Why Cross Platform App Development Is Crucial for Businesses in Today’s Market?
By Prashant Pujara
Mobile App Development
In today’s digital age, mobile applications have become an important aspect of business success. From small-scale startups to large multinational companies, everyone uses mobile applications to engage with the audience, boost revenue and increase productivity. In fact, as per the study done by Statista, the global mobile app market revenue is aspected to reach USD 935 Billion by the end of 2023.
But despite all this, developing a mobile application is quite challenging and it becomes quite difficult to choose the right platform. In the past, a lot of businesses have decided to build native applications for either Android or iOS as every platform has its own set of unique features. This resulted in businesses having separate applications for each platform which is quite expensive and type consuming.
Hence, this is where the cross-platform mobile application comes to play. The cross-platform mobile application development process allows developers to build the application using a single codebase that can run on any operating system. In this blog, we would discuss more cross-platform app development and how it is significant for you.
Statistics on mobile application market trends and its usage
Mobile applications have become an integral part of our lives. As per the statistics done by Statistia, it is found that nearly 258 billion people have downloaded the mobile application and this is expected to grow in upcoming years. Moreover, every user spends nearly 3 hours to 4 hours using their mobile devices, and 90 percent of the time is spent on mobile apps.
The use of mobile applications has been rapidly increasing. Mobile app not only helps businesses to engage with customers but also help them to increase their productivity and visibility. In today’s market, it is quite important to have an application compatible with different devices and platforms and this is where the need for cross-platform applications comes into play.
Significance of Cross-platform Application Development
Cross-platform application development refers to the process of developing a mobile application that can run on various devices and operating systems like android and iOS. The significance of cross-platform application development is quite huge and here are some of the reasons for it.
- Less cost: Developing the platform-specific application can be quite expensive and time-consuming. Whereas cross-platform app development, allows you to develop applications for multiple platforms and saves time and money.
- Audience Reach: The cross-platform mobile application can reach a wider audience, as the application can run on different platforms. For businesses that are targeting different users then, this application development strategy is for them.
- Consistency: cross-platform app development helps to maintain consistency all across the platforms for both user experience and brands. It helps to create a more seamless experience for the users.
- Maintenance: Maintaining applications for different platforms is quite time-consuming and complex. Whereas when the application is developed using cross-platform technology, one can simply make changes to one single codebase and roll it out across different platforms saving time and resources.
- Scalability: All cross-platform applications are quite scalable as they can be easily updated and modified based on the changing needs of the users and businesses.
- Future-proofing: cross-platform applications are future-proof as they are not tied to one single platform. Businesses can continue to use applications even if they decide to change the platform or in case of a new platform emerges.
- Flexibility in choosing the development tools: Cross-platform development frameworks come with different programming languages and with various development tools. This gives businesses the complete flexibility to choose the right platform that suits their needs and developer expertise.
Different types of Cross-platform app development
Cross-platform app development has different types that can be utilized to build applications for multiple platforms and operating systems. The different types of cross-platform app development approach that businesses use are listed below.
Hybrid App Development
this is the most common type of cross-platform app development strategy used today. It is used to build an application using a single codebase that can run on various platforms like the web, Android and iOS.
Native Cross-platform Development
This approach typically involves building applications using the common codebase that can be compiled natively in every different platform. This allows developers to build applications that can run on multiple platforms but can also leverage the unique features of each platform. Some of the commonly used native development frameworks are Flutter, Xamarin, and React Native.
One of the benefits of using native cross-platform development is that it can result in high-performing applications. Additionally, developers can maintain one single codebase which can save resources and time over the long term.
Web App development
Web apps are considered to be the best choice for simple applications that do not need to access native device features. One of the common benefits of using web app development is that it is quite easy to build and maintain as developers can use the web technologies that they are familiar with. Moreover, web apps can be easily accessed on a variety of devices including desktops,s laptops, and mobile devices.
Challenges and Limitations of Cross-platform app development
While cross-platform mobile application development offers a large number of benefits, there are also a lot of limitations and challenges the developer should be aware of.
Compatibility Issues with different platforms
The biggest challenge with cross-platform app development is to ensure that the application works across all different platforms without any performance issues. A lot of cross-platform development frameworks and tools exist that have their own set of features and requirements. This results in a lack of consistency and compatibility across the user experience on different platforms.
Performance and Speed Limitations
Cross-platform mobile application development platform often relies on the intermediate layer of code that can slow down the performance as compared to platform-specific development. This is quite problematic for applications that need real-time data processing and high-performance graphics.
Limitations of using platform-specific features
This is another challenge with cross-platform application development. The cross-platform development software frameworks have a common set of features and functionalities but do not have platform-specific features which makes them quite difficult to implement. This results in a low-quality user experience across various platforms.
Increased Complexity in Development
Cross-platform app development is always more complex than platform-specific development, specifically when it comes to dealing with advanced features and complex user experiences. Developers also need to be proficient in various programming languages and have a deep understanding of the challenges and platform requirements.
Cross-platform application development despite, so many challenges is always an attractive option for developing applications. the reason begging the applications needs to be developed and deployed once on various platforms is that reduce costs, time to market, and a lot more. Considering the challenges, developers can take much more informed decisions. It is advisable to consult with an android or iOS App Development Company in India to know which approach should you use.
Best Practices to follow while developing the cross-platform application development
Developing a successful cross-platform application needs complete planning, attention to detail, and the use of best practices. Below are some of the best practices that can be followed while developing the cross-platform application.
- Select the best cross-platform framework: this is an important decision to make while developing a cross-platform application. It is quite important to analyze the different cross-platform frameworks available with their own set of weaknesses and strengths. Some of the popular frameworks are Ionic, Xamarin, Flutter, and React Native. The framework you select would depend on factors like the size of the development team, the complexity of the application, and the budget.
- Prioritize the user experience and app design: User experience and design are two important components for any successful application and cross-platform mobile applications are no exception. To ensure that the application has a unique user experience it is quite important to put more emphasis on creating a user-friendly and intuitive interface that is consistent across different platforms.
- Quality Assurance and Consistent Testing: Cross-platform applications must be tested thoroughly and quality should be ensured so the app performs well on all platforms. This includes a lot of testing of applications on different platforms, devices, operating systems, and screen sizes. Quality Assurance and Regular testing are quite important to identify and fix the bugs before they impact the users.
- Optimize the performance: for any mobile application, performance is quite crucial for app development and cross-platform applications are quite susceptible to performance issues. To ensure the optimized performance of the application developers should pay attention to different factors like network efficiency, code quality, and device compatibility.
- Use the native functionality: While developing the cross-platform application, it is important to make use of native functionalities and features of every platform. This not only enhances the user experience but ensures that the application is quite suitable for the platform it's running on.
- Always stay up to date with upcoming trends and technologies: The mobile app industry is evolving constantly and a lot of new trends are emerging. To stay ahead of the curve, it is essential or developers to stay ahead of curve and up to date with the latest platforms, tools, and technologies.
- Ensure the applications are quite scalable: As the user, and the app continues to grow, the app should be able to accommodate the rising demand and be scalable. Developers should design applications that are not scalable but also secure, and usable.
- Regular Maintenance and Updates: after the cross-platform application is launched successfully, it is important to do updates and maintain it regularly to ensure that it is always functional in relevant to the market needs. It is important to do security patches, the latest operating system updates to keep the app up to date, and more importantly, make improvements based on the bug reports and user feedback.
Case Studies and Success Stories of cross-platform application development
Cross-platform app development is found to be one of the most valuable solutions for businesses that are looking to create mobile applications which can run seamlessly on various platforms. Here are some common examples of successful companies that used cross-platform technologies to build mobile applications.
- Slack: Slack is one of the most popular team collaboration apps, that uses React Native to develop the mobile application, available for both iOS and Android. The cross-platform development approach has led Slack to reduce development time and deliver high-quality applications while delivering high-quality applications with consistent user experience.
- BBC: the British broadcasting corporation uses PhoneGap to develop its iPlayer Radio app available on both iOS and Android. The cross-platform development approach helped BBC to deliver a seamless user experience on both platforms and also reduced the time to market and application development cost.
- Walmart: Walmart one of the world's largest retailers uses Xamrin to build mobile applications available on both iOS and Android. It helped Walmart to build a user-friendly and scalable application that meets the ever-changing needs of the customers. Moreover, the application has led Walmart to increase sales and customer engagement.
- AirBnB: the online marketplace for loading uses cross-platform app development strategies to reach a wider range of audience. They used react native platform to develop applications that deliver a native-like experience on both iOS and Android. Cross-platform application development has led Airbnb to deliver apps in less time and cost without compromising on quality and with consistent user experience.
In conclusion, cross-platform application development has become quite crucial for businesses in today’s progressing market due to the increase in the use of mobile phones. The need for having an application for multiple platforms is quite important as it offers a variety of benefits like faster development, a wider audience, and easier maintenance. While there are also some limitations and challenges in cross-platform application development, businesses can easily overcome them by following the best practices such as consistent testing, quality assurance, prioritizing the user experience and app design, and regular maintenance and updates.
Looking into the future, cross-platform mobile application development is expected to evolve in growth, driven by the latest technology trends and constant advancements. As more and more companies begin to adopt cross-platform development, the competition would increase and the quality of applications would continue to improve, benefiting both users and businesses. In Conclusion, businesses can utilize cross-platform app development that would offer more success in the mobile-driven market of the upcoming future. If you want to build your next application using cross-platform technologies you can consult with a Cross-Platform Development Company and get complete insights.