Android, Design, Development Wednesday September 29, 2021

Native v/s Cross-platform applications

Cross platform vs native mobile development apps have long been a source of debate among developers. These days, the technologies that app developers use like to determine their choices. 

The pros and downsides of each sort of app are different. 

Table of Contents
What is Native app development?
Advantages of native app development
Disadvantages of native app development 
What is Cross-Platform App Development?
Advantages of cross-platform app development
Disadvantages of cross-platform app development 
Difference between native v/s cross platform 
Native or cross-platform for your business?
Choose native development if:
Choose cross-platform app development if:
Conclusion

Now, before diving into the differences between these: let us understand these terms first. 

What is Native app development?

Developing a mobile app for a single platform is known as native app development. The Native applications are known for delivering an exceptional user experience due to their excellent performance.  

If you want to create a native Android app, you may use Java or Kotlin, while for iOS, you can use Swift or Objective-C.

Advantages of native app development

  • Better performance

Native apps provide exceptional performance in terms of speed, responsiveness, and operational efficiency. Because these platform-specific apps are written in core programming languages and API. Moreover, they can fully utilize the device processing capability, resulting in a shorter load time.

  • Broad Functionality

A native mobile app gets access to all of the device capabilities as well as its native APIs. To put it another way, it may take advantage of the functionalities of other native apps and services. A native application, on the other hand, may operate without a connection to the Internet. That is why native development is better suited for developing complex mobile applications.

  • Store Support

Native apps are easier to publish in the app store since they follow the iOS and Android standards by default. Both Google and Apple favor native applications, which are the majority of what they provide in their app stores.

  • Better UX design

Native technology is your best choice for creating apps with a rich and intuitive user experience with a consistent look and feel. Native apps offer a superior UX that is consistent with the platform.

Disadvantages of native app development 

  • High-cost

The most significant disadvantage of Native development is its high cost. This is because you will need to create at least two native applications to support the most popular mobile operating systems. 

  • Long process

Native app development takes longer since the work done on one platform cannot be replicated on another. Hence, to work on the other version, a different team is required.

  • Maintenance and update is challenging

Different builds for different platforms that require ongoing maintenance and support are tough to maintain. It may be challenging to collaborate with several teams or to bring out feature upgrades or new features.

What is Cross-Platform App Development? 

The process of developing an app that runs across several platforms is known as cross-platform development. Cross-platform app development allows you to design mobile applications using a universal language, making a single program compatible with many mobile devices. The primary benefit of cross-platform development is code reusability, which simplifies the entire development process.

In other words, cross-platform development often refers to web apps and hybrid applications that make use of web technologies in the app-building process. However, you may also create a cross-platform app using more modern, complex technologies like Flutter or React Native. 

Advantages of cross-platform app development

  • Lower Cost

Each app is developed by a single team and runs on a variety of operating systems. It is, therefore, more economical to create cross-platform applications as compared to developing native software.

  • Time to market is reduced

Reduced time to market is a benefit of rapid design and development. With cross-platform development, you can launch a new app or roll out a new feature to both iOS and Android users at once.

  • Faster development

Reusing code is far faster than writing it from scratch. And that’s the whole point of cross-platform programming. Mobile developers can utilize the same codebase for several platforms, which is remarkable. 

  • Easy App Support and Maintenance

With a cross-platform, regular maintenance and support become simple and painless. Since the team uses a single codebase, they can swiftly push out updates, new features, and changes to various platforms at the same time, resulting in much enhanced mobile service.

Disadvantages of cross-platform app development 

  • Limited Functionality

Cross-platform apps fall short when it comes to functionality. Some operating system functions are not accessible, there is no access to the native APIs, and they do not function without an internet connection. This has a negative influence on the app’s overall user experience.

  • Slower App

The cross-platform software is slower than its native equivalent due to the requirement for an additional abstraction layer. 

  • User experience issues

Apps that employ common code may not provide a satisfying user experience. Cross-platform apps can’t take full use of native-only capabilities and deliver good user experiences.

Difference between them

Native applications are developed specifically for a certain platform. Each of these apps is developed in a language that is compatible with the platform’s operating system. Hence, It is not possible to run an Android native app on iOS and vice versa.

Cross-platform applications are those that are compatible with a variety of operating systems. Most cross-platform apps are confined to Android and iOS due to their market domination. Also, many cross-platform application development tools exist to help developers construct these apps quickly and efficiently.

Let’s look at the differences between cross-platform applications and native apps for a moment. 

Parameters Native applications Cross platform applications
Speed and app performance Exceptionally quick, responsive, and crash-free applications.It is common for cross-platform applications to have performance difficulties. As a result, cross-platform apps are slower than their native applications. 
Development time High, since each platform requires a custom code to be created from start.Low, as a single piece of code may be used across numerous platforms.
Development and Maintenance CostsMaintenance is both times demanding and expensive.Both in terms of development and maintenance, it’s somewhat less expensive.
Time to marketIt will take a long time to have two apps ready for the market.App launch times are shortened due to code reuse.
Tools required Java, Kotlin, and other languagesReact Native, Flutter are all examples of this.
Team size Big (Separate team is required for each platform) Small (One single team for multiple platforms)
Authorization for App Store and Google PlaySimple and easyThe process of approving these applications in the App Store or Google Play might be lengthy. 

Native or cross-platform for your business?

There isn’t a clear ideal addition to app development. However, based on the demands of your business, you may choose which is best for you.

Choose native app development if:

  • What you’re looking for is the most responsive software;
  • You have no financial limitations;
  • You are looking for an application that gives a pleasant user experience;
  • Your application must be able to operate without internet access;
  • You are thinking of a long-term app that has to be maintained and enhanced with a lot of new features added to it over time;
  • Your application requires full access to all phone resources and services

Choose cross-platform app development if: 

  • You need to develop your application rapidly or cost-effectively;
  • You don’t need complicated animation or unnecessary computations;
  • You’re willing to accept a lack of response;
  • The application does not require sophisticated animation or complex logic to function.

Conclusion

The advantages and disadvantages of native versus cross-platform development are distinct. It all comes down to the project needs and the developer’s skill level.

When it comes to user experience and performance, native applications are still the best choice. Though more expensive, you’ll feel at rest with reduced failure rates and sharper images with these products.

Building cross-platform apps are simple and quick, but delivering a similar user experience on each platform will need more effort.

If you are still confused with your application platform choice, please contact us and we would be happy to help you. 

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