app performance is not quite up to par with applications made by using Xamarin.