Do You Really Need an iPad App or is an iPhone App Enough?

| 08-Sep-2014 |

When you’re developing a mobile application for the iOS platform, this is inevitably a question that you’re going to ask yourself. Is it worth it to take the time to develop your application in a way that’s cross compatible with both the iPad and the iPhone, or should you stick to one? There’s no cut and dried answer to this question, as the answer that you come to is going to depend a lot upon what your application does and who you imagine using it. In some cases, it absolutely makes sense to make your iOS application cross compatible; in other cases, you should probably stick to one or the other.


When Cross Compatibility Makes Sense

Cross compatibility makes the most sense for mobile applications that are fairly generic by nature. These would be mobile applications that rely on a relatively simple user interface and are generally built to either present information or process it. For these kinds of applications, a programmer can make excellent use of XCode to build both the iPhone and the iPad app simultaneously. If this is the case for your mobile application, it’s actually advisable that you build with cross compatibility in mind. Doing so dramatically increases the size of your potential customer base, which is never a bad thing.

When It Makes the Most Sense to Only Develop for the iPhone

For applications that are more complicated in their interface and more narrow in their uses, developing with one platform in mind is probably advisable. Crafting a complicated user interface into a format that works equally well on both platforms could prove prohibitively difficult. Therefore, you might find yourself dramatically increasing your development time for a cross compatibility benefit that might not make a return on your investment. In this case, it might be best to simply develop with the iPhone in mind.


You Can Always Make Your App Cross Compatible in the Future

Regardless of whether or not you decide to make your mobile application cross compatible at the moment, you should know that Objective-C makes it incredibly easy to build out your app for the other platform at a later date. So, as you’re developing, make sure that you pay close attention to the Model-View-Controller design paradigm. This can help you out immensely later on down the line.


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