Two For One Offer

Client: Startup
Task: Architecture Design Production Development
Skills: PHP Database iOS/Android/App Development
How a startup with limited funds was able to showcase mobile apps for iOS and Android from one development

This start up business was the result of a collaboration between three businessmen who saw an opportunity in the marketplace. With varying technical knowledge; one manages a web development company, one is a designer, and the third is in the target industry they each brought a unique perspective to their requirements. They knew some basic functionality they wanted the apps to provide and the aesthetics of how they wanted it to look, but they looked to us to help them to determine what was possible.

As a self funded startup the client had limited funds available for this development which, coupled with pre-planned marketing initiatives, drove quite tight timescales. The client really didn’t have the funds or time for us to develop two native apps, but they didn’t want to chose between iOS or Android as their first platform either. They understood that both platforms have a large client base and to make an impact on their chosen marketplace they would need to launch Apps for both.

This led us to look at cross platform development as a way of achieving their goal. As a cutting edge technology company we had looked at various cross platform frameworks before and found that a lot of them came up short. It is quite easy to believe you can get two for the price of one when looking at the different options however we know from bitter experience that a lot of them create performance issues compared to native apps, or they simply cannot provide the same functionality as native. As a result some cross platform development that was previously considered on trend has now become less actively developed and so creates an inherent risk for companies looking to utilise it within their apps.

Consequently one criteria that would have to be met for us to consider any cross platform development was a large active community of developers. This gives confidence on the longevity of the product as well as providing much needed support if any issues are encountered. The presence of such a community helped us to decide on using React Native. This is developed and supported by Facebook, boasts a large active community, and makes native compiled apps, i.e. it creates apps which are not run in web views, resulting in a full native app experience.

The use of React Native for the apps meant we could develop once and use twice. I am not saying we would now forever go down this route for all future apps as it would depend on the clients requirements, but in this instance it was definitely the correct choice. The client saw the benefit in reduced cost and faster timescales, without any loss of functionality.