Pitfalls of Cross-Platform Mobile App Technologies
Cross-platform mobile app development technologies allow businesses a method to create a uniform app that works on any device. This drastically saves both time and money throughout the development process and oftentimes during the support phase as well. However, these technologies come with certain constraints and pitfalls that can derail a project if not considered beforehand.
One of the biggest issues associated with developing mobile apps using cross-platform technologies involve the performance of the app. These issues typically stem from the cross-platform technology causing inconsistent communication between the non-native code and device’s native components. This can cause bugs in the application with specific devices or simply slow down the application on all devices.
Finding and fixing these performance issues can become a costly and challenging task as it’s hard to identify exactly which areas of the code are having difficulties communicating. If you can identify where the issues stem from, it’s not as simple as altering a small piece of code. You may need to rework that entire section of code into the device’s native language to fix the application and get it working as intended.
Limitations to Available Tools
When developing mobile apps using cross-platform technologies, you typically do not have access to all of the tools of that device. Cross-platform environments try to build workarounds into their language to help combat this, however these workaround never work quite as well as the native component would. This leaves you with a mobile app that does not quite feel right when using it on any device.
They simply do not work in the way the user expects it to since the app does not use the same components that their device was made for. However, you can attempt to integrate native components into each device you want to support, but this takes time and goes against the reasoning you chose to use a cross-platform environment in the first place.
These same limitations also impact your options for providing a great user experience with your app. You simply do not have access to all of the native components that make your app intuitive to the user. Instead, you have to create workarounds to get the user experience good enough rather than great.
Slower Support for New Features
Every update of each phone’s operating system comes with new features that users have requested time and time again. To build on this, each year these updates seem to keep coming faster and faster. When you use a cross-platform mobile app environment to develop your mobile app, you cannot implement these new features until the framework you use adds them as well.
Without updating your mobile app according to new features, your mobile app can quickly start to feel outdated compared to other native apps. You simply won’t be able to provide your users with a consistently updated app which can lead some to transition to an app built with native code. While you can do your best to keep up with updated features, you can only work as fast as the framework you use allows.