Achieving Greater Reach with Cross-Platform Software Capability

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image21723193In the purest sense, cross-platform software development simply means that an application can be designed using a single language or tool set, and with a simple ‘click’ it can easily be deployed for a variety of platforms. Obviously the more platforms covered, the greater the reach. It’s an advantage to maintain a single code base with the ability to readily fix problems for any platform. Cost reduction is another significant benefit to cross-platform development since the one code base requires less testing than multiple applications.

 

The reality is that having multiple apps with some measure of cross-platform capability is more the norm. That is to say, developing multiple solutions with consistent functionality using technology such as responsive design for efficient delivery is more often the case.

 

A number of different cross-platform software design strategies have emerged because of the competition in cross-platform compatibility and advanced functionality.*

  • Graceful Degradation – This provides the same or similar functionality to all users and platforms with reduced functionality.
  • Multiple Codebases – One codebase designed for different (hardware and OS) platforms, with equivalent functionality, but requires more effort maintaining the code.
  • Single Codebase – This strategy relies on having one codebase that may be compiled to multiple platform-specific formats. This technique is sometimes used in web development.
  • Third-Party Libraries – Third-party libraries attempt to simplify cross-platform capability by hiding the complexities of client differentiation behind a single, unified API.
  • Responsive Web Design – Responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at crafting the visual layout of sites to provide an optimal viewing experience. Little or no platform-specific code is used with this technique.

 

With the number of smartphone and tablet users increasing daily, developing a cross-platform application solution that fits your business needs and budget will deliver the desired increase in market reach; while ensuring the customer experience is provided at a consistent and high level.

 

If you want to achieve optimal results in selecting and implementing cross-platform solutions, look for these important assets in the resources you choose.

  • Engage with resources that have the experience and skill sets to deliver the appropriate platform solution (as outlined above) for your environment.
  • Consider a ‘Managed Team’ approach for solution delivery, ensuring design through testing is not fragmented due to the multiple applications involved.
  • Work with a team with multiple skill sets to allow delivery of multiple solutions across multiple platforms such as mobile, web, tablets and set top and with consistent functionality.

 

The concept of cross-platform software impacts business and consumers across multiple channels. Google did an in-depth report in 2012 and it’s interesting to note that 90% of all consumer media interactions are screen-based, whether using a Smartphone, Laptop/PC, Tablet or Television.

 

Bottom line: whether in business or at home, consumers want to be entertained and engaged, according to a recent Nielson Report entitled, An Era of Growth: The Cross Platform Report. With the exponential growth in mobile app development, the report underlines the demand for increased cross-platform application, development and innovation.

 

*Source: Wiki

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