The Benefits And Risks Of Developing A Cross-Platform App

While the world of programming has been in existence since the early 1970s’, it has gradually been working its way to the top by developing many new and innovative applications and programs with a variety of functions, features and programming languages. For any person unfamiliar to the world of IT and codes, it is important to first understand what a cross-platform application refers to. According to the article on Technopedia, a cross-platform application is built to allow it to work across various platforms. These platforms refer to different operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux or Mac book. As a result of this feature, a cross-platform application is also referred to as multiplatform or platform independent.

Mobile applications and businesses have a direct correlation especially with how the trend of using technology has changed. The world has transformed into a digital landscape and has become completely mobile. All desktop functions are now packed into a 6-inch screen from where daily routines and work is taken care of. More so, for a business owner, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of as they should be able to design an application to run the business online. But the question to ponder upon is what type of application are you thinking of and do you need it for Windows, iOS, Ipad, Blackberry or all of these operating platforms. If you just need one platform, you’ll require a native application in contrast to a multiplatform one. According to Madhu Kasavan, cross-platform applications are becoming popular by the day as there are increasing numbers of business owners who want to target a wider set of users.
According to the blog post on Reinvently, C programming language was one of the first cross-platform application, and as time goes by, there have been major improvements in different types of multiplatform applications. All such applications are targeted to a wide set of audiences and not just iOS or Android users particularly, hence highlighting the importance of multiplatform technology.
AirG reviews that cross-platform applications are always the right way to go about for any business giving the example of most of their applications which follow a cross-platform pattern as they provide a variety of services ranging from games, analysis of demographics to cater to different target markets to virtual currency accounts. All such applications are targeted to a wide set of audiences and not just iOS or Android users particularly, hence highlighting the importance of multiplatform technology.
The idea around which a cross-platform application circulates is that it is built once but is able to run everywhere. However, even though cross-platform apps seem to be the perfect solution for your business, they also have some risks attached to them. We will be taking a closer look at both the advantages and disadvantages of these applications and understand in what way they affect our business.

Advantages Of Developing A Cross-Platform App

There are many advantages to using cross-platform apps some of which are:


Unlimited Use Of The Created Code

Along with being a pretty time-consuming business, it is equally rewarding. Developers do not need to create different codes for different platforms. All they have to do is create one unique code and engage it through multiple different platforms thus customizing the application along with the type of platform it is being used on.


Quicker Development In Fewer Costs

This comes forward as the most promising attribute of cross-platform applications. Since the developer is not spending as much time as he would had it been a native application, it allows the business to launch its products at a quicker pace leading to faster turnaround for the business. In addition to this, since the business is investing their money in developing only once code, they have a high chance of cost-cutting in contrast to native applications making this a win-win situation and also improving business efficiency.


Integration With The Cloud Space

As stated in Madhu Kasavans’ research, platforms such as PhoneGap or Appcelerator have various plug-INS which enable enhanced security as there is only one app to protect rather than several. This provides authenticity, credibility, and validity to app functionalities. Furthermore, due to the development of an application that is widely accessible across the globe, businesses can take advantage of all the money producing benefits of the working system by integrating cloud storage for hosting services.


No Complex Updates

Nearly all cross-platform applications can be accessed using the internet thus not requiring every individual to separately download mobile updates. This can lead to different users having a different version of the apps. Rather these apps are automatically updated for everyone, so almost everyone has the current version of the application.
According to a mobile development company based in Dallas, Seven tablets, the above features of using a cross-app development program provides business owners with an open chance to have a quicker turnaround enabling a higher ROI in contrast to native applications that take more of our time and money.

Disadvantages Of Developing A Cross-Platform App

In addition to the pros discussed above, cross-platform apps also have their lows which investors and mobile developers have to be on a lookout for. Some of these are;

Lags In Performance

While the idea of having one integrated application for various platforms sounds like the perfect solution, it isn’t as easy. Cross platforms apps sometimes fail to integrate seamlessly into all systems as native apps do. As a result, this can cause slowing down of applied functions, freezing of the software as non-native codes cannot always communicate with different devices’ hardware or software. These glitches also limit device functionality and prevent users from accessing device functions like a camera or microphone etc.


Lock-In By Java

According to Techopedia, a JavaScript is a unique programming language that does not need to be compiled and is mostly used to enhance HTML images hence also called a dynamic language. Most of the cross-platform applications use their own subset of JavaScript which basically prevents the users’ device to recognize the old source code if the user is using a new platform causing the app to freeze.


Lack Of Storage Options

It isn’t always an easy task to compile together local time, preferences and settings with the application thus causing problems and making the user restart their device on a continuous basis. Storage options are also very limited, and users have to look for third-party cloud service to be provided with a storage solution.


Poor Graphics

As the world becomes more digitally oriented, users, look for high definition and high-quality features to fit in their screens. Yet hybrid technology like cross-platform applications does not provide attractive images or three-dimensional support which comes off as a major disadvantage to those users who are highly driven by pixel power.


Wrapping It Up

While cross-platform applications are highly popular, they do have both pros and cons tied to their working space. As neither of the two is deniable, it is up to the business owner to weigh in their investment against the return they would be getting if they were to implement a cross-platform app into their system. There are two sides to every coin, and one will outrun the other. If owners feel they can bear the weight of the few hindrances they encounter, these apps are a good solution. But if a business is run on a smaller scale with accessibility and targeting going out to only a few customers, launching a cross-platform application will become more of a problem than of a solution.


Author Bio: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524

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