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Mobile App Development: Native vs. Cross-Platform

Mobile app development today is a constant tug of war between companies arguing between accessibility or exclusivity. Although, the industry is seeing an influx of companies leaning more towards cross-platform solutions. This is due to its cost-effectiveness. Also, it increases the possibility of greater revenue.

Various app development platforms
Various app development platforms

In this article, we will pick apart the advantages and disadvantages of both native and cross-platform solutions. Then, in the end, we will pick which is more favorable for a company.

NATIVE APP DEVELOPMENT

Mobile app development under native conditions means that the application is designed to run on one platform accommodating a specific language. In most cases, it is a battle between Android and iOS. Android devices rely on Java or Kotlin. On the other hand, iOS uses Swift and Objective-C.

ADVANTAGES

Developers agree that it is worth designing an app twice for different operating systems because of the following:

Performance Optimization

In the native mobile app development, developing applications revolves around a specific operating system. As a result, it is able to fully optimize the system the device is running on.

Efficiently and Effectively Uses the OS’ Features

By fully utilizing the operating system, the applications can provide solutions to problems that users may encounter. That is why they are normally compatible with the device’s built-in hardware and software. This includes Bluetooth, NFC, its camera, and GPS, just to name a few.

Better Experience of the Interface

The optimization of the operating system results in a better user experience of the device’s interface. This is due to the smooth integration during the mobile app development resulting in the application working well with the OS.

Positions the App Better in the App Store

App stores, regardless if Google or Apple, puts high importance on user experience, and this is what native applications provide. As a result, stores grant apps a better position themselves to their users.

DISADVANTAGES

Looking over, it is apparent that exclusivity has its advantages. However, sacrificing accessibility to a greater number of audience doesn’t come without its cons such as:

Consumes More Time and Money

Designing an app twice to accommodate different platforms will consume your time resulting in a delay. As more time is spent on the development of the mobile app, the more money it costs. Cutting down the time by hiring more people will cost the same.

Other OS Limits Functionality

This is caused by the language used on the individual operating systems. It means that, for example, Swift might have functions that Java doesn’t have. This vastly affects the overall performance of the app. This also applies aesthetically because there may be a difference in what one language is capable of presenting that the other does not.

Missing Out on Opportunities

Targetting only a specific pool of users significantly limits your opportunities. This results in missing out on opportunities to improve profits.

Having the development of applications natively designed gives it an air of exclusivity. There is nothing bad about cultivating loyalty. However, the number of opportunities that you must be missing cannot be overlooked.

CROSS-PLATFORM APPLICATIONS

Cross-platform mobile app development is designed to be compatible with any platform. Developers only need to add an application code in the app’s design. This approach is universally known to be the most cost-effective method due to the following:

One Code Fits All

Developers adding an application code eliminates the possibility of incompatibility. It disregards what operating system a device is running on because once the application code is placed, the code can be reused. More importantly, it doesn’t limit the features available in the app.

Cost-Effective

Simply because you don’t have to pay more either because of extended time needed in its development or hiring more people.

Application Deployment without a Fuss

Having to use one set of codes for all operating systems helps.

Exposure to a Larger Audience

Exclusivity is not a factor anymore. As a result, the app becomes accessible to more people of varying operating systems.

Integrates Well with Any Interface

Aesthetics is just as important when designing the interface during the mobile app development.

DISADVANTAGES

This is how developers get the most of what they are paying for. However, there is a trade-off and it results in cons such as:

You Lose Flexibility

This mostly happens because when you generalize the design, you lose the app’s optimization. That is why apps that cater to more operating systems don’t perform as well.

UI Incompatibility

This relates directly to the individual phone’s settings. One necessary component might be present in one device and absent in the other limiting the overall user experience. Additionally, because of this, getting featured in the app store of any OS becomes more difficult. Each app store has its own criteria for submission, and to fully utilize the cross-platform design, you have to access both stores. That is why you spend more time adhering to the checklist. Otherwise, there is no point in applying this specific design.

CONCLUSION

Which solution is best in the mobile app development is largely dependent on your preference. On what you think is the best choice that helps to earn the greatest revenue.

We would prefer that you would consider native applications first before proceeding to cross-platforms. This way you can cultivate a following first before you reach out to a different kind of crowd. Let them hype your application for you. Then, you don’t have to market as much, and by the time it becomes available on another platform, you will already have customers waiting to get their hands on it.  

Author avatar
R Scarlett
https://netaesthetics.com