cross-platform web apps

When computers first became famous and started to perform well at offices and homes, it was the desktop applications that captured our attention. But, with the dawn of the internet and the e-commerce boom, the scenario changed drastically.

The internet further pushed the technology to make web applications a prominent part of our lives. After that — only a bleak future of web applications was anticipated.

At first, the existence of web and desktop apps was left somewhat behind, but it never died out. The demand for the applications made it clear — one cannot throw the development of apps into the bin.

Technology, as we know, is ever-changing as it keeps evolving, and this resulted in the rise of various app development frameworks like Electron.

But wait, what makes it different?

Electron comes with a different spice-mix when talking about developing Desktop apps. Now, this makes it unique and different from others in the competition.

It blends together Node.Js and the Chromium Engine. This is to offer the best of both servers as well as the client-side JavaScript even though it is hard to build a cross-platform web app that covers every need of a business.

But it is not impossible!

Here, in this write-up, we will cover all the information about this designed tool. Things that make it the best, the drawback, and more of the same.

Let us now start with the basics!

A Meeting with The Electron

Electron JS was developed and maintained by GitHub and is an open-source software framework. It allows the developers to create cross-platform web apps by using HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and JavaScript.

On its official website, Electron assures that anyone can create a desktop application or even a website with ease. Electron comes with everything required in developing an app, from automatic notifications and updates to native menus, debugging, and more.

These all are taken into consideration by the Chromium rendering engine and Node.js. Here, to build an Electron-based app, you need to build a team of high-level front-end developers. I recommend you hire the devs who are open to learning a bunch of new skills to create web applications.

Using Electron Js for Cross-Platform Web App: When and Why?

As discussed above, the Electron happens to be an open-source and framework. The application built with this framework not only acts like web applications. But, it can also read and record the information in the file system of your computer. There are several desktop apps developed using Electron, such as Slack, Skype, and more.

One of the advantages of using this framework is that developers can work with ease without feeling the need to learn new skills.

Generally, Electron uses an already built Web app structure and UI/UX. Also, it is a great way to keep everything within budget and saves time. This makes Electron the best technology with an ever-changing community.

Also, due to the Chromium engine, the developers can use various tools and storage access. The storage access further makes the desktop applications run efficiently. Especially when talking about platforms like Windows, Linux, and macOS.

When Does Using Electron Js Make Sense for Building a Cross-Platform Web App?

Electron makes the most sense when creating a multi-platform app that focuses on UI/UX designs. Developers can write the code once and can reuse it at any point as per the requirements.

The cross-platform web apps nature of the Electron can help you to cut-short the development process. This will help you to save you time and a mountain of greens.

The Electron uses three prevalent web-coding technologies — JavaScript, HTML, and Cascading Style Sheets. The coding technologies make it so that the developers can use a single code for both web and desktop-based applications.

Creating an app is now easier than ever before! Right? But, what are some applications that are developed using Electron Js?

Created with the Magic — Slack

A perfect example of a cross-platform web app that makes sense is the SLACK. The Slack app is a collaboration hub where you can work with your team members to get things done.

Slack was released in the year 2013 and was designed a month after Electron hit the marketplace. It has become the most popular management tool in the world ever since.

Slack streamlines team collaboration as it comes with various unique features. The features are:

  • Chat rooms
  • Supporting File Sharing
  • Incorporating several third-party services such as Google Drive, DropBox, and many others.

When Electron Js Denies to Fit in?

The Electron-based applications are limited to browser windows. Also, the Node.Js running somewhere at the back results in high memory consumption. This is why the Electron does not make much sense when it comes to simple utilities.

The apps can be quite large as compared to their native counterparts. Here, the different sizes can be useless with apps that do not come with many features.

The storage space and memory space are becoming cheaper these days. The reasons against using the framework for simple utilities are losing their relevance.

Etcher is the perfect example here! It is an easy-to-use image-writing app that comes with flashing OS images to US Drives and memory cards. Unlike the other utilities, Etcher has a stunning interface for the users. It is something uncommon when compared to other Electron-based applications.

What makes Etcher different?

Etcher: Simple Utility Built with Electron

Etcher comes from the house of Balena, a company that was previously known as Balena contributed to the industry by introducing various fleet-related tools for Linux devices.

According to the professionals, the company felt embarrassed about the state of Image-writing apps. This is how Etcher came into existence. The story of the app serves as a great example of how simple it is to create an app using Electron Js.

An IoT company can create an app using Electron, which now stands among the top-rated image-writing apps. Just imagine how limitless it would be and how much professional Electron Developers can do to achieve their goals.

Visual Code Studio: Reinventing the Coding Wheel

The Electron has great Versatility. Companies like Microsoft developed Visual Studio code using the framework. It is a lightweight version of the application that runs everywhere. It is possible to convert Visual Studio Code into a full-fledge IDE with the help of extensions.

Right from the release, the Visual Studio Code skyrocketed among the pro-level developers. It is astonishing how new technology can help you to reinvent the coding and let you simplify the same during the process. Electron made is simple.

Wrapping it Up

Electron is a progressive framework that provided us with several well-known desktop applications. Such applications are:

  • Atom: It is an open-source text and source code generator. It allows you to collaborate coding efficiently.
  • Slack: A cloud-based team collaboration tool that brings your team to a single place.
  • Trello: It is a web-based task or process management application. That helps you to organize your work as well as life.
  • Etcher: This is a free and open-source utility that helps you to burn image files with an extension like .iso and .img.

The reason why professional developers love using this framework includes a fast development process, low barriers, and suitable installers.

What is your take on using Electron Js?

Image Credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels

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