In a perfect world, businesses would choose to have one-client applications delivered to all types of user devices. BeKitzur brings this day closer by constantly checking and testing emerging cross-platform technologies. Below is a short summary of different types of existing cross-platform solutions. You will also find our recommendations for applying these solutions to different types of apps and businesses.

Most of the cross-platform technologies are categorized into three types:

Mobile Web Apps

A set of JavaScript libraries and HTML components optimized for mobile browsers that mimic native applications UI and visual effects. With HTML5 support of web-socket and local storage, these libraries are used to quickly assemble rich web solutions that run on most devices with browsers supporting HTML5 standard. BeKitzur has extended this experience by using jQuery Mobile Framework and Sencha Touch mobile web technologies.

Major drawbacks for Mobile Web apps are: no access to device features such as an address book, no access to GPS coordinates or camera, no integration into the AppStore registration and payment solutions, and poor behavior of UI components when compared to native apps.

Hybrid Apps

With this approach, the application is created with JavaScript and HTML components, and then wrapped into a native shell. The shell wrappers will run the application logic in an embedded web control, and provide JS API to access the native features of the handset and use AppStore services. At the end of the process you get native apps, that could be distributed through AppStores. Some of those Hybrid Technologies provide additional libraries with JS APIs that can be used to optimize the app performance. We have experience with PhoneGap and Cocos2D technologies.

Major Drawback for Hybrid Apps are: poor behavior of UI components when compared to native apps.

Cross-Platform Compilers

The source code is written on C, C# or even JS and linked against the various platform SDKs. Some technologies provide platform neutral SDKs to access phone features. Most of those technologies also come with built-in graphic libraries such as OpenGL that is used for all UI tasks instead of native UI components. Those technologies are mostly used for game development to create stunning visual effects, custom built characters and UI components. BeKitzur has game building experience using Marmalade and Unity.

BeKitzur recommends

  • MobileWeb and HybridApps to build information type apps: directories, news, dashboards, corporate sites and simple services.
  • Native Development or Cross-Platform Compilers to build games and social apps that need to be slick, smooth and eye-catching with stunning transitions and visual effects.

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