Cross-platform mobile development for your business

If you’re a founder whose business appeals to many audiences across various mobile touchpoints, this article about cross-platform application development may be useful to you.

Cross-platform mobile development allows developers to produce applications from one code base for different platforms.

As a founder whose business appeals to a large audience across various mobile operating platforms like IOS and Android, you must have thought about the difficulty of developing a business application for these platforms and the different number of screen sizes they offer and your audience use. One way to overcome this difficulty and cut costs is to choose to develop your business application in a way that works across all the various operating systems in this article we will list some of the benefits of doing so starting with a refresher on what a cross-platform mobile application is.

What is Cross-Platform Mobile Development?

If you are reading this, you’re likely doing so on a smartphone that runs on one of two primary mobile operating systems available today: IOS and Android. These two operating systems allow you to download applications through their respective app stores and usually the apps you download look and feel the same on both platforms. 

What you as an end-user of these smartphones may not know is that although the apps are the same on both platforms the computer code that runs whenever the app is being used is different for both. This means that as a business owner if you have a customer base that uses both operating systems you will have to develop two similar-looking but separate applications to cater to them.

Cross-platform mobile development is meant to solve this problem. When you choose cross-platform development, your business application for both operating systems that your customer base uses is built on a single computer code. Meaning, that you don’t have to hire separate developers for the two operating systems and pay two different development costs. 

Now that you know what cross-platform application development is and you understand why businesses like yours choose it, we’ll look at how it fairs with native applications.  

For most business use cases, the benefit of choosing to build an application for the two different operating systems from a single code base far outweighs the downside but the following table provides a deeper understanding of the difference between native and cross-platform application development: 

Cross vs Native
Cross vs Native
ParameterNative AppsCross-Platform Apps
Development CostHigh cost of developmentRelatively low cost of development
Code UsabilityWorks for a single platformA single code base that can be used on multiple platforms
PerformanceSeamless performance since the app is developed for the specific operating systemClose to seamless performance, but lags and compatibility issues may occur

Native application development or in other words developing specifically for a particular operating system leveraging platform-specific programming languages can be good in particular niche cases where you wish to deliver superior user experience in terms of the appearance and performance of the application since with native development you typically get access to some device functions that may be limited when developing a hybrid (cross-platform) app. 

Cross-platform mobile development frameworks to choose from

The most likely option to be recommended for you if you decide to build a cross-platform application as a founder includes:

  1. React Native.  React Native is arguably the top cross-platform mobile development framework there is currently. It is based on a popular JavaScript frontend framework that has been the foundation of some of the world’s most popular applications like Facebook and Instagram.
  2.  Ionic. is amongst the very few frameworks used to build cross-platform applications and is one of the most popular for a good reason. On its website, the framework describes itself as having a rich set of features and tools, including out-of-the-box support for material design, native-style mobile UI elements, and layouts.
  3. Xamarin. Xamarin is a leading free, open-source platform for building hybrid mobile applications and is one of the most feature-rich cross-platform application development frameworks.
  4. Fluter.  Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit created by Google to make cross-platform development simple. It helps craft natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase.

Final verdict

In this article, we wanted to help you answer the question of whether or not you should go cross-platform when considering developing an application for your business as a founder and which cross-platform framework is likely to be best for your mobile app requirement. 

Feel free to get in touch with us, so we can talk about your mobile development project and discuss whether developing a cross-platform application will be beneficial to your business reach and growth.  In the tiny cases that it wouldn’t, our Web and Mobile Development Garage will advise against it.