Smartphones have become an integral part of our social and professional life. We all use apps that help us communicate and collaborate. These are quintessential to getting things done on the go.
The global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.32 billion in 2014, accounting for 37.4% of the global workforce, to 1.75 billion in 2020, accounting for 42.0% of the global workforce. The growth is taking place across the globe. Executives, consultants, and workers on the go are demanding mobile apps that will give access to their back office data to help them make decisions while they are on the move.
Gartner has reported that this spike in demand for mobile application development will be difficult to meet. It has predicted that we need almost 5 times more development capacity to meet the demand. The demand-and-supply curve of apps and the divergent cloud, web and mobile platforms necessitates consideration of a cross platform mobile development strategy.
Here are the five reasons to consider cross platform mobile development
1. Lower cost of developing Mobile Apps
Use of cross platform development strategy helps teams deliver apps that run on multiple platforms with minimal development effort. The only additional effort that's required is to test the applications on the target platforms and devices. This entails huge cost savings throughout the lifecycle of the app.
2. Go to market faster with a feature rich App
Most of the cross–platform mobile application platforms and frameworks come with a rich set of plug-ins. These help developers design and deliver feature rich apps to market faster they ever before.
3. Reduce training and maintenance costs
Cross platform application development environment usually have a single code database and require a development skill set. This is an advantage for the delivery and support teams as:
- It reduces training and support costs for the development team.
- Team members follow a known learning curve.
- A single skillset with-in a team fosters healthy competition among the team members.
- It increases team productivity as well as maneuverability.
- Bug fixes apply to multiple platforms at the same time.
4. Lower technical barrier to entry
Development team members are required to learn multiple languages like Java for Android applications, Objective C for iOS applications, Silverlight/C# for Windows Phone applications, etc. This approach requires dedicated teams. The technical barrier is lowered in cross platform development as the development skill can be narrowed down to either HTML/CSS3/jQuery or .NET & C#.
5. Similar UI/UX experience across the platform
With the Cross platform development, same design and overall feel can be maintained across all platforms. Here is a real world application we have developed using Xamarin.Forms.
There are several cross platform mobile development platforms available today. In my next blog post, I will compare two popular frameworks Iconic and Xamarin for developing mobile apps.
Take a dipstick approach
Mobile app development needs a lot of planning. If you plunge headlong and that too with the cross-platform app development, you may not get the right results. You need to do adequate research. It depends on the broadest possible users who are going to use your application.
Cross Platform Mobile Apps are easier to build today than ever before. Click the link below to see what's possible with Xamarin.