In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile applications, businesses are constantly presented with choices: cross-platform or native apps?
Both have their merits, but understanding the differences between them is crucial when making informed decisions.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on why cross-platform apps might hold an edge for businesses compared to native apps.
The Basics: Cross-Platform and Native Apps Defined
What is a Cross-Platform App?
Cross-platform apps function across multiple operating systems, such as iOS and Android, using a single codebase.
Tools like React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin facilitate the development of such apps. They offer flexibility by allowing developers to write code once and deploy it across various platforms.
What is a Native App?
Native apps are specifically built for a particular operating system, like iOS or Android, using platform-specific programming languages (Swift or Objective-C for iOS, Java or Kotlin for Android).
These apps are tailored to leverage the unique features and functionalities of the respective platforms. This ensures high performance and user experience, but requires separate development for each operating system.
10 Benefits of Cross-Platform Apps for Business
Today we’re going to focus specifically on the benefits of cross-platform app development for businesses – and there are many!
These days, we at Big Fish are increasingly recommending cross-platform app development to our clients. The lower cost of development (and lower total cost of ownership), as well as the need to support users on a variety of different mobile phones are just two reasons why.
In years gone by, quality and reliability was a consideration with cross-platform app development. But not anymore. Keep reading for a look at why we confidently recommend cross-platform app development so often.
1. Cost Efficiency
Building a single cross-platform app reduces development costs significantly compared to creating separate native apps for each platform. The shared codebase streamlines development, saving both time and resources.
Cross-platform app development won’t cut your development costs in half. There are still customizations needed for each platform – but you can get pretty close to half the cost of two native apps!
2. Faster Time to Market
Cross-platform apps enable quicker deployment as they allow simultaneous development for multiple platforms. With a unified codebase, updates and features can be rolled out swiftly across all devices, accelerating time to market.
3. Wider Market Reach
By targeting multiple platforms simultaneously, businesses can tap into larger user bases across iOS, Android, and potentially other emerging platforms. This broader reach can amplify brand exposure and user acquisition.
4. Consistent User Experience
Maintaining consistency in user experience across different platforms is easier with cross-platform apps. A unified design language and functionalities create a seamless experience for users, fostering familiarity and ease of use.
5. Easier Maintenance
Managing updates and implementing changes becomes more straightforward with a single codebase. Developers can address bugs, add features, and maintain the app efficiently, ensuring uniformity across platforms.
6. Reduced Learning Curve
For businesses employing a single development team, the learning curve for cross-platform tools is generally less steep than mastering multiple languages and platform-specific nuances required for native app development.
7. Cost-Effective Prototyping
Cross-platform apps facilitate rapid prototyping and testing. The shared codebase allows for quicker iterations and adjustments based on user feedback, enabling businesses to refine their product more cost-effectively.
8. Lower Total Cost of Ownership
Cross-platform apps not only reduce initial development costs but also offer substantial long-term savings in maintenance.
The unified codebase simplifies ongoing maintenance, updates, and bug fixes, resulting in lower operational costs over the app’s lifecycle. With a single codebase to manage, businesses can efficiently allocate resources, minimize maintenance complexities, and reduce the total cost of ownership, ensuring sustained cost-effectiveness throughout the app’s lifespan.
9. Faster Iterations and Feature Rollouts
With a single codebase, implementing new features and updates across all platforms becomes more efficient. This agility allows businesses to respond swiftly to market demands and user feedback, staying ahead of the competition by continuously improving the app’s functionality.
10. Flexibility for MVPs and Startups
For startups or those launching Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), cross-platform apps offer an agile approach. They provide a cost-effective way to test the market and iterate quickly before committing to native development.
While native apps excel in performance and platform-specific optimizations, cross-platform apps present a compelling case for businesses seeking cost efficiency, wider reach and faster development cycles.
Understanding the unique needs and priorities of your business will guide the choice between cross-platform and native app development. Ultimately, the decision hinges on balancing performance, user experience and business objectives to create a winning mobile strategy.