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Cross-Platform App Development: Complete Overview in 5 minutes

Taru M. Taru M.
Published: 20 Apr, 2022

Mobile App Development has become one of the key tools for business generation these days. Despite the industry you belong to, a mobile app provides a platform where the customers and the business can interact. It allows customers to have a better preview of the business and the services it offers.

However, a recurring challenge for business owners has been the need to develop a different mobile app for different operating systems and devices (let’s be honest, we cannot expect our customer base to have a common operating system device).

Due to this, the business owner had to incur extra mobile app development costs until the provision of Cross-Platform app development was designed and reached a certain maturity.

In this blog, let’s discuss what Cross-Platform app development is, its benefits, and the challenges that come with it.

What is Cross-Platform App Development?

In simple terms, Cross-Platform app development means building mobile applications for different operating systems and devices from a single codebase.

Traditionally, when a business owner decides to build a mobile application for their business, the development team has to maintain different code bases and tools to build mobile apps that are compatible with multiple operating systems (such as Andriod, Microsoft, iOS, etc.) and devices (laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.).

As a result, building mobile apps using a Native development approach yields the following disadvantages:

  • Costly
  • Time-consuming
  • Laborious
  • More time-to-market
  • Less availability of Native app developers

Benefits of Cross-Platform app development approach

cross platform app development benefits illustrations

1. Code Reusability

Adopting Cross-Platform app development eliminates the need for development teams to write different codes for different platforms. The development team, using the Cross-Platform app development framework, can render the mobile app software for different operating systems with just one single codebase.

2. Inexpensive

Since a single codebase can be used to render mobile apps on different operating systems. This means that the business owner doesn’t need to hire different mobile app developers to build mobile apps for different platforms. This leads to a considerable reduction in costs.

3. Effective resource management

Adopting Cross-Platform mobile app development frameworks requires a business owner to employ less amount of resources (as compared to traditional Native app development).

This promotes effective utilization and easy management of resources.

4. Reach a larger set of customers

Since the development team is able to render different mobile applications for different platforms (devices and operating systems) with a single code base, the business owner can launch the mobile app on different platforms simultaneously.

Thus, it would be able to reach and cater to a larger set of customer base. Otherwise, if the Native mobile app development techniques are followed, it would take much longer for a business to reach a wide set of audience quickly and efficiently.

5. Reduced time-to-market

Since the need to write mobile app code separately is eliminated, the time that it takes for a business owner to launch the app in the market is also reduced.

6. MVP development

With reduced time-to-market, using Cross-Platform mobile app development techniques, the business owner can quickly develop the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and test it among a wider audience in the real environment, receive feedback quickly and work on the mobile app using agile methodologies.

7. Organizational Agility

Developing Cross-Platform mobile apps helps enhance overall organizational and operational dynamics. Code-reusability of Cross-Platform mobile app development reduces any risk of miscommunication and simplifies the development processes.

8. Offer a Uniform Experience

Cross-Platform mobile app development enables businesses to render a uniform experience to the entire user base without jeopardizing the functionality and performance of the mobile app.

9. Easy Updates

The Cross-Platform mobile app development frameworks allow developers to launch updates and fixes using the Over The Air (OTA) methodology, which means that the business owner doesn’t have to undergo the hassle of the Google App or App Store review process.

10. Easier App Maintenance

Because a Cross-Platform framework allows you to develop apps using one code-base, the development team has fewer code-case to maintain. Also, if any issues or bugs are reported, the developers have only one place to fix them.

Some popular Cross-Platform mobile app development platforms are:

Difference Between Native and Cross-Platform

Point of Difference Native Cross-Platform
Architecture Different apps for different platforms One app for multiple operating systems, software, and devices.
Performance Optimum Performance Native-like and performance issues
Development Time Time Consuming Comparatively less time-consuming
Code-Reusability Almost none Over 60% of code can be reused
User-Experience Superior Little more friction than native

Are mobile apps made with Cross-Platform frameworks slower than the Native?

Performance is one of the greatest challenges when it comes to Cross-Platform mobile app development.

As the name suggests, Cross-Platform apps, unlike Native apps, are developed to run on different operating systems and devices. Whereas, Native apps are developed and designed especially for a given operating system/device. Due to this, Native apps are more optimized in terms of performance, speed, and overall functionality with respect to a given operating system/device. The native development tools and platforms are designed to extract maximum performance out of specific hardware and software of a device.

Moreover, in the case of Cross-Platform mobile apps, the developers have to add an additional abstraction layer of code to support the mobile app’s integration with the operating system or the device. This leads to excessive consumption of data and performance overhead, which makes the Cross-Platform app run a little slower when compared head-to-head with native apps.

When is Cross Platform Development right for your business?

choose between native and cross platform illustration

There is no doubt that a Cross-Platform mobile app gives a Native app-like experience, but business owners need to consider a multitude of factors before deciding which way they would like to go.

  • A Cross-Platform mobile app development would be suitable for you if the industry you wish to enter is highly competitive. By this, we mean that developing a Cross-Platform mobile app will allow you to enter the market faster, and that too across operating systems and devices.
  • In these dynamic digital environments, users’ expectations with respect to digital products are also constantly evolving. Cross-Platform mobile app development enables your business to stay ahead of all the digital market volatility, thus ensuring optimum user experience.

Looking to support your business with enterprise-level mobile and web apps, or want to build MVP to validate your app’s idea? Go through our custom mobile app development services, and share your project brief with our team.

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Taru M. Author :
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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