Pros & Cons: Cross-platform Apps

The primary goal of an application is to gain as many customers as possible & deliver highest quality commitment. Businesses today seeking to extract enormous fan bases target at least iOS and Android. It also depends on the nature of the application. For a communication app, for example, you would want to create a solution that is flexible on various platforms so people can use it on the go, wherever they go, however they go.

There are two goals of an application: gain as many customers as possible or convey the highest quality engagement within a target market. When a majority of your target audience is using the same platform, the choice for platform becomes effortless. But when you’re catering to a large number audience which may be using iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and others, there’s a need to design for multiple platforms. In this blog post, we’ll feature the advantages and flaws of cross-platform apps.

Advantages of adopting cross-platform

Greater reach

As is evident, the more platforms you cover, the more people you’ll be able to reach. With Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android competing for top positions worldwide, the number of smartphone users for these systems is increasing day by day. Establishing an application that runs on both iPhone and Android gives you an upper hand of tapping into greater market potential.

Easy marketing

When you have a huge fan base, marketing becomes effortless in the sense that you don’t have to write niche messages to cater to a specific group of people. You have the convenience of marketing the application on various media and through generalised messages for the masses.

One instead many

It is smooth to maintain and deploy changes when you’re developing one application that runs across all platforms. Updates would instantly get synced across all devices and platforms. Further, with tools like Appcelerator and PhoneGap, it becomes easy to handle one team of developers working on a single multi-platform app than numerous teams working on different platforms.

Look and feel

When you’re adopting tools like Appcelerator, you can straightforward code in HTML5 and convert for different mobile platforms. This means you’re using resources you already know about and converting them for deployment across different platforms.

Reduced development cost

All this means you have drastically decreased the development costs when making apps for multiple platforms. But before you make any judgement, read on for the disadvantages…

Flaws of adopting cross-platform

Different tools and languages

Admitting there are many tools like Unity, Ramp, PhoneGap, Grapple, Open Plug, Rhomobile, Titanium that make the task easy for you, if you’re custom designing your application, it can be hard to brawl off the differences in tools and languages of each platform’s API.

User Interaction

iPhone and Android alone have significantly diverse screen layouts. Designing one app that fits on both these and more platforms can be a headache.

Trying to please everyone

Heard of Aesop’s fable about the man who tried to please everyone? You could possibly be faced with the same dilemma when developing an app for multiple platforms. “A good cross-platform application looks at home on whatever platform it is used on. Bad cross-platform tries to look identical everywhere.” So it’s one thing being the same, and another being similar. You can’t be equivalent on every platform, but have to adapt to each platform’s unique styles – a functionality you lose if you’re developing one app for all.

Loss of flexibility

Every platform furnishes its own flexibilities – that’s why they’re there on the market. When you’re designing a cross-platform app, you’re compelled to look at the commonalities. This puts you at a disadvantage of losing the flexibility that each platform provides.

While applications are getting diverse and user bases are magnifying, there is no one clear platform of choice. During this tug of war, businesses are faced with the debate of whether they should be designing cross-platform apps or multiple apps for different platforms. Depending on the goals and features of your app, you could either benefit or lose from cross-platform mobile apps. We hope this list will help you make a more abreast decision.