There was a time when businesses were advised to develop a mobile strategy. Now times have changed. Developing apps for Android or iPhone, or Windows or BlackBerry have become the priority. It’s no longer enough to have a mobile app on a single platform. You need to plan for cross-platform mobile application development. But developing for a myriad of target platforms could be a challenge in terms of development cost, time and resources.
Thankfully, there are options available. This problem can be solved with cross mobile application development frameworks which include Appcelerator’s Titanium, Rhodes and PhoneGap. These frameworks are designed to limit the work that a developer has to put in to creating apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and beyond.
The idea is to help developers build nodeJS mobile apps in dynamic programming languages and then compile them to multiple platforms.
Here are the pros that will help you decide whether cross platform frameworks are a good choice for your business :
- Reusable Code: You can code once and use it multiple times. You need not re-write a particular action sequence. Once coded, you can re-use it in other platforms.
- Easy access to plug ins: The major cross platform development frameworks like PhoneGap offer easy access to plug ins and modules that can be easily plugged in to other services and tools.
- Easy Development: Most of the frameworks use dynamic scripting languages and also support HTML and CSS3 , hence they are very easy for developers to use.
- Cost of Development: This is one of the greatest advantages of cross platform frameworks. Businesses do not require to invest in different apps development for other platforms.
- Support for cloud and enterprise services: Most of the available cross platform frameworks also have the ability to directly integrate with cloud services, including Salesforce.com, AWS, Box.net and others.
- Easy Deployment: Deploying and compiling apps is much faster and much easy with cross platform frameworks.
Amongst the cons, you can consider the following points when you take a decision for your business:
- The framework might not support every function that is available on the operating system or device for that matter. So, due to framework limitations, you will have to do away with certain promising features. This is in reference to the new features added by the base OS. If the framework is not updated to support it, you will have to live without it.
- Code might lag a little: Cross compilation might sometime slow down the code. Native tools are definitely quicker at this.
- High end graphics and 3D support are limited.
Well, considering all options and all plusses and minuses, make sure you take an informed decision for implementing a mobile strategy for your business. Going mobile seems inevitable in this era, take the right approach and make the best of the available tools and frameworks at hand to align your business for the future.