Though in most cases native development allows delivering more quality products than cross-platform app development does, there come to life cross-platform technologies enabling to create great modern applications much faster and easier.
Since the market has always been very competitive, tech providers have to take care of quality and strive for delivering high-quality cross-platform development frameworks.
At the moment, one of the best ones are Xamarin, PhoneGap, and React Native. I’ve included Flutter in the list as a new promising tool, which now is quickly gaining popularity (certainly, there are many other great and for some more convenient tools, but they generally have a similar architecture to those in the list).
PhoneGap is an open-source cross-platform development framework, that goes for free. This cloud-based tool doesn’t require SDKs, compilers, and hardware for building applications.
By using this framework, programmers get the ability to simplify custom mobile app development: you build a native application that in fact reflects an embedded web browser and a single-page HTML.
There is no a direct access to API as all interface elements within a web page are just stylized as native ones.
To access the system functionality, programmers connect specific plugins, that add JS methods inside the web browser and link them with the native implementation on each platform.
Adobe PhoneGap will perfectly suit you if you need to develop an application interface or a simple app with 10-16 screens with a small user audience, for example, for building enterprise solutions.
React Native grew out of React.js, the latter created by Facebook to repair their chat. The key feature of React.js is a renderer layer, allowing the intermediate JSX language to render in HTML, which is already perceived by the browser.
At some point, the guys from Facebook realized that they can use exactly the same approach for their mobile solutions. The React architecture allowed to add a native renderer, turning JSX into native platform components. As a result, they received React Native.
The main advantages of React Native:
High speed and more simple app dev process.
A single framework and tools for both platforms, so it doesn’t matter whether you work on iOS or Android app version – the tools are the same.
React Native is a good solution for rapid prototyping of web apps’ mobile versions. Also, if a web application is already written on ReactJS, the speed of transferal goes much more quickly.
Testing & Debugging: you can run the application on two platforms at once. And, when for example, changing the slicing, you see the changes on both devices, which is very convenient and simplifies the testing process.
Check out the review of Xamarin, Flutter, PhoneGap, and React Native, including features, ease of use, and much more.