Cross platform software. Answers on questions
Man is the slave of habit. That is exactly what American businessman Robert Kiyosaki said at the time. In the modern digital world, this is manifested in the desire to use the software you like on all possible devices. After all, it is really convenient - having started some actions on one device, be able to complete them on another. Cross-platform software can implement this in practice. What lies behind this term, we will tell today.
OS distribution statistics
Let's immediately understand the definitions and understand what cross-platform software is. Technically, this is a kind of software that can work in more than one operating system. Let's see what the statistics says about the distribution in the world of major OS versions.
Among desktop OS, Windows has long and firmly dominated the world.All its versions, starting with XP and ending with the "ten", work in total for 91.5% of computers in the world. Given that the population of the Earth has already exceeded 7.5 billion people, we can tentatively imagine the scale of its distribution. Nevertheless, there remain as much as 8.5% attributable to other operating systems. This share is distributed between two old, but less successful players in the market. Mac OS (second place) takes 6.2%. All versions of Linux together are gaining 2.3%.
In the mobile OS market, the situation is not much different. The leading position is occupied by Android, with a share of 71.5%. Behind him, with a significant gap, iOS is holding (19.7%). About 1.2% are occupied by the constantly losing positions of Windows Phone and another 7.6% are occupied by other operating systems, both those trying to break into the market (for example, Tizen) and the dying (BlackBerry OS).
Thus, even a cursory glance at the operating system market is enough to understand the relevance of a product such as cross-platform software.
As we can see from the results of the previous chapter, for real competition in the market, the popular software product simply needs cross-platform.What does it mean to be successful for any e-commerce product? In general terms, this can be defined as the user's desire to have this product always at hand, which means his ability to work on various gadgets.
A typical example of such software can be considered office suites from Microsoft and its free competitors. Their official versions can be found for all common operating systems (both desktop and mobile). In our century, when mobility has become one of the sought-after features of a modern business person, for a software product is the real key to success.
At the dawn of the computer era, during the rapid development of technology, when there were no such giants of the IT industry as Microsoft, Google and Apple, there was a need for compatibility of software products. It is the fragmentation of formats and the existence of various versions of operating systems that led to the need for the emergence of such a category of software as cross-platform software. This notion appeared a long time ago, and over time, a number of criteria were developed, to which it must meet.
Cross Platform Development
Modern approaches to the development of software in this area can be described as follows:
Single stylistic decision.In this case, the program should look the same under all operating systems. The “hard” fixing of controls is attributed to the positive sides of this approach, and the difference between the program style and the general style of the operating system to the negative.
Adaptive interface.It is understood that a program built on this principle should easily fit into the interface of the operating system by changing the themes. It is assumed to fully or partially determine the language parameters and the optimal screen size, under which the software must adjust. Positive aspects - relatively free integration for the OS style. The disadvantage is the complexity and, accordingly, the high cost of development.
Hybrid scheme.Combines the positive and negative aspects of previous approaches. Relatively easy integration and partial automation of settings, but at the same time the difference in styles and complexity associated with the "floating" layout of controls.
Even a general description of the approaches makes it clear that cross-platform software is a headache for software developers and an inexhaustible source of outrage for users who, without going into detail, simply want to have the same capabilities on different platforms.
Areas of distribution
Like any software, cross-platform software has its own development niches, in which it is most in demand and popular. In many ways, their appearance is stimulated by mobile technology and the widespread use of the Internet.
So, here are the largest areas in which cross-platform software is successfully developing:
Socially oriented network projects and instant messengers.
Internet surfing tools and news aggregators.
In this review, we tried to briefly answer all the questions that users have about cross-platform software and its applications. The complexities of its development and adaptation to various versions of operating systems were not deliberately considered, since they require specific knowledge in the field of programming languages.