How the platform influences the cost of development?
Which platform(s) you want to use influences the cost of development, and in many ways the overall outcome of the project.
And which platform depends on your audience and customers. Most B2C and many B2B apps need to be developed for iOS and Android. Although others may need to be developed for macOS and Microsoft; potentially alongside other platforms too.
Which platform(s) you choose depends on your customers and target market. You need to have an understanding of the answer to these questions:
- What device(s) do they use (e.g. Android-based or Apple iOS)?
- Or if this is a B2B app, would Microsoft or macOS (desktop/MacBook-based operating system) be more useful?
- Or do they use a range of devices; therefore do you need apps across multiple platforms to capture a larger target audience?
Once you know the above, then you can focus on getting an app or apps developed for the platform most of your customers/users are on.
Knowing that information means you can decide the following:
- Native; or
- Hybrid or Cross-platform app?
Let’s look a little closer at what these terms mean, and how this is going to impact the cost of development.
#1: Native application
Providing you've got a clear understanding of the platform the majority of your audience is using, then it’s a simple matter of picking that one for your first app. Usually this means iOS or Android.
When it comes to cost, it doesn't actually matter. It costs the same. Despite the fact that technologies, databases, frameworks, SDKs, quality assessment systems and other things are different, the cost is similar, or almost identical.
iOS apps are usually developed in Swift, whereas Android apps are usually developed in Java. Those coding languages are the best ones for those platforms. Whereas other languages are usually used for other platforms. Native apps work best on the platforms they are designed for. They work smoother, are more secure, and they integrate more easily with platform-specific features.
#2: Hybrid or Cross-platform app
Apps can be developed using a single code-base. There are coding languages, templates and tools that can ensure an app on one platform can be replicated and run on another, which should ensure it runs just as smoothly and securely on iOS, Android, and potentially others.
Although a hybrid or cross-platform app will cost more to develop than sticking with a single native app, it won’t cost as much as having two apps developed. It usually takes more time, because both apps need to pass compliance and quality checks on different platforms. But as they are developed alongside one another, using the same code, it doesn't take as much time as having separate native apps created.