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Cross-Platform Development Approach with React Native and Ionic Framework

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A few years back, there was a perception that choosing cross-platform development posed serious risks for companies and therefore many of them choose to build their mobile application for a particular mobile platform. Back then the cross-platform products were not user friendly, hard to update and less reliable.

Eventually, the cross-platform development tools have evolved and the perception has changed. Over the past few years, there has been numerous discussion that compared cross-platform and Native. Even if the app is built on cross-platform or in Native, the preferred platform and the programming language plays a major role in satisfying the product to customers and the people who are going to use the app.

Digital revolution has been rapidly evolving the phase of our economy. As per expert’s recommendation, Mobile apps are going to play an important role in the business world and are going to revolutionize the digital landscape. Developers have always struggled to find the best approach for developing mobile apps but both have their own advantages and disadvantages. But while creating cross platform apps, the developers can develop an application using a single language for a script which includes JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. Due to the usage of a particular language it accelerates app development cycle to deliver high quality app and the productivity is also increased in all platforms whether they are iOS, Android or Windows device.

What is Cross-Platform Application

As discussed, cross-platforms have a single code and they also run on all operating systems. There are two modes of cross-platform application:

  • “Native” Cross-Platform application: Native cross platform applications are developed in the native programming language both for mobile and web application. Native apps can be designed for iOS (Objective-c or Swift), Android (Java) and for Windows (C#/ Visual Basic and XAML). Native apps must design an internal application in-order to run on independent platforms.
  • Hybrid HTML5 Cross-Platform application: As the name suggests, the hybrid app combines HTML5 application inside a thin native container, which combines the best elements of HTML5 and native apps. 

Benefits of Cross-Platform application

  •  Cost-effective: The codes used for creating cross-platform apps can also be implemented across other platforms and as a result, they are very cheap to build and manage. For instance, an organization can create an app for them without funding heavily on resources, technology, and tools. The same team can be used for working on various platform instead of creating a separate department for every Operating System.
  • UX uniformity: A well designed UX of an app result in their consistency. The app should provide a flexible and easy interface for the users. When cross-platform was first released in the market, they lacked UX uniformity but the latest generation offers the best user experience that the users appreciate.
  • Prototyping: Nowadays every company concentrates on giving their best and even advanced technologies while introducing prototypes. Prototypes are generally the concept of their vision of product for the future and to know whether they fit in the market. React Native (a framework created by Facebook) is the best option for creating a prototype as they allow quick development and release of an application that runs on both iOS and Android equally. Quick development help product owners to collect user reviews to patent them and seize the opportunity before someone else.
  • Easier Marketing and reach: Mobile apps also acts as a promotional tool and a channel for sales in various business. So, Business owners have a huge benefit from a cross-platform app as they serve a wider market as they can work in both iOS as well as Android OS at the same time.
  • Easy deployment: Mostly every framework provides an advanced set of extensions and modules that synchronize well with the existing tools for providing better functionality and user experience. The developers can quickly and efficiently provide and maintain codes for the apps to run on every platform. The latest update of the apps is easily synced over every device and platform.

React Native

React Native is a framework that was made by Facebook. The developer community themselves created the React after they wanted a tool that could combine all the agility and power of the native React environment with good things about mobile development. Different UI blocks are used in React Native for mobile apps rich in content using a common JavaScript codebase. In order to save time Tools for application packaging and debugging are also provided in React Native.

Why we prefer working with React native? 

  • React Native is UI focused: User Interface created in React Native will be highly responsive due to the asynchronous interaction of JavaScript with the Native environment. Thereby allowing the apps to load quickly.
  • React Native relies on fully native controls: React Native apps always has smooth performance because the developers write a React based application, but the app has native controls. React Native uses less memory and load fast which makes them a good choice for an older device on which other cross-platform solutions would lag.
  • React Native allows the user to reuse the code: For updating the existing app, Native UI components can be used. This quality makes them a perfect choice when the product owners want to their app without building a new one from scratch.
  • React Native supports native modules: Features such as encryption, geolocation and payment system integrations are available as React Native allows third party native libraries. 

Ionic framework

Ionic is an open source Software Development kit used for creating a hybrid mobile application with the help of AngularJS. It helps developers to design highly functional and complex user interfaces which were missing in previous cross-platform applications. Ionic also deliver similar properties of iOS UI kit and Android UI and they run as a native app since they are built on the HTML5 framework.

Benefits of working with the Ionic framework:

  •  Open Source Framework: The main benefits of an open source frameworks are that they need less maintenance and have a strong support from the developer community. Ionic goes a step beyond by offering mobile optimized codes for HTML, JS and CSS components. Ionic’s integration with AngularJS help the apps manageable in different platforms.
  • AngularJS foundation: Ionic provides creative mobile applications as they are built on AngularJS framework. Some of the built in features of AngularJS includes the creation of exceptional user experience making them easy to use Angular for Mobile application development services.
  • Default UI: The elements in Ionic are simple but they don’t compromise on elegance and can be customized according to the developer, thereby not compromising on user experience on independent platforms. 
  • Platform Independent: As discussed earlier, Ionic offers mobile optimized codes for HTML, CSS, and JS so that developer doesn’t need to re-write the codes for different platforms. AngularJS also provides a rigid structure that doesn’t compromise the quality of codes making them easy to manage.

Developers all around the world have widely accepted cross-platform development as the entire process of developing is agile. It is very important for the organization to understand the needs of the customers before taking the decision on whether the cross platform is the best approach. A smarter approach is to analyze and study various guidelines such as customer’s interaction with the app, diverse mobile device used, coverage of the platform supported, demographics of the customer to know whether a cross-platform solution is the correct choice.

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