Top Benefits and Drawbacks of Cross-Platform
Mobile App Development
The mobile app development market is growing rapidly with the rising popularity of mobile apps. Hence to stay ahead in the competition, the need to develop mobile apps at a faster pace is also increasing. Additionally, developers need to design the mobile app for multiple platforms to reach a larger audience. But for those aiming to reach larger audiences with limited budgets, it becomes costly to build separate mobile apps for different platforms. Cross-platform mobile app development has seen wide acceptance to solve these types of problems amongst mobile app developers.
Cross-platform mobile app development platforms have emerged as an ideal choice for developers looking forward to building a mobile app to reach a broader audience in less development time. Moreover for multiple platforms, cross-platform mobile app development is cheaper than all other methods like Native app development. But as every coin has two sides, cross-platform mobile app development along with several benefits holds some drawbacks too. This post will highlight the top benefits and drawbacks of cross-platform mobile app development. So, let's move forward by first looking at some of the benefits, followed by a series of drawbacks.
Top benefits of Cross-platform mobile app development
#1 Eliminates the need for separate codebases
The most significant advantage of the cross-platform app framework is that it allows code reusability. It means that the same codebase can be used on multiple platforms. This contrasts with native app frameworks and others that require a separate codebase for every operating system/platform like iOS and Android. Hence the workload increases, thereby increasing the workforce requirement. On the other side, in cross-platform mobile app development for multiple platforms, the workload stays the same, and thus, a small development team is required.
#2 Lesser development time
The feature of code reusability plays a vital role in reducing the mobile app development time for the cross-platform framework. Developers have to prepare a single app that can be customized to fit different operating systems' requirements. Moreover, designing and deploying new updates becomes easier and quicker as, for multiple platforms, only a single app needs to be updated. This is in contrast to other methods, which require separate updates designed for various platforms. Thus mobile app development time reduces considerably, allowing the app to reach the market earlier.
#3 Uniform design over multiple platforms
Usually, when developing separate versions of the same mobile app for multiple platforms, the design and user interface become a little non-uniform. It takes time for them to adapt to the same app on a different platform, if the user interface and app design changes. Hence it becomes a bit uneasy for those who have switched operating systems, i.e., Android to iOS or vice versa. The non-uniformity arises because it becomes difficult to synchronize operations and functions when separate development teams work on different codebases. Meanwhile, a cross-platform framework makes it easier for developers to create an app with a uniform design and user interface for multiple platforms. This is also a result of code-reusability, as the same codebase allows developers to maintain uniformity.
As the development time reduces along with the development team's size, the development cost reduces considerably. In cross-platform mobile app development only one codebase needs to be developed for multiple platforms, hence leading to reduction in development time and cost. This contrasts to the other frameworks where different codebases need to be written, which takes more time and workforce, thereby increasing the expense. Moreover, the need for testing and deploying updates also reduces as only one mobile app that needs to be altered. Hence cross-platform mobile app development is the best solution for those running on limited budgets and looking for early entry into the market.
Top Drawbacks of Cross-platform mobile app development
#1 Poor performance
Every app's success is largely determined by its performance; any compromise in the app's performance makes it sluggish and unproductive. Native apps use the native features of the operating system to function, which further makes it faster and best when it comes to performance and quality. In the attempt of molding the app to fit all platforms, the cross-platform framework neglects to focus on the core features of the operating system. The lack of use of native features of the mobile's operating system further compromises the performance and makes the app slower.
#2 Average user experience
The cross-platform development framework is not platform specific and hence fails to utilize some of the best features of the operating system. This makes the app less exciting than native apps, which use the rich native features of the OS to enhance the user experience. The cross-platform framework uses the same codebase for multiple platforms and fails to add some of the best platform-specific features, ending up providing a limited user experience.
#3 Complex code design
As the mobile app is made to be compatible with multiple platforms, the necessities of each of them are added into the codebase. This makes the code structure more complex, making it difficult for novice developers to understand the various features without proper counseling.
A cross-platform mobile app development framework has emerged as a budget-friendly and time-saving option for many developers working on a limited budget. The framework offers a range of benefits over other networks but at the same time also holds a lot of drawbacks. This post enlists some of these benefits as well as weaknesses. Every developer must consider these benefits and drawbacks before choosing the cross-platform development framework for mobile apps.
Shaun Williams is a content writer with Goodfirms, a research platform for Cloud Computing, Ecommerce companies, Translation services companies, among many others. He enjoys communicating ideas and knowledge creatively and also ensures that the readers never suffer from boredom while reading his posts.