by admin December 27, 2012 , In Mobile

Develop Common Apps for Multiple Devices -Cross Platform Development Explained

Usage of mobile applications is ubiquitous. Irrespective of the mobile development platform, people go for app development. Among the various factors that contribute to mobile application development, business is a significant one. For many people, mobile applications are sales channel. The problem arises with the cost factor because if one wants to get apps developed in more than one native execution environment, it may cost him an arm and a leg. This is where cross-platform development comes in and takes the burden of paying extra bucks away from the shoulders of the users. It also allows users to increase ROI via single app.

Cross platform apps development for multiple technologies (Image source: indiedevstories)

Cross platform apps development for multiple technologies (Image source: indiedevstories)

But What is Cross-Platform Mobile Development?

The concept of cross-platform has developed recently. Therefore, people aren’t fully aware of its potential. Before exploring the business opportunities of cross-platform development, it is essential to understand the concept clearly. A cross-platform supports multiple languages and classes and allows a developer to code for one single application that can be deployed across all major platforms with minor changes. In simple words, cross-platform mobile development is the development of an application on a cross-platform, and its deployment across multiple native platforms. An application developed on such framework is known as a hybrid application.

A Brief History

when the market of mobile web increased, developers were concerned about the coding factor. With so many different mobile OS, their work load would increase many fold. The development of cross-platform started off on March 6, 2008, when the first iPhone SDK was released to a set of developers. These developers took initiatives to ease down burden of codes from the shoulders of fellow developers. Gradually, the same set of developers used the beta versions of iPhone SDK to develop a hybrid application Framework. Finally, in August 2008, development of PhoneGap, a cross-platform framework, began. Today, there are plenty of frameworks that the developers use to build hybrid applications.

Why do You Need It?

Currently, mobile market has almost seven substantial development platforms out of which iOS, Android, Windows OS and Symbian are the crucial ones. If you want native apps in more than one platform, then you’ll certainly require paying for every single platform. On the other hand, cross-platform development will save your extra bucks and will also save developers from hassles of double coding. It is certainly a profitable answer to the big question of mobile app development in different platforms and encompasses the various requirements of a user.

The Business Prospects

The USP of cross-platform mobile development is its business prospects, and it is this one significant factor that attracts a large number of customers. Whether you’re targeting for one native environment or more than two, it doesn’t matter because cross-platform development allows you to target more than one native execution environments and get applications with minimal source codes. Especially for the smart mobile devices, cross platform development is a preferred way to build applications.

In order to have a better insight of its benefits let’s have a look at the following two cases.

Case 1:

Your friend is in need of entertainment apps for Android and iOS. This gives you an excellent idea for making money. You decide to get those apps for him and make money by providing him those apps. You hire different developers to build those apps. In the end, your output was unable to cover up for your input. It resulted into loss because you:

– Paid more money for one single application

– Hired more domain experts

– Had to bear the maintenance costs

– Had to bear extra costs for deployment

Case 2:

Next day, you find another friend who requires a marketing app for Symbian, BlackBerry, iOS and Android. The same opportunity strikes you again. But, this time you come to find out about cross-platform development, and you approach a mobile development company with your requirements. You hire just one developer for your task, and he develops cross-platform application for you and deploys it across all the native platforms. Finally, you submit those apps to your friend, and you’re able to make handsome money. This time you get an increased ROI because you:

  • Paid for just one single app
  • Hired one expert
  • Did not bear any maintenance costs
  • Got your app deployed across your desired platforms with less money

Types of Cross-Platforms

Initiatives and hard work of the developers have resulted into the production of multiple open source cross-platforms that support different native platforms. The features vary from platform to platform and are selected by the developers as per the requirements of the users. However, there are some key names that are considered to be superior to the other platforms:

  1.     PhoneGap
  2.     Appcelerator Titanium
  3.     RhoMobile
  4.     Sencha Touch
  5.     MoSync

Find a Good Partner for Good Apps

So, you have understood everything about cross-platform mobile development. But now, the crucial question rings in your mind. Who would give you those good apps to make substantial money? How could you find a reputable cross-platform development partner?

When you sit down to search on the Internet, you’ll be provided with plenty of answers but, make sure that you do have a checklist so that you get the right company for your work. It is not as simple as it sounds to be because cross-platform requires a rich experience and with polished skill-sets. When you are trying to find a suitable one, just make sure that the company:

  • Should provide development in at least PhoneGap and Titanium.
  • Should have cross-platform developers with an in-depth knowledge of the frameworks.
  • Should be capable of delivering flawless applications in the desired framework.
  • Should be able to integrate the hybrid applications with native features like camera, graphics and sound.

Although, cross-platform sounds and looks easy, it should not be taken lightly. While finding a reliable partner, always keep one thing in mind that only a technically sound company can deliver your applications with perfection because cross-platform mobile development is all about knowing the technology and techniques and implementing it in the right way. It is for this reason, you should choose the reputed offshore mobile development company that has experts in the same genre.