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Platform controls

note

Crossplatform technologies work by providing abstractions to the developers. In this section we will learn more about those that operate at the platform controls level.

All platforms provide a set of controls or components for developers to use so their application is more integrated with the look and feel of the platform where they are running. For example, Apple provides its Human Interface Guidelines and Android is Material Design.

There are some foundational pieces that are "universal": links, buttons, images, labels, etc.

Buttons in Apple's Human Interface Guidelines Buttons in Android's Material Design

But there are other controls or interactions that are completely different and cannot be translated from one platform to another.

Technologies in this category focus on make it easy to:

  • share the business logic code, which should be (mostly) the same accross all platforms
  • write custom UI for a particular platform if needed

While this means that you might still have to write custom code per platform, it will be using mostly the same technology, and it will also allow you to provide a more integrated experience to your users by "fine tuning" the UI to where the application is running.

tip

The percentage of code share accross platforms will depend a lot in your application. In some cases it can be really high (over 95%!), in others it might be a bit lower.

When evaluating these type of technologies consider how much "tweaks" you want to do per platform to have a better idea on how much code you will be capable of reusing.

Contrary to technologies under Browser engine, the architecture of this category can vary vastly from one to another. Even for the same technology the implementations could be different accross platforms (like Xamarin). For that reason each technology will have its own internals section to explain how they work.

Technologies

The following is a non-exhaustive list of technologies under this category. If you know of more, please report them in GitHub!

Technology
React Native
Xamarin