Cross Platform Application Development with a Single System: A Game Changer

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Cross Platform Application Development with a Single System: A Game Changer


If there’s one thing that’s certain about the mobile device market, it’s that it is unpredictable. Just a few years ago BlackBerry was the undisputed smartphone leader, while today the company is in dire straits. After introducing the revolutionary iPhone in 2007, Apple took the lead and appeared untouchable -- until Android came along. A recent study by Gartner revealed that 80% of smartphones worldwide are powered by Android, while Apple retains just a 12% share of the global smartphone market.

Businesses and mobile developers traditionally had to play catch up in response to new development environments and processes brought on by new mobile operating systems and technology. This has changed with the introduction of the single cross platform application development platform.

Cross Platform Application Development with a Single System

A single cross platform application development system takes advantage of markup, style, and scripting languages (e.g. HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript) that are supported across practically all app- and web-enabled devices: smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktop computers. By utilizing the rich set of features offered by the combination of several universally supported languages, developers have the ability to create fully functional cross-platform applications.

Once an application has been developed in a single development environment, it can then be packaged for installation on devices supporting a range of operating systems. This is done through app wrapping, which “wraps” applications so that they meet the requirements for each specific platform. Apps can be wrapped for iOS and Android devices without ever requiring proprietary development environments, such as Xcode or the Android SDK. Once wrapped, an app can then be installed on devices directly or sent straight to application platforms, including the Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Working with a single development system from the app design phase ensures that users across all platforms get the same fully functional, native experience. This is in stark contrast to native app development and app porting, which rely on different sets of programming languages, development environments, and APIs, all with varying sets of features and functionalities that can lead to inequalities between different platforms. Compared to developing native applications for each major platform, cross-platform development also drastically reduces the time required to create and deploy web and mobile applications, as well as the time it takes to roll out subsequent updates.

In addition to saving time and reducing complexity, business leaders should also be aware that cross-platform development translates into a direct reduction in overhead. Whereas native app development and app porting require applications to be essentially rewritten for each major platform, cross-platform apps can be created in just one development cycle. And because single development environments support existing and established web languages, business will also find a lower barrier of entry when it comes to selecting qualified candidates to develop cross-platform applications.

The bottom line is that a single cross platform application development environment is one of the few IT solutions that saves time and money. With more than half of the population in possession of a smartphone, now is the time for businesses of all sizes to develop and introduce B2C and B2B applications.
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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi www.tubifi.com.

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