Cross platform mobile app development is the latest trend in the application development market and this trend is here to stay for long.
It is highly favored by start-ups and SME whose objective is to develop fast-to-deploy mobile applications at a lower cost. Cross platform mobile applications help them capture a larger audience base who are acquainted with the three top mobile platforms- iOS, Android, and Windows.
Challenges of Cross Platform Mobile App Development
Enterprises will not be able to make their mark by just pumping cross platform applications into the market.
Users demand the same kind of seamless experience of a cross-platform applications across all the mobile platforms. Here lies the challenge.
Every mobile platform has their unique codebase. This means that application development time will be different for different platforms.
Certain frameworks will allow you to create one application version for multiple mobile platforms. The deployed version will imitate the characteristics of a native mobile application. But this is not bereft of limitations.
The versions are not customized for every device that run on different mobile platforms. As a result, the application version will not have access to all the features of the mobile platform it is running on.
In addition, if your vendor uses a specific cross platform tool, you will be obliged to use the same for all your future application developments. This becomes a major issue if it takes niche knowledge to work with that particular vendor’s custom plugins and APIs.
Best Practices to Add Edge to Your Cross Platform Mobile App Development Ventures
Such challenges can be addressed if you start the development project right, select the right course of action during the application development project, clearly outline the objective behind the application, among others.
On this note, here’s looking at the top best practices for your cross platform mobile app development projects:
Familiarity with Multiple Platform UIs
Developers must be acquainted with the look and feel of user interfaces (UI) for multiple platforms. Such acquaintance will help them retain UI nativity in a cross platform mobile application.
They must understand what it takes to develop applications for specific mobile platforms. It is crucial for them to be familiar with user navigational features and how an application operates on each platform. Based on this understanding, they will be able to induct the features into an application that can operate across multiple mobile platforms.
Select the Right Tech Stack
Apart from having separate codebase, each mobile platform has their unique SDK, native language, and development kit.
It is recommended that your developers use tech solutions such as HTML5 that is functional on all the three platforms. Updating the web server from which the HTML5 was downloaded enables automatic application update functionality across multiple platforms.
Codes written in the C++ language can run across multiple platforms. C++ is a potential solution for to turn application into cross-platform modules.
It must be noted that your developers will still have to combine native SDKs with HTML5 and C++ to encompass unique functionalities of each mobile platforms.
Maintain User Experience Uniformity of Applications Across Platforms
Users expect the same of experience and convenience when they use the same application across multiple phones with different platforms.
Developers must retain features such as user action flows, color themes, placement of command icons, among others. They must use same business logic and common infrastructure to trigger user actions in applications that is uniform across multiple platforms.
This will enable customers use cross-platform mobile application with minimal ramp-up time and utmost convenience.
Adopt Strategic Release Cycle
Conventional development process cycles are characterized with prolonged planning, design, development, and testing phases. Such process cycles can easily roll over from months to years. This defeats the main purpose of cross platform mobile app development which is faster development.
It is advised that you follow rapid release process cycle. The concept behind it is an entire process cycle is broken down into smaller parts. Each dedicated to build a single feature within a few weeks’ deadline.
Each cycle completes a set of features which can be readily released as cross-platform application updates.
Xamarin App Development- The Best Framework
Xamarin has evolved as one of the top cross platform app development frameworks. A brainchild of Microsoft, Xamarin app development involves using a single codebase. This enables developers to create applications suitable for Android and iOS while retaining the native app look and feel for each platform.
It is compatible with multiple languages that include C#, F#, and supports .net code and the Razor template engine.
Xamarin mobile application development for cross platforms results in creating user- friendly interface. Such an advantage is of high relevance for programmers who are tasked with accommodating their clients’ preferences.
The entire codebase created by this framework is reusable and is made to run through automatic testing.
User experience is the biggest determinant of a successful cross platform mobile application. However, considering the potential challenges involved in such application, enterprises must have experts who have niche cross platform application development skills. In such a scenario, relying on an experienced cross platform app development company is an enterprise’s best bet. They have a team of experts and the right tech stack. This is an ideal combination to maneuver all the potential app development challenges and develop a fully functional cross platform app that is well aligned with customers’ expectations. They will also advise on the best app development framework. Such counselling is functional in bringing down the app development TAT and ensure the expected ROI from the project.