Mobile application development has seen a major boom in recent years with increasingly more businesses investing in the field. With this popularity comes more competition among businesses. As a result, it’s important that businesses don’t risk missing their presence on both of the primary platforms: Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. This is where cross-platform application development comes into play.
Cross-platform development is the creation of mobile applications that are compatible with numerous mobile operating systems. With this type of development, developers can create applications that can function on different platforms with one single code system. This means businesses don’t need to hire a separate software development team for each platform. Because it is compatible with different mobile operating systems, the mobile application can also reach a broader audience.
All of the above-mentioned benefits entail considerable cost savings. With the development speed this type of development brings, the time-to-market for each platform is also shorter compared to creating each app from scratch, saving valuable time.
Top Facts About Cross-platform Application Development
Even though the benefits of cross-platform app development is vast, there is unfortunately, plenty of misinformation regarding this type of development. That is why businesses must have all the facts before they decide if cross-platform development is best suited for them.
- There are two main technologies used
The top technologies for cross-platform app development are React Native and Flutter. Usually, Xamarin is mentioned as the third technology, but IT companies seldom use Microsoft’s framework.
- It allows for simple cloud integration
Many businesses prefer cross-platform apps because they can be easily integrated with the cloud with the help of cloud software engineers. This means that the application is much more functional and scalable as the single code source can be coordinated with various extensions and plug-ins.
- It can save a lot of time and money
With cross-platform technology, businesses only have to develop a single app that can function across platforms, rather than having to build multiple apps for each platform. Not only does this reduce development time, but it also reduces the cost.
- Users don’t realize the difference
When developed correctly, end-users shouldn’t notice any differences between an app that was developed using cross-platform technology and one that is native.
- It offers sameness and uniformity
Users may find an application inadequate if they need to use different methods and procedures for accessing the same app across different mobile devices. They would rather use one that looks and feels the same on all devices. Cross platform app development ensures that the overall look of an app can be maintained across all platforms since the exact set of codes are being used.
- It allows for brand consistency
Users value a strong, uniform brand experience across all customer touch points. When building both iOS apps and Android apps, ensuring a similar look may take considerably more time and effort. With cross-platform mobile app development, developing a constant brand image and experience can be done faster using the same UI and UX components that can deliver a native app-like experience. The navigation may continue to be different on each operating platform, but the overall interaction and brand image remains coherent.
- Fewer potential bugs
In native development, two sets of codes are typically developed, one for each platform. As a result, the number of discrepancies may be great. In cross-platform development, however, only one team writes one code that can be used across all platforms. Consequently, such code potentially has fewer errors.
Having knowledge of these facts can help businesses to make a better decision of whether they want to invest in cross-platform or native development.
Professionals Who Specialize in Cross-platform Development
Another important factor to consider with any development project is hiring the right team offering the best IT services. Typically, one person can‘t hold all the necessary knowledge and experience to build and support a cross-platform mobile app. There are several professionals working on different parts of the project. Let’s explore some of these professionals and their responsibilities:
- Mobile developer
A mobile developer’s typical responsibilities during cross-platform application include coding, designing, troubleshooting, managing updates and providing end user support. They may also assist with document digitization services that may involve software customization, integration, support, and more.
The skills of a good mobile developer include:
- Backend developer
A back-end web developer is responsible for server-side web application logic and integration of the work the mobile developer does. The back-end developer usually has the task of writing the web services and APIs used by the mobile application developer.
- DevOps specialist
A DevOps team makes it possible for mobile developers to perform more testing and monitoring before the final app is deployed to the end user. Ongoing monitoring helps in identifying and fixing issues fast.
The role of a designer in cross-platform app development is designing the aesthetics of the product. This includes rounding off the final user interface.
- QA Specialist
A Quality Assurance (QA) specialist is responsible for defining, developing, and implementing a test plan. They make sure that mistakes and potential risks are addressed early on.
The questions sometimes arise whether the best software developers for mobile can develop web apps too. This is possible when businesses, for example, find typo3 developer teams in combination with a good app development team, they can invest in cross-platform development across mobile and web platforms.
Popular Companies Using Cross-platform App Development
Many established brands decided to invest in top cross-platform application service solutions for Android and iOS. The search giant Google uses the software development kit Flutter in their cross-platform apps for Google Ads, Stadia and Google Assistant. Two major Chinese enterprises Tencent and Alibaba Group for their app development projects.
Other popular Flutter-based cross-platform apps in the Android or iOS app store include eBay Motors, Philips Hue and SpaceX Go.
Facebook and its associate platforms Marketplace, Ads Manager and Analytics all use React Native for their cross-platform apps. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also uses this software framework for app development.
The Bottom Line
Cross-platform app development used to be a low-cost yet inferior quality solution that only small businesses and startups with no initial investment would use. But, these times are indeed over. Today, many leading businesses around the world use cross-platform development to reduce development speed, deliver higher quality updates faster and save costs. With a good understanding of the model and searching to hire a developer team, businesses can invest in apps that stand out from the competition while saving valuable resources.