The first thing that must be done before deciding on a platform is understanding what the purpose of the project will be. For example, you need to make it clear that the project is for internal use (such as for company personnel use or personal use) or for commercial use (such as other users who may purchase or download the application). If the project is for personal use the best way to determine the platform is by understanding the need of the project, the budget for the project, and lastly the ideal route to take. If it is for commercial use most of the same principles apply however before even getting that far the first thing is to understand the market you will be targeting with this project. To explain, it is important to understand how much demand is out there for the project you are trying to complete. To elaborate, if you create an application and there are several people that are interested in the application before it is created you have demand so all you must do is provide the supply. However, if the situation is the contrary you might have made the best system out there, but no one may use or download it. So, the first thing that must be done when it comes to commercial use is, do proper research on your audience and understand their expectations, needs, and anything else that will be relevant when deciding.
This is a question asked quite often by most companies and individuals that consider starting a new project or startup. The biggest factors that will influence this decision will be the cost, demand, and goal. For example, if the goal is to create a system for internal company use it might be a smart idea to go the desktop application route primarily because it is the sole purpose is for internal use and all data will be kept internally. However, if the funding is available going the web route can be universal as all devices can access the data accordingly as well as having the ability to access the data remotely which is an added bonus for convenience. If this is a commercial based project the first thing to consider is the demand and see how many people are interested. If you do not have the statistics for this the best route to take is a web-based application primarily because cost wise it will be lower, and it is universal meaning any platform can access the application. The best part is if popularity picks up that could end up justifying making native applications for the mobile and desktop-based devices. However, if the application is primarily a mobile targeted application and it is intended to use features of the devices itself (ex: storage, etc.) then it might be better to make a native mobile application. Don't forget you can always expand your application later when you feel it is worth the investment.
If demand isn't known, it will most likely be smarter to spend less money and create an Android or Windows Application (Windows Phone Application) over an Apple IOS Application. The main reason we suggest this is because the license fee for both Android and Windows are twenty-five dollars per account which is a one-time fee. Where Apple charges 150+ per year regardless if the application is free or not and their application approval dates can take time versus others where it would be close to instantaneous... The other reason is because if you are testing out the application since no demand is known it would be cheaper to test out there and tweak everything accordingly then you can hype up a future release date for other platforms. Between Windows Application and Android, we would say hands down Android Application primarily because of sheer popularity. To elaborate, if the goal of the application is to determine the popularity and expand to other systems it is crucial to have as many users as possible. This means the more users there are the better the results can be. In this specific scenario, Android currently has one of the most user population primarily because of the cost of the phones. Which means, it is one of the best platforms to test the application and expand from.
If you have a tight budget and really do not have much wiggle room the best route to take is creating a web-based application that is responsive on all screens and browsers. Since a web-based application tends to be universal it is easier to cover all platforms from one website and based on interested create native mobile applications that would complement the web-based application. A few examples are Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Google My Business, Yelp, etc. Sometimes it is hard to adjust pricing especially because investing in a project can be a bit risky especially if you do not see any sort of return on investment (ROI). Keep in mind once you see the results it there are always ways to enhance and expand to any platform needed if it makes sense. This is applicable for both internal company systems/applications as well as for commercial systems/applications. If you have questions about or comments on how we can improve this blog feel free to message us and we will do our best to address the questions and edit the blog accordingly based on comments. Don't forget if you have a project or a question about a potential project don't hesitate to contact us via the live chat, email or even call us.