If there’s one thing that’s certain about the mobile device market, it’s that it is unpredictable. Just a few years ago BlackBerry was the undisputed smartphone leader, while today the company is in dire straits. After introducing the revolutionary iPhone in 2007, Apple took the lead and appeared untouchable -- until Android came along. A recent study by Gartner revealed that 80% of smartphones worldwide are powered by Android, while Apple retains just a 12% share of the global smartphone market.
Businesses and mobile developers traditionally had to play catch up in response to new development environments and processes brought on by new mobile operating systems and technology. This has changed with the introduction of the single cross platform application development platform.
Once an application has been developed in a single development environment, it can then be packaged for installation on devices supporting a range of operating systems. This is done through app wrapping, which “wraps” applications so that they meet the requirements for each specific platform. Apps can be wrapped for iOS and Android devices without ever requiring proprietary development environments, such as Xcode or the Android SDK. Once wrapped, an app can then be installed on devices directly or sent straight to application platforms, including the Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Working with a single development system from the app design phase ensures that users across all platforms get the same fully functional, native experience. This is in stark contrast to native app development and app porting, which rely on different sets of programming languages, development environments, and APIs, all with varying sets of features and functionalities that can lead to inequalities between different platforms. Compared to developing native applications for each major platform, cross-platform development also drastically reduces the time required to create and deploy web and mobile applications, as well as the time it takes to roll out subsequent updates.
In addition to saving time and reducing complexity, business leaders should also be aware that cross-platform development translates into a direct reduction in overhead. Whereas native app development and app porting require applications to be essentially rewritten for each major platform, cross-platform apps can be created in just one development cycle. And because single development environments support existing and established web languages, business will also find a lower barrier of entry when it comes to selecting qualified candidates to develop cross-platform applications.
The bottom line is that a single cross platform application development environment is one of the few IT solutions that saves time and money. With more than half of the population in possession of a smartphone, now is the time for businesses of all sizes to develop and introduce B2C and B2B applications.