Cross Platform Mobile Development Tools: Ending the iOS vs. Android Debate

For consumer apps, it’s best to choose one platform first and build an amazing native experience for it. There are hundreds of millions of users on each platform, and they have come to expect a fluid experience with their apps.Cross platform apps have limitations in terms of what they can deliver. However, in a few scenarios, the advantages of cross platform apps might make them a compelling proposition.As you’ll see, different cross platform mobile development tools have different specialties: some focus on gaming, some are focused on data security for business purposes, and others specialize in letting you use whatever programming language you like, so you (or your developer team) don’t have to learn new ones.Ultimately, which of these cross platform mobile development tools you choose depends on your needs and goals for your app-based business.

Tool #1: Sencha

Sencha is a tool that lets you develop your apps in HTML5.Their main product for app developers, though they have many, is Ext Js 5. Developers choose it because it works across a handful of devices on different platforms and boosts productivity with pre-built components that save teams lots of time when writing code. (So it’s not exactly a translation tool, but it is a huge time saver.)Once you have your HTML5 code developed, you can translate it to both the iOS and Android platforms using a translation tool like PhoneGap (see below).Sencha image credit

Tool #2: PhoneGap

Owned by Adobe, PhoneGap is a free resource that first-time app developers can use to translate code from HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.They maintain SDKs (software development kits) on their end for each of the platforms you can develop an app for, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about. And once your app is completed, you can share it with your team members for review to see if you need to make any improvements.Beyond iOS and Android, PhoneGap also creates apps for BlackBerry and Windows. So it is truly a cross platform mobile development tool!

Tool #3: Appcelerator Titanium

Using JavaScript, Titanium’s SDK creates native iOS and Android apps while reusing anywhere from 60% to 90% of the same code for all the apps you make, thereby saving you a significant amount of time.And because this is an open-source tool, hundreds of thousands of your fellow developers are constantly contributing to it to make it better and give it more functionality. And if you happen to find a bug in its system, you can too.