Well, discussions on Native app VS Cross platform apps have been going on for quite some time and views on this subject differs from person to person. It is everyone’s dilemma when it comes to choosing either of the platforms for the mobile app development.
There have been many debates and discussions but still, it is difficult in telling which one outplays other. Both of these platforms have a strong user base and are vibrantly used by small enterprises and big organizations, therefore, giving rise to confusions. The selection of either of the platform for mobile app development solely depends on your requirements and business needs, time and budget constraint etc. Therefore, through this blog post, we will paint a picture and get in depth of these approaches to get more insight on it.
First things first, let us discuss what these two approaches really are.
Cross platform app are developed using same code targeting multiple devices. It can be easily customized to be used on different mobile operating systems. They augment web code with native SDK and can be easily implemented on multiple mobile platforms. It can be divided into two types; one that requires individual compilation for every platform and the other that can be run on any platform without having compilation.
Native apps are specifically developed for a particular mobile operating system (Swift or Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android). As the name suggest, Native apps are native to a particular OS and cannot be used by other platforms except for the one it is developed for. Therefore, Native apps have an advantage over cross platforms as the former ones are faster and consistent with other native apps on the mobile devices. Native applications can be directly downloaded from app stores without any external help and store data in the main memory of the mobile device or cloud services.
Native app VS Cross platform:
Let us compare both of the platforms in different parameters:
1. Cost: The cost plays an important role in deciding which platform to choose for mobile app development. Small scale enterprises generally go with cross-platform as they are the budget constraint and doesn’t have that much of investment to develop mobile applications for different platform and can reuse the code. On the other hand, big organizations have sufficient amount to develop apps for different platforms, hence, they can go opt for native platform.
With open source tools like PhoneGap, Ionic, Xamarin and much more, it is feasible and a cost-effective method of developing mobile apps on the cross platform. While for each native OS, you have to code again and again thus, increasing the expense and also for coding you would need to have knowledge of different programming language.
2. User Interface (UI): It is the only factor that can determine the success of your app. User experience is the key to success, couldn’t agree more. Factors such as page loading time, navigation, layout, interactivity, graphics etc are the key factors that can enhance the user experience. If you provide users with smooth navigation and faster loading time and with simple yet elegant design, then surely you can make them stay on the app and turn mere visitors into loyal customers.
Native apps enhance your mobile app making it more engaging, hence, providing a rich user interface while, cross-platform apps are susceptible to glitches, thereby, have performance delay. Cross platform apps don’t provide good user experience as compared with Native apps plus they are not that much responsive but if dynamic content is used with interface design, then the apps can be intuitive.
3. Performance (UX): Cross platform apps have performance delay quite often, therefore chances are that users will find it less responsive catering a bad user experience, on the other hand, Native apps don’t have performance delay and perform flawlessly. These applications are very responsive and don’t have any kind of consistency problem when deploying graphics or complex animations.
4. Reusability: As mentioned in the beginning that we don’t have to develop cross platform apps for different platforms as we can reuse the code without the need to start from the beginning, thus saving time and expense. It can be easily customized for different operating systems. On the other hand, Native apps are expensive as we need to develop apps for multiple operating systems. Developing mobile apps for multiple platforms means to wait for approval by the different app store, thereby, garnering interest can be difficult. Native applications are easily accessible and capable of utilizing the built-in functions of the device.
5. Development Tools: As Native apps are developed for a particular mobile OS they are much more developer-friendly as developers can exploit all the functions that native app development offers. They also enable better testing and debugging of mobile applications. Developers are not able to implement all the functions in Cross-platform mobile app development as the modules are not that flexible.
Some examples of Cross-platform apps:
- MixRadio – Xamarin (iOS, Android)
- Zipcar – Titanium (iOS, Android)
- CitiBank Network Direct – Titanium (iOS, Android)
- Facebook Ads Manager – ReactNative (iOS, Android)
Some examples of Native platform apps:
- Ingress – available on Google Play Store
- Mallzee – Ionic (iOS, Android)
- Fetchnotes – Trigger.IO (iOS, Android)
So, what to choose?
Now you know which platform to choose, right? Your decision is based on your objectives, requirements and business needs. Through this article, we have juxtaposed the two mobile app development platform under different parameters. Both of the platforms have pros and cons, however, Native apps have a slightly upper edge over its counterpart. Native apps perform fast have best user experience and good security but they come at a price.
When it comes to promotion, then Cross-platform mobile apps are the way to go. After developing the mobile app, it is followed by getting your message through to the people out there through promoting the app. If you want the immediate effect, then cross-platform apps are reliable as you can launch them across multiple mobile devices within a short span of time.
The dilemma of choosing either of the platforms can be cleared if you clearly know your objectives and needs and as long as it renders services to real users.
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