Cross-Platform: Fact or Fiction?



It’s not a homogenous world. We all know it. I have a Windows* desktop, a MacBook Air*, an Android phone, and my kids are 100% Apple. We used to have 2.5 kids, now we have 2.5 devices. And we all agree that diversity is great, unless you’re a developer trying to prioritize the limited hours in the day. Then it’s a series of trade-offs. Do we become brand loyalists for Google or Apple or Microsoft? Do we specialize on phones and tablets or still consider the 300M+ PC shipments a year when we make our decisions on where to spend our time and resources?
We weigh the platform options, monetization opportunities, APIs, and distribution models. Too often, I see developers choose one platform, or write to the lowest common denominator, which limits their reach and market success. But who wants to be ‟me too”? Cross-platform coding is possible in some environments, for some applications, for some level of innovation—but it’s not all-inclusive, yet.
There are some tricks of the trade to develop cross-platform, including using languages and environments that ‟run everywhere.” HTML5 is today’s answer for web-enabled platforms. However, it’s not a panacea, especially if your app requires the ultimate performance or native UI look and feel. There are other cross-platform frameworks that address the presentation layer of your application. But for those apps that have a preponderance of native code (e.g., highly-tuned C/C++ loops), there aren’t tons of solutions today to help with code reuse across these platforms using consistent tools and libraries.
As we move forward with interim solutions, they’ll improve and become more robust, based, in no small part, on our input.
What’s your answer to the cross-platform challenge? Are you fully invested in HTML5 now? What are your barriers? What’s your vision to navigate the cross-platform landscape?
Intel® Developer Zone: Cross-Platform App Blogs

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Jeff McVeigh is the general manager of Performance Client and Visual Computing within Intel’s Developer Products Division. His team is responsible for the development and delivery of leading software products for performance-centric application developers spanning Android*, Windows*, and OS* X operating systems. During his 17-year career at Intel, Jeff has held various technical and management positions in the fields of media, graphics, and validation. He also served as the technical assistant to Intel’s CTO. He holds 20 patents and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


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