It’s not a secret that cross-platform development has made significant inroads in the app development space recently. Given the many benefits it has over its alternative, native development, particularly the opportunity it provides to create and operate applications across different platforms at relative low cost and ease of development, cross-platform development is poised to only increase in popularity in the future.
Last week, Clutch, an IT research firm, published a report which identified the leading cross-platform development tools. The report, which distinguishes between “market leaders” and “contenders” in the relatively young field, lists 18 different services in total — 14 leaders and four contenders — all of which provide tools to build mobile applications which can effectively operate across multiple platforms.
The leaders identified were: Unity Technologies, Ionic, Appzilion, Qt Creator, Kallipso, Verivo AppStudio, Adobe PhoneGap, Xojo, Greenhouse, Sencha, Meteor Development Group, and V-Play Engine. The report determines rankings based on references, support, market presence and app development features. Nearly each one of the services recognized provides a free version of their tools, and all but one also offer a premium version of their service at a monthly or annual rate.
Clutch analyst Chandler Dunklin cited flexibility, time, and cost as specific benefits of the tools listed in the report.
“These cross-platform development tools allow their users to save time and money through a variety of features that allow code to be reused across multiple platforms,” Dunklin said. “[They] continue to gain market share as the user experience of their apps comes closer to their native functionality.”
Dunklin’s comments highlight the logic behind the rise in popularity of cross-platform development tools. The less noticeable difference in functionality there is between natively and cross-platform developed applications, the more these tools and software will continue to encroach market share controlled by native development tools.
It is important to familiarize yourself with these tools now, since dependence on mobile apps will do nothing but increase in the future. This is especially true from a business perspective, as cross-platform development tools allow flexibility for companies to develop universally compatible apps both for their employees and for external revenue purposes. These tools also enable this to happen without an incredible amount of front-end investment, something that will bring nothing but benefits as the technology further advances.
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