Companies are no longer relying on single operating systems, a lot of enterprises are now supporting various platforms with the leaders being Windows, macOS (Mac OS X), and Linux. Generally, desktop applications have been programmed with native languages, e.g. Objective-C for macOS and C# for Windows. However, to push the product over multiple platforms, businesses are forced to build a separate app, with an entirely new code.
Over the past couple of years, cross-platform software development solution has ben getting more and more viable, and more cost-effective at the same time. Cross-platform technologies like Qt (pronounced Cute) considerably reduce expenses. Unlike native software, Qt is designed to run on many platforms with the same codebase. This makes cross-platform technologies less expensive in development and more effective in comparison to traditional native desktop apps.
What’s cross-platform software development all about?
The main goal (which is also a benefit) is to write one code and run it on multiple operating systems without significant (or even minor) changes.
In this article we will reveal how cross-platform app development technologies can help create a top-notch software product for multiple platforms and cut development cost. Recently, we unveiled the main advantages of Qt, one of the most beneficial cross-platform system, so, let us quickly remind you what Qt is and what it is used for. A quick overview for those who forgot:
1. Qt is a cross-platform framework written in C++.
2. Qt is designed for developing cross-platform applications for desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux), mobile (iOS and Android), embedded systems, and some other platforms.
3. Qt combines:
- cross-platform software development application
- graphical user interface (GUI) framework
- toolkit for developing apps.
So how does cross-platform app development cut costs?
Considering the fact that cross-platform development tools like Qt QML have reached the level where it is now possible to create a user interface similar to native desktop apps, it has become much easier to gain the best possible results at lower costs and with smaller time investments.
The first and the foremost benefit of cross-platform app development is the universal code for multiple platforms that reduces expenses of development, implementation, support, and scalability in general. Basically, instead of developing 2 separate apps for Windows and macOS, you develop one and just make individual builds for each platform.
It also streamlines the workflow, speeding up the time to market and makes product strategy simpler and more future-proof. Creating one product for several platforms, you save the time and reduce maintenance costs. Having a wider audience (just multiply the number of users by the number of platforms in which you perform your product), you get more monetization options and benefits.
Why Qt and how it facilitates the app development process:
- If there is a native feature that is not covered by Qt yet but your software needs it, you can simply add it on your own. It’s easy to add 3rd party software development kits.
- QML has a declarative and easy-to-understand structure that increases the development productivity and creates great experience for all of your team members.
Benefits and risks of hiring a cross-platform app development team
Talking about the risks and benefits of hiring a cross-platform app development team, it’s a little more complicated.
The cross-platform development projects are gaining incredible popularity and the expectations are pretty high: a cost-effective desktop app developed within a short time frame. However, the native versus cross-platform battle is still on.
The reason is simple: Qt cross-platform app development creates risks that aren’t present in the native Windows or Mac app development projects. While the main advantage is a single code base, the disadvantage is that a lot of separate solutions are needed to make it work with different platforms. This requires more complex code and attention to the architect’s role in the team.
In addition to the fact that C++ is a pretty complicated language (with its syntax, compatibility issues, etc), there is no official support for the mainstream Ad Networks. But in the hands of an experienced Qt team, Qt app development process becomes highly effective.
Nevertheless, in search of ways to cut software development costs, you shouldn’t compromise the quality. That’s why, while looking for a software development partner (when outsourcing to Ukraine or any other country), you should focus on their reputation and expertise, study feedback and testimonials and search for similar products in portfolio. This will help you better understand which company is the most suitable for your cross-platform software development project.