Mobile phone industry has incessantly turned out to be the fastest growing industry without a shadow of doubt and so is the mobile app development. Mobile app development is a highly growing field all over the world. From small enterprises to bigger organizations everyone is investing in mobile app development to enhance their productivity in their work procedures.
Should we build a native app for each platform or look for a cross-platform solution? You have this thought in mind while developing mobile apps. When it comes to mobile app development, a common topic that trends is whether the app should be developed on native or cross-platform. Discussions concerning whether to go with Native apps or cross-platform is nothing new and have been going on for quite a while.
In this article, we will explain which platform to choose to start the development with.
What is a Cross-platform app?
Cross-platform mobile apps are built targeting multiple operating systems. These apps can be customized easily to make the code applicable and accessible on different platforms. In simple words, you write code that is compatible with multiple mobile OS like Android, iOS Windows etc.
What is a Native app?
A native app is an application that has been coded for a specific platform. As they are written for a particular platform, they can interact and take advantage of operating system features which are installed on that platform. They have access to mobile functions. However, native apps are expensive because they are developed specifically for one operating system.
The face off: Native vs Cross-platform platform:
Let’s have a look at comparing both the mobile app development platform in different parameters. Let us have an insight of these two platforms. This post will help you get in-depth of these two approaches. In the end, the selection of the either platform totally depends on your business needs including time constraints, budget etc.
Cost is a deciding factor when it comes to choosing either of the platforms for developing mobile applications. Small enterprises and startups are budget constraints and building an app on cross-platform is the cost-effective option because they don’t have to code their applications separately for different platforms, whereas, cross-platform doesn’t require much investment, thus, saving themselves time and money. On the other hand, bigger organizations can afford to go for the Native platform.
For each native OS, you need to code again the app, thus, it becomes challenging for you as you have to call in for developers who have the expertise in a certain programming language (Java – Android, Objective – C for iOS) in order to develop native apps on multiple platforms.
With open source tools available (Ionic, PhoneGap, Xamarin etc.) for the cross-platform app development, it is easy to control the expense. Therefore, if you don’t have that much investment, you can go with cross-platform app development as it is cost-effective. You can develop an app at lower investment compared with the native apps.
2. App performance:
As Native apps are designed specifically for a different platform, therefore, native apps are faster and more reliable. As different platforms require different languages that are compatible and suitable for developing mobile apps enhancing their performance. Implementation and modification are more feasible in native mobile apps whereas, cross-platform apps have limited compatibility with different platforms. They are less flexible since each platform has different requirements.
Cross-platform mobile apps are reusable across different platforms because the web technology is similar to all the platforms and code can be reused without the need to start from the scratch whilst, for native apps, you have to write the code from the scratch for each platform.
Native apps are developed for specific platforms with respective SDK, therefore, it is easier for you to use all the hardware resources of the app code. New features and are easily accessible making them faster, robust, reliable and less prone to crashes.
5. User experience:
Native apps have a rich user interface and create a special environment to the native user experience. It enhances certain aspects of your app like layout, navigation, interactivity, adaptability, graphics and much more. Normally, cross-platform apps often have performance delays. Cross-platform apps do not offer a good user experience. Thus, users feel low responsiveness but the apps are intuitive when interface designs with dynamic content are used.
Native apps have their own specific market in the form of app stores (Google’s Play Store, iOS App store) from where users can install them whereas, cross-platform apps have an edge over Native apps as users can easily download and install them from both web browsers and app stores. In this way, cross-platform apps have extended their coverage.
Native or cross-platform: it’s your call
Cross-platform refers to Mobile apps development that can be used on multiple mobile platforms. It allows you to use same code base while focusing on multiple platforms and are leading in terms of the marketplace, reusability and cost. On the other hand, in native apps, you have to write separate code for each platform but have the good interface, performance and speed. You may develop UI in cross-platform apps but you have to spend months in achieving the performance that native apps provide.
We conclude that both of the platforms are useful and prominent and have their own pros and cons. Depending on the business needs you can choose either of the platforms for mobile app development.