April 28, 2014 in iOS Development (F)
[prMac.com] Gurgaon, India - With the rising demands of smartphones and tablets, mobile apps are also becoming ubiquitous. But do you target a single platform for mobile app development or make that extra effort to to build your device twice for Android and iOS , or prefer cross platform development? So what does the proliferation of these different devices actually mean for new developers entering the mobile market?
You might have heard of something like "Cross Platform Development" in the mobile market but aren't really sure about what it is or why to consider it for app development? This information will shed some light on what it is, its benefits and reasons for considering cross platform development strategies.
But before going onto that lets first understand native and web applications with their intended pros and cons:
1. Native Apps:
Native Apps are the applications that are installed through an application store and are accessed through icons on device home screen. They are accessed and installed from Application store like Google Play or Apple's App store and more. They are developed for one platform and can access all device features like your contacts, GPS, camera and more. Native apps are specifically developed for single platforms like Android and iOS and uses the respective development tools and languages they support like Java and Eclipse for Android & Xcode and Objective-C with iOS . Native apps can work offline and can even use device's notification system. They incorporate either standard operating system gestures or app defined gestures.
* Advantages: The greatest strength of native apps is their sheer power. Native apps easily make use of the device's software and built-in hardware features. Another important asset is that they can be used offline even when a user in not connected to their network.
* Disadvantages: Developing Native Apps is slightly cumbersome and time consuming as it requires the app to be developed for two different platforms (iOS & Android). Moreover it requires developers to get their app approved from Google and Apple along with revenue sharing and licensing fees.
2. Mobile Web Apps (HTML5 Apps):
* HTML5 Advantages: Developing this app is quick and saves a lot of time, it allows you to develop the code once and then deploy it on any platform. While the code may still need to be optimized for different mobile browsers but that task would be less compared to coding it again. Moreover HTML5 apps allow any user to use it without the need for downloading it again on their mobile phones. In addition to this the location of web app can make it easy to integrate with usage from PC.
* HTML5 Disadvantages: HTML5 suffers from the detriment that it does not provide its users a central location to purchase apps. It lacks the monetization power that Apple and Google app store offers. Being providing limited access to many mobile device features often developers rely on workarounds to get their required functionalities.
What is Cross-Platform Development?
Cross Platform Development runs on "Write once and run everywhere" paradigm. It is implemented by writing an application using a codebase and technology that allows it to be distributed and deployed across multiple disparate devices, operating systems and platforms. For example, a cross-platform application may run on the x86 architecture for Linux O.S, on x86 architecture for Windows, and Mac OS X on PowerPCor x86 based Apple Macintosh systems. Cross-platform applications can run on all existing platforms or as low as two platforms.
The biggest challenge of cross platform development is the software stack architecture and the hardware capabilities of the devices running on the two different platforms. HTML5 although makes cross-platform application development simpler while providing portability to the different platforms. If using Using PhoneGap, this includes Symbian, Samsung Bada, Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry 4.6 and higher, HP WebOS and Windows Phone 7 - Mango platforms.
Adobe AIR then this includes BlackBerry Playbook & upcoming BBX platform, Apple's iOS devices (iPhone and iPad), and Windows Metro (the tablet offering of Windows 8),
Advantages of Developing Cross Platform Mobile Apps : The biggest benefit of cross platform development is that it targets multiple platforms and devices by writing minimal source code . The advantages that comes with this more devices and lesser code strategy is -
1. Reduced Maintenance & Development Cost: These applications can originate from single codebase having single development skillset. It can target all platforms and does not require staff for individual ones. Having single codebase also reduces maintenance costs as it no longer requires to keep bug tracking for large number of codebase and relative staff for each platform.
3. Technical Strength: Certain technologies makes some tasks easier like data visualization and programmatic drawing is easy using ActionScript and Flex. While developing equivalent experience in native code is more time consuming and even complex. The aim of developing any mobile application is to drive more customers and wherein possible have high quality engagement with target market. So when majority are using same single platform the choice becomes easy but when you are targeting huge audience having multiple platforms then cross development is an ideal choice. Moreover it is easier to maintain and deploy changes while developing single application for multi devices . Updates even easily get synchronized across all platforms.
4. Uniform Look and Feel: With Cross platform development the same design and overall feel can be maintained across all platforms as there single codebase running but while designing separately for platforms its pretty hard to synchronize between development teams of different expertise levels.
5. Wider Reach and Effective Marketing: When developing apps for multiple platforms you are benefited with the wider audience and exposure that your application can reach. It boosts the market potential of mobile app as more and more people of different platforms are now targeted. Apps running on iOS, Android and Windows Phones provides an extra added advantages if exposure is taken into account. Marketing does becomes easier as the apps can now be promoted on various media's and platforms and not just catering a specific set of masses.
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Located in Gurgaon, India, Oodles Technologies provides global services in iOS Application Developement, our professional and innovative iOS developers use their skills to develop highly scalable and robust apps at affordable prices. Copyright (C) 2013 Oodles Technologies. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.