BlogWhich mobile app do i build first Android or iOS?

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Porque no Los dos? Why not have both?

This is a line we use in the office and it turned into a little in-office joke.
Why not both if you remember that taco commercial with the little girl who provides the answer when her family is arguing about having hard or soft shell tacos.

We use this concept for mobile apps, why not have both. When people ask us about mobile apps and then follow up with should I build Android or iOS first? We advise doing both at the same time.

It’s not really a question or debate these days as developing both at the same time without double the effort is a reality.

We have technologies that allow apps to be developed in one language and have it run on both Android and iOS at the same time.

Now, these technologies range from website type apps that get bundled into an app shell. Basically, it becomes a website inside a little container that runs as an app on the device. Then there are technologies like React Native, which let you write in one language and have it compiled, which is developer speak for transforming it, into iOS and Android native code.

This means the apps run on those devices independently and natively just like you had written two separate apps. The great thing about this is your writing both apps at the same time using mostly the same code base.

Your styling both apps at the same time.

You’re implementing your logic at the same time.

A few years ago this was a dream that we could only have hoped for and we were forced to write both apps on two different languages.

Style them twice.

Implement logic twice.

You would have 2 apps after you paid for one and then have to spend another 70%-100% of the budget to develop the second app because everything had to be done twice.

If you were lucky you would the same developers doing both and the logic would be easier to implement the second time or you could reuse the artwork that was created and it would give you some small saving.

All of that is avoided now and you can re-use everything, not just the artwork.

These platforms can save you a lot of money due to this reason.

I’ve mentioned React Native in this article as it’s the largest Cross-platform framework at the moment and it was easy to explain above how it makes two different apps. It’s built by Facebook and it’s used inside Instagram, UberEats, Stripe and parts of the Facebook app are written in it.

If you’re thinking to yourself I wish I had known this before I started my app don’t fret. You can add React Native component to a Native App, this is what Facebook has done to their Facebook App. They’ve started replacing parts of the app with React Native, this allows them to start seeing some increase in development time as they develop both apps at the same time. You can start reducing the effort to deliver your app now.