It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. But once something has been invented, something else needs to drive its demand among consumers and users if it is to receive widespread market adoption. Whatever that thing is ends up being the fertilizer that enables the invention to grow.

The necessity for mobile web apps that run on multiple platforms gave birth to cross-platform mobile app development. As for the fertilizer, it is the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept of business mobility. Without BYOD, the need for cross-platform apps would not be nearly what it is today. Companies such as Austin-based iTexico that offer cross-platform development services owe a great deal to the BYOD concept.

BYOD As a Business Standard

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, before the advent of the modern smartphone, business communications relied mainly on landline telephones and digital pagers. Employees who left the office for extended periods of time would take their pagers with them, dutifully responding whenever said devices alerted them of the necessity to call the office or a customer.

This method worked well thanks to technology that was fairly generic and innocuous. And then the predecessor of the smartphone arrived in the form of a PDA. Manufacturers began seizing on the opportunity to create proprietary devices that would set them apart from the competition. What began as a PDA war eventually became the smartphone war we now know.

Companies soon discovered that supplying smartphones to all their employees was neither cost-effective nor wise. So they opted for the BYOD model instead. Employees were instructed to bring their own mobile devices to the workplace with the expectation that new mobile apps could be installed on those devices if required to function within the business environment.

BYOD enhanced the need for cross-platform mobile app development due to the reality that employees do not all use the same smartphones. Some prefer Apple over other manufacturers; others prefer the Android OS completely separate from the device that hosts it. Then there are fans of Windows Phone and other lesser-known Os’s.

In order to keep everyone happy in a BYOD environment, cross-platform app development had to be accelerated. It is what it is today mainly because of BYOD.

A Better Way to Develop

Cross-platform mobile app development has been very good for software companies such as iTexico from a business standpoint. But there is an added bonus to developing this way: it is just a better way to put together software more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Imagine being a software developer tasked with creating a new Android app for a customer. You go about your business, complete the project and make delivery. Shortly after that, your customer decides an iOS version of the app would be a good idea. Someone else gets the job because you do not have enough iOS development experience to get it done.

Whether you are an individual app developer or part of a company team, cross-platform mobile app development solves this problem. You can develop your customer’s app for multiple platforms simultaneously along with other team members that all bring something different to the table. The result is a product usable on nearly every mobile device along with a customer that does not have to pay twice for different versions of the same product.

Software development companies are embracing cross-platform mobile app development as the new standard. This is good. And whether they know it or not, developers have the BYOD concept to thank for it. BYOD is the fertilizer that is making it possible for cross-platform development to thrive.