Definition

cross-platform mobile development

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Comprehensive mobile app development guide

Cross-platform mobile development is the creation of software applications that are compatible with multiple mobile operating systems. Originally, the complexity of developing mobile apps was compounded by the difficulty of building out a backend that worked across multiple platforms. Although it was time-consuming and expensive, it was often easier to build native applications for each mobile operating system (OS). The problem was that the code built for one operating system could not be repurposed for another OS.

Today, it is easier for programmers to develop cross-platform apps. Newer approaches to cross-platform development include:

  • Hybrid mobile app development - developers write the core of the application as an HTML5 or JavaScript mobile app and then place a native device wrapper around it.
  • Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) - developers use code-free programming tools. RMAD offers business users the ability to quickly build and manage “good-enough” internal apps to address specific business issues.
  • Windows universal apps - one codebase for all Windows devices. The goal is to enable the same app to run on a Windows PC, tablet, smartphone, smartwatch or XBox.
  • Progressive web apps (PWAs) - websites that look and behave as if they are mobile apps. PWAs are built to take advantage of native mobile device features, without requiring the end user to visit an app store, make a purchase and download software locally.
This was last updated in May 2018

Next Steps

Discover how to use Oracle MAF. Is Xamarin Platform the right mobile app development platform for native and cross-platform apps for Android, iOS and Windows devices? Streamline your cross-platform app development with SAP HANA Cloud Platform. From MobileFirst Console to MobileFirst Application Center, tools that aid in the development process are all available from MobileFirst Platform Foundation.

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