In cross-platform development, the top mobile operating systems – Android, iOS and Windows will not always use similar formats. This raises certain issues while developing apps that are compatible with different platforms to address specific needs of each and every platform. It further results in slowing down your app development cycle which consequently leads to loss of business revenue.
However, speed is not the only factor that’s affected. The app also needs to ensure performance, ease-of-use, beautiful aesthetics, user experience, and functionality which is often compromised due to rapid application development and fear of missing the deadline. To help you address these challenges, here are some best practices you need to follow in order to enhance your entire cross-platform app development process.
1. Choose native development when UX is so important – Developers often find porting functionalities difficult when developing cross-platform apps. But the major issue here is usability. Developing apps natively, assuming a skilled and experienced development team, will always ensure of an app that meets user expectations. Native development adheres to gestures, navigation, and the look and feel of each operating system. It also reduces the code bloat that can creep in when the platform translation tools are implemented.
2. Good documentation is necessary when developing natively – Good documentation is critical when developing cross-platform mobile apps. A clean, detailed documentation of the app build process, specifically the service layer, will speed up your app build on succeeding platforms.
4. Choose tools that keep up with native platform roadmap – With more and more solutions entering the cross-platform development space, it is critical to understand the functionalities these solutions deliver for the mobile platforms you plan to support. Your customers are the early adopters of your app, so you must keep them in mind while choosing the right development tool. Ensure that the tool you select meets the needs of your business as well as your audience. Your website and other mobile apps will reveal who your target audience is.
5. Know your cross-platform development tools – A steep learning curve can be time consuming and expensive. Ensure that the development tool you select matches the skill set of your development team. Also, look for a solution that offers complete support required for your app development lifecycle including cross-platform build tools, metadata-driven applications, and cross-device testing and prototyping. It must also provide distribution capabilities via multiple app stores (other than the primary app stores). It should further allow integration with cloud-based services to leverage features such as data persistence, notifications, and social media incorporation.
Finally, you must consider application’s planned features and USPs to make a right choice of porting your app. If you’re designing your app to be an extension of your website, native development may not be required. But if the application involves complex functionalities, then consider developing natively for one or two platforms to deliver the best possible user experience. If you want to broaden your customer reach, cross-platform mobile development is the best solution you need to go with. If you want to share any thoughts or feedback, please let us know in the comments below.