What is a Cross-platform Software and how is it effective for businesses?
The chances for success of any business, whether new or old, relies in part on how they manage their budget efficiently and smartly. The management of company resources needs to be at optimal performance for it to return a good return on investment.
There are numerous ways a company can increase their visibility digitally, such as with digital marketing or by creating an identity via website etcetera that stands out from the crowd in a positive way.
The duty of increasing visibility, in part, falls to the company mobile app. That is because mobile apps are very common nowadays, with a large number of consumers around the world having a mobile device of some kind. Using apps to secure and increase customer loyalty or enhance the customer’s experience interacting with the brand is a popular method today. Mobile apps allow the customer to have a personalized interaction with the brand and avail their services on their own terms. Personalized deals, ads and much more is customized to a customer based on their app usage statistics. We can say that while websites are the medium bringing us the traffic, it is mobile apps, which help turn them into loyal customers.
Now, in today’s competitive business environment, it is not just necessary to have a unique identity. You also need a visible presence across many mediums, and that is where cross-platform software comes in.
What is a Cross-Platform Software?
A cross-platform software or application is a software that we can implement on multiple computing platforms, with little to no change in the code. That means that a cross-platform software written for Microsoft Windows is deployable on mac OS, Linux or even mobile platforms like iOS and Android as well. There are many cross-platform app development frameworks such as Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, React Native and many more, designed for the sole purpose to help cross platform development for mobile app developers.
Web applications are generally known as cross platform websites, because they are mostly accessible from any web browser. Popular examples include the Google Maps website, Gmail.com’s web interface, and the Bing search website.
Similarly, cross-platform examples are available in abundance in the world of gaming, where a game is available for multiple platforms and it is up to the user to choose what supported platform they want to use.
Cross-platform programming languages include C++, Java, C# etcetera, but it is more common to find scripting languages for cross-platform development, as they are easier to implement across a wide range of platform options. These scripting languages include Python, PHP, Ruby and bash.
Why Cross-Platform over Native Development?
There are numerous benefits for a business to opt for cross-platform development over native app development. When we hire an app development company to develop an app for our brand, it is important to know your potential customer’s preferred platform. Now, unless it is a necessity to develop native apps, it is better to opt for a cross-platform application, especially if you have a tight budget. The reasoning behind it is very simple. For one, after development, you will only need to maintain one single codebase for any updates or modifications in the end. Not only will it be more economical, it also allows for fewer errors and differences between platforms as updates in the single codebase will affect all platforms.
A few other major benefits to a business opting for cross-platform custom software development include:
– Less testing time required:
Native apps and software require much more testing time, especially if there are multiple versions or code bases. If the right team designs the cross-platform version, the testing will take a much shorter time to perform, as the development and quality assurance departments will only need to test one version of the software instead of multiple versions specific to each platform. Less testing required means lower cost for the company, which means that your development costs will not break you.
– A quicker TMM:
Designing and programming a single program that can run across multiple platforms is one of the biggest points in favor of cross-platform development. This allows our product to have a shorter Time to Market (TMM), due to only needing to develop a single version of the software. As we all know that in today’s cutthroat business world, a shorter TMM can be the difference between a successful business and a failure.
– Ease of customization:
Another benefit of cross-platform apps is that it is easier to customize and add new features to the existing cross-platform app by editing a single code base. That means that by making changes in a single file, they can affect change across all platforms easily. When we develop in the native environment for each platform, we need to spend time trying to replicate the code and functionality from one native app to another, so that the company app on separate platforms would look and work the same, a problem solved by cross-platform development
– Cost efficient development:
Not only does it take less time to develop, it also costs less than native development. Not only are the initial costs for development not as high as native development, but as it takes less time to develop, it also saves us our precious budget by the end of the project.
Knowing that cross-platform development is so beneficial for business development, you need to now decide how to leverage its power to elevate your brand to new heights and. However, before starting, you need to assess your business goals, your audience and budget.
A number of brands around the world have harnessed the power of cross-platform apps to grow their businesses to the max. So why should you be left behind?