It was only a few years ago where one had to mull over whether to build a Google Android-only or an Apple iOS-only app. And unless more than 80% of your audience was only using one or the other, there is no need to go back to those days.
Designing an app depends on many things: the technology available, budget, performance of the app in question and what the target audience really wants. Previously, sticking to one platform was a valid consideration when you had to take budgets into account, as development on both platforms required double the effort. Now, however, things have changed as one codebase can be used for both Android and iOS apps.
Cross-platform development tools are not new and allow for code to be written once and compiled to iOs and Android. The first version of these tools would generate a web-based app that would lack in performance and provide a poor User Experience. The new generation of Cross-platform development tools allows for code to be written once and compiled to native code providing greater performance with little overhead. While a pure Native app would still outperform these apps, for the majority of people it will be unnoticeable and it will definitely be close enough; with negligible differences between the two.
In most cases, budgetary constraints or data-backed market research are the reasons behind picking one platform over the other. But it is necessary to ensure that releasing an app on a particular app store does not end up alienating pretty much the remaining half of the audience that uses the other app store. As per a recent study (https://www.statista.com/statistics/245191/market-share-of-mobile-operating-systems-for-smartphone-sales-in-australia/) in Australia, Android has a 56.5% market share and iOS has 43.1% with the smartphone market. If the app is released on the wrong platform, let us say on iOS, in this case, then it might mean neglecting the largest market share. As emphasized earlier, do the maths and develop an app on a single platform only if 80% of your user base belongs to that group or else, nice and simple, develop cross-platform.
Developing an app from scratch is not easy and developing and maintaining two code bases in order the meet the requirements of each of the operations systems is not easy either. It is always wise to pick cross-platform development and reach as many people as possible because at the end of the day it’s your users who matter.
Focus on delivering value and a great experience that meets your outcomes and build cross-platform.
To see some great examples of engaging apps that have been developed on both platforms take a look here