According to an Statista research 85% of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Most of these devices run on iOS or Android operating systems.
Businesses need a strategy to reach audiences on these platforms. They have two options:
- Develop separate apps for each platform or
- Implement a mobile cross-platform development strategy.
This article examines why you should consider using a mobile cross-platform development approach.
What are Your Mobile Cross-Platform Development Goals?
Like most companies, you want to reach as large of an audience as possible. You understand how more users equals a larger revenue base.
Simultaneously, you do not want to start fresh developing native apps for every operating system. Separate apps are expensive and usually take longer to develop. This is where a mobile cross-platform development approach becomes useful.
The time to market for two-three apps designed for several platforms is significantly less as opposed to when you need to develop a separate native app for each platform. This allows companies to reach the target audience faster regardless of the platform they use.
However, before building a mobile solution for both platforms, it’s essential to learn all the pros and cons of cross-platform mobile application development. Let’s first explore the challenges related to this strategy and then move to the benefits you can gain.
Mobile Cross-Platform App Development Challenges
How do you manage your app on different mobile devices, versions, and operating systems? This is the challenge for reaching more customers through mobile cross-platform development efforts.
The complexity of dealing with the rules and requirements for each platform lead many businesses to focus on only one platform.
Most companies do not have the resources for application development over multiple platforms. Yet, those are still the companies that have the great need to reach these diverse audiences.
Additionally, growing companies often need more sophisticated solutions. A separate mobile app for each platform might work better at a later stage.
Keep this in mind as you develop a mobile app for your business. Thus, simplicity at the beginning is important. Too much complexity, and it becomes difficult to create a cross-platform app. You should also remember that cross-platform development tools have their own limitations on access to smartphones’ functionality.
Yet, the best strategy to conserve resources is cross-platform mobile application development. You can also check out our guide to mobile app cost to learn about other ways to optimize your app development budget.
5 Key Benefits to Pursue a Mobile Cross-Platform Development Strategy
Apparently, cross-platform development is one of the most effective practices for delivering a mobile application if you’re short of time or budget but don’t want to lose in quality. Of course, it’s just a few of the benefits cross-platform development provides.
So let’s move to the key reasons why companies turn to this mobile app development approach.
1. Array of Available Development Tools
Now is a great time for mobile cross-platform development. Several technologies exist right now to help developers create these applications. Some tools include Xamarin, React Native, Ionic, Titanium, PhoneGap/Cordova, etc.
Each of these tools has its own advantages and disadvantages and presupposes the knowledge of particular programming skills. You should select one carefully because it will lock you into a certain tech stack.
2. Faster to App Store
These development tools allow companies to bring their mobile apps to market much faster. Tools like Ionic and React Native deliver a framework for developers to build custom-made apps in a fraction of the time it would take to code apps for each mobile OS individually.
All subsequent updates to cross-platform apps obviously appear faster in the corresponding app stores.
3. Simplified Process
Our goal at Velvetech is to simplify the process for you. Our mobile cross-platform development services offer our enterprise customers this opportunity.
These services offer a strategic launching point for any company that wants access to multiple mobile platforms and overcome budget or time constraints. We use a time-proven workflow that includes a clear line of communication and an iterative development process with milestones.
Whether you need help with your Android or iOS software development, let us know how we can help you.
4. Unified Look and Feel Across Multiple Platforms
60% of millennials expect consistent experiences with brands across digital, bricks-and-mortar properties, and on their smartphones.
Humans by nature crave consistency. Your mobile app is no exception to this rule. Carefully track all aspects of your brand on your mobile apps on all mobile platforms to ensure your target market has a consistent experience.
At the same time, cross-platform development frameworks allow you to create individual UI/UX for your apps according to the platform requirements. Apple and Android users have differing UX expectations.
5. Reach a Wider Audience
Android is the leading mobile OS with over 3.48 million apps in the Google Play Store. The Apple App Store follows closely behind with 2.22 million apps, while the Microsoft Store trails with 670K apps. These are the main mobile app depositories. However, this does not include Amazon, Facebook, and other app stores.
Each store has a significant marketing engine ready to help you spread your message to their customers. The key is providing enough value with your cross-platform mobile app.
Top Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks
We’ve already mentioned briefly some tech tools used to develop cross-platforms apps. However, before summarizing the content of this article, we’d like to cover the main frameworks since you probably need to know how these tech stacks impact cross-platform development.
If you want to dive deeper into the subject and wrap yourself with more details, read our blog post on the popular cross-platform technologies to deliver mobile applications. Below, let’s cover the most essential ones.
Another advanced open-source UI SDK is Flutter. Designed by Google, it relies on the Dart programming language and offers a wide range of UI elements and widgets. Flutter has its own high-performance rendering engine that ensures the quick delivery of expressive designs.
Owned by Microsoft, Xamarin remains one of the high-rated frameworks to create cross-platform applications. This tool allows developers to use .NET technologies, making it a great companion for Microsoft-related products. On the other hand, an improved UI toolkit makes it easy to deliver an app with a native to any OS interface.
The last on our list is the Ionic framework that helps build cross-platform mobile, web, and even desktop apps using one shared code base. It provides a wide set of tools and components that are open-source and totally free. Based on Cordova and AngularJS, Ionic facilitates the design, testing, and deploying of apps that work like native.
Publishing your mobile app across multiple platforms presents a multitude of challenges. However, using a mobile cross-platform development approach you optimize your mobile app development strategy to reach a wider audience.
If you have questions about how to implement mobile strategy and leverage the advantages of cross-platform development, contact us at Velvetech for a free initial consultation. Kick off your project today by filling out the form below.