Native and cross-platform mobile app development has become increasingly popular as more businesses seek to capitalise on the rapidly growing mobile app market.
According to Statista, there were 3.48 million mobile apps available on the Google Play Store and 2.22 million apps on the App Store in the first quarter of 2021, with Android and iOS now accounting for 99% of the worldwide mobile operating system market.
Choosing a mobile development approach that is right for you depends on many factors, like business requirements, objectives, and tasks.
There are four main ways to build an application for both Android and iOS. Namely Native Apps Development, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Cross-Platform Development, and Hybrid Mobile Development.
If you’re looking for more insight into Native App Development and Cross-Platform App Development, We will break down the definitive of each of them, including the pros and the cons.
One article from TechTarget showed that cross-platform mobile development is an approach to developing software applications that are compatible with multiple mobile operating systems (OSes) or platforms.
These apps are platform-agnostic, that can be used regardless of the OS powering the mobile device.
This is why cross-platform mobile development solutions have emerged as one of the most popular software development trends.
Besides, multiplatform apps are designed to run identically on different mobile platforms. Cross-platform frameworks allow you to write shareable and reusable code for developing these apps. This approach has several benefits, such as being efficient with respect to both time and cost.
Here are several reasons why businesses choose cross-platform development over other options.
With cross-platform programming, mobile engineers don't need to write new code for every operating system. Using a single codebase allows developers to cut down on time spent doing repetitive tasks, such as API calls, data storage, data serialisation, and analytics implementation.
Due to code reusability, cross-platform applications require less code, and when it comes to coding, less code is more. Time saved is because developers do not have to write as much code. Additionally, with fewer lines of code, there are fewer places for bugs to emerge, resulting in less time spent testing and maintaining your code.
Building separate applications is expensive. Having a single codebase helps you effectively manage your resources. Your software development teams can learn how to write and use shared code.
You don't have to choose between different platforms. Since your app is compatible with multiple operating systems, you can satisfy the needs of both Android and iOS audiences and maximise your reach.
All solutions come with their own limitations. What issues might you encounter with cross-platform programming? Some individuals in the tech community argue that multiplatform development still struggles with glitches related to performance.
Furthermore, project leads might have fears that their aim to optimise the development process will have a negative impact on the user experience of an application. However, with improvements to the technologies, cross-platform solutions are becoming increasingly stable, adaptable, and flexible.
Native mobile app development refers to building a mobile app exclusively for a single platform.
The app is built with programming languages and tools that are specific to a single platform. For example, you can develop a native Android app with Java or Kotlin, and choose Swift and Objective-C for iOS apps.
One article from Techopedia showed that native mobile apps are known to deliver exceptional user experience as they are generally high-performance. User experience is also enhanced as the visuals are tailored to the platform’s UX.
However, startups are concerned about the high cost of native mobile app development as they need to run concurrent development for both platforms.
Here are some benefits that native mobile application development can bring to your business:
You’ll have access to every API and tool provided by the platform that you’re working on. Technically, there are no limits on how the programmers could work with the new app.
A native mobile app is easier to publish and usually ranked higher on the platform’s app store because it delivers better performance and speed.
Apps built for the native environment also tend to be more scalable, thanks to the flexibility in resource management and the array of tools available.
The direct interaction between the code and the underlying resources results in high performance. Also, native mobile apps generally have a better UX that is synonymous with the platform.
Native application development has also its drawbacks. Some might say that the cost of native development is very high because you need to have two separate teams working on different platforms, iOS and Android.
Others argue that native development is much more time-consuming and cannot be easily duplicated to other platforms.
With native application development, you need to ensure that you can manage the right timeline and product management, otherwise, you will spend more time than planned on development.
To create a successful mobile application, it is important to determine which operating system or systems your application should be compatible with.
While both native and cross-platform development methods can be used for Android and iOS operating systems, the tools, methods, benefits, and drawbacks accompanying each method should be carefully considered.
When developing a mobile application, you should ensure that your application is created with security, performance, and scalability in mind.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to developing an application. Neither cross-platform nor native development will be best suited to every mobile application and every use case.
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