27 Oct Cross-Platform Mobile Apps : Pros and Cons

There is no doubt that mobile app development business can generate huge bucks for you, if conducted wisely. Your app development decisions highly affect the ROI of your business, the more your investments will be, more time will be consumed to earn it back. But if you play smart, you can cut down the amount of money and time spent on the development. Hence, cross-platform mobile apps come into play. They are designed to be run on multiple operating systems. But, you must look at its pros and cons before you make the final decision.

Pros of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development:

1. Faster Development: As a single code-base can be customized to make the app compatible with multiple platforms, it is faster to build cross-platform mobile apps for Android or iOS than native apps. Moreover, the efficiency of developing one multiple-platform app will be far superior to building a single native app for each operating system.

2. Reusable Codes: A major plus point of hybrid mobile technology is that codes can be customized and reused to develop apps for various platforms. You just need to complete a single set and then use the codes for the development of all the other mobile operating systems, you desire.

3. Development is Easy: The usage of HTML5 and CSS3 in the hybrid framework eases the development process of the multi-platform mobile app as developers have a good hold on both the languages. Besides, being in a single process, one can easily keep up the efficiency and quality at every step.

4. High-end Plugins: Frameworks such as Phone Gap and Appcelerator Titanium are considered as the best as they provide plenty of extensions and modules along with several other services and tools for the betterment of the app’s functionality, appearance, and area of specialization.

5. Enhanced Market Reach: It is simple math, if you provide a single mobile that can cater multiple operating systems, its reach will be much more than a native app, which is limited to a single platform. An application designed to run on all the operating systems such as iOS, Windows, Androids, etc., can easily be accessed by millions.

6. Cost-Effective: Creating multiple mobile apps is definitely more expensive when you can simply develop one for all or most of them. Why pay for two or three apps when you can get your work done at the price of one? However, if the customization required for every single platform is very high, it can be as expensive as a native mobile app.

7. Cloud Integration and Enterprise Services: With frameworks like Sencha, PhoneGap, and Appcelerator Titanium, the cross-platform app gets finely integrated cloud and enterprise services. The Exchange Integration works automatically on all the marked platforms as soon as the integration program is coded. The platforms get connected with cloud services viz. Salesforce, AWS, etc.

8. Simplicity: All the alterations or updates will be synced automatically, that means, all the operating systems or devices will get the same update at the same time, without any error. Appcelerator and PhoneGap provide a solution to the developers to easily roll out updates for all the platforms and devices at once.

Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development:

1. Platform Limitation: Every operating system available in the market has some uniqueness which makes it more appealing than the other. This second to none attribute helps it define its consumer-base and also makes it difficult for the developer to utilize 100% potential of the respective platform. As the developer needs to focus on the similar functionality of the app on all the required operating systems, it seems to be of great concern. For example, the smart features and tools available with Android SDK cannot be used for developing cross-platform application.

2. User Experience: Again, the needle is pointing the uniqueness of the operating systems, whether it is the display screen layout, features or functionality, everything is unique. Hence, providing a high-end user experience by creating a hybrid app for more than two platforms can be very difficult. The number of extremely successful native apps designed for either Android or iOS is bigger than the figure of cross-platform apps. Even a giant like Facebook that initiated with a multi-platform app ended up switching to a native Android and iOS app as the user experience was not as superior as expected.

3. Might Miss on Quality 3D Effects and Graphics: It is not that 3D effect and other graphics cannot be included in the application for multi-platforms, it is just that the quality expected from the application is missing. On the other hand, Unity, a game-centric platform, can be used to bridge this gap by enabling developers to build astonishing and eccentric app designs.

4. Complex Platform Integration: Besides the UI, a developer also faces challenges during the integration of the application with local settings, notifications, and preferences. They have to master each and every operating system before they could make their first move. As there are various storage options available for the different platforms, you might need to focus on integrating cloud services. Moreover, a highly qualified team of expert mobile app developers is required to carry out the process seamlessly.

5. Might Miss on a Few Features: Being a one for all solution, the hybrid apps are unable to deliver all the features and functions to each & every operating system. The platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows have their own guidelines and features, which Sencha, PhoneGap or other frameworks cannot fulfill. Hence, the limitations do not allow to have access to all the desired features.

6. Speed: Most of the apps have reported speed issues during the running and processing of codes, especially when the cross-compliance process is applied by the developers. This happens with many of the frameworks.

Although, Native App Development have a few advantages that cannot be neglected, you can also not deny the fact that cross-platform mobile app development is more feasible and faster, which can directly and positively affects your ROI.

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