Building Apps For Your Business: iPhone or Android?

 

Building Apps For Your Business: iPhone or Android Rock'em Robots

It doesn’t have to be a battle anymore.

 

Are you thinking about building an app for your business?¬†Typically the first choice you’d have to make is deciding on what platform will you build it. Apple? Android? Windows? Blackberry? (LOL. Ok, no one would want to build a Blackberry app.)

We are entering a brave new world friends!  In recent months, a whole new development model has entered the market. Cross-platform, hybrid mobile development systems like Icenium and PhoneGap Build make it possible to build an app using one set of code and publishing it to multiple app stores!

 

How do they work?

You (or your developer) use a cloud-based system and common programming languages – i.e. HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. You build your app in one place and push it out to multiple app stores.

 

Pros & Cons

These are outlined very well in an excellent recent whitepaper from Icenium:

PROS

  • Familiar development languages (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) and availability of software developers with these skills.
  • Access to [most] device [data] and sensors
  • Installable apps that can be app store deployed, monetized
  • Common code base

CONS

  • Separate configuration required for each target platform requiring the assistance of new cloud build tools
  • More difficult to package, debug, and deploy than [mobile websites]
  • Bound by app store rules, less freedom than [mobile websites]

I’ll personally add some additional things to consider if you’re thinking of using cross-platform development:

  • Simpler apps are better for this type of development/deployment because you have to limit the functionality of your app to perform functions that are available on every device and follow the rules of every app marketplace.
  • Apps built for only one device can take advantage of built in device capabilities that are available on one device, but not another – for instance, iPhone’s dual cameras.
  • App performance (i.e. speed) may be slightly better for apps that are specifically optimized for a particular platform.

 

What does this mean for businesses?

If you’re a business that was previously considering working with a tech firm to build an app, but felt that the ROI didn’t make sense based on the limited audience of a single platform or the expense of publishing to multiple marketplaces… it’s time to go back for a re-quote.¬† Because times (and apps), they are achangin’.

 

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