Developing apps and websites for more than one platform is a fairly common practice for any business with an online presence, simply because modern users like to alternate between several different devices. The tablet might take precedence over the laptop on the bus or in bed on an evening, but, people browsing at work will always favor the latter, and customers are unlikely to hang around if they can’t spend their money and time on the device they’re most comfortable with.
Here are just three things to think about when designing an app to work across multiple operating systems.
1) Platforms are Different
It may sound like an obvious point but what works for Android may not work for Apple. The same goes for Linux, Windows, OUYA, Raspberry Pi, and all the other weird and wonderful operating systems (OS) on the market. As a developer, you may ultimately have to create several different versions of an app from a single, unified codebase.
For this reason, a good place to start your app development is an OS’s design document. Apple requires developers to jump through significantly more hoops than Android to get anything published on the App Store, with perhaps the most significant concern the fact that the iOS software development kit only works on Mac OS X.
A good example of a company that has optimized its slot, poker, and roulette games for Android and iOS platforms is iGaming brand mFortune. The company, as a pay by phone
casino, is heavily invested in mobile development, with games like Hansel and Gretel, Space Katz, and Gold McDonald downloadable from their website for mobile platforms.
Taking that idea one step further, Duolingo, a language-learning app, functions on Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and even on the developer’s website. The rationale is simple – Duolingo’s offering is almost a universal interest, appealing to both casual users and hardcore business types. With such a vast and unpredictable audience, a “scattergun” approach to choosing OSs is preferable to targeting the most popular ones exclusively.