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Reasons Why You Should and Shouldn’t Develop Cross-Platform Apps | Bitlab

Reasons Why You Should and Shouldn’t Develop Cross-Platform Apps

by Tom / App Development

When dealing with mobile apps, one of the biggest questions that will come into play is that of your app’s availability. The world of smartphones and mobile gadgets is constantly expanding and on the rise, and this means that you are constantly faced with more and more decisions to make in regards to which platforms will and won’t get support for your latest creation.

For years now, there has been a never-ending battle between both iOS and Android. Apple’s iPhone is easily the single most popular smartphone handset out there, but the adoption numbers for users on the Android OS are tremendously huge. However, those are only the two most notable operating systems that you need to take into consideration when developing for the mobile platform. What about Firefox OS? Tizen? Windows 10 Mobile? There are so many different platforms to take into consideration, and this can often create for a rather difficult decision-making process.

While you could just say yes to one of these mobile operating systems and no to all of the other ones, you could also choose to go ahead and make your application cross-platform (in other words, make your app available on more than one mobile OS). While this is certainly a possibility that you have, is it truly worth all of the extra time, money, and effort that goes into the process of making your app cross-platform? This is a question that comes to the minds of mobile app developers multiple times throughout the development process, and finding the right answer can often be more difficult than you would initially expect.

Today, we’re going to be examining this issue, and talk about both reasons as to why you should and shouldn’t develop your mobile apps on a cross-platform basis. There are solid points to be made for both sides of the conversation, so without any further ado, let’s take a look and see just what those points are.

 

Should – Efficient

When you first think of developing your app to be cross-platform, you might be thinking that you’re going to have to rework your code from the ground up to be compatible with a different mobile OS. Thankfully, this is not the case at all. While a bit of reworking will have to be done on your part, if you’re smart about the way that you write your code, anywhere from 50 to 80% of code can be reused when moving it over to a new platform. This can save an enormous amount of time in the development process, and means that bringing an app from Android to iOS or an Android app to Windows 10 Mobile might just take a matter of hours or minutes. Along with saving time, this can also contribute nicely to saving a bit of cash.

 

Shouldn’t – Conflicting UIs

If you’ve used an iPhone or any popular Android smartphone, then you’re well aware of the stark difference that exists between both of the UIs between these two smartphone platforms. The iPhone has its own unique design language when it comes to its software and apps, and so too does the Android OS. So, if you decide to make your app available on both of these operating systems, you’re going to have to put more time and money into making their designs similar to the OS that they are launching on. Both Apple and Google have certain guidelines for how they want apps for their operating systems to look, and if you want to ensure any kind of success at all, you’ll have to follow these guidelines as closely as possible.

 

Should – Large audience

This should go without saying, but we’re going to mention it anyways. If you have your app available on multiple smartphone platforms as compared to just one, you’re going to have access to a much wider and larger audience. The customers and users that you’ll be able to reach with a cross-platform app are far greater than what you’d get with an app that’s available exclusively on one single OS, and this is often a big enough reason on its own to decide to make the cross platform switch.

 

Shouldn’t –  Performance issues

If you decide to make the move to go cross-platform, you’ll need to take into consideration the difference in processor performance between the different phones that you will now be working with. All of the operating systems out there run on different types of hardware, and if someone is trying to access your app from an older handset, there’s a chance they’re going to encounter some rather bad and sluggish performance issues. Optimizing your app to work on older hardware for multiple platforms can often be a bit of a struggle, as this will create for a nice extra pile of work on your end.

 

What should you do?

Deciding whether or not to make your app cross-platform will ultimately come down to the resources that you have available to you. If you’re pretty confident in your ability to make the move to cross-platform without losing too much time or money, go for it. However, if these resources are already thin, going cross-platform will only drain you of them even more. Take an overview of where your company and resources are currently at, and then make the decision from there.

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