Cross-Platform Mobile Development

What Does Cross-Platform Mobile Development Mean?

Cross-platform mobile development involves creating a codebase for products that are to be supported on multiple mobile operating systems. This most commonly relates to iOS and Android devices, but can include other operating systems as well.


Techopedia Explains Cross-Platform Mobile Development

The trend of cross-platform mobile development has developed from the realities of the mobile application market. For example, different smartphone manufacturers use different operating systems such as Android from Google, Windows Mobile from Microsoft, etc. Some use a proprietary OS, for example, iOS for Apple products.

In order to try to serve all of these markets, companies have to decide how to create either one codebase that can be tweaked for multiple operating systems, or two or more separate projects, each aimed at developing one side of the cross-platform equation.

Programmers can use various tools and resources to pursue cross-platform mobile development. Some of these provide libraries that allow developing functions for a particular operating system. Generally, these technologies use programming languages like Python, Ruby on Rails, etc.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.