What is a cross-platform app development?

Cross-platform apps work on multiple operating systems with a single code.  Most of the hybrid or cross platforms are developed using web technologies such as HTML5 and CSS.

There are 2 main types of cross-platform apps:

  • Native Cross-Platform Applications
  • Hybrid ‘HTML5’ Cross-Platform Applications


The platform can refer to the type of processor (CPU) or other hardware on which a given operating system or application runs. An example of a common platform is Microsoft Windows. Other well-known desktop computer platforms include Linux/Unix and macOS both of which are themselves cross-platform. There are, however, many devices such as smartphones that are also effectively computer platforms but less commonly thought about in that way. The Java platform is a virtual machine platform which runs on many operating systems and hardware types, and is a common platform for software to be written for.

Cross-platform software

For a piece of software to be considered cross-platform, it must be able to function on more than one computer architecture or operating system. Developing such a program can be a time-consuming task because different operating systems have different application programming interfaces (API). For example, Linux uses a different API for application software than Windows does.

Software written for a particular operating system does not automatically work on all architectures that operating system supports. This also means that just because a program is written in a popular programming language such as C or C++, it does not mean it will run on all operating systems that support that programming language—or even on the same operating system on a different architecture.

Advantages of cross platform apps

Write once and use multiple times – cross-platform code can be written once and can be used on multiple platforms. No need to create a dedicated app for each platform.

No need to learn native development language – With one platform expertise, you can create app on multiple platforms, this saves time and effort of learning.

Easy to update code – whenever you need to update code, the developer can update single codebase and apps on various platforms can be updated.

Cost effective development – With cross-platform development, you can save development cost since you write code once and it can be used on multiple platforms.

Cross platform app development has many advantages but at the same time it has some significant disadvantages which might not make cross platform a best development option in some cases.

Disadvantages of cross platform apps

Platform-specific advantage – Cross-platform development offers basic features which are common on all platforms. Cross platform does not give more specific platform features. This limits the development.

Performance – In comparison with native app development, cross-platform apps still lack in performance. In the case of high-performance apps, cross-platform apps can perform poorly.  

User experience  – Cross platform doesn’t deliver high-performance best graphics and user experiences because of lack of access to core OS libraries like graphics. If a user wants to develop gaming app or high graphical app then cross-platform app will not deliver the best.

Some of the popular cross platforms are,

  • Xamarin
  • PhoneGap
  • Sencha
  • Appcelerator
  • Kony

For our expertise and help in app development services, please get in touch with http://purplechai.com/


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