In today’s smartphone market, there are plenty of great mobile device options to choose from depending on your preference. Apple, Samsung, and other Android-based manufacturers all offer unique features and benefits. Depending on user preference, features as varied as near-professional grade cameras to strong gaming support are offered. These are all enticing features that allow for a high level of customization, yet having so many different phone ecosystems has a major downside for those wanting to work on projects or communicate easily with users of different phones. Due to the nature of Apple’s offerings, users are often locked into a strict ecosystem of applications and features, with little customization or unique software offerings available outside of the App Store. On the other hand, Android users seem to have unlimited application offerings, as the Google Play Store is far less strict regarding what applications can be offered to customers.
While having such varying application ecosystems allows customers to find the right choice for their personal tastes, there are also some notable downsides to this trend. Oftentimes, applications are made in a way that makes them proprietary to either Apple or Android devices, making it difficult to collaborate, communicate, or even enjoy a casual video game with friends who do not have the same type of smartphone. Thankfully, such issues can be solved through cross-platform applications, which are built with bridging this disconnect in mind.
So what are the notable benefits of using cross-platform applications? With so many applications available in both the App Store and Google Play Store, finding the right apps for your situation could feel like an overwhelming task. With this in mind, we have taken the time to research this topic in-depth, and have found cross-platform applications that can benefit a number of use cases. While these selections offer a good idea of what is available, it is important to note that there are likely dozens of more applications available for each use case. With this vast selection in mind, we hope readers will use this article as an inspiration, and invite them to look into other useful cross-platform applications available for their particular situations if none of the offerings referenced below pique their interest.
Communication: Cross-Platform Apps that go Beyond Text Messaging and Email
While text messaging is a universal form of communication that is available on all phones regardless of manufacturer or application ecosystem, it is also a limited form of digital communication. Similarly, email is a great way to formally communicate with friends or business partners, but it isn’t always the most user-friendly option on a smartphone.
So what are some good cross-platform options for those looking for a better way to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers? For one, users in both professional and casual settings can easily communicate with one another through cross-platform messaging apps such as Slack. This particular app is a great option for those wanting an all-in-one communication solution, as it allows the development of different channels depending on the topic, so channels for business, friendly outings, and family gatherings can all be shared and maintained in one place.
Telegram is another great cross-platform messaging application for all users. Built with a shared focus on user security and cross-platform compatibility in mind, it is able to combine these two to offer everything from casual conversation solutions to a platform suitable for secret chats. While it may seem similar to Whatsapp in terms of look and feel, Telegram offers much more robust features that its competition.
For those looking for a cross-platform solution for video chatting, Skype offers a great solution. With applications for all major computer and smartphone operating systems, this app is a strong option for those wanting to chat with those that don’t necessarily share the same type of device. While not the most secure solution, as it has had multiple security issues in the past, Skype is an enticing option for those simply looking to have a casual conversation with friends over video chat.
Business: Document Editing, Payment Processing, and Shared Cloud Storage
As mobile devices have become more entrenched in the way we do business, having the ability to collaborate with coworkers regardless of their device preferences has become increasingly important. The ability to share documents, work together on spreadsheets, and connect with customers is becoming more important as our globalized economy becomes more and more competitive.
For those looking for a cloud-based document sharing solution, Google’s free-to-use Google Drive line of products is a strong cross-platform option. With built-in document, spreadsheet, and presentation tools, this is a fantastic option for those looking for an affordable collaboration solution. While the security of this application suite isn’t the most secure option, it is more than enough for those that are working with everyday, non-classified documents or files.
In addition to Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox are popular cross-platform services that allow users to keep track of all of their information in the cloud. While each charges a modest monthly fee for more premium features, these applications could be enticing options for business professionals looking to have a cross-platform storage solution for their personal files and data.
Modern-day businesses must be able to accept multiple forms of payment, which can be prohibitively expensive if achieved through the traditional avenues. Thankfully, the cross-platform Square application makes processing transactions on both iPhone and Android a breeze. For a minimal upfront cost and a very modest per-transaction fee, users are able to accept all major credit and debit cards for a fraction of the price that traditional credit card machines would charge. This could allow small businesses to save vast amounts of money by leveraging their employee’s existing devices to process transactions, instead of spending thousands of dollars on a new payment ecosystem.
Gaming: What Good is a Game if it Can’t be Shared Among Friends?
Gaming is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, and while both iOS and Android offer a plethora of gaming options, many are proprietary to one single operating system. This can make playing with friends difficult to say the least. Luckily, popular games such as Vainglory and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds offer extremely strong cross-platform support, which will help you connect with friends regardless of what their go-to mobile device may be.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits provided by cross-platform applications. This article provides insight into a few key areas where applications with cross-platform capabilities can really make a difference in your everyday life. While there are currently numerous applications that support cross-platform compatibility, a continued increase in such features could help ensure that smartphone applications continue to become as user-friendly and seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives as possible.
If you happen to be interested in exploring the numerous benefits of cross-platform application development, there are plenty of online resources to help you learn more about the topic. For starters, we suggest looking into these articles by Digital Doughnut and iTexico that go in-depth regarding the numerous benefits that cross-platform development provides. Overall, if enough users and developers become interested and passionate about these features, it will eventually lead to almost every application carrying such features as standard. As technology enthusiasts ourselves, we here at Tech Today Review look forward to seeing users continue to benefit from this technology as it continues to become more and more popular.