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App Development
7 minutes read

Is a Cross-platform App the Solution for Your Business?

by Robert Kazmi
App Development
7 minutes read

You probably have a mobile app idea that you are ready to get developed but you are not sure if you should choose iOS, Android, or a cross-platform option. Aside from finding the right app development partner, you also need to make a big decision when it comes to the operating system (OS). In other words, you need to decide on the operation platform for your future mobile application. 

In this post, we will explore iOS and Android operating platforms. These two are the dominant platforms when it comes to mobile apps, so understanding them will help you make an educated decision on whether you should build your app for devices like the iPhone or iPad, Android devices, or if a cross-platform option will serve your goals in the most efficient way.

Choosing the Right Mobile App Development Platform

When it comes to mobile apps, the most common and popular solutions are iOS, which works across Apple devices; Android, the most widely used mobile OS; or cross-platform, an alternative that works across devices no matter the OS. Getting this decision right can help guarantee the success of your mobile app development project.

The reason why this is such a big decision is that, depending on the platform, you can hit or miss your target audience. On one hand, if you choose iOS, your app will be listed in the Apple App Store. On the other hand, if you choose Android, your app will be listed in the Google Play Store. Aside from reaching different audiences, each app store has its own rules and development guidelines. 

However, keep in mind that you can also choose a third option: a cross-platform alternative. By choosing it, you will be able to place your mobile app in both app stores, helping you reach a wider audience.

Questions You Need to Make Before Choosing a Mobile App Platform

Before you decide on the platform on which you are going to release your app, there are a few crucial questions you need to ask yourself in order to make the right decision. Although you can always come back and change your decision later, getting it right from the start will help you gain traction faster and save on development costs.

Here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • What features will my mobile app have?
  • Who is the target audience for my mobile app?
  • What is my mobile application development budget?
  • What purpose does my mobile application serve?
  • How will I market my mobile application?
  • What is my app development budget?
  • Do I have the time and budget to keep up with app updates and maintenance once it is deployed?
  • How soon do I want to hit the market?
  • How am I going to monetize my app?

The answers to these questions will help you decide which platform is right for your app when it comes to choosing between iOS and Android.

iOS Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • If you’re going to charge for app downloads, iOS is the route to take because users are more used to in-app purchases.
  • People with iPhones make about 40% more a year than those with Android. This is important if you’re looking to sell products on your app.
  • iPads are more popular than other types of tablets, so if your app is created in the Apple App Store you’ll have more downloads from people who use iPads.
  • Consider that more women than men have Apple devices when defining your target audience. 
  • iOS has a younger user base than Android does, so if you’re looking to appeal to a younger demographic, iOS is your best bet.
  • iOS has a reputation for being more secure than Android.
  • Code for iOS is easier to write than for Android, making it sometimes faster to develop and less time consuming to get to the launch date.

Cons:

  • iOS makes more constant updates to their software so you need to continually refine your app. This means you’ll be spending more money to keep your app up to date.
  • If you’re looking to target males, iOS may not be your best option. Remember more men use Android.
  • iOS apps have stricter policies and their review process is longer than with Android.

Android Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • There are more Android mobile users worldwide than there are iPhone users. Consider that there are more devices with Android than with iOS.
  • More people open push notifications on Android than they do on iOS. If push notifications are part of your marketing strategy, then you may want to consider Android.
  • The cost per user to install an app is about half of the cost on Android than it is on iOS.
  • It’s easier to get an Android app approved than an iOS app because they are less strict about what they approve.
  • Android has a more global user base. If you want to appeal to people outside of the US, you may want to pick Android.
  • Slightly more men pick Android over iOS, so if your target demographic is male, this is an important statistic.
  • There is more flexibility on Android in terms of how the code for an app is developed.

Cons:

  • iOS users make more in-app purchases than Android users do. Thus, iOS may be the better platform for you if your focus is retail.
  • Since Android is open-sourced, it’s more susceptible to security issues. However, keep in mind that all apps are susceptible if you don’t work with a qualified development team.

Pros and Cons of Both, or Why a Cross-platform App Might Be the Solution

More often than not we find ourselves in a false dilemma. That is, we struggle with two alternatives when in reality there are more than just two. This is sometimes the case when deciding between iOS and Android. A third option is developing a cross-platform app. 

Pros:

  • Android has more users, but consumers spend more money on iOS. Having your app on both platforms can help you reach the highest market share.
  • You’ll meet consumers where they prefer to be met by building and releasing your app on both platforms.
  • iOS and Android reach different global audiences. If you put your app on both you’ll reach different parts of the world with your app.

Cons:

  • An app is coded differently depending on its platform. If you choose to release your apps independently on both platforms you’ll have to get two different sets of codes developed. A cross-platform app solves some issues related to this problem.
  • Releasing your app individually on both platforms requires a greater budget and resources in general. A cross-platform can help you with this.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the right platform for your app. You may want to choose iOS or Android, or you may also want to release it on both platforms. If this last is your case, the best option will be a cross-platform mobile app development solution. Remember to answer the questions at the beginning of this post, as they are key to figuring out which platform is best for your app according to your goals.

A cross-platform solution is ideal to release your app on both platforms. However, keep in mind that it might be a pricey route to take, so it all ends up depending on your budget.

Want to discuss if iOS and/or Android is right for your app? Reach out to us today for a free consultation and get your project going.

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