No one wants to do the work twice. The software development industry has long been searching for a way to develop an application that would suit both iOS and Android platforms.
In this article, we are going to consider the pros and cons of cross-platform development and which is the most important to answer the question: does this approach really save money?
Key Approaches to Mobile Development
In mobile application development, much of the code can be transferred between platforms. For example, the logic of shopping, miscalculation of a route or writing a message does not change depending on whether the client is Android or iOS.
However, it’s not as simple as it seems. Approaches to development on iOS and Android are significantly different: working with the UI, accessing hardware components, such as a camera or sensors, etc. As a result, the intention to quickly and cheaply create an application can end with the development of three applications: cross-platform, iOS and Android. Companies become disappointed by the result, as it may be very different from expectations.
UI Design Impact
To a large extent, the ease of development, native or cross-platform, is influenced by the way the screens are designed.
The main reason that cross-platform applications are gaining popularity is their unified design that is applicable for two platforms.
In this case, it is cheaper and faster to apply cross-platform solutions: you only need to create one version of the design and then you can run it on two platforms at once.
However, sometimes the following situation occurs in app development: some elements are easier to create on Android than on iOS. And vice versa: something is easier to implement on iOS than on Android. In this case, the development of a cross-platform application takes much longer than if the application was created separately for each platform.
Each platform has its own design guidelines. If the designer follows them and uses standard approaches, then the development of a native application will be cheaper and faster than the development of a cross-platform solution.
Disadvantages of Cross-Platform Mobile Development
- Performance issues
- Limited tools
- UX Design Challenges
- Security issues
Inconsistent communication between native and non-native device components is a major cause of poor performance. So cross-platform applications can lag behind their native counterparts.
Every year, both Android and iOS platforms release updated versions with advanced features and functionality. Cross-platform developers find it difficult to maintain application compatibility with limited tools.
Cross-platform applications may have an elegant interface, but sometimes they do not meet user expectations. Low speed and crashes can ruin the impression.
Android and iOS platforms with each updated version introduce new security solutions. Cross-platform tools are still underdeveloped to solve application security problems. If the application deals with a large amount of corporate data and user data, then the development of native mobile applications is preferable to cross-platform applications.
Advantages of Cross-Platform Mobile Development
- Shorter delivery time
- Impact on a large number of users
- Updates Synchronization
If you choose the right technology stack and plan your project thoroughly, you can reuse up to 80% of the code.
Under certain conditions, cross-platform solutions cost much less than native ones.
Many cross-platform applications can be run on iOS and Android systems, as well as on Windows, Linux, Tizen, and even Symbian.
Maintenance of the application can be much faster.
The question of cross-platform development suitability should be considered specifically, based on the project details. Some projects are best done with cross-platform development, while others benefit from the native approach.
The final decision should be made after consulting with experienced developers and business analysts.
To discover which approach might work best for you, think about these two questions:
What are the functional requirements of the project?
What is the application development plan?
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to ask them in the comments section below! This will help us to extend the article.