Cross-platform mobile app development
Today, in a fast-paced world, the mobile app market has been expanding meteorically.
Mobile applications have become a must for most businesses across various industries. Thus, mobile marketing has become more and more competitive every day. Creating a successful mobile app may even be a make or break for your business.
So, how to create an app that meets the needs of all mobile users?
The answer is cross-platform mobile app development that seamlessly runs on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows, as well as on the web. At BrainForge IT, we follow the most popular software development trends and cross-platform mobile app design and development is one of them.
What are the types of cross-platform mobile applications?
What is cross-platform mobile app development?
It’s an approach that allows programmers to build mobile solutions that are simultaneously compatible with various platforms and operating systems – iOS, Windows, Android – instead of developing different app versions for each platform. This is achieved by using tools like Flutter or React Native where applications can be deployed on Android and iOS. Building cross-platform mobile apps aims at creating software that works well in different specific digital environments with the main purpose of selling them to a wider customer base. On average, people in the US spend 80% of their mobile time on mobile applications so the juice is worth the squeeze, especially if your business is a startup. Creating a cross-platform mobile application can help you with some common mobile app development challenges.
There are two types of cross-platform mobile apps:
Native cross-platform mobile applications
each operating system has its SDK (software development kit) and technology stack. So, developers who build native cross-platform mobile apps, create a unified API that runs on top of a native SDK. They have to use native IDEs and build iOS and Android applications that share the same codebase. Usually, native cross-platform mobile applications are built using React Native and Flutter.
When is cross-platform mobile app development the right choice for business growth?
Cross-platform mobile app development services are usually chosen by businesses that would like to release the application as soon as possible. Very often, they have a limited software development budget so building an application for more than one platform at once seems to be the most reasonable choice. Some more reasons why companies decide to go for cross-platform mobile app development:
They need a dynamic user interface or want to focus on a highly customized layout that matches their brands.
They want to test different solutions and introduce new features along the way – cross-platform mobile app design and development offer a very flexible scope.
They consider a web or desktop app for the future.
Do any of the above
mentioned reasons sound familiar to you? If so, this may be a sign that you should consider finding a cross-platform mobile app development company. The business benefits associated with cross-platform mobile app development are undisputed. You can launch the software simultaneously on various platforms as the source code is written once. You don’t need to hire a separate team for each platform. The development time is faster which, in consequence, leads to lower costs. This benefits everyone, from the developers’ team all the way to marketing. Who doesn’t want a shorter time to profitability, after all?
is a cross-platform mobile app development service right for your business growth? If you need high performance, a complex interface, and maximum responsiveness, native app development might be a better choice for your company. However, if you want to develop the app as soon as possible and you don’t need to use all the computing capabilities of the device, cross-platform mobile app development will work for your business. The choice mainly depends on the objectives of your mobile application. If you want to make sure that cross-platform mobile apps suit your needs well, contact us to estimate your project.
For example: building cross-platform mobile apps is hugely beneficial in developing games and test cases.
What are the cross-platform mobile app development tools?
There are many different cross-platform app development tools we use to build perfect applications that run on both Android and iOS. These are our favorites:
Developed in 2011, the framework enables developers to create applications that provide users with a completely native experience. This cross-platform mobile app development framework is supported by Microsoft. The framework is built with #C (so it’s highly compatible with Visual Studio) and .Net. With Xamarin, developers can create apps with shared interfaces that are developed using Xamarin.Forms. The framework supports type-checking and uses PCL for back-end interactions. In the last few years, the popularity of Xamarin has been decreasing.
A very popular web-tech-based framework for cross-platform mobile app development. It was created by Max Lynch and Ben Sperry in 2012. Initially, this hybrid mobile app framework was built on top of the Apache Cordova framework. Ionic uses native-like, web component-based UI elements, then, it renders them in a webview component. It communicates with the OS layer via JSON payloads. Ionic has a strong community and vast libraries of native components which enables developers to create high-performing applications for both Android and iOS. The framework is a perfect choice for your project if you already have a well-working web application – in such case, you don’t have to build a new mobile application from scratch.
What makes cross-platform app development different from others?
Developing native applications
is aimed at delivering a product for one specific platform. When it comes to mobile development, it’s usually Android or iOS. In most cases, two different developer teams are needed to create two different applications supporting two different codebases. On the other hand, we have cross-platform app development (including hybrid applications). Hybrid apps can even combine mobile and web elements. The goal of cross-platform mobile app development is to build a product that can operate across all platforms. They are created by companies that need multi-platform capabilities. Cross-platform apps are much easier to maintain as you can deploy code as changes are made. If a bug happens, it can be quickly fixed once which saves time and money.
Native vs cross-platform app development
Both app-building approaches for creating mobile solutions have their pros and cons.
Native apps rely on tools designed specifically for one platform.
They are original for the operating system and the device. Developers who create native applications are guided by specific operating system requirements. The layout, UI, and functions are made specifically to fit the particular mobile platform. Native applications prove less complex in the development stage, so they take less time to develop. To build a native application, developers usually use Objective-C and Swift for iOS, C++, Kotlin, or Java for Android, and Visual Basic or C# for Windows.
Native apps can fully use the available features and capabilities of the specific operating system. Very often, it’s said that native applications perform faster and provide the highest degree of reliability. However, if you collaborate with an experienced software development team, you may be certain that your cross-platform app will be as fast and reliable as the native one.
And what are the cons? They aren’t compatible with other platforms. You have to develop several solutions to reach wider audiences. This might be cost-extensive and time-consuming. When compared to cross-platform mobile apps, native applications are costlier, which might be tricky, especially for startups.
Cross-platform mobile apps
The most important advantages: it’s usually cheaper to create a cross-platform app than separate native applications for each platform. Research shows that developing a cross-platform application costs up to 30% cheaper than creating two native applications. Only one team of developers is required to develop and maintain the app. Cross-platform mobile applications have a native look and feel, which makes a great user experience. Finally, they are just perfect for startups that want to attract users of different devices and release the app to market quicker.
Which framework can be used to develop cross-platform applications?
See the cross-platform mobile app development tools above. How to choose the most appropriate framework to build your perfect app? Here is what you should consider:
The size of your company.
Your developer team.
The solution you need.
Wondering, what is the key to choosing an appropriate framework? Here are the tips we have developed as part of our best practices:
Usability is crucial
should your app be mobile or web first? If mobile, we often consider Flutter which is a great time-saver that enables us to ensure the same user experience for all users.
Don’t forget about UX/UI
a mobile application should be intuitive, easy to use and navigate, and bring a good look and feel to the users. Choose the framework that will make you certain that UX/ and UI are the same for both Android and iOS users.
Security is key
data protection, authentication, and authorization are critical in every mobile app. Thus, you should take care of your users’ safety and only choose frameworks that allow you to build additional security layers (Second Factor Authentication).
as a key factor in choosing technology – one of the most important purposes of choosing the right cross-platform mobile app development tools is to decrease the developmental workload and resource requirements. Choose the one that will help you reduce workload requirements to build the best app and the best value while spending the least amount of time and money.
The final choice should be based on detailed research (both market research and customer demands). You should identify your audience and platform (with their pros and cons). Decide on the features you need in your cross-platform mobile app – consider speed, quality image resolution, security, regular updates, etc. Then, think about how to enhance the user experience.
The biggest benefits of cross-platform mobile app development
Here is why you should consider cross-platform mobile app development for your business:
The code is reusable
Developers can easily work on a single code base that can run on different platforms. No more repetitive tasks and delays in the development process. It helps the team address many of their day-to-day challenges and fix bugs or add enhancements on the go rather than doing it for each platform separately. Developers can reduce the daunting tasks of putting the same codes on each platform. They can focus on the design and responsiveness of a business.
Lower development costs
When you decide to choose cross-platform app development, you can share common technical and human resources. Thus, the process is cheaper and more efficient when compared to building two applications simultaneously. Your team requires fewer members so in most cases, you can cut down development costs at least by half.
Customers always look for convenience. Therefore, you should always be one step ahead of them and anticipate their needs. Cross-platform mobile app development speeds up the development process and launch. You can deploy your app quickly and more responsively, building a customer-centric business. Also, maintenance and support are more efficient, and bugs can be fixed easier than when engaging separate teams for each app. Refinement of functions and all changes are uploaded to two stores at once.
Broader market reach
Developing a cross-platform mobile application gives you access to a broader consumer market. Your app runs on different platforms, so your revenue opportunities are multiplied. You don’t have to only cover a part of your market segment. You gain a more significant potential for business growth.
Fewer potential bugs
You only have one team that writes one code for different platforms. Such code potentially contains fewer bugs and errors. In the case of two separate teams that write two codes for iOS and Android, the number of discrepancies may be bigger.
Single applications are easier to maintain and update for development teams than multiple apps with different codes. Synchronizations can be seamless which saves a lot of time and money. Users can be easily updated with the latest version of the app thanks to automated and scheduled releases.
Cross-platform mobile app development services at BrainForge IT
These are the steps we take to build your perfect cross-platform mobile application:
We discuss your concept and define the objectives.
We lay out the basic functionalities and features of your app.
We conduct market research (customers and competitors).
We build wireframes and use cases and test them.
After we choose a development path, we build and test your mobile application.
That’s it! Time to launch your cross-platform mobile app!
Looking for cross-platform mobile app developers?
You’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you deliver a perfect user experience to your customers and boost your sales! Contact us to estimate your project.
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BrainForge IT Software & Consulting Sp. z o. o. with its headquarter in: 53-125 Wrocław, al. Kasztanowa 3a-5, Poland, VATPL: 8992879435, registered in the Regional Court Wrocław-Fabryczna VI Commercial Division of the National Court Register, registered in the commercial register (KRS) under no. 0000840335, with share capital: 5.000,00 PLN.