Why I no longer write cross-platform mobile apps
July 29, 2021

Why I no longer write cross-platform mobile apps

Peter Chapman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Android Studio

I use Android Studio as my primary development tool for the Android platform. Having previously used other cross-platform tools, such as Xamarin and Adobe Cordova, I have found that nothing beats native Android apps written using the official IDE for the platform. Google and Jetbrains have poured a lot of time, money, and effort into making this the fastest and easiest way to develop apps on Android.
  • Support for developing in either the emulator or a device means I can quickly diagnose platform specific issues
  • The support for Kotlin and Java is stellar, with projects easily containing both types of code with ease
  • Hot reload support means that I can quickly test changes without waiting for a length build and optimization process
  • Excellent cross platform support means I can develop on macOS, Windows, or Linux without losing functionality between platforms
  • Slow performance on older PCs means that you should develop only on the latest hardware
  • Project opening involves a long indexing and warm up process, meaning that a quick peek at an old project can result in a wait of a few minutes
  • Initial build times can be very long, although these have been slowly improving in recent versions of Android Studio
  • Code Analysis tools find bugs before code goes to production
  • Hot reload enables rapid change/test functionality to speed up development
  • Wide support for Android versions means my apps can continue to be updated for users on older phones and tablets
  • Cross platform support for the IDE means I am not tied to one operating system, so can support developers on their favored platform
  • The great documentation has meant that I spend less time digging, and more time constructing
  • The support for older Android versions has meant that I can continue to support users on older versions, and earn income from them
  • The hot reload functionality has reduced development time compared to older versions of Android Studio, and so saved money
Android Studio is as good for Android development, as Visual Studio has been for Windows development. It is my first choice for Android development because it includes an excellent suite of tools and support for Android. Its built in refactoring and code fixes are much more streamlined than Visual Studio's and are as good as Jetbrain's own set of these tools. I wish I could use Android Studio for more than just Android!

Do you think Android Studio delivers good value for the price?


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Did Android Studio live up to sales and marketing promises?


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Android Studio is the only platform you should consider for Android development. I have found that nothing else comes close in terms of documentation or support. There is always the temptation to develop for Android using a cross platform toolkit, such as Xamarin, but unless your app is incredibly simple, you will find your self wrestling with the toolkit more than actually creating your product.

If you have any Android projects still in Eclipse, you should upgrade these to Android Studio - the backwards compatibility for older versions of Android is very good, with issues only occurring with debugging on older (Lollipop or below) devices.

The only scenario Android Studio is not suitable for is cross-platform development. There is no way to share code between iOS, macOS, or Windows projects with Android Studio, unless you are developing a game in C++. If you wish to develop cross platform mobile apps, I suggest Microsoft Visual Studio.