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Understanding Cross-Platform Apps

Are you struggling to build high-quality mobile apps for both iOS and Android platforms without spending much time, money, and resources?

Cross-platform app development is the answer to your problem. In this article, we will briefly overview the differences between cross-platform development and native apps. Besides that, we will look at available frameworks, how to choose the right one for your project. We will also highlight the benefits your business may gain from choosing it over the native development process.

The final part consists of a case study involving one of hero/dot clients, a premium e-sign and e-identification platform from Sweden – Scrive. The solution has its form on mobile devices and is used on android phones/tablets and iOS platforms.

At hero/dot, we would like to help you with making your decision about picking the right path for your cross-platform development process. Fasten your seat belts, as it will be an exciting ride into the land of mobile app development!

The Difference between Native and Cross-Platform App Development

The best way to know what works for you and your business needs is by understanding the difference between two common solutions on the market.

Native app development uses platform-specific programming languages and tools to build mobile apps for specific platforms, such as iOS or Android.

For example, developers use Swift or Objective-C programming languages and the Xcode development environment to make an app for the iOS platform and publish it on the Apple App Store. For an Android app, they use Java or Kotlin programming languages and the Android Studio development environment.

Cross-platform app development, on the other hand, involves using a single codebase to develop apps that can work on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and others.

It is common for developers to use cross-platform development frameworks, such as Flutter or React Native, to write a single codebase to build apps for multiple platforms.

This eliminates the need to write separate code for each platform, making app development more efficient and reducing development costs. Moreover, the lower maintenance cost is, objectively speaking, one of the significant benefits of cross-platform programming.

However – to be fully transparent: cross-platform development frameworks may not provide access to all platform-specific features. App’s performance may not be as fast or efficient as a native app too – but it should be reviewed on a case-to-case basis. Typically, the pros outweigh the cons of using cross-platform app frameworks.

What are the Leading Cross-platform Framework Technologies for a Platform?

There are several frameworks and tools available for cross-platform app development. React Native, Xamarin, Flutter, Ionic, and Apache Cordova were mentioned previously.

They allow developers to write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms rather. Then developing separate codebases for one platform at a time. Out of all the mentioned frameworks, it’s Flutter and React Native that lead the market.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these cross-platform frameworks:

  1. Programming languageFlutter uses Dart, a language developed by Google, while React Native uses JavaScript.
  2. PerformanceFlutter is generally considered to perform better than React Native. Thanks to its use of a compiled programming language and a built-in UI framework.
  3. Development speedReact Native offers comparable development speed to Flutter. Both have a hot reloading feature, allowing developers to see changes in real time.
  4. User interface – Both frameworks offer various UI components and allow for customizations. Still, Flutter’s UI toolkit, built around many types of widgets, is considered to be more flexible and easier to use than React Native’s. This can make app users’ experience better due to the lack of poor user experience.
  5. Community support – Both frameworks have large and active communities, but React Native has been around longer and has a larger community. That can be beneficial for finding resources and getting help with development issues. It is based on React.js, thus it is often attracting web-developers, and it has a lower point of entrance thanks to their skill set.

Both cross-platform application development solutions have pros and cons. Overall, it comes to the business needs, developer’s preferences and skills.

How to choose the best framework for Cross-platform Mobile Development?

Cross-platform application development can be challenging. But selecting the right framework can help us create more cost-efficient apps.

When picking the best cross-platform app development framework for your project, it’s essential to consider several factors. We will mention some of the most critical steps to take here:

  1. Consider the purpose and complexity of your application. Some frameworks are better suited for simple apps, while others are more suitable for complex ones.
  2. Think about the development team’s expertise and familiarity with the different frameworks. If your team is more familiar with a specific framework, stick with what they know best.
  3. Research the platform support and the community behind each framework. Ensure that the framework you choose supports all the platforms you want to target. Check if has a thriving community to provide support and updates.

Considering these factors, you can select your project’s best cross-platform app development framework. Developing apps may be challenging at times, but the benefits of cross-platform mobile development will help your business.

At hero/dot we can help you select the best possible framework for mobile app development. Same app, same code, and the entire development process in one perfect place.

What are the Flutter Cross-Platform Development Benefits for Business?

Understanding the value that Flutter brings to the business of mobile applications is crucial in getting to know the technology.

Flutter offers a variety of advantages, but the most interesting characteristic of this technology is its cost-efficiency. It might be a game changer, especially in Android apps that have struggled with compatibility issues due to the large number of multiple devices that differ from each other on the market. It is also a framework that helped us create great mobile apps at hero/dot.

Developing two native apps simultaneously can often lead to code smells and unparallel development for each platform. This is where the shared, cross-platform framework comes into action to reduce these disadvantages.

Moreover, some technology aficionados tend to say that native technologies like Objective-C will be slowly pushed out of the market. This situation may be really hard to overcome when our development team wants to introduce, e.g. new features.

Flutter also has wide community support. Proving that it is possible to find specialized developers who have the resources needed to cross-reference their work. It can introduce a quicker development process.

Not only that, but fixing bugs becomes faster and cuts development costs as a cross-platform framework enables tackling the iOS and Android versions of the application. Different versions and native components usually make it hard to have apps built in the same amount of time.

How Flutter Helped with Cross-Platform App Development – Scrive Case Study

The tech community may be sceptical of cross-platform applications, but the study case we are about to show proves otherwise.

Meet Scrive, the premium eSign and e-identification solution that helps businesses improve their contract workflows. It was founded in 2010 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. During the past 13 years, Scrive has quickly become a market leader in the e-signing space in the Nordics.

At hero/dot, we started our work with Scrive in 2015 and continue it, making it our longest partnership. During our 8 years of cooperation, we worked closely on the constant further development of our client’s product.

First, we were involved in developing a native application for Android and IOS. But as time passed, we also presented the idea of code rewriting using a cross-platform app framework to the client.

It resulted in us introducing Flutter to the work environment. It was a decision based on our thorough analysis of the situation – and how we could improve it.

The application’s components were outdated and hard to work with them. The legacy code needed a “SPA treatment” as soon as possible.

The process was carried out simultaneously, as we needed to build existing iOS apps and create an Android application. All the native functionalities were still there, and we even introduced some unconventional features. Such as overlays that respond to events within WebView.

All of that work was done in 1.5 years. The cross-platform app development enabled further introduction of QR codes later at a reduced development cost.

How to Fall in Love with Cross-Platform Development Using Flutter – Summary

Not all love stories end with a happy ending, but this one is truly something else. Flutter makes things work better.

To summarize, a cross-platform app development framework can be very effective while creating mobile apps. It continuously proves to be time and cost-saving. It’s also easy to use for developers wishing to develop the application’s features further.

Mobile platforms change fairly regularly. They introduce their development languages and rules, but, e.g. Flutter is a way to go to secure your mobile application from possible dangers of the rapidly changing mobile app world.

We highly recommend further reading regarding the cross-platform app framework and usage of the Flutter app. Check our previous article by Michał Wapiński – “6 Ways Flutter Optimises Your Mobile App Creation and Maintenance”, for additional information.

Finally, are you interested in Flutter or cross-platform frameworks? Is your business in need of coding superheroes for your software development plans?

If yes, then be sure to check out our website or contact us directly at! We will be more than happy to code your vision.