August 23rd, 2012 | Biz Blogs | Comments Off
Cross platform tools
Cross platform tools are required to fight against platform fragmentation in mobile application market. Led by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android there are multiple platforms that have significant market share spanning millions of users. Creating a native application for each platform is a tedious and expensive exercise. Cross platform tool offers writing code just once using one technology and create apps for multiple platforms.
There are multiple cross platform tools available in the market, each serving a different purpose. They are based on different technologies and provide cross platform support in different ways. All tools allow you to write code in one language and create apps for multiple platforms. The two ways of providing cross platform support are:
- Creating html based code that run in browser components (Web View) of different platforms. You get a HTML+CSS+JS code wrapped in native app.
Factors for selection
Choice of tool depends on following factors:
- Supported Platforms: Some popular tools like Mono support only iOS and Android, while others like Phonegap support up to 7 platforms.
- Type of Apps: Some tools (like Unity3, appMobi) are best for developing Gaming apps, some for enterprise apps (DragonRad) while others (Phonegap, Titanium) provide support for generic apps. Some are more appropriate for web apps (Sencha) while some are better suited for hybrid apps (Phonegap, IBM Worklight).
- Pricing: Few tools are free and open source, while some are expensive. There are different license terms, pricing structure and support.
- Development Support: The most popular tools are best supported by the community while some tools (like Kony) have a great paid support. It also largely depends on the companies backing these platforms.
Cross Platform Tools Comparison
(Phonegap vs Appcelerator Titanium vs Mono vs Sencha vs Rhomobile vs Kony vs DragonRad vs Flex vs Unity )
Comparison of most popular tools on basis of the factors discussed in the last section:
|Supported Platforms||Technology||Type of Apps||Development Support||Pricing|
||C# .NET||Generic,Native AppsiPhonish Look and Feel||
||Flex and ActionScript||Generic,Hybrid AppsHard to provide Native look and feel||
||Drag and DropLua||Enterprise, Games||
Technical details on what feature is supported in which platform are available for a few platforms. It is good to get in to details once you have shortlisted two to three platforms based on afore mentioned table.