Cross-platform mobile development is a way to develop apps that can run on devices using different platforms – most notably Android and iOS, but sometimes Windows too. In other words instead of developing multiple versions of an app, you can develop one version that is compatible with all platforms.
Knowing all that should already hint at one of the major benefits of cross-platform mobile development. But what you may not realize is that there are actually several reasons why it is important:
Instead of writing fresh code for different versions of the same app, cross-platform frameworks allow a mobile app development company to reuse the same code. That can save time and remove repetitive tasks while speeding up the development life cycle.
The unified code also means that if alterations need to be made to fix bugs, optimize performance or improve security – it only needs to be done once to apply to all versions of your app.
Generally the cost of developing an app is lower if you take advantage of cross-platform mobile development. In part that is because it only requires one team and fewer members than it would take to code native versions of the app for different platforms.
Developing separate apps for different platforms and yet trying to make them look consistent is not as easy as it appears. However with cross-platform frameworks it can be done much faster while ensuring that all the same user interface elements are used.
That consistency will improve brand recognition and also boost user-friendliness due to the fact that the apps will function in an almost identical fashion.
The simple fact that cross-platform mobile development allows you to build versions of your app for all mobile platforms will mean that you can expand your reach significantly. A single native app that caters to only one platform cannot do the same, and will immediately exclude users who do not that platform.
By developing an app using a cross-platform framework you can reach far more users and improve your bottom line by leaps and bounds.
Faster time to market
As mentioned previously, cross-platform mobile development can speed up the development life cycle, which in turn will let you develop and launch apps more quickly. It will also have an impact after launch and allow you to push out updates and bug fixes or security patches in a shorter span of time.
Being able to speed up your apps time-to-market is a huge advantage as it will let you get your app in front of users that much sooner. It will also ensure that you can roll out updates faster, which is something that users will definitely expect.
Right now over 98% of mobile devices run on Android or iOS, but who’s to say that will be the case in the future? A little known benefit of cross-platform frameworks is they are flexible enough that if a new platform ever emerges it should be possible for the framework to adapt accordingly.
While it is unlikely that this benefit will have much of a role to play in the short term, knowing that your code is future proof to some degree is never a bad thing.
The sheer scope of the benefits cross-platform mobile development brings to the table should be more than enough to convince anyone as to its importance. It does have some disadvantages such as the fact that it isn’t as efficient as native apps in terms of performance, but that pales in comparison to its many advantages.
To sum it up, cross-platform mobile development is definitely something that you should carefully consider if you want to create a successful mobile app.