People are using apps on all sorts of platforms, including Windows, Android, and iOS. Each of them has unique needs. Is it possible to effectively address them with a single codebase? By developing cross-platform applications, you can easily overcome all the challenges. You can deliver consistent user experience across all devices and operating systems. Also, the single codebase makes the development of an application a lot easier. But what are the key considerations for building cross-platform apps? In this post, you will find all the details.
What is application development?
Application development refers to the process of designing, building, and implementing software applications that support business functions. It involves gathering business requirements and systematically creating a solution to address user needs. Also, the process includes designing, prototyping, coding, and testing the apps.
What are the different application development methods?
Traditionally, all organizations followed the ‘waterfall’ method. In this approach, the teams defined everything at the start of a project. Then they built and delivered the solution to the customers.
Waterfall development has many cons. For example, it requires you to have a large development team. Also, the process is very slow. It leads to longer delivery time. In the meantime, business requirements or the competitive environment might see a drastic change. That’s why teams shifted to modern methodologies, like Agile development.
Rapid Application Development (RAD)
As the name suggests, Rapid Application Development focuses on rapid prototyping. It emphasizes creating a minimum viable product. It involves rapid iteration to add features and address issues. The approach offers several benefits. For example, it enables you to quickly release the software. Also, it doesn’t require you to have large teams.
However, there are several downsides. For example, RAD requires highly skilled and adaptable software developers. They are very short in supply. Also, RAD is designed for small teams. Hence, it will be difficult to deal with large projects.
Agile development is the most popular software development methodology. Right now, more than 70% of companies around the globe are using it.
Similar to RAD, Agile is highly iterative. However, it doesn’t focus on complete applications. Instead, it emphasizes creating functional capabilities to meet business requirements. The methodology utilizes ‘sprints,’ where you focus on delivering a particular function within a finite time.
Agile is based on 12 principles, including simplicity, and embracing changing requirements. It uses the scrum framework to guide application development. It is closely associated with DevOps.
What is cross-platform application development?
Cross-platform development refers to the practice of developing software for multiple environments. It enables you to run the same app across different platforms, like Mac OS, Windows, Android, iOS, etc.
Why do you need Cross-Platform app development?
Use the Same Application on Different Platforms
In today’s world, everyone has multiple devices, like PCs, phones, and tablets. They run on different platforms, including Windows, Android, and iOS. How would you feel to have different experiences while running the app on different devices? It won’t be convenient. Because you will have to adapt to design and functionality changes in terms of the platforms.
With cross-platform apps, you can deliver the same feeling and characteristics across multiple platforms. As a result, the users will enjoy using the same application on any device.
Release App into The Market Faster
With the cross-platform approach, you no longer have to make multiple apps for multiple platforms. You can simultaneously publish them to different stores. As a result, you can release apps to market and reach your audience faster.
Use a Single Code Base for All Platforms
Cross-platform apps have a single source code. Hence, it gives you several advantages. For instance, it’s easier to maintain. As you have a single codebase, you will face significantly fewer bugs. That means you have to run fewer tests.
What are the Key Considerations For Building Cross Platform Application?
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Does my app deliver a consistent user experience on all types of devices?
To make your cross-platform app popular, you need to create an intuitive user experience. It will captivate the end users. Check if it delivers a consistent user experience across all sorts of devices.
To create an intuitive experience, you have to integrate the common design elements. like icons, color schemes, and user action flow. It will help you to boost user behavior across a variety of devices. People will feel encouraged to access the same app on smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Is it necessary to write clear documentation?
It is essential to write clean documentation for your cross-platform apps. It will help other developers to understand the environment easily. As a result, they can easily maintain your app.
Also, clear documentation can be very helpful for the users. It enables them to easily discover the full functionality of your application. Hence, they can easily leverage the features. It results in significantly higher customer satisfaction.
Is my code readable?
Other developers might have to maintain your application. They will need to modify your code for updating important functionalities. That’s why you need to write clean code. It will enable others to conveniently understand the program. As a result, the developers can easily make the necessary changes in the app.
To make code clean and readable, make sure to use consistent naming in all the variables, classes, fields, and methods. You should also indent the code. It will help you to keep the style consistent. Also, you should always try to avoid too many levels of testing.
Should I adopt the Agile development approach?
In today’s world, enterprises need to frequently upgrade their mobile apps. It enables them to add new features, attract more users, and get higher ROI. By adopting the Agile development approach, you can easily update your applications. The methodology utilizes ‘sprints’ to upgrade functions within a specified period. As a result, you can release the updates right in time.
Should I use REST APIs?
REST APIs, like Currencylayer, enable you to easily implement new features into your applications. It gives you easy access to advanced libraries and modules. You just need to write a few lines of code to utilize them. They can make your life a lot easier.
REST APIs allow you to send and retrieve HTTP requests. It facilitates server-side functionality. Also, it helps you to overcome the limitations of different platforms. As a result, your app can deliver a native user experience across all sorts of devices.
Is it essential to identify the target audience?
Identifying the target audience helps you to easily build meaningful apps. It enables you to create a solution that meets users’ needs.
The experience-driven factors vary from one platform to another. By utilizing the insights of the target audience, your team can create impactful cross-platform apps. Your application will deliver a native experience across all sorts of devices. Hence, the users will love to use it.
Am I using the right Cross-Platform aPPLICATION development framework?
Before starting the development of an application, make sure to check your technology stack. Are you using the right cross-platform development framework? Is it easy to use? Does it offer easy-to-use visual controls that work well with different devices? These are some of the questions that you need to ask before starting the development process.
Should I develop Cross Platform applications?
Cross-platform applications offer a wealth of benefits. For instance, it enables you to deliver a consistent user experience across all sorts of devices and operating systems. Also, cross-platform app development involves using a single codebase. You don’t have to develop separate codebases for other operating systems. It can help you save a lot of time and money. Therefore, you should seriously consider developing cross-platform applications.