Starting from Nokia keypad mobiles (or should we say “the apes of smartphones”), the mobile revolution has started taking a turn towards various simple and complex mobile apps. From apes to apps, the journey of the mobile device industry has witnessed a number of grainy and huge changes. And the changes still continue; in fact, it does so at a greater pace.
Today, the question put to enterprises and online businesses is not whether you should build your mobile app. The question is whether or not to go for cross-platform mobile development.
So, below is a list of the pros and cons of cross-platform mobile development. With this list, you should be able to decide if a cross-platform app aligns with your business vision.
- Reusable Codebase
Using a cross-platform app allows you to reuse your codebase across multiple platforms, multiple times So, your team will not have to write code from scratch for each individual platform. Plus, it eliminates the need to hire a separate in-house team for the different platforms. One team, one codebase, multiple platforms: This is the trio of benefits that accompany a cross-platform mobile app.
- Rapid Development
Another amazing advantage of a reusable codebase is the speedy development of the app. A native mobile app that employs different code for each platform takes longer to develop than a hybrid app that uses the same code for the installation on all platforms. In a cross-platform mobile app, you just need to develop the base code and then do some customizations for the specific platforms.
- Reduced Costs
This is possibly one of the biggest reasons why companies offeringcross-platform mobile development is so popular among small and medium enterprises. Of course, its code reusability again plays a key role here. The reduced development time and the smaller developer team account for drastic reductions in the overall development costs.
- Wide Market Reach
The idea is simple: The more platforms you cover, the more customers you will reach. Everyone will agree that Apple and Android run the show, but having your app on Windows and Blackberry as well will not do any harm. Besides, when you cater to your customers with multiple platforms, your brand’s reliability also gains the top spot. Cross-platform mobile development allows you to do this.
- Easy Synchronization
Just before or after launching an app, any updates or customizations in the app are automatically synced across all the platforms. This happens without compromising on versatility in embedding native plugins or functionally in the app. Many cross-platform app development tools, such as Appcelerator and PhoneGap, provide a feature to seamlessly establish the platform-specific features in the app.
- Uniformity and User Experience
While the uniformity across the different platforms is considered one of the biggest advantages of cross-platform mobile development, the truth differs slightly. Of course, many developer tools offer platform-specific customizations; however, it is next to impossible to achieve 100% uniformity across all devices. The reason for this is that no matter how smooth the synchronization is, platforms like Google and Apple have their own interface guidelines. So, sometimes, it can lead to a compromised user experience.
- Lack of 3D Graphics Support
Due to the code distribution across the multiple platforms, a cross-platform mobile app might not support the striking graphics or animations that you had planned to include in your app. In such cases, the best principle is to go for some mobile gaming engines, such as Unity, Flare3D, Metismo, and Moai. After all, geeks will remain geeks and you do not want to compromise on their experience, right?
- Complex Platform Integration
While cross-platform mobile development provides for integrating the interface across multiple devices, the integration can be a bit challenging at times. Setting up the preferences, handling the notifications, and assimilating cloud storage can take a lot of effort by the development team. Besides, the team would need to comprise professional developers with relevant expertise in this field.
It goes without saying that cross-platform mobile development offers a lot of advantages when compared to native apps. However, the point to consider is whether your enterprise is ready to take on the challenges that come with it. Taking in all the factors, when you roll out your app, one thing is for sure: Your app will not be one of the bubbles competing with the top spot bug squashing apps out there. It is going to stand out.
If you too are planning to step into cross-platform mobile development for your business, feel free to discuss this with us in the comments section below.