Are you considering developing a mobile application? Your thoughts immediately turn to native app development. Still, before you decide, it is critical to understand that native apps are designed for something like a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, with a different codebase. Cross-platform apps, on the other hand, can target multiple platforms with a single codebase. Here in this brief article, you will learn about how to save money on cross-platform development frameworks.
Because of the numerous advantages of having apps which can work on multiple devices – both desktop and mobile, developers worldwide embrace cross-platform app development. Today, there’s a great choice of frameworks to allow developers to create apps for multiple platforms using shared code to reduce the amount of additional work needed to address the differences the devices may have. In this article we explore what we mean by the term cross platform development and how we go about creating apps that can work for our users no matter what their choice of target whether it be desktop or mobile.
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What is cross-platform development?
Software that can run on multiple devices and operating systems can be an example of a cross-platform application. Moreover, as a developer, you can define cross-platform apps by building a cross-platform app out of the same source code without changing so much on the core.
For instance, Delphi provides a cross-platform development ecosystem with its set of tools and libraries. The FireMonkey framework is the core tool for creating cross-platform and native applications using the same code.
FireMonkey framework is one of the leading visual frameworks for creating cross-platform apps. Its architecture lets you create high-performance and secure applications.
Do you really need to use a cross-platform development framework?
Not all cross-platform development tools provide you with the best experience when creating it or a great user experience for the users. Because cross-platform applications utilize layers of abstraction to make the thing work and sometimes you might not get the true native app feeling. For instance, apps built with hybrid technology or web technologies do not provide security over your product. Furthermore, there may be a problem when accessing hardware functionalities.
Nevertheless, Delphi, with its promising FireMonkey framework, is the solution for all. With FireMonkey visual framework and Delphi IDE, you can design GUI apps in no time and build/deploy them to Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux devices quickly. Moreover, you can access any device or the operating system feature with built-in helper functions.
Microsoft also has a new technology called MAUI, which is similar to FireMonkey’s architecture. However, it is still in preview, and as you can see, FireMonkey has been in active development for more than a decade and is the most stable cross-platform visual framework.
Are cross-platform frameworks the future of app development?
This is no secret that most companies, primarily startups, choose cross-platform development frameworks to target several markets easily. That’s why we may say that these cross-platform frameworks are in demand, and over the years, it has shown that cross-platform app development can help reduce cost and engineering time dramatically.
We can only see more demand for cross-platform development and technologies with breakthroughs.
For example, the Delphi FireMonkey framework has been around for more than a decade. It’s really powerful and efficient, and is kept up to date with new technologies, components, helper libraries and third-party components. For instance, Skia for Delphi library can easily create beautifully animated apps.
What are the challenges of cross-platform development?
After choosing the cross-platform framework, you can not target a particular platform only. For instance, with the FireMonkey framework, you can design your app in universal mode and make specific changes to other methods. Moreover, you can force the GUI components to utilize platform-specific styles, giving a truly native experience. But there are some cases where you can not make things similar on all platforms because every operating system has its defined behaviours that you have to follow.
Most exciting cross-platform development frameworks have similar graphics problems and require manually tweaking. Moreover, when you finish the Android side, you have to make changes on the desktop Windows side. This requires getting around technological limitations and engineering experience to solve them.
Delphi, with FireMonkey’s other side, embraces graphical power. Here you can see several tutorials on how to work with shaders
Moreover, with Skia for Delphi, you can embrace Lottie animations in your app, giving you more flexibility over the drawing and creating of graphical content.
Building and deploying can be a tedious process with some cross-platform development frameworks. But with FireMonkey and the Delphi IDE, the built-in tools help you.
What are the benefits of using a good cross-platform development framework?
Like me, most developers can say that one of the best advantages of cross-platform development is a quicker development process. Because a rapid development process is another win-win situation when it comes to targeting the big market.
Using a single source code for multiple platforms can help developers save 50 to 80% on development time. Cross-platform frameworks are primarily aimed at feature-rich, data-aware business apps, and they include built-in functions, components, and libraries to help them. This creates an efficient environment for quickly developing apps.
Using a mobile cross-platform development approach allows a company to create an app and deploy it across multiple platforms, including the web.
How to save money and development time and get your app to market swiftly?
You know all the necessary information about cross-platform development and its benefits if you have followed.
Cross-platform app design is the process for businesses to get the most out of this investment.
With cross-platform development, you can save more time on development costs and save on future app maintenance. Moreover, there is only a code base and easier to support and maintain that code in the future.
Another reason why cross-platform apps are great for your business is that they can be easy to add new features and scale your app’s performance by just maintaining the single source code. For instance, Delphi with the FireMonkey framework provides built-in components and integration tools to connect to REST services and cloud services easily. Moreover, with LiveBindings designer, you do not even need to write code to show the UI controls’ data.
What is the best cross-platform framework?
Delphi with FireMonkey is the best and only combination that gives you the best experience, security, performance and stability over any application. Since you create native and also cross-platform apps, this gives you the best security over your app and the Delphi IDE itself provides the best ecosystem for creating graphical applications.
The latest updates and improvements also provide great flexibility and modern features in one toolset. Use Delphi’s award-winning VCL framework for Windows and the FireMonkey (FMX) visual framework for cross-platform responsive UIs. Furthermore, FireMonkey design-time guidelines: Prototype faster with visual lines and enhanced margin and padding support.
You can integrate Python into your Delphi FireMonkey cross-platform application. This creates a way to utilize popular Python libraries in your applications smoothly. To use Python in Delphi you can add Python4Delphi to your application. We have set of tutorial and webinars about how to integrate enjoy all the benefits.