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5 benefits of cross-platform mobile app development


Published on: 15 Oct 2020

By Vinod Subbaiah

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As one of the dominant trends this year, cross-platform mobile application development is changing how businesses approach app development. Additionally, it is creating new opportunities for rapid digital growth.

Before building a mobile app, one has to decide on the devices it should be supported on. For some products, the answer is easy; for the ones where the market segment has considerable number of users for each OS, choosing one OS over the other comes at a certain cost. You either risk losing a share of the market, or if you decide to build native apps for all operating systems, it involves a significant investment.

With cross-platform app development, businesses no longer need to go through this “Sophie’s Choice” situation. It allows developers to build mobile applications that run on multiple operating systems by using a single framework and sharing the same code base. 

The framework enables businesses to create native-like experiences by reducing the development effort and costs while speeding up the time-to-market. 

Mobile development is a competitive market. To be perceived as a top player, it’s crucial to take advantage of the right resources to build a strong and lasting competitive edge. The continuous innovation and customer-driven progress prompt organizations to find ways to balance long-term growth with short-term challenges. Let’s explore the multiple ways in which cross-platform development benefits can help accelerate your growth and ensure excellent business performance. 

1. Code reusability

The cross-platform development framework allows developers to work on a single code base that can run on different platforms. Relying on a shared code base removes the repetitive tasks and speeds up the application development life cycle. It helps developers address many of their day-to-day challenges, such as writing natively for each operating system, and acquiring skills on numerous development tools required to support every mobile device. 

The reusable code base also enables you to resolve bugs and add enhancements on all platforms in one go, rather than doing it each platform separately.

2. Cost reduction 

When building native applications, organizations have to assemble multiple teams with diverse skillsets and commit to a substantial budget to cover app development for different operating systems.

On the other hand, a cross-platform framework enables you to share common technical and human resources, making it less expensive and more efficient to build two apps simultaneously.

Finding highly skilled developers is time-consuming and costly, and so is training them for specific projects. A cross-platform application project requires only one team with fewer members, which cuts down development costs at least by half. 

Software engineers don’t need to learn OS-specific language and programming tools; most cross-platform frameworks use JavaScript based frameworks such as React Native, which are easy to pick up, for a majority of developers. Reusing the code source also reduces the development effort, and ultimately the cost of having a lengthy project.

Furthermore, cross-platform development is a cost-efficient way to test a particular market and gain insights into which platform has a higher adoption rate and is more successful and profitable, helping you make better strategic decisions.

3. Faster development and time-to-market 

When customers interact with a business, they expect to find their products and services on every channel while enjoying a seamless and consistent customer experience. In other words, they look for convenience. Failing to fulfill this expectation can sometimes make the customer to look elsewhere. And customers change their minds in split seconds.

So businesses need to be one step ahead of their customers, anticipating their needs, and acting fast. 

Because it relies on a shared code base, cross-platform application development can speed up product development and launch. Using frameworks such as React Native or Flutter, you can build and deploy your applications faster thereby shortening the overall development lifecycle. 

This can help you be more responsive to customer feedback and market changes, and build a reputation of a trustworthy, customer-centric business.

Cross-platform applications are efficient when it comes to maintenance and support. Updates and bug fixes can be synchronized and pushed to all devices, regardless of the operating system, rather than engaging separate support teams for each application.

4. Brand consistency

Users value an impeccable brand experience across all customer touch points. When you’re building both an iOS and an Android app, ensuring a similar look and feel takes considerably more time and effort.

With cross-platform development, creating a consistent brand image and experience can be done much faster using the same UI/UX components that can provide a native app-like experience. 

While the navigation will continue to be different on each operating system, the overall interaction and brand image will remain coherent and predictable, which speaks to customers of your business’s authenticity and reliability.

5. Broader market reach

Deploying an app on multiple platforms broadens your market reach. With Android and iOS covering 98% of the entire mobile operating system landscape, it’s important to acknowledge that a universally accepted application will have a much more significant impact on your business revenues than an OS-specific app. 

Cross-platform development facilitates your access to a broader consumer market by launching your application on different platforms. There are 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world at the moment. About 24.99% of these smartphones run on iOS, while 74.43% – on Android. It’s a matter of multiplying your revenue opportunities. With a single native application, you can cover only a part of your market segment. However, with a cross-platform application, you can reach a wider customer base that will ultimately improve your brand engagement, strengthen your market presence, and boost your bottom line. 

With cross-platform app development confidently gaining traction in the mobile development market, adopting a mobile-first approach becomes more effortless by the day.

Your organization can take advantage of the cross-platform development benefits to improve business performance. By removing the burden of a cumbersome development process, you can shift your focus towards product innovation and driving value for your customers, which will ultimately augment your long-term profits.

Vinod Subbaiah Vinod Subbaiah