How Much Does a Cross-Platform App Development Cost in 2023
A dedicated mobile app can give a kick-start to any startup or enhance your business's digital presence. It’s an indisputable truth of the present day. No wonder, the popularity of mobile solutions is increasing along with the demand for app development and consequently the cost of it.
During the second quarter of 2022, the available apps in Apple and Google Stores exceeded 5.5 million . The exact number may fluctuate, however, the number of mobile solutions has been steadily growing over the years. Cross-platform apps development gets upstream because the same app can operate both on Apple and Android.
The mobile app development market is expected to grow at the rate of more than 23.80% up to the end of the year 2030 getting close to $400bln.
The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that the global revenue from mobile apps will increase over the following years, reaching about $613 billion by 2025.
Beyond any doubt, now is the right time to enter the actively and rapidly growing market and gain your benefits from it. To benefit both from Apple and Android users, let’s find out what is a cross-platform app and how much is the development.
What Is Cross-platform App Development?
Though native iOS and Android technologies remain highly usable, an increasing number of mobile developers turn to cross-platform development, aiming to reach a broader audience.
The very term cross-platform mobile app reveals that the application can function on both platforms. Built on one single code system, such solutions are compatible equally with iOS and Android.
Developing cross-platform apps for several years, Stfalcon is sure this type of development is an effective means to maintain smooth coordination and flow of various business processes. What is more, it is often rapid and cost-effective, because you kill two birds at a time. Startups can benefit from cross-platform development, being able to faster address as many consumers' needs as possible in an efficient manner.
On the one hand, cross-platform app development utilizes a wide range of advanced technologies and warrant code shareability, on the other hand, a question arises if these technologies and frameworks can extend and provide enough flexibility to the newly created solutions.
That’s why we move further to native vs cross-platform apps comparison.
Native Apps vs. Cross-Platform Pros & Cons
Today choosing between native and cross-platform frameworks is a never-ending debate for development teams. Both development types have benefits and downsides. Native applications demonstrate loyalty to a single operating system and use a specific language for a particular platform. It’s often Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS.
Being native, mobile applications match the layout, UI, and functions of their operating system. Besides, they are believed to demonstrate faster performance and a higher degree of reliability. That’s why native solutions are often considered superior when compared to cross-platform ones. Truth be told, we also stood this ground a few years ago, there is even a post about Why (not) Choose Flutter for Mobile App Development on our blog. But, change is all around us, just read on.
When choosing a native app vs a cross-platform, you should bear in mind that either you lose half of your audience (in the best case), or you have to duplicate the solution on another framework, which will result in additional expenses and time as well. Still, we can’t but mention that cross-platform is not necessarily much cheaper.
Software solutions with shared code are often preferred by startups because you can launch an app for both platforms at a time. However, such solutions are your best choice if you need a simple solution without complex features.
In case you feel concerned about your future app’s performance, your worries are misplaced and outdated. Development techniques innovate, and plenty of up-to-date tools and technologies allow a cross-platform app to operate similarly to a native solution.
Your choice of application type should be determined by the current state of your business, your aims, and your needs. Also, the budget aspect is sensitive, especially for startups, so, it’s always advisable to turn to professional developers and make sure the cross-platform application is right for you.
With a cross-platform app, you’ll get
- Faster development process,
- Single reusable code,
- Seamless integration with the cloud,
- Simultaneous deployment, updates, and maintenance for several platforms,
- Quicker time-to-market, and customization,
- Broader reach of your audience and market.
To put it openly, if you aim to earn more, target multiple platforms and without a second thought go for a cross-platform solution. Let’s now look at what exactly a cross-platform app development involves.
How to Develop a Cross-Platform App
Any development process follows more or less standard stages. Take the following steps in cross-platform app development and enjoy the result:
Analyze to choose the right framework and tech stack
The process of cross-platform app development is determined by the programming language and framework chosen. To choose it correctly you need to profoundly realize your business goals, needs, and requirements. Cross-platform app development companies, like Stfalcon, can prompt you with the tech stack to provide your solution with the highest productivity and extended features.
The right choice of a framework and tools for development is crucial since they will help you avoid re-engineering things later. As soon as you’ve chosen the right tools and technological solutions for development, you can proceed to build your application.
Develop, with multiple versions considered
In the process of mobile app development, it’s vital to remember to design variable screen sizes and resolutions because you need to create multiple layouts and a comfortable UI for each platform. Android users, for instance, prefer to use screen buttons, while iOS fans use to operate with touchscreen gestures.
Test and debug your software
When your application is finally built, it’s time to ensure it is working properly, so, you need to test and debug it. Keep in mind that different platforms may require a different approach to testing, so make sure that you’ve considered all the nuances and tested the application on as many devices and configurations as possible. Take various OS versions, screen sizes, specifications of hardware, etc.
Release and deploy
Once the smooth operation of your solution is ensured, it’s time to publish it. Stfalcon always helps the clients with these procedures, because to publish and conduct releases of a new mobile solution, you should know not only the markets and platforms but also their requirements and guidelines. As soon as the application is approved, it can be downloaded by the users, and you can promote and market it.
Support and maintenance
With a cross-platform app, you should be ready that it will require more updates and maintenance, due to the updates of the operating systems, which can be quite different for each system.
To keep up with changes and updates, the Stfalcon team always offers our support to our clients. You need to regularly test your solution after the updates of the platforms and mobile systems. More than that, the application should be tested after each update applied in order to verify its correct operation.
We do our best to provide our clients with the best software ecosystem and the fastest time to market. No matter, who your vendor is, you should apt for it as well. Let’s now speak about cross-platform app development costs.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cross-Platform App?
The question of budget is evergreen for both businesses and startups. However, there is no clear-cut reply to this. Many factors influence the cost of development. The complexity of the application as well as the features you wish to see in your solution may result in a price range between $30k and 200k.
To get a more or less accurate price estimation, you can use an online price calculator and consider the following factors:
- design complexity and number of screens;
- the number and intricacy of functions and features;
- development process details;
- approach to quality assurance;
- database qualities;
- 3rd party integrations;
- security protocols implementation (GDPR or HIPAA, for instance);
- development team size and expertise.
Still, the most reliable option is to contact the development company, which you plan to cooperate with, discuss your idea, and request the project estimation. As an experienced cross-platform development company, we prompt our clients most suitable solutions to meet their needs and often save time and money to them. Now, you can take a glimpse into some of our projects to get a better idea of what we work with.
Stfalcon Cross-Development Cases
BingeBooks is an online community of authors and book lovers with its website. They turned to Stfalcon for a mobile app for Android and iOS to discover new works, authors, and genres and exchange feedback and recommendations.
To launch the application faster, we focused only on the main functionality - content search, book browsing, and user list managing. We chose the cross-platform Flutter framework to create the solutions for iOS and Android simultaneously and minimize the development cost. Additionally, Flutter allows extending the existing apps to the desktop if it’s necessary.
We use the most common BLoC pattern and Clean Architecture approach so that the app is easy to maintain and test. We had to integrate our work with the client’s backend and used Dio for the purpose. The client admired Stfalcon’s work at each stage and even during high-pressure situations.
Restaurant supply chain software solution
This project is under NDA, but we’ll share some slight details.
Stfalcon was approached by partners looking for a development team for one of the largest food delivery companies worldwide. The orders surpassed the mark of 500 million a year, and it resulted in communication problems between food suppliers and restaurants. So, they needed an effective tool for B2B orders.
We went the simple but effective way of chat creation with the catalog of products and the ability to create orders, both one-time and repeated.
Since the network comprises over 500 000 restaurants all over the world, not speaking of the suppliers, they all use different communication channels. So, our challenge was to integrate as many services as possible to provide seamless interaction between the users.
The development team opted for Flutter in our development routine because it’s the most up-to-date framework for cross-platform solutions. Ready-made services Shopify.com and Stream.io were chosen for catalog and chat. It allowed us to quickly release an MVP.
Working with the remote partner team was seamless and highly productive because we had the same tech stack. The result of our year-long cooperation was the product of superior quality, for half a million restaurants and new expertise gained with the popular Shopify service.
It’s now obvious that a cross-platform app is an ideal means of maximum audience outreach and consequently your business growth or startup's successful launch. So, if you have had some doubts, hope they are now dispelled. If you still have questions or want to discuss your project, contact a Stfalcon expert for consultation.
We know for sure how to provide favorable outcomes for our clients with cross-platform solutions operating on multiple devices. We can do it for you!