Cross Platform App Development
(and why you should use it)
Building a mobile app?
With Android and iOS devices currently having a 50/50 market split, it makes commercial sense for a client to have an app developed which is compatible on both platforms simultaneously.
An important consideration for a customer thinking of having a mobile app built - "is my potential developer using a cross platform development toolset?"
Android developers used to write apps in Kotlin or Java: iOS developers used Swift or Objective-C. The two software platforms were mutually incompatible, so you used to end up with two different pieces of software with each approximating the functionality of the other on different operating systems.
Sounds messy? It was.
Native development drawbacks
It’s actually more complicated than “two codebases”, though. As a customer, you’d also have to find a development company which had expertise of working on both platforms – which usually meant that two separate teams had to work alongside each other, comparing code and trying to achieve the same results with two different sets of development tools.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to happen any more.
Cross Platform Development
Prior criticism of cross platform frameworks were that they weren't as fast as Native apps: that's now a thing of the past. There are, simply put, few reasons not to use a cross platform framework.
Since there’s a single codebase, this can easily be altered and the app re-published, instead of having to update multiple codebases and then ensuring that the functionality is similar. Developers don’t have to learn multiple programming languages, either. So finding a developer who understands how to write for both Android and iOS is now easier. Connecting to the Cloud with cross platform tools such as React Native and Flutter is much simplified as well.
With Flutter, developers can also change code on the fly, instead of having to alter the code and re-compile it, which is time consuming. A “hot reload” feature in Flutter means that debugging code becomes much more efficient.
This all saves time, and time is money.
The end result
The finished app will have a uniform look and feel across multiple platforms. In fact, using Flutter, which uses a common pool of widgets, you can have an Android app which looks like an iOS one, and vice versa.
When you consider the amount of wireframes your designer will ask you to approve for even a small project, similar look and feel across platforms will save you, as a customer (and your designer) a lot of work. Since you have one team of developers working on one cross-platform version of your app, your time in working with them as part of the design process is reduced as well.
And, bottom line - because of the cost efficiencies in development, you can now publish your app on both Android and iOS, instead of having your project budget constraining you to choose one or the other, and therefore maximise your return on investment and market share.
Now, if this has left you thinking “can my existing Android / iOS only app be ported to a cross platform format ?“ the answer is yes, it can. With some (technical) caveats.
This is where we advise you to have a chat with us before spending money. ;-)
About us - Foresight Mobile
Founded in 2017, Foresight Mobile are an end-to-end mobile development agency, turning your concepts into engaging and robust solutions across mobile and the web. We use the latest technologies across all platforms, ensuring that your products are built to last with the best performance.
Our services include:
Product prototyping, Android / iOS / cross platform mobile app development, "CTO as a service" startup support, and Next Generation technologies such as AR / VR and iOT.
We provide a fully-bespoke offering, supporting clients from initial first design concepts to published apps which represent the best value for money, fastest development and quickest ROI.
We've been trusted by firms ranging in size from startups and SME's to large household names.
Want to know more? Visit us at foresightmobile.com or give us a call on 0161 826 0334 to discuss.