We live in a digital age and mobile applications have become an integral part of our lives. Technology has advanced so much that even multiple platforms are not an obstacle. With people having multiple devices, cross-platform app development becomes a significant help. In this blog post, we will explore cross-platform app development with its benefits, popular frameworks, ways to create such apps and its cost. Read on to know more!
Benefits of cross-platform application development
It’s not only that the businesses can reach wider audiences. The benefits of cross-platform applications are much more. That’s why cross-platform application development has become an increasingly popular choice in the software development landscape. Here are some benefits:
1. Cost efficiency
2. Time savings
3. Wider market reach
4. Consistency and uniformity
5. Ease of maintenance
6. Developer productivity.
Even if you take only time and cost, cross-platform outperforms other frameworks. By embracing cross-platform development frameworks, businesses become in a position to optimize resources and minimize development and maintenance costs.
Cross-platform app development frameworks in 2023
There are a number of cross-platform app development frameworks that have become an indispensable part of developers’ work. These frameworks can run on multiple platforms reducing development time and costs. Some of them have become developers’ favorites in 2023. Here is a list:
2. React Native
Sometimes it’s hard to decide which framework to choose. It often depends on project requirements, the development team’s expertise as well as the desired user experience. It’s also important to note that cross-platform is not only the only solution. For example, to implement a platform-specific functionality, you need a native app. Cross-platform apps typically are a bit weaker in performance since there is yet another layer of software.
So, keep this in mind. If your app specifics allow, choose cross-platform but don’t overestimate its significance.
How to create cross-platform mobile apps
If you want to work seamlessly across various operating systems, you need to build cross-platform mobile apps. This will give you a chance to reach a broader user base. Let’s see how to do that.
Step 1: Choose the right cross platform framework: This takes some research. You need to evaluate the pros and cons of each framework. Here is what to look at:
- Community support
- Development requirements
- Specific requirements for your project
- Long-term viability
- Development tools and IDE support
- Flexibility and customization
- Third-party library ecosystems
- Learning curve
- Platform support.
Several popular frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, and Ionic are currently applied to build apps that run on both iOS and Android platforms.
Step 2: Plan and design the apps: Begin by creating wireframes and mockups to visualize the app’s layout and user interface. At this stage, you should also define the app’s features, functionalities, and user flows to streamline the development process
Step 3: Modularize your codebase: It’s important to structure your codebase in a modular and reusable manner. To do that, you should extract the common features into shared components or modules. This is done not only for time-saving but for consistency of behavior and appearance across platforms.
Step 4: Test rigorously: Cross-platform mobile app development frameworks provide built-in testing capabilities. To identify and fix issues you need to conduct 1) unit tests, 2) integration tests, and 3) end-to-end tests.
Step 5: Optimize performance: Optimize resource usage, minimize network requests, and cache date to enhance the app’s speed and responsiveness.
Step 6: Deploy and maintain: After you finish development and testing, you can deploy the app to the respective app stores. Once you do that, you should monitor user feedback and analytics to identify areas for improvement. At this stage, you should regularly release updates to address bugs or add new features.
The cost to develop a cross-platform mobile app
The app development cost depends on several factors. For example, the location of the developer team is a determinant factor. If you choose a team in USA or Canada, you may pay twice as much as you would if you choose a team in Eastern Europe or Asia. According to Salary.com, developers in the Unites States are the most costly.
Even if you choose a particular region to go to, there still may be variations according to developers’ experience and the technology used. Generally, programmers who specialize in rare technologies ask for a higher price than their peers.
Another factor is the complexity of the app or number of screens. Plus, you should also take into account that some 20–30% goes to maintenance and scalability.
Therefore, there is a wide range of cost for cross-platform app development. Normally, it may range from $10,000 to $50,000.
This is just a rough estimation. After you have an idea of what app you want, the best thing is to do market research with the development team and ask for quotes from several sources. You need to ask for development time and per-hour cost.
You can even decide to hire a freelancer, not a development team and the cost will go down. But in this case, you need to hire designers and testers separately. In any way, it all depends on your app’s complexity and whether you want to have enough supervision over the developers. Not all businesses want to take the hassle of hiring programmers.
Many businesses still prefer native development over cross-platform mobile app development since it creates a platform for a fantastic user experience and app performance. However, cross-platform apps are becoming more popular nowadays because of their wider reach and cost efficiency. Since cross-platform apps are available on multiple platforms, they help businesses reach a wider audience and increase brand visibility. Ease of maintenance, time savings, consistency, and uniformity, development productivity together with cost efficiency and wider market reach make cross-platform app development a valuable resource for businesses. If you are still in doubt, check this blog post on the comparison of cross-platform vs native app development.