Pros and Cons of Cross Platform Mobile Apps

  • The mobile apps that are developed keeping in mind the common operating systems of the likes of android, iOS etc. are called cross-platform mobile apps. BYOD i.e. Bring Your Own Device literally means that the employees are to bring their own personal mobile and tablet devices to the workplace that has enabled the companies to replace the use of age old PC and desktop systems for accessing company provided apps and data. BYOD has made it necessary for the businesses to develop their corporate mobile apps that enable them to share the data on different mobile devices working on different networks and operating systems.

    Cross-platform mobile development involves a company developing its mobile app on any one of the native platforms i.e. Android, windows, iOS etc. or developing the original in a singular environment that allows the app to be sent to different native platforms. But, both development systems have their share of Pros and Cons. Let’s take a look at them to decide which works the best for a mobile app development. But before that let’s clear some doubts about differences between hybrid and cross platform and then refer to the Pros and Cons of Cross Platform Mobile apps.

    Difference between cross-platform and hybrid platforms

    Technically, there is a vast difference between a cross platform and the hybrid platforms, a cross platform is a general term that collectively refers to any mobile app project targeting multiple platforms whereas ‘hybrid’ is a subset that is a specific mobile app development model.

    Cordova and PhoneGap are the two valid representatives of hybrid development tools used by many top hybrid app development companies. The code in both Cordova and PhoneGap are written in HTML, CSS or Java Script and later enabled with a native WebView browser. Some popular native cross platform frameworks are listed below:

    Popular Cross platform frameworks:

    1. Xamarin: It uses C sharp or C# as the main language for the cross platform mobile app development. Many big enterprises use C sharp programmers in the IT department as it supports mature tooling and IDE. Hence, Xamarin is a sure shot investment for big enterprises for their It development.

    2. Appcelerator Titanium: It uses JavaScript as the main language for development and is aiming at bringing native mobile apps in development.

    3. NativeScript: It is working towards making web-like programming available for app development. It is based on JavaScript and supports TypeScript and uses CSS for styling.

    4. QT: One of the remarkable and oldest cross platform app available for desktop development libraries is QT. It uses C++ along with QML to configure cross platform apps.

    5. RubyMotion: It is one of those cross-platform apps which was announced for iOS only but readily supports Android as well. Though it requires separate GUI for iOS and androids, the business logic is very much reusable across platforms.

    Pros of Cross Platform Mobile apps:

    1. Significant reach: With the cross platform, mobile apps, the mobile app developers in Middle East region have got a Significant Reach with the users of all types of smartphones whether they are operated on Android, iOS, windows or any other operating system. Since, the number of smartphone users is increasing day by day, developing an app. that is capable of seamless running on almost all OS has a greater potential to cash on this advantage in the mobile app development market.

    2. Easy Marketing: Marketing becomes easier and a less daunting task when there is no need to create opportunity messages to fulfill the demands of the specific set of people. The cross platform mobile app developers have an advantage of marketing the app on various mass Medias with a common message for all OS users.

    3. Cost Effective: Cross platform mobile apps are cost effective and easy on pocket too. It is easy to incorporate changes in a cross platform mobile app as it runs through many platforms simultaneously, so it is more convenient to upgrade it and fix the bugs without any delay as the updates would get synced simultaneously across all Smartphones, devices and platforms. This in turn helps in saving quite a lot of money and time.

    4. Consistent looks and navigation: The app working on cross platforms has the same consistent design, working, and navigation. Achieving this duplicity of features looks and consistency in working is not possible when a developer designs different apps for different native platforms. It becomes tedious to sync two different mobile app development teams to make the same app for different native platforms.

    5. Low cost of development: When developing a cross platform mobile app, certainly the company saves a lot as one app serves the purpose of working on all the OS thereby setting the enterprise cost quite as compared to developing different apps for different operating systems.

    6. Speed: Developing a cross platform mobile app is much easier developing a native mobile app for either of the Operating systems. One can apply just one codebase and customize that for multiple platforms rather than creating a new codebase for all available platforms.

    Cons of Cross Platform Mobile apps.

    1. Platform limitations: when developing cross platform app flexibility becomes a little less accounting as each platform has a set of style and can incorporate only the common functions. This is the biggest disadvantage of the cross platform mobile apps as one may not be able to incorporate unique functionality and tools of the respective native platforms.

    2. User Experience: Different OS’s have different screen layouts and functions that makes the development of a cross platform mobile app challenging as one need to develop an app that can browse seamlessly from major native Operating Systems. One of the examples to quote here is of Facebook. It started with a cross platform mobile app but later developed two separate versions one for Native iOS and another for android for a seamless user experience.

    3. Integration challenges: When it comes to integration, an app developer needs to consider several questions right from local settings, notifications etc. engaging an outside cloud service can also be required for diverse storage needs.

    4. Different Tools: Getting a customized design for the mobile app becomes a task as it is very hard to find coherent tools and languages across different native platforms.

    5. No more Flexibility: When developing a cross platform mobile app, it becomes important to work more towards the common factors. This creates a dearth of flexibility thereby not leaving any option for creativity in the app development process.

    In the nutshell, we would like to conclude that although apps are getting more and more diverse with an ever-increasing user base, yet there is no clear choice between which types of platform to choose for the app development as everything comes with a flip side to it. If there are a lot of pros of the Cross platform mobile apps, there are certain very strong cons to it too. So, one can consider his choice of mobile app development by keeping in mind the goal of developing an app and the features that it should support and discuss the same with their mobile app development company .

    Author Bio:

    Hamad Almuraikhi is the Founder and CEO of eDesk HUB, a research and review platform that offers vetted and verified references and reviews on high quality web development companies with varied experience. eDesk HUB helps the firms to select the top performing IT service providers for Middle East.