“Mobile first” is no longer just a buzzword. Quite frankly, the current situation is more often “mobile only”.

When launching your new product, determining how your users will be using the product is critical. Not everything is suited well for the mobile device. If your tool requires lots of editing or writing, then you may want to reconsider. However, many technology products can be handled well by an app.

The single biggest determining factor of the cost to build your app is the decision between native app and cross-platform app.

Cross-platform apps can be much less expensive to build, you can potentially use exactly the same code for a mobile site, and Android app and an iPhone app. Build once, test once. One code base to maintain.

When building native apps, you need a separate code base and often a different developer for each device. The costs can really escalate. But sometimes this is necessary.

Not that long ago, the use of cross-platform apps was limited to making simple mobile apps and games. The advancing technology has made the cross-platform development more powerful, scalable, and flexible than before.

There are numerous benefits to cross platform apps, such as:

  • Reduced Development Cost
  • Low Maintenance Cost
  • Reusable Code
  • Faster Development Process
  • Easy Cloud Integration
  • Native Look and Feel

However, the cross-platform development still faces challenges such as:

  • Performance Issues – native code can be faster
  • Limited Tools – as phones advance the cross platform tools need time to catch up
  • UX Challenges – it is sometimes much easier to make beautiful apps natively
  • Security Concerns – cross platform tools again need more time to resolve issues

The choice is not always simple. If budget is a major concern it is often easiest to start with a cross platform app. As your business grows you can then spend the money to gain the advantages of native apps when you have more budget.

For a cross-platform app, the development costs are generally £20k to £100k. Native apps will have a similar cost but per platform.