How to create an application that works on multiple devices?


    Cross-platform development allows for the creation of applications that run on multiple operating systems based on a single source code. This programming method is gaining popularity in the business environment due to its efficiency and potential cost savings. Multi-platform applications can be published simultaneously on different platforms, increasing their availability and reach. However, despite the clear benefits that multi-platform development brings, there are also challenges such as performance limitations and the ability to customize to the specific features of operating systems. In this section, we will take a closer look at how these advantages and disadvantages affect business decisions and how important it is to choose the right tools and technologies to maximize potential and minimize the risks associated with multi-platform development.

    In the article, we will focus on discussing multi-platform applications, primarily mobile and web applications. The goal is to understand how various technologies—such as React Native, Flutter, and approaches to creating Progressive Web Applications (PWA)—can be used to create efficient solutions for mobile devices and online platforms. We will focus on analyzing these technologies, which enable broad reach and functionality without the need to create dedicated desktop applications. We will discuss key advantages, challenges, and best practices related to choosing and implementing the right tools for such projects.

    Brief Introduction to the Technologies

    Choosing the right framework for developing multi-platform applications is a key decision for any company planning to expand to different operating systems. Popular frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, and Ionic offer various features that may be more or less suitable depending on the specific needs of the project and user preferences. React Native allows for the creation of applications using JavaScript, which is attractive to web developers, while Flutter, developed by Google, provides high performance and smooth animation operation thanks to its own rendering engine. Xamarin, which uses C# and .NET, is preferred in corporate environments due to the ease of integration with existing Microsoft systems. Ionic, on the other hand, offers a solution based on web technologies, which can be beneficial for companies with teams specializing in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. When choosing a framework, it is worth considering factors such as resource availability, the specifics of the target market, and short- and long-term business goals.

    1. Native Applications


    • Performance: The best possible performance and fluid operation.
    • Access to API and device features: Full access to the operating system and hardware features.


    • Cost and development time: Developing separate applications for each platform is time-consuming and costly.
    • Complexity of maintenance: The need to update and maintain several codebases.

    Application examples: Applications requiring intensive data processing or complex interactions with devices, such as games, fintech, or medtech.

    2. Multi-Platform Applications (Cross-Platform)


    • Cost and development time: Enables faster and cheaper product introduction to the market thanks to a single code base.
    • Easier management: Maintaining one source code instead of many.


    • Performance: Often lower performance compared to native applications.
    • Functional limitations: May not have access to all native APIs.

    Application examples: Business, educational applications.

    3. Progressive Web Applications (PWA)


    • Low cost and quick deployment: Easy and quick to develop, does not require installation through an app store.
    • Platform independence: Works on any device with an internet browser.


    • Limited access to device features: Does not have full access to all native device features.
    • Performance: May be worse compared to native and multi-platform applications.

    Application examples: Information applications, transport portals such as Uber.

    In summary, the choice between these three types of solutions should depend on the specific functional requirements of the project, available resources, the expected level of interaction with the device, and business goals. Each solution has its place in the market and may be the best choice depending on the specifics of the project.

    Key Factors in Choosing Technology

    The decision to choose the right technology for developing cross-platform applications is not only technical but also strategic. Key factors to consider include primarily the availability of resources—both financial and human. Development costs and time are also important, especially for startups and companies aiming for rapid market entry. Additionally, it is important that the chosen technology is scalable and can support the future growth of the company. Technology that has strong community support and is continuously developed can also significantly contribute to the project's success. Choosing technology for developing multi-platform applications should take into account a range of factors that help maximize benefits while minimizing costs and resources.

    Functional needs: Before deciding on the technology, it is important to define which features are essential and which may be an over-engineering. Not always a native application is the best solution; sometimes simpler approaches, such as PWA or multi-platform applications, can fully satisfy user needs at lower costs.

    Resource availability: Evaluating the financial and operational capabilities of the company is crucial.

    Simpler and less costly solutions, such as PWA, may be suitable for projects with a limited budget.

    Business goals: Speed to market is often crucial, which favors the choice of technologies that enable quick deployment, like multi-platform applications.

    Scalability: The selected technology should allow for easy scalability of the application in response to growing business needs.

    Technology Overview

    Native Applications

    Native applications are specifically created for a particular operating system, such as iOS or Android, which provides them with exceptional performance and the ability to fully utilize all the features of the device. Thanks to direct interaction with system components, these applications offer the best user experience, especially in terms of speed, fluidity of animations, and overall responsiveness. They are also able to directly benefit from the latest system and technological updates.


    • Optimal performance and responsiveness
    • Full access to device functions and sensors
    • Best use of hardware capabilities
    • Direct integration with the operating system


    • Higher production and maintenance costs
    • The need to create separate versions for different platforms
    • Longer development time compared to multi-platform solutions
    • The need to have specialists from various technological fields

    Choosing a native application may be particularly beneficial for applications that require intensive data processing, advanced interactive features, or specialized access to hardware, such as games, educational tools, or business applications requiring advanced security.

    Cross-Platform Applications

    Cross-platform applications allow for the development of one application that works on different operating systems, such as iOS and Android, which is achieved by using a common source code. This technology is attractive due to the time and cost savings, which are lower compared to developing separate native applications for each platform. Frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin allow for quick product delivery to the market, while maintaining good usage quality.


    • Cost-effective: Lowers development and maintenance costs.
    • Speed to market: Enables simultaneous delivery of applications on different platforms.
    • Code sharing: Reduces the amount of code that needs to be maintained.


    • Performance limitations: May not match native applications in terms of speed and fluidity.
    • Dependency on tools: Requires reliance on external frameworks and their updates.
    • Compromises in customization: May not offer full integration with all system features.

    Cross-platform frameworks:

    React Native: A framework created by Facebook that allows the development of mobile applications using JavaScript and React. It enables developers to use one code base to create applications for Android and iOS, while also providing access to native device features. Flutter: Created by Google, Flutter is a UI toolkit for creating natively compiled applications for mobile and web platforms from a single Dart code base. It is known for fast rendering and efficient GPU usage. Xamarin: A Microsoft platform that enables the creation of applications for Android, iOS, and Windows using C# and .NET. Xamarin offers full access to platform APIs, allowing for the creation of high-performance applications with strong integration with the operating system.

    Cross-platform applications are ideal for projects that do not require advanced platform-specific features, yet need a broad market reach.

    Progressive Web Applications (PWA)

    Progressive Web Applications (PWA) are hybrid solutions that combine the features of websites and mobile applications. They operate in the browser but offer an experience similar to native applications. They are easy to develop and maintain, can work offline, and send push notifications.


    • Low development and maintenance costs.
    • Quick access and installation directly from the browser.
    • Ability to operate offline.


    • Limited access to system and hardware features.
    • Dependency on the browser, which can affect performance.
    • Limitations in advanced user interactions.

    PWA is suitable for companies that want to quickly reach users on various platforms, offering application functionality without the need for complicated installation.

    How to Choose the Right Technological Solution?

    When choosing technology for application development, it is important to understand whether an application is actually needed. Before investing in the development of individual software, it is worthwhile to conduct an analysis of available market solutions that can meet business requirements in a cost-effective and quick manner. Such solutions can reduce the need to build custom software, which is strategically important in the context of saving time and resources.

    However, if business goals indicate the need for a dedicated application, the choice of technology should consider not only resource availability and speed to market but also scalability and potential long-term benefits for the company. Key steps include:

    1. Defining business goals: Understanding what the company wants to achieve with the application—whether it's increasing user engagement, achieving faster time to market, or reducing development costs.

    2. Market analysis: Identifying the needs and expectations of target users, as well as monitoring the competition, which can influence the choice of technology.

    3. Evaluating available technologies: Analyzing available options, such as native, multi-platform, or PWA, and their impact on achieving the set business goals.

    4. Considering trends and the future of technology: Taking into account the latest trends and anticipated changes in technology that may affect the future and scalability of the application.


    As technologies and frameworks for developing multi-platform applications evolve, forecasts indicate their growing importance in the market. Innovations in tools such as React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin enhance their performance, availability, and functionality, attracting the attention of companies looking for cost-effective solutions. The rise in popularity of multi-platform applications is driven by the need for quick and wide-reaching access to users at limited costs.

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