So you’ve realized you need a mobile app for your business, but you don’t know which mobile platform to make it for. Should you scoop up those shiny iOS customers? Windows phone users? I mean, Cortana is pretty cool. What about Android?

Once you do a little research, you’ll groan as you realize that different phone models, tablet models, versions of operating systems, screen sizes, wearables, and dozens of other factors can all require tweaking your app’s code, and all of these things change constantly.

It is not worth developing dozens of versions of your application by hand. Let a tool do the porting for you. Cross-platform mobile development tools, as they’re called, can let you code the app once, and then port and update it for multiple platforms. In a world that’s moving as quickly as mobile, getting on the new platforms quickly is almost always better than doing everything by hand.

Some of the most popular cross-platform development tools include Xamarin which lets you develop in C#, and PhoneGap and Appcelerator which support JavaScript apps.

By Sharon Campbell