When Is Cross-Platform Mobile App Development a Good Choice?
You have probably heard about cross-platform apps and how great they are at saving you time and money. But not everyone might benefit from them.
With their expertise, a mobile app development agency in Chicago can help you decide if this is right for your business. You can collaborate better when you learn more about cross-platform apps.
This article covers:
- The definition of cross-platform development
- Its differences from native app development
- The pros and cons of this application type
- When you should consider cross-platform or native app development
Read below to learn more. Let’s go!
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The Basics of Cross-Platform Mobile Development
According to Future Market Insights, the mobile applications market could achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6%. By 2033, its value in the United States could hit over $170 billion.
You are not too late, however, to join the growing mobile app market.
To do so, you must take a strategic approach to get level with, or ahead of, the competition. One possible option is cross-platform mobile development.
What is it?
Cross-platform mobile development means building mobile applications that can run seamlessly on multiple platforms with a single codebase, such as iOS, Android, and Windows.
It also has the following features:
- Cost-effectiveness. The tools used are platform-agnostic, meaning they do not need a specific environment or coding language to work. This translates into lower costs and shorter development time.
- Integration. All components, such as data, images, videos, and other interactive elements, are integrated into the same codebase.
- Easier updates. Because you work with a single codebase, you can deploy updates more quickly.
- Faster and more convenient testing. With a faster app development time, you can build a prototype fast, test it, and repeat the process in a shorter period.
- Simple cloud integration. A cross-platform app will likely use a web-based language compatible with many cloud-based frameworks and tools. These often feature advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and visualizations.
From a business standpoint, cross-platform mobile development benefits you because:
- The process lets you maximize the app’s income potential, one of the many reasons to invest in an app, through a shorter time-to-market cycle.
- It helps you scale both mobile app development and operations effectively. For example, if the application is simple, you might need only one team.
- It elevates the user experience, by ensuring it remains consistent across platforms.
How Different Is It from Native App Development?
The alternative to cross-platform development is native-app production. This requires you to develop the app using specific coding languages or frameworks — such as Objective-C and Swift for iOS, Kotlin, and Java for Android.
Native app development can take more time before it is ready to deploy in the market. In addition, native apps are much more expensive to create because they might require different teams for each platform.
However, with native apps:
- They are usually high-performance, because they are tailored for the specific environment.
- The user experience is smoother. Developers can make these apps capable of accessing all features of the platform and even the device, such as motion sensors, fingerprint scanners, and more.
- Native apps can also feel safer to use than cross-platform ones. Developers can include top mobile app security trends, such as file encryption.
- Scalability is typically faster with native app development, because you have more control over customization, performance, and features.
Refer to the table below to learn more about the differences between the two:
|Categories||Native App Mobile Development||Cross-Platform Mobile App Development|
|Cost||$10,000 to $50,000||$30,000 to $40,000|
|Time Needed||A few weeks to three months||Two months to one year|
|Skills required||Needs expertise in programming languages for each platform, familiarity with specific development tools and frameworks, and understanding of platform-specific design patterns, user interface (UI) elements, and performance optimizations||Requires mastery of web-based languages and knowledge of development practices, such as designing for multiple screen sizes and resolutions|
|Tools and Frameworks||Xcode (iOS) and Android Studio (Android)||Xamarin and React Native|
When Is Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Ideal?
Cross-platform apps are not perfect. Just because it sounds easy does not mean you can learn the languages and frameworks yourself, without hiring a mobile app development agency in Chicago to help you.
Even if it is cross-platform, mobile app development requires specialized programming knowledge, development tools, and best practices. These range from designing a user interface that works across all platforms, to testing code, to integrating with platform-specific features, and optimizing mobile app for SEO ranking.
You should seriously consider cross-platform over native app development when your budget is tight and time is a premium.
Think of it this way, the average salary of a mobile app developer in the United States is $85,000. You might need at least two to simultaneously create a product for every platform.
Your team for each group will also need:
- A project manager
- An app tester or quality control
- UI and UX designers
- Marketing managers
If you want to save on costs, let them work on a single platform. That also extends your launch date, however. Do not forget that you must spend more time planning, designing, and testing, too.
A Chicago mobile app development agency specializing in cross-platform applications can:
- Possibly cut the usual development time by 20% or even more
- Maximize returns by letting you launch and monetize the application faster
- Improve your cash flow by lowering the burn rate
A cross-platform app may not be right for you if:
- You want to add complex features, such as image recognition or finger scanning, or collect massive amounts of data
- You prefer to have more control over the app’s security, usability, and user experience
- You have a bigger budget for a more comprehensive, high-performing application
Cross-platform development allows you to join the mobile app race more quickly before others take your ideas and beat you to the top. It is straightforward, convenient to deploy and test, and is cost-effective.
However, its overall success depends on several factors, including the creator’s expertise. Digital Authority Partners (DAP) has helped many businesses develop cross-platform applications that hit their objectives and generated more income. If you also want these benefits, contact us today.
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