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The question right after an idea of an app that comes to your mind is the platform you would like the app to work on, iOS or Android?
You might come across many articles on this, but they all fail to answer which is better. Both are competing against each other, and have a huge amount of users. If you are focusing on experimenting with consumers, you might consider building a native app for one application and improving the product with iterations. This allows you to have complete control of design and usability, but if you plan to roll out for both platforms at a budget friendly pricing, you can consider cross platform development, but like every other thing, this too has pros and cons, which we have outlined in a blog some time ago.
Tell us your requirements, and we’ll get back to you with a project plan for your custom built mobile app.
So, which tools are leading in this segment of the market to help you build cross platform applications? Here are our top 5 picks (in no particular order) for those looking to explore cross platform development.
PhoneGap, owned by Adobe, is probably the most renowned cross platform development tool. It’s a free and open-source framework, one of the reasons of its growing popularity. With PhoneGap, you don’t need to worry about the SDKs, as they are maintained at their end.
To learn which APIs are available, click here.
Sencha is a tool that lets you develop your apps in HTML5. They believe the go to market time must be as short as possible, while ensuring the process is streamlined. Their main product for app developers is the Sencha Ext JS 6. Once you have your HTML5 code developed, you can easily convert it for both iOS and Android using a tool like PhoneGap.
Sencha has different pricing packages for Ext JS 6. The standard package values around $4,340
Their recommended pricing package values at $259/seat/mo.
Corona claims with their SDK, you can start building in less than 5 minutes. They support all major platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows. Moreover, their tools are optimized for gaming and educational apps, which help you create apps almost ten times faster than you would otherwise.
The Corona SDK is free to use while the Enterprise Small Business package values at $79/month, which allows you to call native libraries/APIs from your Corona project.
Using C# shared codebase, Xamarin allows developers to write native apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms, and then test the app for any bugs that may arise. With Xamarin, you can also monitor your application with real-time analytics to improvise.
In the past two years, Xamarin has received over $82 million in funding. The most popular package they have to offer is the Business package which values $999 / year. You can find out more about the pricing details here.
Cross platform development tools are good when you are short on budget and can compromise on quality/features. The user experience with cross platform development is still below par compared to what native applications can offer. Depending on the features and goals of the application, you could, like we said earlier, either benefit or lose from cross platform mobile apps. But if you have decided on moving forward with cross platform development, our top five picks will help you make the best out of it.