Best Practices for Successful Cross-Platform App Development
Cross-platform app development undoubtedly comes with several benefits. For instance, companies can save effort, time, and, most importantly, a ton of money and release their applications across multiple platforms in the market before their competitors.
While the above benefits sound enticing, developing a successful cross-platform application isn't that easy, especially if you don't follow the best practices. Because in cross-platform app development, you need to focus on multiple platforms at the same time. However, we got you covered. This blog briefly describes what cross-platform app development is and lists seven cross-platform app development best practices every development team must follow. So, go through these best practices, follow them, and ensure successful cross-platform app development.
What is Cross-Platform App Development?
Cross-platform app development is an approach wherein developers build a single application that runs smoothly on multiple platforms, with some tweaks, of course. With this approach, companies need not hire native app development teams and wait for long durations to get their apps built and published.
Companies can use cross-platform frameworks and get apps developed for multiple platforms, be it iOS, Android, desktop, or web, using a single codebase, saving time, money, and effort. This allows businesses to reach a wider audience before their competitors.
Want to experience the above benefits and create a successful cross-platform app? Follow these best prices and ensure successful cross-platform app development:
Start with a Cross-platform App Mentality
Inexperienced cross-platform app development teams often focus on developing the application for one platform (iOS or Android) first and then moving forward with the other. While it may sound ideal, doing so leads to inconsistent app behaviors and app failure as a whole.
Therefore, always begin the app development with a cross-platform mentality. Your team must create the features, logic, and UI keeping in mind all the platforms the app is being built for. This will help achieve consistency across platforms and thus improve the chances of success.
Define User Experience to Ensure the Native Feel
No matter how functional and feature-rich your application is, if the user experience isn't good, the app won't stay afloat for long.
Several cross-platform app development teams create UIs independent of the platform. This makes the application look identical across platforms. While this may not seem like a problem at first, creating same-looking apps takes away the native look and feel of the application.
For instance, some features look good on Android, and some look good on iOS only. And not using these native features makes the app look generic, ruining the user experience.
If the users aren't given what they're familiar with, they'll most probably stop using your app. So, make sure to define the UX before starting with development, and don't forget to use the native features to offer the right experience to the right users.
Leverage Widgets and Other Pre-built Components
Several times, inexperienced cross-platform app development teams reinvent the wheel by writing functions from scratch, which are usually available as pre-built components. This creates more code to test and adds to the total development time.
While creating customized functions depending on your requirements may be necessary, most functionalities already exist as pre-built features. So, ask your development teams to research and leverage pre-built plugins, widgets, and other tested components to save time and make their apps more functional.
Pro Tip: Choose a flexible cross-platform app development framework that offers maximum functionalities. This way, your development team can leverage those pre-built features and save time. More on that will follow.
Choose the Right Cross-platform App Development Framework
Several times, cross-platform app development teams don't research enough and end up choosing the wrong framework, leading to issues such as too much onboarding time, coding complexities, lack of features or plugins, poor scalability & flexibility, and more.
Therefore, make sure to choose the right cross-platform app development framework. And to do that, you can consider the following things:
- Onboarding time and the learning curve.
- The programming language used in the framework.
- What pre-built features or components it comes with.
- What is the percentage of code reusability?
- What's the platform's consistency like?
- Is the documentation detailed and up-to-date?
- Is the community large enough, and are there ample resources to refer to?
- Can it be used for web, desktop, and embedded platforms?
You can even try to create a proof of concept to see how the framework turns out to decide better. Also, you can refer to this list of the top 15 cross-platform app development frameworks.
Test Apps Thoroughly for Every Platform
Although you may already know the importance of testing, you need to be a little more careful when testing cross-platform apps. While the apps on the outside may look similar, the underlying code is compiled differently for every platform, be it iOS, Android, desktop, or web.
Therefore, test every platform-based version of the application as if it were an independent application. This way, you'd come across platform-specific issues that you'd have otherwise missed had you tested the app for only a single platform.
Ensure Good Code Readability
Ensuring code reusability is a standard practice that you must follow regardless of the type of application you're developing. It's important because the developers who're presently coding might leave your team or organization tomorrow or within a few months. If the code is quality and readable, it'll be easy for the new developer/s to understand the code and make the updates.
Therefore, try to ensure code readability. To do that, you can ask your team to:
- Group the code.
- Indent the code and ensure a consistent system.
- Be consistent in naming the classes, fields, variables, methods, etc.
- Add comments for added insights.
Take Feedback Seriously
While addressing customer feedback is important, there's an additional layer attached when it comes to cross-platform app development.
With customer feedback, you'll not only understand what the users think of your app's performance and features, but you'll also be able to determine how the feedback varies across platforms. This way, you can identify problems specific to platforms and deal with them better.
Now that you know cross-platform app development best practices, you can make sure that your team develops a successful cross-development application.
However, if you don't have a cross-platform app development team, have one that's too busy, or need a cross-platform app developer quickly, Pangea can help. We have some of the best companies and developers holding expertise in cross-platform app development and can connect you with the best in under 72 hours.
Q1. What are some examples of cross-platform apps?
While there are hundreds of thousands of cross-platform apps, some of the most popular ones are Google Pay, BMW, eBay, Nubank, Dream 11, Toyota, etc. A cross-platform application is an app that has been developed using a single codebase. You can refer to Flutter’s website to learn more about cross-platform apps.
Q2. Which language is used for cross-platform app development?
If you're wondering which programming language you should choose for your next cross-platform app development, make sure to consider factors such as the framework you're using for app development, your familiarity with the language, how functional it is, the support it offers, etc. This will help you make an informed decision.
Q3. Is Python a cross-platform language?
While it is less commonly known, Python is technically a cross-platform language. How? Well, a Python program written on a Macintosh can run on Linux or Windows. And with the right libraries and resources, you can even run Python programs on Android and iOS.
For your reference, a project, BeeWare, allows developers to write code in Python and create apps for different platforms such as Windows, Linux, tvOS, Windows, and more using a single codebase.
Need help selecting the right company?
We will do the work for you, all for free.
Tell us what you need