It’s the dilemma app developers constantly face — should they write native mobile apps for both iOS and Android, or instead do cross-platform development, which allows developers to write an app once, and then deploy it to both platforms?
Once upon a time, there might have been good reasons to write native mobile apps rather than cross-platform ones, but given how advanced cross-app platform frameworks and development tools have become, those days are well in the past.
VDC Research Analyst Eric Klein sums up the reasons well in his blog post, “Cross-platform mobile app development is more viable than ever.” He notes, “Many of these cross-platform mobile app development tools feature design, development, testing and deployment capabilities within a single integrated platform.”
Once you decide to go cross-platform, though, there are many key factors you need to consider before you’ll be able to go full-bore into development. One of the most important ones is which platform to choose. Consider your company size and development expertise, and then based on that, choose one that matches your staff’s experience, but that lets you build an app in the minimum timeframe. Consider cost, but keep in mind that merely by moving to a cross-platform tool, you’ll be dramatically cutting your cost of development because you won’t have to spend the time building and maintaining apps for multiple platforms. Make sure it has enterprise-level security and links to any data sources and enterprise apps you use. And Klein says you should “take advantage of open source components to augment their features."
Once you’ve chosen the right platform, there are other factors to consider when building apps. Be careful when designing your apps that they aren’t targeted too much on one platform rather than another, because that can harm the usability of the app on the platform you ignored. Find reliable cross-platform modules to help in your development work. Also look for dedicated API services for your cross-platform apps. Make sure to focus most of all on your users, not on the people who develop your apps. And also keep in mind that you’ll need to take advantage of each platform’s unique hardware.
You’ll have to do testing of the app on all the platforms to which you deploy. And finally, when putting together your deployment schedule, keep in mind that you’ll have to build in time to get the apps reviewed and approved by Apple’s App Store and Google Play. It can take far longer than you might imagine, particularly if an app gets rejected.
Learn about the power of Alpha Software products for cross-platform mobile app development and why Alpha Anywhere is consistently ranked with near-perfect scores by customers on third-party product review websites.