The world is now fully mobile and in fact, mobile has surpassed desktop as the key source of internet traffic. It is no wonder businesses and organizations are investing heavily in mobile apps to easily drive traffic to their websites. If you are a business owner, it is imperative to build a mobile app — but the question then becomes, "Which type of app do you need?"
You have to decide whether to build an app only for iOS or for all platforms including Android, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows, and even Amazon Kindle. Native app development focuses on one operating system while cross-platform app development focuses on multiple operating systems.
Cross-platform apps are developed using a language that can be surrounded with native code and then deployed across all platforms. Such platforms including PhoneGap, Titanium, Rhodes, and Appcelerator limit the work developers, which also reduces development time.
Cross-platform app development has become very popular as businesses try to target as many users as possible. However, like with any other technology, these types of apps have their advantages and disadvantages. Below is a guide to help you make an informed choice.
Pros of Cross Platform App Development
Some of the advantages include the following.
A developer will not have to write unique code for every platform. Instead, the code can be used and customized for all platforms. A developer just needs to develop one program and then deploy it for all the operating systems the mobile app is to be used on. The code can also be utilized in bits for future projects.
Faster App Development
This has to be the best advantage of cross-platform web development. By leveraging one code base and using it for different platforms, a developer will cut the time needed which helps the client achieve their launch date. Using one mobile application that is functional across different platforms is also more efficient.
Reduced Development Costs
One of the reasons most businesses are not yet building apps is the cost of app development. However, cross-platform app development is notably inexpensive since only one code base is used to develop mobile apps. Businesses can now get their apps on other platforms without investing in more development.
Easier Time for Developers
Every business owner who has tried consulting an app developer has been told how complex the project is. However, developers now have an easier option to get the job done because most cross-platform frameworks are dynamic. They also support CSS3 and HTML5, which makes them easier for developers to use.
Greater Market Reach
For business owners, it is now possible to reach a larger audience because your app will be hosted on multiple platforms. Your mobile app will be available on Windows, iOS, BlackBerry, and other operating systems.
Support for Cloud and Enterprise Solutions
On frameworks such as PhoneGap and Titanium, it is easy to integrate and cloud solutions. Frameworks such as PhoneGap and Appcelerator have many plugins that developers can use to enhance validity, aesthetics, and app functionalities.
Changes to these apps are easier and any updates are automatically synced across the platforms to ensure smooth operations.
Cons of Cross Platform App Development
While cross-platform app development has been hailed as the ultimate solution by app development companies, there are still some drawbacks that you need to expect. These include the following.
It is not easy to integrate your app with local settings, preferences, and notifications. You might also have to use a third-party cloud service for diverse storage options.
Lack of Updates
The framework you use might not have all the features supported by the operating system. If Google adds a feature to Android, the framework will have to update the same.
Lack of 3D Support and Graphics
Hybrid apps may not enjoy eye-catching graphics and 3D support, which is a disadvantage to users.
Poor User Experience (UX)
This is a great concern because every platform, screen layout, and functionality is unique meaning building an app that presents great user experience across all devices and platforms is not easy. Facebook seems to have realized this when it shifted from a cross-platform app to a native Android app.
Sluggish Code Running
Developers are forced to use too many cross-compliance during development. This can lead to slow speeds.
Lack of All Features
You should not expect to have all the features offered by Apple, Google and Microsoft on cross-platforms like Sencha.
These tips will help you make an informed choice when developing your app. Cross-platform app development still stands out due to the faster development speeds and cost-effectiveness.