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Pros and Cons of Building a Cross-Platform Mobile App

Worry Free LabsPros and Cons of Building a Cross-Platform Mobile App
Pros and Cons of Building a Cross-Platform Mobile App
Worry Free LabsPros and Cons of Building a Cross-Platform Mobile App
You've decided that your business needs a mobile app. Congratulations. Now one of the crucial questions you must answer is, “Should we build a native or cross-platform app?” If your target audience is split between iOS, Android, and Windows phones, then designing and developing for multiple platforms might make sense. Here's a look at the advantages and drawbacks of investing in cross-platform mobile app development.

Pros

Speed:

It can be potentially faster to develop a cross platform mobile app rather than a native app for iOS and Android. You can leverage one codebase and customize for multiple platforms instead of creating a new codebase for each platform. Making one cross-platform app functional across all platforms can also be more efficient than building multiple native apps from scratch.

Costs:

In theory, its more cost effective to build a cross platform solution for multiple platforms because it leverages one codebase. This is generally true unless, the application requires a lot of customization for each platform.

Simplicity:

Updates to your cross-platform app would, naturally, be instantly synced across all platforms and devices. There are also a number of technologies like PhoneGap and Appcelerator offering a cross-platform solution that one team of developers can more easily handle to deploy changes.

Cons

Platform limitations:

Each platform has its own unique style and affords certain flexibilities missing in others. This may put you at a disadvantage because you may not be able to leverage the unique functionality and tools of the respective native platform when developing an app for multiple platforms.

User Experience:

iPhone and Android operating systems, screen layouts, functions, etc. are different so designing and developing a cross-platform app that offers a good user experience on two or more platforms will undoubtedly be challenging. The majority of successful consumer apps are built on either Native iOS or Android. Let's remember that Facebook started out with a Cross-Platform mobile app but changed directions to Native iOS and Android after realizing the User Experience was not optimal.

Integration challenges:

Integrating the app with preferences, local settings, and notification apps can be quite a task. Diverse storage options may also require engaging a third-party cloud service. Clearly, there's lots to consider when deciding whether to build native or cross-platform. Consider these pros and cons when assessing your resources and the level of expertise of your team to make the decision easier.
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