Cross Platform App Development – A good choice for enterprises?

Cross Platform App Development – A good choice for enterprises?

1. Introduction:

The market for enterprise mobility has grown over last few years and now enterprises are adapting mobility and realising the potential of tablet and smartphone apps for their businesses. This triggers the need for quickly developing apps for multiple platforms with easy maintainability for enterprises. The idea of cross platform mobile development in such a scenario made a lot of sense.

“Build one and run on all”.

Now it’s time to see whether the true potential of this methodology has been recognized or if native development has emerged as the more dominant force in the Mobility Ecosystem instead.

In this blog, I will be talking about cross platform mobile app development for Enterprise Mobility specifically.

2. Mobility for Enterprises:

The current proliferation of mobile devices has made enterprises realise that sharing information via mobiles can be an effective and productive way for use within and outside their organizations. Today entrepreneurs and organizations are all making sure they finalize their mobility roadmaps as per the latest trends well in time. This is because the need was to develop enterprise driven mobile applications that are adaptable on various platforms so that people can use it when they are mobile- wherever they go and however they go.

By using mobile devices, organizations can provide instant access to all the information required by the employees anywhere and everywhere. This helps making the organization more productive and thus increasing the need for enterprises to go mobile.

In the business world, we know that the trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is rising. BYOD refers to employees of a firm bringing their own personal mobile devices into the workplace against the standard concept of using traditional desktop computers or company-provided mobile devices and gadgets for accessing company applications and data. This has made it a necessity for businesses to develop their corporate mobile apps which work smoothly on all possible devices so as to operate on various networks while using different operating systems.

While deciding a mobile strategy it is imperative to know about the audience of your mobile application. When the majority of your target audience is using the same mobility platform, then it becomes quite easy to choose the platform. But when your target audience involve users using iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry and other operating system phones and tablets, the decision gets complex and getting to a comforting conclusion becomes tricky. Also, it is important to know beforehand how much the inside-app animations, interactions and smoothness mean to you. If you need to use Native mobile hardware features like Camera, Light Sensor etc then it might be better to go with the Native mobile application development.

3. Benefits of Native App Development:

  • Increased User Engagement: If you want to achieve higher user adoption, increased usage volume, and superfluous user engagement, I would recommend to go for Native Application Development.
  • Smoother User Experiences: Besides addicted users, you need happy users. For the most polished, smooth and simplified functions, the native idea is the safest best. There is a unique finesse to this. Besides, it is a common observation that native apps respond effortlessly to user gestures like taps, multi-taps, pinches and swipes.
  • Easy Integration With Hardware Device Features: There are less chances of bugs or issues to crop up when native apps communicate with bluetooth, USB, cameras or other features such as GPS. Besides, connecting with other devices’ wireless functions is also simple and usually bug-free.

To conclude, Native applications have better user experience, engagement and integrations with the mobile’s operating system in comparison to cross platform mobile app development.

“Our goal is not to build a platform; it’s to be cross all of them.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

4. Benefits of Cross Platform App Development:

  • Greater Reach To Potential Users: The more platforms you cover, the more people you’ll able to reach. As Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are running a rat race for top positions, the number of smartphone users for these devices are increasing day by day worldwide. A clear winner has not emerged so far. Developing applications both for iPhone and Android should fetch you more users and therefore an added advantage of better reach. Cross platform mobile development applications can help you reach other OS such as Windows and Blackberry.
  • Cost Effective Deal: Developing one application which can run on every platform is easier to maintain. Deploying changes and updating it becomes easier and changes can be automatically synced across all devices and platforms. This saves a lot of money and unpredictability in application behaviour on various platforms. This also infers that cross platform app development results in reduced development and maintenance costs, therefore resulting in an overall cost effective deal.
  • Uniformity: Developing and designing in this case gives an app a uniform look and feel across platforms. Running the application on a single code eases syncing of application as they are all on one platform.

To conclude, Cross Platform Applications have better reach, maintainability, and uniformity across various mobile OS platforms. They can be developed quickly saving a lot of time, energy and resources.

5. Verdict:

A system where you are looking to provide an app and the user device’s OS is unknown, the idea of cross platform application is the way to go. An example of this is the typical BYOD system. Most enterprise apps are built on this model- the target customers of your mobile app would be organization employees with undeclared set of devices! Decisions of the same are often based on the cost and maintainability factors and it does makes sense at times for enterprises to favour Cross Platform apps compared to Native for apps.

However if you are building highly engaging apps or apps that do not have the constraint of being built for a fixed number of audience then it is better to go for multiple Native apps. If you can afford a chance of capitalizing the best of every world, why shy?

To conclude I must say that as device specific features set are now fast evolving, no single platform can claim or simply prove that it is the best. Naturally, app developers around the world are extending their interest across various operating platforms. For cross platform to become irreplaceable, it will have to go through an array of shifts in its approach. Until then, you can make a calculated decision to go for cross-platform if it suits your enterprise app idea or if you can benefit more from a native app idea.

I hope the above discussion equips you with much information to make the right decision for your system. However, if you are still unsure about how to proceed you can check our Portfolio page to see what we do and get in touch with us for free consultation. Our experts from Mobility department will be more than glad to be of your service- be it to answer your questions, to provide you free consultation or to proceed to provide you mobile app development services- native or cross-platform!

References:
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/app-business-tips-resources/
http://uniqwebtech.com/mobile-app-development-native-vs-cross-platform/#prettyPhoto
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140730152005-158942759-things-you-should-know-before-developing-cross-platform-and-hybrid-apps
http://www.oodlestechnologies.com/blogs/Reasons-to-changeover-to-Cross-Platform-Mobile-App-Development
http://www.ceraitmobileapps.com/blog/cross-platform-mobile-apps
http://www.softwareassociates.in/things-to-know-before-going-gaga-over-cross-platform/
http://www.cygnismedia.com/blog/developing-cross-platform-mobile-apps/
http://www.logicspice.co.uk/blog/merits-demerits-of-cross-platform-mobile-apps-development/
http://twotoasters.com/why-native-apps-are-better-than-mobile-web/

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Rachit Agarwal

Rachit Agarwal

Director and Co-Founder at Algoworks Technologies
Rachit is leading the mobility business development function, mobility strategy and consulting practice at Algoworks. He is an expert of all mobile technologies and has experience in managing teams involved in the development of custom iPhone/iPad/Android apps.
Rachit Agarwal

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Rachit AgarwalCross Platform App Development – A good choice for enterprises?
  • https://www.codenameone.com/ Shai Almog

    Thanks for the article I think there are many benefits for cross platform development using tools such as Codename One, Xamarin, PhoneGap etc.

    I wrote a while back an article for OReilly covering this in great detail. Generally your ability to reduce time to market and spend the saving on design/faster updates can translate to a better UX thru write once run anywhere.