Mobile devices are no longer the cool new gadget; they’re the technology standard. While some organizations have limited their focus to a single mobile OS, the reality is that an ever-expanding variety of devices and operating systems must work together seamlessly to get work done. Consider the following benefits and pitfalls of cross-platform mobile app development.
Key Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
- Reuse of code.
Reusable code helps your app launch sooner and keeps costs down.
How much code can be reused? Depending upon the app, as much as 50%-60%.
- Fewer headaches during bug fixes.
When bugs are found in the common coding, they will only need to be fixed once.
- Reduced Testing Requirements.
Similarly, cross-platform development may result in a reduction of redundant testing. In addition to cost savings, this can result in a more thorough testing protocol.
Potential Drawbacks of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Drawing on the mobile device’s processor for performance may lead to a sluggish user experience. Generally speaking, mobile devices are not on par with desktops for raw performance. Combined with browser components that may be several years old, the resulting app performance may be suboptimal on all but the latest devices. Apps, particularly based in HTML5, that place increased demand on smartphone and tablet CPU/GPU resources may also shorten battery life.
Creating a common user experience across multiple platforms, each with their own specific user experience standards and human interface guidelines, can prove to be quite difficult. Keeping up with evolving mobile operating systems can also be challenging, especially as it relates to developers maintaining the SDK (Software Development Kit) so it continues to be compatible with each mobile OS release.
While native mobile app development ensures compatibility and performance, certain applications may find native, cross-platform or HTML5 hybrid app development approaches offer sufficient performance in a more cost-effective manner.
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