For businesses, killing two birds with one stone means having a solution that is both effective and profitable, something like a cross-platform application that goes through a single process but produces two products. Isn’t it too good to be true?
Do we need to remind you of mobile apps’ role in our lives? Should we remind you that there are already 6.8 billion smartphone users worldwide, spending approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones daily? Missing such a vast customer base just because a business doesn’t have a mobile app yet is hardly a business-oriented approach.
Cross-platform mobile app development is a technology that helps create applications for both iOS and Android instead of building products for specific platforms, thus saving time and resources on developing two separate apps. Of course, a cross-platform app has its weaknesses and disadvantages, but the benefits are weighty enough to win the game. So if you are going to bet on an application for your business, here are the top benefits you will gain with cross-platform app development.
Top benefits of cross-platform mobile app development
A cross-platform mobile app means you have an application that is designed and developed to work on various platforms with minimal modifications. The technology uses a common codebase that is shared across multiple platforms, thus targeting a wider audience without the need to develop apps for each platform.
Cross-platform mobile app development uses open-source, cross-platform frameworks and technologies that allow developers to write code once and deploy it across different operating systems rather than building native apps for each platform.
To help you navigate the benefits of cross-platform mobile apps, let’s divide them into focus groups, businesses, and developers.
7 benefits of cross-platform mobile app development for businesses
Often, businesses don’t think of the process when deciding on app development. Of course, technical details may not be as exciting for the business owner as planning the budget and getting the results, but the more you are aware of the process, advantages, and challenges, the more you are prepared for surprises, good or bad.
The digital environment, particularly mobile software solutions, is extremely competitive. Gaining a competitive advantage is a must not only at the growth stage but also at the seed and even ideation stages. Cross-platform mobile apps offer a unique advantage by providing a unified experience across platforms, delivering consistent performance, and reaching a wider audience. By leveraging this technology, businesses have more chances to stand out from competitors and enhance their market position.
Modern cross-platform development frameworks are flexible and straightforward, enabling businesses to expedite their app release cycles. By sharing code and resources, developers can simultaneously target multiple platforms, ensuring a faster time-to-market. This agility is particularly advantageous in highly competitive industries when you don’t have to spend resources waiting.
Software development is not cheap; let’s make that clear. Every technology has its price. But what is great about cross-platform applications is that expenses are justified by having a product that works on different platforms, thus saving resources on developing several applications. Isn’t it more effective to pay for one rather than two?
Increased market penetration
The primary goal of cross-platform development is to have a wider reach at lower costs and with less effort. By targeting multiple platforms with a single app, companies can expand their presence and tap into diverse user bases. This broader market reach opens up opportunities for increased user acquisition and revenue generation.
Enhanced brand consistency
A consistent brand experience is vital for building trust and recognition. This challenge is simple to overcome with cross-platform development that ensures the app has a consistent look, feel, and branding across all platforms. This consistent branding strengthens the overall brand identity and helps establish a cohesive user experience throughout the customer journey.
Simplified analytics and data collection
Analytics and data collection are crucial to understanding user behavior, preferences, and app performance. With cross-platform applications, businesses can implement unified analytics solutions that gather data from all platforms. This streamlined approach simplifies data collection, analysis, and reporting, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making and future app performance optimization.
Consistent user experience
User experience and user satisfaction are the core of any product or service, so delivering a consistent user experience across platforms is critical for brand loyalty and reputation. The cross-platform mobile application has unified UI/UX elements, ensuring a cohesive and seamless experience for users, regardless of the device they are using. It means that if a user has two devices with different OSes, he/she will have the same (preferably, flawless) experience with an app on both devices.
10 benefits of cross-platform mobile app development for developers
While businesses think of the project’s return on investment, revenue, and conversions, the development team is more interested in the technical aspects of cross-platform application development.
One of the key advantages of cross-platform app development is code reusability. With popular frameworks like React Native, Flutter, or Xamarin, developers can write a single codebase that can be used across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. The code reusability feature significantly reduces development time, effort, and cost.
Access to native features
Contrary to popular misconceptions, modern open-source, cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Flutter now provide access to native device features. They offer comprehensive APIs and libraries, allowing developers to tap into device-specific functionalities such as cameras, geolocation, push notifications, and more. This ensures that the app can leverage platform capabilities without compromising application performance.
Testing is a crucial aspect of app development. Robust development is followed by robust testing capabilities for cross-platform apps, allowing developers to write tests once and execute them across multiple platforms. This streamlined testing process ensures better quality control and faster debugging.
Improved maintenance and support
Maintaining separate apps for different platforms can be a resource-intensive task, especially when there is no in-house team to be responsible for ongoing maintenance. Cross-platform development simplifies maintenance and support processes by allowing businesses and the development team to address issues and provide updates uniformly across platforms. This results in streamlined support workflows, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
Rapid prototyping and iteration
In the competitive app market, speed and agility are the keys to success. Cross-platform development facilitates rapid prototyping and iteration cycles, starting with the development of MVPs. By sharing code and resources, developers can quickly build and test prototypes, gather user feedback, and iterate on the app’s features and functionalities. This iterative approach ensures that businesses can adapt and respond promptly to market demands.
Easier app integration
For fully-functioning products, most apps rely on third-party services, APIs, and backend systems’ integrations. Cross-platform development simplifies the integration process, as the majority of integrations can be implemented once and seamlessly deployed across platforms. This feature accelerates the time it takes to connect the app to services, improving overall app functionality and user experience.
Increased developer productivity
Cross-platform development reduces the learning curve for developers. Most frameworks use familiar technologies and languages, so developers can quickly adapt and become productive when building apps for multiple platforms. This increased productivity allows the development team to allocate resources more efficiently, resulting in faster development cycles and reduced time-to-market.
Simultaneous updates and maintenance
Maintaining multiple native apps across different platforms can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially when you are responsible for ongoing maintenance (well, you should be responsible for keeping the app functioning). With cross-platform development, updates, and maintenance can be performed simultaneously on all platforms. When a bug fix or feature enhancement is implemented in the shared codebase, it reflects across all platforms, ensuring consistency and reducing the effort required for maintenance. Simultaneous updates streamline the development process, simplify bug fixing, and allow for faster deployment of updates and new features to all users, regardless of their device or platform.
Available development tools
Popular cross-platform frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, and Ionic constantly get updates with new tools, libraries, and features, becoming less limited and more flexible for development. It means developers are closer to creating native-like apps with less effort.
Why choose a cross-platform mobile app? Conclusion
Choosing cross-platform mobile app development offers numerous compelling reasons for businesses and development teams to embrace this approach. Whether you are in Team A interested in business-oriented benefits or Team B taking care of the development process, cross-platform applications will be a win-win option for both. An experienced software development agency with a record of success with marketed applications will easily handle a new project, creating cross-platform mobile applications.