Cross Platform development

Native App Development vs. Cross Platform App Development

While developing a mobile app, each business has option to target either a single mobile platform or multiple mobile platforms. It can create native apps that will be installed in users’ devices, and distributed through specific app stores. The native applications can further take full advantage of the features of various mobile devices. At the same time, a business also has option to create cross-platform mobile apps by targeting several popular mobile operating systems. The advanced tools have made it easier for businesses to create apps by targeting multiple mobile platforms using a single code base. However, it is always important for the business to understand key differences between native and cross-platform mobile app development.

Important Differences between Native and Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Development Time: Nowadays businesses need to make their apps available on various mobile platforms to get higher returns. But developers will need additional time to build the application for each mobile platform separately. A number of studies have indicated that amount of time required to port a native app to another platform is almost equal to the coding time for a new application. So many businesses opt for cross-platform mobile app development to make the application available on several mobile operating systems simultaneously. The advanced cross-platform mobile app development tools like Xamarin and Flutter further helps businesses to reduce the coding time significantly.

Required Programming Skills: While developing native mobile apps, developers are required to use specific programming languages. For instance, they have to write iOS apps in Objective-C or Swift, while the Android app development need to be written in Java. So a business has to deploy additional programmers with varying skill sets to create different versions of the same app for various platforms. But the developers can use advanced cross-platform mobile development tools to build the app for multiple platforms using the same code. For instance, they can use Xamarin to create the app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone using a single code base written in C#. Likewise, Google Flutter enables programmers to create 2D mobile apps for Android and iOS using a single code base written in Dart programming language. Thus, a business can deploy the same programmers to create the app for different platforms.

Development Cost: The cost of building a mobile app is directly impacted by coding time and number of developers. The businesses have to deploy additional programmers to build a native app for each targeted mobile platform. Further, the developers need more time to port the native app to various mobile platforms. These factors increases the native app development cost drastically. But a business can save money by opting for cross-platform mobile app development. It can deploy the same programmers to create the app for various mobile platforms. However, the business has to invest in commercial tools to speed up and simplify development of cross-platform mobile apps.

Performance of the Application: Many studies have highlighted that native apps deliver better performance than cross-platform mobile apps. So many businesses opt for native apps when high performance is essential. Likewise, the native apps can take a full advantage of a device’s features, and hence can manage the resources provided by the device or mobile OS more efficiently. Also, native apps can process a large amount of data on the client-side without putting extra pressure on the server. On the other hand, many businesses opt for cross-platform mobile apps to make them look and feel identical across different platforms.

User Experience: Nowadays the user experience delivered by a mobile app impacts its popularity and profitability in the longer run. There are a number of reasons why native apps deliver richer user experience than cross-platform mobile apps. The native apps can take advantage of native features of a mobile device including camera, GPS and maps. So they can easily deliver localized and personalized information to each user. At the same time, these apps can further take advantage of the new features and enhancements included in the mobile operating system. The developers need to test the cross-platform mobile apps thoroughly to ensure that they work seamlessly on various devices and platforms. Here is a quick checklist for testing of mobile apps.

A gradual increase is being noted in the number of businesses opting for cross-platform mobile app development. But the business must invest in advanced cross-platform mobile app development tools to help programmers to optimize the application’s look, feel, functionality, performance, and user experience across different mobile operating systems.

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