Smooth, Quick & Reliable across Platforms

Home / Tech / Smooth, Quick & Reliable across Platforms

Smooth, Quick & Reliable across Platforms

My patience is short lived. Yours probably is too. If an app is not smooth, quick, and reliable, regardless of platform and internet connection, I will not use it. So, how can we build apps that meet these demands? Read on to get an overview of what you should consider, before starting your next app development.

I was recently at a conference where information about speakers, locations, etc., was available in an app. The app was web-based, which is the go-to choice when you need something developed quickly (rd. cheap) for multiple platforms. In this case, it was a poor choice.

2000+ participants were trying to access the same network simultaneously making the app unbelievably slow. A native app designed to work offline, would have been much better. I’ve experienced a few good web apps, but most of the time, they perform poorly.

Four Types of Cross-Platform App Development

For a long time, there was only two ways to go with cross-platform app development: great, but expensive native, or cheap, but poor web apps. Today there is two more to choose from: hybrid apps or Xamarin apps. Here’s a rundown of all four:

Web apps are essentially just websites optimized to run on smartphone browsers. You cannot access the phone’s native functions, unless the web browser supports that specifically. You can develop these apps using common web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, etc.

Native apps are developed directly in the OS, which allows you to utilize all features supported. Android apps are made in Java, iOS in Objective-C or Swift, and Windows Phone apps are built in .NET. It is not possible to share the code between apps, making it necessary to develop apps for each platform.

Hybrid apps are web apps wrapped in a native app containing a WebView. Like native apps, a hybrid app has total access to all the phone’s functionalities – camera, switches, sensors, eg. – but they must be converted to JavaScript functions first. A mix of the two app development methods above.

Xamarin apps are basically native, but everything is written in .NET. Xamarin translates .NET code so that it can runs as a native app across iOS and Android platforms. You can reuse an average of 70-80% of the code across operating systems. Only the user interface must be built for each platform.

An Overview

Below are the four development methods listed according to a number of significant factors when embarking on a mobile project. While all projects have their specific factors to judge from, the list can be used as an overview guide when choosing your cross-platform strategy.

  • onsdag apr 13, 2016