• Barkan Saeed

Cross Platform App Development Costs – How Much You Save?

Updated: Aug 6

Cross Platform app development tools  like Titanium and PhoneGap are very popular with mobile app developers. According to a recent survey by VisionMobile, 23% of top developers use cross platform app development tools.

Why use Cross Platform App Development Tools?

Cross platform app development tools allowed developers to release their apps on multiple platforms solving all these problems including

  1. Using their existing web knowledge to develop apps for multiple platforms. This allowed a large number of web developers to start developing apps for mobile.

  2. The developers had to just learn one software development kit. However, learning some platform specific things is still essential.

  3. It allowed mobile startups and companies to create apps for different platforms with lesser costs.

How Much Do You Save?

Each platform has a totally unique set of tools and programming language. An app written for Android cannot work on iOS and vice versa. This makes it very expensive for programmers, as they have to develop from scratch for each platform they have to support. This means more time and more resources making it expensive for developers and startups to support multiple platforms.

One of the reasons for using cross platform tools for mobile development is saving cost.  If you are developing for one platform, there is almost no cost benefit. However, if you are developing for multiple platforms, the cost benefit increases with each platform you add.

We have extensively done cross platform app development with PhoneGap and Titanium. We also have extensive experience of native app development as well.

Lets assume you plan to develop for iOS, Android and Windows and a native app costs you 10,000$ each for these platforms. i.e. 10,000$ x 3 = 30,000$.

If you use a cross platform tool, it would generally cost you around 70% less for each platform you add after the first platform. e.g. the same app might cost you 10,000$ + 3,000$ + 3,000$ = 16,000$. Please note these are just rough costs and depend from app to app and the tool you use to develop cross platform app.

Cross Platform App Development Cost Comparison

“Code Once, Use Everywhere”

Normally when developing for cross platform app development tools, many developers assume that they can create an app in the cost of one native app for all platforms. However, this assumption is wrong because of three main reasons:

  1. Many platforms have their own user interface guidelines and requirements. For this reason, you need to optimize the ui for each specific platform.

  2. The API’s are different as well from platform to platform. Depending on what platform specific features you are using, it would require you to code specifically for those platform specific features

  3. You will need to spend time on testing each platform separately. With Android, this time increases further as you will probably need to test on a lot of different devices.