A strong mobile internet presence is becoming increasingly important for modern businesses. For companies that want to reach customers on their phones or offer services to mobile users, developing an app is an important part of the business plan.
For some brands, developing an app for a single platform may be enough. For most, however, there is no debate about which OS to build an app for: they have to have a presence on both Android and iOS. To choose one platform over the other would be to ignore a significant segment of the company’s consumer base.
If you want to have a presence on both platforms, you need to develop a strategy for Android/iOS cross platform development. This guide will discuss some of the most important points to consider and address when planning to release a cross platform mobile app.
Native Mobile Design or Cross Platform Development Solutions
Once you know that you need a cross platform mobile app, you have to make a choice between designing a native app for each platform or using cross platform mobile development tools. It’s important to understand that both options will result in a native app, but that there are some differences in approach and results.
When you choose native design for each platform, it means that you have to build each app separately using the language inherent to each OS. When you use cross platform app development tools, you develop one codebase. The development tools are then able to translate it for the individual platforms.
The primary advantage to using cross platform mobile development tools is that you only have to write the source code one time. This can cut the time to market release and it can also reduce the cost of developing apps for both platforms.
However, there are some compromises that come with using these tools instead of developing each app separately. One of the key issues is that some of the features and functions are impossible to translate between the two operating systems. This means that you either have to choose to avoid these platform-specific features, or find solutions for working them into your cross platform application.
Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tools
If you choose to go with cross platform app development tools, you are going to need to find the right set of tools for your project. Different pieces of development software have different advantages, and they all come with their own capabilities. For this reason, it can be difficult to find the right platform for a given project.
Some of the most popular cross platform mobile development tools include Xamarin, PhoneGap, and Appcelerator, but there are several tools available. This is when it can help to have a good cross platform app development firm on your side. A company that specializes in Android/iOS cross platform development is going to have experience with multiple platforms and tools, and will be able to recommend the right solution based on the requirements of your project.
Designing a Cross Platform Application
In many ways, designing a cross platform mobile app is the same as building an app for a single platform. You will need to do the same type of user and market research, decide on the features and functions that you want to include, and go through the same prototyping stages. Still, there are some key differences.
In developing a cross platform application, you want to aim for consistency while also acknowledging that the app is going to run on two different operating systems. For most applications, the biggest impact will be felt in UI/UX design. Some features may be available on iOS that will not be available for the Android version of the app, and vice versa.
If you are going with a strictly native design approach, these issues are a little easier to resolve because developing the two versions is done separately. However, if you are using cross platform app development tools, you may need to compromise on certain features. Otherwise, the developer will have to go back with additional tools to make the necessary adjustments to each different version of the app.
Designing a separate native app for each OS might be the right answer for some businesses, but cross platform development tools will be more advantageous for most projects. With integrated Android/iOS cross platform development, you can get the apps deployed in less time and can cut down on the cost of the project. The addition of an experienced cross platform application developer to your team should allow for compromises to be integrated in such a way that the difference between platforms will be almost unnoticeable.