Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development

As technology advances, domains across platforms and native app development evolve to come up with more robust and feature-rich app solutions for modern businesses.

According to the Statista forecast, mobile apps will generate more than $ 935 billion by the year 2023. Globally, companies tend to build dedicated apps to improve customer service, simplify complexity, increase productivity, and implement process automation. As an entrepreneur, however, you may find it challenging to choose development across platforms or native apps. Therefore, we will dig deep into the pros and cons of both of these types. But before we move on, let’s go through some interesting facts.

Mobile app development Key facts and statistics

  • 88% of the total mobile time is spent on apps.
  • In total, over 4.5 million apps are available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
  • 49% of people open an app more than 11 times a day.
  • An average smartphone owner uses 10 apps daily and 30 apps every month.

After reviewing these amazing statistics, if you want to give your business a mobile app benefit, then this blog is for you! Let’s start with a fundamental difference between native and cross-platform apps.

Native Versus Cross-Platform Apps: What’s the fundamental difference?

As the name suggests, cross-platform apps can run across multiple platforms seamlessly. For the most part, all cross-platform apps are designed to run on Android OS and iOS. Developed in HTML and CSS technologies, cross-platform apps can be easily customized or modified according to the customer’s business needs. Several advanced platform development tools or frameworks such as Ionic, React Native and Flutter are available for developing such apps.

Native apps, on the other hand, are developed for a specific platform, ie Android or iOS. These apps are built in a language that is accepted and compatible with the respective platform. For example, iOS apps are developed using Objective C and Swift, while Android apps are mostly based on Java. An Android app does not work on iOS and vice versa. Built-in app developers can use the built-in features on specific platforms.

Let us understand the pros and cons of cross-platform and native apps.

Benefits of cross-platform development

Cost effective

App development across platforms does not require two separate teams of developers. It helps entrepreneurs save big on developers’ hourly rates. As a result, the entire app development process remains cost effective.

Faster development

Only a single code and a single development cycle are needed to create a cross-platform app. You can take advantage of TTM (Time to Market) by soon implementing your app on the market and staying ahead of the curve.

One code for all platforms

A cross-platform app requires a single code base for both Android OS and iOS. Developers can easily build an app with the desired features using a robust app development tool across platforms.

Benefits of built-in app development

Excellent functionality

Native app development is based on the platform’s SDK and compatible with all necessary aspects. Native app developers have access to all APIs and tools on the respective platform, and therefore these apps offer excellent functionality.

Rich UX with excellent performance

Because the code and the platform’s innate resources can interact directly in native apps, these apps always offer high performance with a rich user experience (UX). Native apps have a similar UX as the respective platform.

Higher scalability

Built-in app development provides flexibility in the use of tools and resources for developers. Therefore, native apps are highly scalable and you can meet your different business needs using these apps effectively.

Disadvantages of cross-platform development

Functionality limitations

Mobile app developers have no or minimal access to various smartphone features while developing apps across platforms. Therefore, these apps have limited functionality compared to their native counterparts.

Bad UX

Cross-platform app development cannot take advantage of native UX components, and therefore the cross-platform user experience is still poor.

Slow speed

Additional abstraction layers and rendering processes keep cross-platform apps slower than native apps. Many times, slow speeds and frequent crashes can cause the cross-platform app to fail.

Disadvantages of built-in app development

High development costs

You need to hire app developers for separate platforms, and therefore the cost of app development to build native apps is far higher than the same for developing cross-platform applications.

Higher development time

Compared to cross-platform apps, native apps take more time to develop and test. In addition, you need a separate team of developers to work on the second version of your native app.

Highlights to consider when choosing the right mobile app development option

Choosing between native apps and cross-platform apps is quite a task for both entrepreneurs and business management. However, it is better to keep in mind some points while choosing the right option from built-in and cross-platform development. These points are:

Complexity of apps

Usually, business apps or custom enterprise software can be very complex with interconnected features. Built-in app development is better to develop such apps.

App development costs

As native app development takes more time, development costs are also significantly higher than cross-platform apps with the same features.

Duration of mobile app development

Do you want to quickly come up with a dedicated business app? If so, platform development of apps will continue to be convenient for you as native apps take more time to develop.

User experience

Appealing UI and excellent UX are possible with native app development. If you choose app development across platforms, you can compromise on the app’s user interface and UX.

Closing lines

Both native and cross-platform app development domains have different advantages and disadvantages. It is quite challenging to choose the right option for your app project because it depends on project requirements, budget and various other factors.

In a nutshell, if your focus is on user experience and performance, and you are comfortable with a longer development duration, native apps should be your choice. On the other hand, if you want to find an app that can seamlessly run across Android and iOS and take less development time with reduced development costs, then the cross-platform app is a better option.

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