How to build a cross-platform mobile app?10 min read
The market for mobile apps is rapidly growing in today's fast-paced environment. As a result, mobile marketing is getting more competitive. You must be extremely picky about the methodology used for mobile app development if you want to guarantee your app's visibility in such a complicated situation. You must use a systematic approach to app development to produce a successful mobile application.
Businesses are attempting to create cross-platform mobile apps to take advantage of the growing number of consumers who use their mobile devices for entertainment, news, and shopping. We will discuss how to develop cross-platform mobile apps regarding cost and features.
What is cross-platform app development?
Simply said, cross-platform mobile app development entails creating mobile applications that may run on a variety of platforms and operating systems.
Developers frequently use software solutions to run mobile apps across many platforms using a single codebase. As you might expect, this approach to app development is well-liked since it enables programmers to produce apps far more quickly than if they had to construct distinct codebases for each platform.
Furthermore, cross-platform app creation is popular since it allows you to access a larger audience than if you were to create an app specifically for one platform or operating system.
What are the advantages of cross-platform app development?
A cross-platform application can be created with several benefits. Let's look at a couple of them.
A larger audience
Your app will reach a larger audience if it is available on all platforms. Unlike native applications, which are restricted to a single platform, cross-platform mobile apps can be released for a variety of systems. You create a single platform that works with iOS and Android mobile devices. You may discover device and platform preferences when investigating your target market, inspiring you to create your app only for that platform. Why not just increase exposure?
Less time and money are spent on development
The main goal of cross-platform mobile app development is to write the code just once and have it work on any platform. The beauty of it is that. Reusable code will unquestionably reduce the time it takes to create and release your mobile app, resulting in lower development expenses. Creating an app will be easier and less expensive if your developer uses one codebase that can be applied to many different platforms.
Simple to maintain
The effort isn't finished after your app is published in app stores. You'll still need to solicit comments, keep testing your app, and occasionally publish code improvements. This will maintain the freshness of your software and enhance the user experience.
Because modifications to your single codebase can be synced and deployed across all platforms and mobile devices, cross-platform development makes maintenance considerably simpler. It can take a lot of time to update each codebase and find any flaws that may be present while working with numerous codebases.
What are the important features of cross-platform mobile apps?
There are many reasons why companies prefer cross-platform mobile apps because of their key features:
Support a variety of platforms
It works with a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. As a result, just one set of source code, which may be generated for any platform, needs to be created by developers. There are several advantages to developing cross-platform mobile applications. Reaching a larger audience is made simpler by cross-platform app development because the app may be utilized on various platforms.
Businesses are under pressure today to create cross-platform mobile apps. Utilizing a cross-platform mobile app development tool is one economical way to address this demand. It is possible to create apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone using a same codebase. Because developers do not have to design unique codebases for each platform, this method saves time and money.
Less testing is done
Testing is an essential step in the creation of mobile applications. Testing contributes to guaranteeing the quality of the finished product by checking that the code complies with standards and functions as planned. Testing, however, can take a while because it must be done on various platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows. Because cross-platform development enables hybrid app developers to test code on several platforms simultaneously, it can help shorten the testing time.
It's crucial to think about future usage of the code when creating software. Will it require maintenance? Will it be required to work with other platforms? Reusing code is one technique to address these issues. You can cut down on development work by utilizing pre-existing code libraries rather than writing everything from scratch. This not only speeds up the initial development phase but also makes code maintenance less difficult over time.
Developer-friendly cross-platform capabilities enable developers to concentrate on a single codebase that can be used to deliver applications across several platforms. As a result, developers can target a wider range of devices with a single codebase, increasing efficiency and productivity. In the modern mobile-first era, cross platform features enable consistent user experiences across devices. Cross-platform features are becoming more and more crucial for developers to take into account as customers want a seamless experience regardless of the device they are using.
Creating apps for many platforms at once is less efficient than cross-platform development. This is so that the code just needs to be written once and can be utilized across several platforms.
What are the most popular cross-platform frameworks?
The most well-known cross-platform frameworks are Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile, React Native, and Flutter. Each of these frameworks possesses unique qualities and advantages. Your development procedure and the final product may differ depending on which tool you employ.
The Dart programming language is used in the cross-platform development framework called Flutter, which was developed by Google. Flutter supports native functionalities, including access to the hard drive, location services, and camera capability. You can use the Platform Channel technology to write platform-specific code if you need to create a specific app feature that Flutter does not allow. Apps created using Flutter may not always feel completely native because they must share all of their UX and UI layers. This framework's Hot Reload functionality, which enables developers to make changes and view them right away, is one of its strongest features.
The following circumstances suggest that this framework might be the best choice:
- Although you want your applications to closely resemble native ones, you still want to share UI elements between them.
- The application should place a significant strain on the CPU and GPU.
- You must create an MVP for your application.
Mobile developers can save time by using React Native's access to a variety of third-party UI libraries with ready-to-use components. Like Flutter, it has a Fast Refresh feature that enables you to see all of your changes right away.
The following scenarios warrant utilizing React Native for your app:
Your application is anticipated to be lightweight and very straightforward.
Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Uber Eats are among the programs created with React Native.
Cross-app development framework Xamarin was developed in 2011 and was purchased by Microsoft in 2016.
Because this framework is written in C#. It can operate without any issues on a variety of platforms, including iOS and Android. Xamarin offers a sizable contributor community, which provides developers with consistent and dependable support while creating apps with the program. Additionally, it enables the reuse of approximately 75% of the code between platforms, speeding up development.
How to create a cross-platform mobile app?
In recent years, the development of cross-platform mobile apps has grown in popularity as companies look to appeal to as many customers as possible. Cross-platform software development can be done in a variety of ways, but the stages below give you a rough idea of how it works:
Define your app's objectives and goals
Before beginning the cross-platform mobile app development process, properly establish your aims and objectives. What does the application do? Who are the intended recipients? What characteristics do you want to have?
You may create a clear project roadmap and ensure that everyone involved is on the same page by responding to these questions. When you are clear on your objectives, you may look into which development platform will work best for you. There are numerous alternatives, each with advantages and disadvantages.
You can start developing your app after choosing a platform. Although the development process can be complicated, by making time for advance planning, you can guarantee the success of your final product.
Select a tool for cross-platform app development
Mobile cross-platform app development can be done in a variety of ways. Utilizing a cross-platform mobile app development tool is the most common technique. By doing this, you will be able to develop a single codebase that can be applied to both iOS and Android devices. A cross-platform development tool can be selected from a variety of possibilities. The most well-liked choices include Ionic, Flutter, and React Native.
Create a cross-platform application
When creating a cross-platform application, there are a few considerations to make. The UI components must be consistent across all screen sizes. This entails making sure that the layout is clear on every platform, using the same color scheme, icons, and fonts. Second, think about the app's offline functionality. This is crucial for apps created for usage in settings like companies or other places where there might not always be an internet connection. Before the app is deployed, you must ensure that it has been tested on every device. This will make it possible to guarantee that there are no bugs or issues that might prevent consumers from using the app on their devices.
Develop your app
You've figured out the fundamental layout of your app, now it's time to start programming. Here is where things may get a little tougher. You need to make sure that your software is both scalable and secure. Following that, work using any of the well-known programming languages, such as Dart, React, or ionic, can start. Utilizing a multi platform development strategy has the benefit of making it simple to port the software to many platforms.
Test and launch your app
The app must be tested and launched as the process's last stage. To make sure the app performs as intended, it must be tested across all platforms and devices that are supported. The software is ready to be released once it has passed all of the tests. This can entail submitting the software to the Google Play Store or an app store, depending on the app. Once the app has been released, it is crucial to keep a constant eye on it to make sure there are no problems and to address any bugs that may be discovered. You can guarantee the success of your cross-platform software by following these steps.
What is the cost of a cross-platform mobile app?
A cross-platform software can be a fantastic method to expand the audience for your good or service. But how much does developing a cross-platform app cost? The complexity of the app, the number of platforms you want to support, and how much time and effort you're ready to invest in mobile app development are just a few of the variables that will determine the answer. A comprehensive cost guide for app development may be found here.
You can anticipate spending between $5,000 and $10,000 to design a straightforward app that will function across several platforms. The price can easily increase to $50,000 or more if you require anything more complicated or if you want to support numerous platforms. These are, of course, only basic estimates; the final cost will change depending on your particular requirements.
Therefore, if you're considering developing a cross-platform app, be ready to commit both time and money to the endeavor. But if you approach it correctly, the reward may be well worth the work.
Cross-platform development solutions' shortcomings are starting to become less significant in light of the advantages they offer. There are numerous technologies on the market, each one suited to a unique set of workflows and requirements. Teams considering cross-platform have access to significant support from each technology covered in this article.
In the end, you'll be able to choose the perfect solution for you by carefully evaluating your unique business demands, objectives, and responsibilities as well as by setting clear goals for what you want to accomplish with your app.
Consider the ideal solution for your project. If you are unsure, we can understand. Contact us for assistance assembling all the technical components of your mobile app so that you may continue with app development.