Native and Cross-platform App Development – All You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur
In this modern technological evolution, mobile app development services has become an integral part of any business. Whether it will be a small-scale or a large enterprise, development has turned out to be a very crucial element.
Now with the above context, app-making approaches have also evolved and two of the most popular ones include native app development and cross-platform development. But It is pretty challenging to make the right choice when you are not thoroughly aware of both of these terms and are about to build your first-ever app.
So in this blog, we will explain to you in detail about both of these technologies so you can choose the right one!
Choose Native Development If-
- In case you want to build a project with high complexity.
- If your budget is high because usually, native app development is very costly.
- If you are targeting a specific platform i.e either Android or iOS.
- If you have enough time to dedicate to two separate projects.
Choose Cross-Platform Development If-
- If you only want to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test a product idea and assess its validity.
- If you need an application in a shorter span of time then you can opt for this development procedure.
- If you consider switching the project to a web app in the future.
- If your budget is limited and you want the same app for both Android and iOS devices.
- Last but the most important, if you want to reduce time-to-market.
Now with that, let’s dig deeper to more about the significant differences between cross-platform vs native app development.
What Is Native Mobile App Development?
Native mobile app development is the process of developing apps and software that will operate on specific devices and platforms such as Android and iOS. In a nutshell, it is the process of building a mobile app exclusively for a single platform.
In native app development, Java or Kotlin can be used for android app development and Swift or Objective-C can be used for iOS app development. This development technique will be the perfect choice if you want an app with a more enhanced user experience and appearance.
Pros of Native Mobile App Development
Native apps prove comparatively faster than hybrid and cross-platform apps. Also, many app elements are displayed rapidly and preloaded as well in advance. Due to this high-speed development, they are majorly preferred by many enterprises for faster app development.
Utmost Performance & Security
As already said, native apps are developed for a specific platform which significantly results in a high and amplified speed. Also, these apps turned out to be responsive to a great extent because they are compiled with core programming languages and native APIs.
Additionally, they rely on different technologies and browsers which results in more data protection on the user’s end.
These apps are less prone to the occurrence of bugs because only one codebase is used at a single time in native app development. Additionally, they also do not rely on other cross-platform tools.
More Interactive and Offline Functionality
Native applications are built for a specific operating system and provide a superior user experience than cross-platform applications. Moreover, they adhere to the guidelines which make for the users to interact with the applications with the help of gestures and actions.
Now, native applications can also operate seamlessly even in the absence of an internet connection. This provides more flexibility and convenience to the users as they are able to access all the app functionalities offline or in airplane mode. Furthermore, it will prove especially beneficial for users that live in low internet connectivity areas or got limited access to the data.
Cons of Native Mobile App Development
No Reusability of Code
The main disadvantage of native app development is that the code written for a particular platform can not be used for another specific platform. As a whole, if a code was written for Android and iOS simultaneously, then it will only be used for that specific platform. The code can not be shared between different platforms, unlike the cross-platform apps that have a reusable code base.
In comparison with cross-platform apps, the maintenance of native apps is much higher. Sometimes it is even more than the actual development costs.
Need More Developers
Native mobile applications are based on a specific language that’s why they need separate teams of developers for both Android and iOS operating systems. So many times it becomes very difficult to find developers who will develop native apps back to back.
What Is Cross-Platform Mobile App Development?
Cross-platform mobile app development is the development of software applications that are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Android and iOS. By using this development technique, developers can create and deploy the code which will work on both Android and iOS without the need to recode them for each individual platform.
Pros of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Reduces Time & Costs
Cross-platform applications help to reduce the time required for app development. And not only the time it also cut down maintenance costs as well. Furthermore, only one development team is more than enough to make and deploy the apps for both Android and iOS.
Fast Updates & Flexibility
Code can be compiled faster in cross-platform app development as it uses the same codebase and programming language. Also, it allows switching between different programming languages which give developers the flexibility to choose and adopt different technologies when required.
Mobile app development for different devices is a quite stimulating task. Not only there is a need to create the app separately for different platforms but also its look and feel should also be similar. This is a problem especially when the platforms have different functionalities.
But here cross-platform app development comes to the rescue. As it helps to develop mobile apps for multiple devices that will look similar irrespective of the platform they are built upon.
Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Performance is one of the major characteristics of a mobile application and it depends on many factors. But generally, cross-platform applications lack performance when compared to native apps. Although these issues are negligible, especially for simple applications.
Difficult Code Designs
Cross-platform applications have to adapt their design and functionalities to specific platforms. Significantly it creates a lot more work for developers to handle those specific exceptions for a variety of devices and platforms. Especially the apps with very complicated features take a lot more time.
These concerns don’t occur with native apps which allows developers to focus on other problems.
Popular Cross-platform Frameworks For Mobile App Development
Launched by Google in 2017, Flutter is one of the most popular cross-platform frameworks that is used for mobile app development. It is an SDK (Software Development Kit) that is used to create native apps for Android and iOS platforms.
Features of Flutter
- One of the most prominent features of opting for Flutter app development services is that it makes the development process faster because it uses the same codebase to target different platforms such as Android and iOS.
- It has a “Hot-reload” feature which allows mobile app developers to see the code changes in real-time.
- It comes with a variety of pre-built widgets that helps to enhance the functionality of the application.
Features of React Native
- It is open-source and so has a large community support of developers that are continuously introducing new features to this popular framework.
- It allows high compatibility and integration with third-party plugins such as Google Maps to enhance React Native app development.
- It focuses to a great extent on UI to render a high-user interface.
- It uses the same codebase to develop apps for Android and iOS devices which significantly results in fewer maintenance costs and efforts as well.
Features of Ionic
- It provides a wide range of UI components to develop robust mobile applications.
- As already mentioned, it is based on Angular JS which makes it easier to offer extensions to HTML’s syntax.
- It develops native-app-like feel applications that run seamlessly on various platforms.
To conclude, choosing one between native and cross-platform app development is a never-ending debate for all the developers out there. As there is no universal advice to choose whether cross-platform is more better or efficient than the native one.
Lastly, all business cases are unique and have different requirements. So we would suggest you choose the best one between them after strategizing your needs, goals, and capabilities.
Article source: https://medium.com/@DianApps/native-and-cross-platform-app-development-all-you-need-to-know-as-an-entrepreneur-b1f7d7f4b72d