It is an interesting phase in the journey of mobile technology. Just as the mobile phones and tablets have become bigger, thinner, lighter and smarter, so has the mobile operating software changed. You no longer need your desktop or laptop for so many mundane tasks – the phone is ubiquitous and all-powerful to handle most of our requests from booking a ticket to answering silly questions, to mapping our destination and reminding us to take our medicine. This is possible through constant innovation in mobile technology and software – the need to deliver faster performances, better apps and apps that work across devices.

You can now create cross-platform apps that have a higher penetration in the target base with the ability to run on different mobile OS environments seamlessly. Two of the biggest cross-platform technologies – Xamarin and PhoneGap development services have revolutionized the new generation of apps.

Why Cross-platform?
Cross-platform apps have a distinct advantage over native or hybrid apps. The developer can create a universal source code for an app which the platform converts to code for the respective native environment: Android, iOS, Windows and similar.
Thus, the performance is near native compared to hybrid apps. Developers can reuse existing code, allowing the platform to compile, instead of rewriting separate codes from scratch for each platform. Apps are cost-effective, built quickly, deployed easily and all your dashboard and analytics are under one roof to make monitoring easy.

Adobe PhoneGap
PhoneGap (from Apache Cordova) uses standards-based web technologies to bridge web applications and mobile devices which one can leverage using fine PhoneGap services for development. Apps built with PhoneGap are standards compliant, that is they are future proofed to work with browsers as they evolve. PhoneGap is open source and builds apps with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Web APIs along with frameworks like jQuery Mobile, Backbone.js or Ionic.

PhoneGap apps are essentially collections of HTML pages wrapped in a native app shell which are pushed out to native platforms through native APIs. Additionally, PhoneGap enjoys the support of a large community of developers.

How PhoneGap has modernized app development?
Any modern application development solution needs to be agile to stay competitive. PhoneGap doesn’t require developers to learn or relearn technologies and they can build based on their existing web development knowledge. PhoneGap can tap into the device hardware such as the camera, geo-location hardware, accelerometer, etc. This has made it incredibly useful and practical for business owners who want to access the app without comprising user experience. PhoneGap gives a native experience by tapping into the native device resources. It provides a unified look and feel across all platforms and is compatible with JavaScript toolkits like Sencha Touch, Dojox Mobile or jQuery Mobile. This element of flexibility and compatibility makes it a truly modern technology. PhoneGap supports plug-in architecture model that allows developers to extend the functionality of an app. This allows them to use the full potential of the mobile device.

Xamarin owned by Microsoft is a cross-platform software that generates native apps with platform-specific user interfaces (UI)s. Xamarin delivers native Android, iOS and Windows apps using native APIs for each platform. It builds apps on a shared C# codebase. Anything you can achieve in Objective-C, Swift or Java, you can do in C# with Xamarin. C# is often considered a superior language for mobile app development because it is concise, and devoid of boilerplate annotations. It uses language-level Async keeping the apps responsive. On an average Xamarin reuses 75% of app code across all mobile platforms.

How Xamarin has modernized app development?
Xamarin uses a shared code base. This means lesser time and resources and faster time to market. The users get 100% native performance because UI is rendered completely with native controls. Xamarin apps are also quite easy to update. Additionally, Xamarin Test Cloud is a testing tool that allows you to test apps automatically in the cloud after development.

Xamarin creates flawless experiences using platform-specific UI elements. As the use of Xamarin.Forms increases the speed of app development, it is quite ideal for business-oriented projects. Another strong point with Xamarin is that while the code related to business logic, database access and network communication can be shared across platforms, it allows creating platform-specific UI code layer.

Modern app development software has challenged the industry norms and created opportunity for businesses to ship more beautiful apps, faster across all devices. Both these frameworks can build enterprise-grade apps and require very little or no additional learning from developers. Have you used PhoneGap or Xamarin for your developing an app? What has been your experience? Please share in the comments below.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software. The blog was created after thorough research and discussion with the devops who are experts in cross-platform development.