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Native vs Cross Platform App Development

Are you considering which platform to choose for your mobile application? iOS, Android? Or maybe both? Devices made by Apple and Google, cover more than 90% of all the smartphones used in the world. In order to be on the top of the relevancy and competitiveness, startups should cover as much audience and device variety as possible. That’s why it is desirable for business to be oriented on both iOS and Android users. It seems that the best option here is to create separate application for each platform. Yes, this is the best variant in terms of quality of the end product you get. But…what about the price? Sad enough that this choice implies a good deal of resources – time and money – that interchangeable pair, you know. In reality even a large company may be reluctant to make so much efforts and spend so much time required to create and maintain two separate apps. These are the reasons for native vs cross-platform app development fight.

What are the alternatives?

Luckily, developers and companies have another option – to create cross-platform applications, which would work for both iOS and Android devices. This option is supported by cross-platform applications. These are the apps that have versatility to work on any type of device regardless of its brand and platform (iOS, Android, Windows Phone). Such cross-platform applications may be of two types: hybrid applications (which consist of native code in JavaScript and are written with HTML5 frameworks) and mobile optimized web applications (which use various frameworks, like PhoneGap, Ionic or Accelerator’s Titanium). There are plenty of tools and technologies that serve for this purpose.

Read also: how much does it cost to build an app

Consequently, a person who dreams of a cool app to conquer the world faces the choice: native app vs cross platform one. Indeed, what are the pros and cons of each option, why native app and why cross platform app?

While considering advantages and disadvantages of cross-platform mobile app development and its comparison with native application development, let’s start with its strong sides.

The benefits of cross-platform development:

1. First off, time and cost saving. The most evident advantage lies in the fact that modern technologies allow combining the web and mobile approaches so that in the output you receive a working application without a need to invest in two different development teams, each one proficient in the specific field. All you need is hire cross platform app developer.

2. Extended audience and client base. The more platforms you cover the more people you attract. It’s easy. This also gives you a bonus of easier marketing: the more fans you have, the simpler is the message. That is, you don’t need to create niche messages for the attention of specific categories of people.

3. Low entering threshold for web developers. Since the majority of frameworks are written in scripting dynamic languages, web developers master them quite easy, which consequently means the latter ones can be found faster.

4. Easy launching. Applications and deployed and compiled much swifter with cross-platform approach.

5. In general, cross-platform products can sometimes be very relevant and apt –in many ways it depends on skills and talents of specific developer you hire for working on it. However, since cross-platform app development is not always an ideal solution, let’s consider the downsides that may be associated with this.

Cons of cross-platform app development:

1. Lack of flexibility. Each platform has its boon sides that make each of them special and competitive. When you design a cross-platform application, you have nothing but to generalize and cut these peculiarities off.

2. Poorer quality. In general, a regular cross-platform app is not the pattern of the best UX/UI, and this is confirmed by the majority of specialists. Also, cross-compilation course may sometimes be slow as compared to native tools.

3. Not every feature is supported. Your framework needs to be updated every time Apple, Google or Microsoft adds a new feature.

4. Not every tool may be used. The majority of frameworks make their users apply tools and development kits they offer, but not more. Developers are forced to forget about their own preferences in this sphere.

5. Vendor trap. Most of the frameworks used in cross-platform development, use their own JavaScript subsets, so when one desires to switch to another platform, he would need to sweat over that to make the code reusable.

6. Unfortunately, pros of cross platform app development do not overweigh its cons, except for definite economy point. ‘Generally, I suggest embarking on cross platform development in case of strained circumstances or – if you write a game application. In other cases, stick to native app development’ – says Max, our CTO – ‘since while comparing cross platform app vs native app, the latter one provides exceptional bonuses’.

Pros of native app development:

1. User Experience and performance. There is hardly a hybrid app that is able to beat custom native app in terms of performance and responsiveness. Clicks, scrolling, bulky images – all these are loaded without delays. Native apps work smoothly and swiftly

2. Ample opportunities. Since native apps are run on operating system, which is specific to the device, they take all functionalities and hardware to the extreme. You are able to enjoy the full palette of native features and technologies, supplied with each platform, including testing and debugging instruments.

3. Gazillions of design options. Native app development offers piles of design widgets and tools, which are not available when using hybrid app development approach.

4. Resources and support provided. Because native approach offers a great number of development options, you may receive much more support and resources available for building superb applications.

5. Easier distribution and monetarization. Popular app stores make every user know where to find this or that app. With the stores, you may also hit the target of monetarization if you plan to make money from your apps.

Cross platform vs native mobile development: who wins?

Advantages of native app are undeniable. We at LandingpageDesign opted for native development, and we believe this is a right way when you think in terms of premium quality you may bring to your customers and people who expect the best from the products you launch and trends you follow. Native approach is what makes the difference and unleashes the opportunities, and it’s worth its weight in gold and something beyond the material side of the issue. It’s about qualifications of people we hire and collaborate with, who forms an integral part of our team.

Read also: How to Choose a Mobile Development Platform?

Thus, when we perform native vs cross platform app comparison, we turn thumbs up on native approach whenever it is possible. If one’s capabilities are not enough to write an app for both platforms initially, we advise to concentrate on one platform first, and when your product has both feet on the floor and is proven on the market, you will be able to hire more developers to write an app for another platform – be it a complementary product to social media, social event app, game for pure entertainment or much more serious purpose and solution.