When someone decides to develop a mobile application the most common confusion arises is about the approach to get the app developed. Frankly, we can not recommend a single method. The selection depends on different factors and in this article, we will help in clearing this doubt for you by telling you the difference between native and cross-platform development.

In case you are looking for a more direct answer then contact us with above parameters and we will help make that decision for your mobile application development.

Native Apps

So, the first question that comes to anyone’s mind is what Native Apps are. Native Apps are the apps that you use on the first day of setting up the device including some system specific apps and some apps that are preinstalled like messaging app, email app and others. These apps are developed using native development tools.
Native Development means that application development using the programming languages and development tools that are native to a particular mobile operating system like in this case Android and iOS. For example, that is Objective-C and Swift for iOS, Java and Kotlin for Android. Such apps are keeping this in mind that these apps will be platform exclusive and to be run on a particular mobile operating system.

Pros of native apps include-

  • High Performance. There are no restrictions on performance and speed. Its essential for some graphics related apps.
  • Ultimate user experience. User interface elements are familiar to this platform user, providing high quality experience for user.
  • New software and SDK tools will be available as soon as an update gets released.
  • Availability of large number of quality tools which are recommended by particular operating system developers.

Cons of native apps include-

  • In case when you have to develop apps both for iOS and Android, you have to create two separate apps which will significantly slow down your development time.
  • This separate development process for both platform would require you to hire more developers which will increase the budget.
  • Once application is developed then more developers would require to maintain the apps and its larger code base.

Cross Platform Apps

When it comes to Cross-platform apps,
There are two types of cross-platform mobile application:

Native cross-platform apps:

Such apps are created by using a common API running on top of a native Software Development Kit and use the same source code for both Android and iOS apps since each operating system has its SDK and all relevant technological stack.
These apps are primarily built using Xamarin and React Native.

Hybrid HTML5 applications:

Such apps are made by skilled software engineers who utilize the WebView to create parts of an application’s GUI (Graphical User Interface) with HTML 5, CSS and JavaScript since both iOS and Android SDKs feature web components. The most popular hybrid app development framework is Apache Cordova which was formerly known as PhoneGap.

The Pros:

The advantages of building a cross-platform application include:

  1. Shorter development time. If we would choose the right tech stack and plan your project thoroughly, we will be able to re-use up to more than 80% of the original source code.
  2. Cost-effectiveness. Building a native mobile application will cost you more than cross-platform
    Let’s say the cost is X thousand dollars. Multiply the cost by two for iOS and Android and add some more since Android development is more expensive, and you’ll get the approximate cost of launching an application on both the App Store and Google Play;
  3. Availability and reach to a larger number of users. Most cross-platform apps run on both Android and iOS and even Windows.
  4. Regular Updates. Currently, successful app publishers roll out updates up to 4 times per months, maintenance costs can consume a major part of the entire app revenue.

Where cross-platform applications fail:

  1. Performance issues. Smartphones’ computing power is relatively small. The rendering of heavy HTML5/CSS UI components, on the other hand, takes a lot of GPU/CPU resources and may increase an app’s response time;
  2. UX issues. Meeting both platforms’ User Experience requirements can be a challenge. Apple in particular rejects applications containing mobile websites wrapped in native containers. However, most rejections are for bugs and poor UI design.

Now comes the decision time:

The choice between a cross-platform and native app depends on an app’s intended feature set and scope of application.

If your mobile app is supposed to become a business of its own like an app that is going to do some specific task and will be kind of an ecosystem like a health care app, going native is an obvious choice. But if your application that you want to create is purely informative or is based on content distribution, cross-platform development will be more suitable and preferable.
In any case, if you’ve been planning to have your idea implemented as a mobile application, but not sure which platform to choose, you can always contact us.

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