Digital assets are valuable possessions of any business trying to make it big in 2022. Hence developing a mobile app is almost imperative in today’s time. How to develop your mobile app is an age-old debate between Native and Cross-Platform app development approaches. Each approach has its benefits and limitations.
Hence there is no point to argue which approach is better than the other. You should have an in-depth understanding of both the options to make a correct decision that suits your business requirements and budget. Before we start comparing Native and Cross-Platform app development approaches, we should get a clear understanding of what they mean first.
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What is Native App Development?
Native App Development is a mobile app development approach for developing a mobile app for a specific platform. All the codes are written from scratch using the programming language supported by the respective platform.
Native apps are tailored to match the targeted platform’s needs. There are two leading platforms in mobile app development – Android and iOS. Both have different coding standards and methods. Native Android development is done on Kotlin or Java, whereas Native iOS development can be performed on Objective C or Swift.
Key Features of Native App Development
- Enhanced User Experience
- Efficient Bug Prevention and Fixes
- Highly Customizable UI Components
- Robust Performance
- Single Layout
Pros and Cons of Native App Development
Here are the various benefits and limitations of Native App Development that you can consider before selecting native app development approach for your mobile app project –
- Premium quality UI/UX
- Better app store ranking
- Complete access to device features
- Development environment tools
- Improvised performance
- Absence of multi-platform support
- Increased development cost
- No reusable code
- Limited storage
What is Cross-Platform App Development?
Cross-platform app development is a popular mobile app development approach that allows developers to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android simultaneously using a shared codebase that can be reused on multiple platforms.
Cross-platform app development has gained massive popularity due to its cost-effectiveness and quicker market times. Unlike Native app development, there are many available frameworks for cross-platform app development like Flutter, React Native, Ionic, etc. Out of these options, React Native is the most popular cross-platform app development framework, as proven by a report published on Statista.
If you want to develop your app using React Native, you should hire React Native developers from a trusted and cost-effective IT solutions company.
Key Features of Cross-Platform App Development
- Reusable Code
- Faster to Market
- Convenient Testing
- Plugin Support
Pros and Cons of Cross-Platform App Development
Here are some of the benefits and limitations of cross-platform app development you should keep in mind before opting for a cross-platform app development approach for your mobile app project –
- Faster to Market
- Targets Multiple Platforms
- Third-Party Integrations
- Code Reusability
- Slower Performance
- Limited OS functions accessibility
- Complex development
- Poor interaction with native apps
- HTML5 can be difficult
Factors that influence the choice between Native vs Cross-Platform App Development Approach
Now that you know the differences between Native and Cross-Platform approaches, you should list essential factors that help you decide which one aligns better with your mobile app requirements. This will help you select the proper framework to develop your app with –
1. Time to Market
How urgent is your app development project requirement? Are you on a tight deadline? If you are developing an app for a client or secondary purposes, you might be on a tight deadline.
In such situations, you would need to rely on cross-platform app development platforms as it would enable you to develop apps faster and for all platforms. If you have plenty of time in hand but want to create a secure, reliable and long-term app, you can opt for a native app development approach.
2. Data Security
Before we compare the security of native vs cross-platform app development platforms, it is essential to know that both approaches provide basic security measures and protocols. Hence one being more secure doesn’t mean the other is vulnerable or unsafe.
The decision between Native and Cross-Platform would depend on the level of security you are looking for in your app contents. Native apps are better at providing built-in security protocols and measures than cross-platform apps. However, depending on your project and the kind of data you will deal with, cross-platform app development can also satisfy your security requirements.
3. Project Budget
Any project requires proper budget planning before proceeding further with any decisions. The same is the case when deciding the ideal development approach for your mobile app project. If you plan to launch your app on both platforms, developing a native iOS app and a native Android app individually will be highly expensive.
Hence unless you don’t have a mammoth budget, it is better to opt for cross-platform mobile app development with a limited budget. You can later gradually shift both apps to native apps eventually if needed. If you target only one platform, then native app development from the start would make more sense.
4. Customer Preferences
Ultimately, one of the most significant considerations for selecting mobile platform(s) is identifying what platform your target audience is on. There is no point in making an iOS app if most of your customers are Android owners.
That won’t be the right market fit for your business. One way to figure this out is by understanding the region your users belong to. Generally, countries like the US and the UK have a more significant number of iOS users than Android, whereas countries like Spain, Brazil, India, and others prefer Android over iOS.
That is only one metric; you can also assess and identify your target audience based on various other metrics. Once you have a clear idea of where your audience resides, you can plan your mobile app development strategy accordingly.
Before selecting between Native and Cross-Platform app development platforms, these are some considerations to keep in mind. Understand the approaches individually, match them with your project requirements, assess which approach best suits you, and make an informed decision accordingly.
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