How important it is to build a cross-platform mobile app – is one of the most common logical questions business entrepreneurs often ask. There are plenty of resources, articles and research material available on the web when it comes to building a cross-platform app. But what business owners often fail to ask is “when to develop a cross-platform app?” So, here we’ve outlined a few tips to help you gain a deeper insight into the topic. Let’s get started:

Social networking mobile apps need to be cross-platform:

People should build a cross-platform app for any social network type application because the more users use the service, the better the experience will be. For instance, Facebook wouldn’t mean anything to you if your friends and family weren’t using it. Such networking and multi-user apps need to be on all major mobile platforms.

Try to be as cross-platform as you can:

Netflix first launched its video streaming service on browsers and focused on perfecting the product experience. As it matured, it incrementally developed experiences for specific devices including Samsung’s smart TVs and Sony’s PlayStation 4. On the same lines, Instagram was an iOS-only app initially. Later the product was launched for Android and some portion of it can now be accessed via a web browser. The point is, start with building for a web browser/web app as it is possible to run it on different devices and operating systems. You can later take the Netflix or Instagram route. The strategy of choosing to initially build for a specific device platform will help you conserve resources and allow you to deploy and refine your product more rapidly.

Consult professional developers that understand the issues:

Cross-platform application development is a complicated topic. It promises “Write Once, Run Everywhere without Modifications”. But half way through your application development journey, you will have a plethora of questions to ask such as:

  • Should you provide users with non-native UI controls?
  • Is it possible to have code that provides native UI controls for each operating system?
  • What about time-to-market?
  • What if the developer’s set of expectations do not match with the users’?
  • What about the native user experience?

Many a time, when developers are done with building a cross-platform product, users demand additional features that are only possible to deliver with native development. This may require you to re-do your job and the costs can swiftly escalate equalling that of multiple native apps. The simplest thing to do in this scenario is to take help of a professional Xamarin or PhoneGap application developer that understands these issues. Discuss these issues in detail and you will certainly figure out the best course of action thereafter.

Cross-platform app development is a complicated topic. You can use cross-platform technology to validate a product concept with a focus group. Examine how the users interact with your features and UI. Test specific things and get their feedback that is diverse. Once you get the feedback, start with building a native product which provides an unmatched user experience. You may later launch your product to work on different platforms. We’d love to hear your views regarding this post. Kindly share it in the comments below.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software.