With studies projecting mobile app revenues to reach approximately $188.9 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2020, and the mobile app economy, including mobile commerce, already estimated to be in the trillions (yes, that is a ‘T’), it is clear that now more than ever, businesses need to be thinking about how to monetize their business with mobile apps.
However, developing an app to target both iOS and Android market can cost thousands of dollars. Businesses have to decide whether to pay for two native apps to reach the largest audience on both platforms, or if their budgets restrict them, they’ll have to choose between the two giants, thereby missing out on potential customers. The simplest solution lies in the use of cross-platform development tools.
What is cross-platform app development
Cross-platform app development refers to developing mobile apps for multiple platforms using a single code base, with customization to different platforms.
What makes it an effective choice for your business?
While native apps are known for their wider range of features, a skillfully built cross-platform app can offer a budget-friendly and practical option with significant advantages for your small or large business. So what are the advantages that you are going to get when choosing cross-platform app development?
It allows you to invest once and cut costs
It is difficult to quantify the price of a generic native app, as the price depends on many factors including complexity, the number of features, and the development company. Studies indicate that the cost of a simple app for a single platform, whether developed for iOS or Android, can cost anywhere between $25,000 – $200,000. Android apps may cost slightly more to develop than iOS as Android devices have a wide range of screen sizes, resulting in more complex designs.
A cross-platform app, by contrast, can save businesses a significant amount of costs by utilizing a single code base that can be operated on multiple platforms, and usually with a single team. Businesses save on the costs of hiring two separate teams that are specialized in each of the platform’s unique programming language, as well as saving the costs of developing two (or more) sets of code.
As an example, the popular cross-platform development tool Appcelerator Titanium espouses to create native Android and iOS apps by reusing 60-90% of the code. While exact costs of a cross-platform app are difficult to come by, the cost savings for small and medium enterprises can range from $15,00 to $50,000 and it can reach up to $100,000 for large enterprise, according to Comentum.
It increases efficiency and saves time
Developing apps can be a lengthy process, and of course, developing apps for two platforms will take even longer. Businesses can efficiently develop a cross-platform app to quickly entering two markets instead of one, and save even more time by ensuring that inevitable updates to the app will be synchronized to both platforms automatically.
It helps you gain the competitive edge you need
Quite simply, a cross-platform app reaches more potential customers. The outstanding statistics on the mobile app market demonstrates that the industry will not be slowing down. Mobile app downloads have been growing at a steady rate of 15% per year. Between Google Play and iOS, 25 billion apps were downloaded in the second quarter of 2017 alone. According to App Annie, Google Play has maintained a lead over the App store with the number of downloads, at times as high as 135%.
It is important to note, however, that while Google Play has the lead on the actual number of downloads, Apple consistently pulls in more revenue from their apps with iOS users spending almost twice as much than their counterparts. A cross-platform app that is available to the large number of Android users, and accessible to the higher spender iOS users makes complete business sense.
Ultimately developing an app using cross-platform development tools will prove to be the most cost-effective, efficient, and marketable option for businesses looking for a quick and effective entry into the booming mobile app marketplace.
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