Cross-platform programming refers to writing codes and developing software that will work on two or more platforms. Cross-platform programming software has an added advantage. Normally, if an application has to be developed for different platforms (i.e., Windows, Linux or Macintosh), you would have to create multiple versions of the app using different source trees. While this may seem practical, it is very expensive in terms of developmental costs. So cross-platform programming software helps to create multiple versions of the same app, suitable for multiple platforms, without having to create separate code bases. The majority of mobile game development companies in India use cross-platform programming when developing apps.
There are a lot of cross-platform programming software available in the market. The popular choices include PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, Native Script, Appcelerator, and Unity. Of these, Unity looks to be the leader in cross-platform programming software, as it has the most advantages and the least disadvantages of the lot. Below, we discuss the points which make Unity 3D the best choice for Mobile Apps and games. This will be done through a comparative article.
- It is open source and free of cost.
- PhoneGap is very versatile in nature. It allows users who are not using a platform, to develop apps for that particular platform. For example, users who are not familiar with Mac can now develop apps for other iOS platforms and vice versa.
PhoneGap is known for being a poor performer when it comes to graphics intensive games and software. Plug-ins are available in order to rectify this. However, most of the time, the plug-ins found are either outdated or not supported.
2. Sencha Touch
Sencha Touch was developed by Sencha Inc, and is a cross-platform programming software that heavily relies on hardware acceleration techniques. It is mostly used for the development of large business applications and their maintenance. It primarily uses HTML5 as its programming language.
- Sencha Touch has a lot of inter-operable sub-apps like Sencha Architect or Sencha Touch Charts, which can be used with Sencha Touch with ease.
- It can be integrated with PhoneGap for native API access and packaging.
- Attractive themes are available for each platform.
- The themes that Sencha Touch offers are very limited and not easily available.
- The commercial licensing of this app is ambiguous and hard to understand.
- Declarative UI support is offered, which means you can create the app UI once and then use it on other supported platforms.
- Perhaps the most important feature of Native Script 2.0 is its ability to integrate with Angular 2, an open source web application framework. They can now be used to build cross-platform mobile applications.
- Multithreading is a recurrent issue that may or may not be corrected in later versions.
- Its features are lacking the appropriate documentations and examples for us to understand it thoroughly.
- A prototype can be tested using this framework. User interaction with the UI is heavily monitored and evaluated.
- There is various value-added tools and services like app analytics or as Backend-as-a-Service (BAAS) available. It also provides a marketplace for third party components.
- It is known to experience bugs and lags.
- There is not adequate support provided by its Customer Support.
Unity is a cross-platform engine that specializes in game development. It has an inbuilt IDE(Integrated Development Environment). It is used for developing games for multiple platforms, consoles and mobile devices. It is the most efficient among all the platforms that are available for game development.
There are numerous advantages and minimal disadvantages to using Unity 3D that make it a popular choice for game developers.
- It’s probably the best way to start programming and fare better compared to all other gaming frameworks, which is why it is a popular choice for beginners as well.
- It is both free and fully featured, which allows a wider range of programmers to access it, and can help to drive the gaming industry forward.
- Developers use Unity when they are leaning towards more graphics-heavy gaming or other visual applications. Its lighting improvements, including PBS (Physically Based Shading) and other lighting components, have kept Unity at the forefront for a long time in this industry.
- It also covers a wide range of platforms, ranging from operating systems like Windows and Mac, consoles like PlayStation and Xbox, and Windows-based phones, WiiU, PS vita, Android TV, etc. It is also compatible with Virtual Reality Platforms.
There are hardly any disadvantages to speak of, namely because of its widespread success in the gaming industry. With the newest lighting features, the visual appearance of Unity’s gaming engine has almost replaced both the UE4 engine and the CryEngine.
After careful evaluation of the above points, it is safe to say that Unity is easily the go-to software framework program, both for beginner programmers and for experienced ones, who want to make their games more beautiful and realistic.