In the past, mobile applications had to be developed to target specific platforms. For an app to be accessible from multiple devices, it had to be developed multiple times. Now, thanks to the rapid advancement of technology, mobile apps can be pushed out to all platforms at once.

You’re probably thinking that this is old news. Developing mobile apps using cross-platform tools is nothing new. But honestly, those tools don’t have the best track record. The intention was to allow a single team or even a single developer to write code once, and for that code to produce apps for any and every platform.

In reality, issues with device compatibility, user and information security, and general bugs ruined the tools’ effectiveness.

Have no fear – the world’s genius developers are here! Many improvements are being made to increase the ease of developing mobile apps for multiple platforms.

Who’s Laughing Now, HTML5?

In the recent past, HTML5 laughed in the face of creating native mobile apps. HTML5 was intended to be the fix-all for cross-platform mobile app development issues. The thought was 1 HTML5 web app plus 1 simple native app would equal 1 hybrid app, which was accessible from all platforms. Web developers that have more experience to draw from than mobile app developers could be used to create apps without having to reinvent the development wheel.

Facebook found out the hard way that HTML5 didn’t quite live up to the standards that had been set for it, and other development teams followed suit. HTML5 simply put limitations on mobile applications that weren’t present in native-built apps.

Native’s Got Nothin’ on Cross-Platform

Choosing cross-platform over native-built mobile apps was once considered “settling” because functionality was lost in the name of accessibility and convenience.

These days, the super brains of the world have had enough time to unite and come up with some prettyamazing tools that allow cross-platform mobile apps to be built without sacrificing any functionality that comes with native builds. Both UI and performance issues are being resolved in more sophisticated and savvy ways as we speak.

The perks of these awesome tools are hard to deny. Code in a single language that most developers are already familiar with, producing standard UI's that people already know how to use, and pushing code to production more quickly by using a single team to develop for all platforms instead of separate teams for each isn't only effective in terms of production, but also in terms of cost-effectiveness and revenue generation.

Just Kidding. Native’s Got a Little on Cross-Platform

Before you get all riled up by the drive to create, remember that not everyone needs cross-platform mobile apps. Native apps are, for now, still the best choice for super intense apps that are packed with details and graphics, or, obviously, for apps that are only going to be used on one platform.

So, choose wisely.

​Know which platform(s) the apps needs to be compatible with, and when the incorporation of each OS will happen. If launching to multiple platforms at once is a must, then cross-platform is, of course, the way to go (but don’t rush). Plan the development cycle carefully, and always keep one eye on the UI and UX. Research extensively anddo everything possible to ensure that the decision – whether it’s native or cross-platform – is the right one.