It is understandable that with demand for mobile apps skyrocketing, organizations around the world are gearing up to get a handle on it. Many have jumped on the mobile app development bandwagon, so choosing the right one is certainly a task in itself.
It is perfectly okay if find it a little intimidating to take one of the most important decisions when it comes to app development. For that, try answering these questions for now: how to choose the best development framework for a mobile app? Are native mobile applications better or cross-platform solutions? Do we deal with Windows Phone or Blackberry? Or is it better to consider iOS and Android and HTML5-based cross-platform development?
Touching on the basics, let’s answer the most obvious fact first:
What is a mobile app development framework?
A framework is known to be sophisticated software that includes some sub-components which assist in any mobile app development any developer may want to have. The various sub components used in this kind of work include debuggers, tool sets, programming interface, code library compilers among others.
Things to focus on when choosing the best mobile app development platform:
Creating a well-researched customer profile is the most important factor when understanding your target audience. Pay attention to geographic criteria as platforms vary widely by region. For instance, if you want to focus on Europe then remember that Europeans prefer Android phones to iPhones, while Americans use both and preferences may vary from country to country in Asia.
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OS and the country or region can influence user behavior. Apps developed without the consideration for money, need not be regulated in terms of knowing where people will be inclined to buy the app or make in-app purchases for that matter. For example, Apple users don’t have an issue paying good money for apps. On the other hand, Android users will not pay for apps be it from Google Play Store or in-app purchases.
What are the features you’d like for your app? Think of the user experience, if you want to develop a custom application with the native look and feel, you will find solutions like iOS, Android, WP a better choice as native apps always perform better. Their usability is the first rate and they provide a superior overall experience. If you think that the “run once run everywhere” approach suits your offering, then consider a cross-platform development of your project. But at the same time, you got to keep in mind that features which could be easily implemented in a native way are supported by cross-platform solutions.
You may be thinking that “run once run everywhere” solution may be cost-effective, you may also be thinking that why to pay several developers when I can pay only one cross-platform engineer. On the surface of it, it seems like a good idea but only when you dig deeper do you come to know that once in a while, the devil could be in the details.
What is a hybrid app anyway?
Basically, it’s a web page that has been optimized to run on various types of devices, all of it encased in a native container. As such, they can access some of the native features. Unfortunately, when it comes to performing advanced tasks like image processing or video live streaming, hybrid apps tend to fail miserably as some of the native features cannot be replicated. When you opt to go cross-platform, you got to be mentally ready to get less for paying less.
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Support for devices:
Android support devices count a mammoth 160 items, and Android is always looking to increase support. But when it comes to Apple, they have an entirely different strategy. Their latest iOS 9 supports a mere 15 devices, among which are various versions of iPads, iPhones, and iPods. It is true that it may be a challenge to adapt an app for each gadget. Currently, Windows Phone 8.1 version is working to support 100 devices while Blackberry is supported by only 10. Developing a good cross-platform app is not easy as it has to adapt to all these devices together.
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Programming related additional cost:
Just like brick and mortar stores, here too, you will have to pay a price to showcase your app in the app store. For that, you will need to create a developer account. Different companies charge differently for this. Google charges $25 while Apple is much more expensive at $100 for the developer account and $299 for the Enterprise Program. On the other hand, if you want to develop mobile hybrid apps, you will have to pay to every market you want to be available in.
iOS apps are always strictly moderated. Apple has certain rules about how an app should behave to be allowed an entry into their marketplace. They will generally take around 10 days to review your app and give their review, either it will be accepted or rejected. Though the same cannot be called for Android apps.
Depending on the creator and the platform, all users tend to have certain expectations from apps on their devices. For instance, when it comes to Apple devices, users expect upscale quality coupled with the latest, innovative features. They expect trendy designs and extreme usability from the apps they use. They expect to be the first when it comes to innovations and they are willing to pay for it. On the other hand, Android users are reluctant to spend money on apps or app purchases.
The thing is, you will need to decide on iOS or Android when you want to choose a platform for your app development.
Let’s take a look at iOS first.
A closed platform, iOS has total control over its programming language, the Apps it publishes and the devices it releases. As an innovation company and a thought leader that is relentlessly looking for perfection. From time to time, income from an application and not just create awareness than think of iOS development.
Now, let’s take Android.
This platform is very flexible for an app and can work on any smartphones, tablets, TV boxes and even autos. There is also diverse applications on Google Play. Buy publishing on this platform, you’re sure to get a lot of responses and followers. Java, the programming language is very popular beyond the Android world. As the program is popular and easy, you will also find a lot of developers to bring your idea to fruition. The development is possible on different OS among which are Windows, Mac OS or Linux as Android SDK can be used on all of them.
And now, the hybrid apps.
A cross-platform is a combination of HTML5 and native plug-ins. The ‘write-once-run-everywhere’ may seem to be cost-effective with a diversity of supported devices, plenty of ready-made solutions, and UI frameworks to implement a complicated feature. It’s much easier to support an HTML5 app than a native one, but where is the catch?
The list of catches is actually quite long:
- Dependency on a framework: prior to deciding on the framework, carefully study its possibilities
- Compatibility: 100% compatibility across cross-platform app is never possible
- Bugs in frameworks: Be prepared to become bug-friendly! Fixing them on native platforms is easy, but chances of debugging on cross-platforms is minimal
- Low Performance: Hybrid, cross-platform apps consume more space as they have to bring in the WebView to work
- Look and Feel: Getting the super-cool native look and feel is next to impossible. Even the best companies won’t be able to help you here.
Before calling it a day, let’s take a quick look at the points you should keep in mind before deciding on the platform to develop your app.
When to consider native platforms:
- When you need to develop a custom solution
- When a project is complex
- When you have a tight budget for testing across devices
- You want to be cool
- You want a native look
- You are looking for the best user experience
When to go for a cross-platform:
- When cost is a major constraint
- You need a promo project
- Project is simple and straightforward
- UI is not sophisticated
- When you need multi-platform mobile development
Hope this piece will help you to get a better insight and prepare you mentally to choose the right platform for your app. If you need any further advice on this or to develop an app, you can contact I Knowledge Factory on 8888866110 – one of the leading digital marketing firms with ample experience, having transformed the fortune of many a client across the length and breadth of the country. Or you could also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.