With demand skyrocketing for mobile apps, organisations are inclining towards mobile app development platforms to keep up with the rapid pace of growth in the mobile app ecosystem. Many vendors like Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM, Adobe, Kony, etc. have all jumped on the mobile app development platform bandwagon and choosing the best one out of all the available options is a task in itself.
To select the best mobile app development platform, it is vital to assess these platforms on the basis of their capacity to satisfy your technical as well as business specifications. Such a comprehensive comparison can be done on the following factors.
The first and foremost thing you need to consider is how fast you want your application to be. A high-speed execution will be delivered by authentic native applications made in Java for Android and Swift for iOS devices. You can also choose between native cross-platforms and Hybrid platforms. Although the variation in speeds can be irrelevant for most of the applications and may only be relevant while developing gaming applications.The ideal speed figure across various mobile app development platforms is 60 fps. Speed below this golden figure will look unpleasant to the eyes and sluggish.
2. Feature Assistance
If you are working on cross-platform apps, chances are there are going to be certain features peculiar to individual devices and most of these features may not be supported by hybrid and cross-platform frameworks. Usually, with the passage of time, creators of such platforms add these features, but this will cost time to developers.
Going for unofficial mobile app development frameworks exposes you to a certain degree of risk as you are adding layers of abstraction on the decided platform and the coding language which is operating on it. Initially, while deciding on which mobile app development platform to go for, keep an eye out on the issues other developers might have faced with these frameworks. Though this may not be a real issue, but it’s better to go through all the security and maintenance contracts which these platforms offer.
Mobile app development involves a lot of hidden costs. Even with a platform, application maintenance, upgrades and development efforts can vary significantly from vendor to vendor. Besides, a total cost analysis will provide you a good estimate of the overall scope and timeline of the project.
5. App Variety
Mobile app creators can make three kinds of apps – hybrid, web and native. Before deciding the mobile app development platform, the developer should decide on the kind of app he/she wants to make. Since native apps deliver sound mobile app performance. Such apps are the ones which offer functions local to the mobile phones like GPS or camera. While web apps are the ones which function on CSS3 or HTML5. The hybrid apps are a blend of both native as well as web apps. Thus, the platform has to be decided on the basis of app type.
6. Deployment options
Even though vendors are different in case of application deployment possibilities, each of them offers the feature of cloud base support as the default strategy. Multiple vendors such as Salesforce, Microsoft, only offer cloud infrastructure as the ultimate deployment choice. But other vendors like Progress, Kony and OutSystems allow developers to use private cloud systems and many of them also permit deployment to public clouds, like VMware, Azure and many more.
7. User Experience
Besides giving the developer necessary tools to create apps efficiently, a key criteria to consider is whether the platform allows developers to build pixel-perfect apps with advanced UI features and workflows. Because a mobile app development platform’s key premise is to enable the creation of apps across many platforms and form factors, developers are often left with an impression that there are tradeoffs to creating a great user experience because they are limited by the platform’s “common denominator” approach.
While it is true that many development platforms in the market have this limitation, there are ways to identify the platforms that do not. Creating a great UI is achieved by leveraging cross-platform and platform-specific APIs. Also, allowing the import of any type of 3rd party libraries is key. Simply review and compare the number and types of APIs as well as openness to integrate any 3rd party libraries.
8. Back-end services
Many of the mobile app development platforms give expandable back-end assistance to aid app growth and its supervision. Even though certain services vary in their application, there exist certain similar features. For instance, a majority of vendors separate the front development premises from the rear development services so that developers can operate either one of them without the other. While on the other hand, many vendors don’t decouple the front and rear-end services and operate both these segments as a single and united platform.
Irrespective of the method, mobile app development platforms’ rear-end services should assist the app throughout its complete timeline and perform functions like testing, building and distributing the apps.
The capacity to unite with different programs and technologies is fundamental to a useful mobile app development platform framework. For instance, leading vendors like Oracle, Microsoft gives extensive integration along with many other features. Integration eventually leads to an entirely accessible, pluggable framework which promotes wide extensibility and interoperability.
10. App Timeline Management
All major mobile app development platforms ensure some kind of app timeline management to unite the procedure of monitoring, building, managing, testing and deploying mobile applications. But, many users may encounter difficulties to transfer to a platform presented through a vendor which extends support to various other services and products. Those vendors whose frameworks are fundamentally concentrated on mobile app development, deliver a better and consolidated experience.