Cross-platform mobile development allows creating a mobile app that works on different platforms. For example, it enables a developer to write one codebase for iOS and Android instead of writing two variants of projects for each operating system.
The advantage of cross-mobile development is that the company saves money and time. If a developer needs to change something in such an application, the changes will be applied to all platforms at once. At the same time, the existing code can be fully or partially copied for a new project and will not be developed again.
Continuous improvements and updates of these platforms prevent loss of quality in adapting finalized applications to each platform. When choosing a cross-platform tool for mobile app development, it is necessary to pay attention to the performance, graphical interface, price, coding, programming language, debugging, and other characteristics.
Each cross-platform mobile development tech has both positive and negative characteristics, compared to other tools, but the task that needs to be completed at the moment, matters. Here are some information and the functionality comparison of three cross-platform mobile development tools: React Native, Flutter, and Kotlin Multiplatform.
Also, React Native supports Java and Kotlin (for Android development) as well as Objective-C and Swift (for iOS development), which are built-in separately for Android and iOS, and solve individual tasks that are not cross-platform.
The developer can edit photos or videos, and create other complicated, unusual functions that are not included in the standard framework APIs. That is, with the help of React Native, it is possible to solve both cross-platform tasks and native ones for each system.
With React Native, applications can use 80-90% of the same codebase on different platforms. Thanks to the use of native tools, the application is more flexible, lasts longer, works stably and quickly, and has extensive functionality.
Flutter By Google
Flutter by Google is a relatively new framework and is being developed rapidly. It supports Android, iOS, and Fuchsia. Dart is used here. The tool has many advantages and disadvantages:
- Flutter has its own graphics engine. It means that it is not necessary to refer to the native application in developing a simple one. A difficulty may arise if it will be necessary to turn to the native app, but it is not a big problem.
- Splash screen realization is much faster in Flutter than in React Native.
- Debugging the application will take longer because the logs contain not too much information, and it will make more effort to figure out where the bug is and successfully fix it. This tool allows for easy debugging, which also profoundly affects its performance.
- The performance of Flutter is high (60 frames per second). It allows rendering at high speed and minimizes the differences in the appearance of the application on different platforms. Flutter is very flexible in functionality and makes it easy to create high-quality animations.
- Widgets describe the user interface. It is a bit uncomfortable and overloaded with unnecessary details.
- Since Flutter has not been around for a long time, it does not have many libraries, so a developer must write some templates himself\herself. Engineers can waste a lot of time and effort.
- Flutter has excellent customer support provided by Google, which is always responsive and ready to help the user.
Kotlin Multiplatform by Google was created as an experimental tool that supports Windows, Linux, iOS, MacOS, Android, JWM (Java Virtual Machine), web-applications, and is absolutely compatible with Java. Kotlin is used in Kotlin Multiplatform.
It makes it easier for everyone to understand the code, share common skills, solve problems together, and become more effective in every sense. Equipped with some useful features from Java, Kotlin is not so bulky, and it is much easier than Java.
It means that development needs less time and resources for solving tasks. It does not reduce the overall quality of the development process and the final result. However, shortcode does not always mean simple and straightforward code, and sometimes it may look not very readable.
Kotlin has a short learning curve because it has elements from Java, C++, Pascal, TypeScript, D, F#, and other programming languages. Still, they are greatly simplified for ease of use, and it reduces writing code time.
When developing a program, the main logic code is copied to all other necessary platforms, and there is no need to write it again. This is a new generation multiplatform, and it is likely to enable the developer to avoid code changes and debugging in parallel mobile platforms.
But it is better to double-check because sometimes when changing the code, the developer may break one module, and it may not work even if everything else is working correctly. The developer must create a separate module for each platform.
To make the right choice, the developer or company has to decide what tasks must be solved. All instruments are different and unique by their structure, so every engineer has to make an optimal decision for every application in terms of safety, prospects, speed, and simplicity of the platform.
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