The mobile app development industry is one of the biggest industries in the world today. There are around 5 million apps available on both Google Play and App Store with 14 billion mobile phones being targeted worldwide. Mobile app development can be done in two ways - Native apps & Cross-Platform mobile app development. So, if you are looking to launch an app, then choosing between the native and cross-platform mobile apps plays an important role in its success.
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There are various factors like time, costing, functionalities, tools required, etc. which play their part in making a perfect choice as per the requirements. In this article, we will explore both the options here, so that I can help you choose the best possible option.
Native app development means building a mobile app only for a single platform. Here, whatever tools or programming languages are built are only for a specific platform. They cannot be used on more than one platform. For example, a native app can be used to develop an android app using Java or Kotlin. Similarly, it can be used to develop iOS apps using Swift or Objective-C. So, the same native app cannot be used on both android and iOS platforms.
Native apps are high-performance apps. They will give you exceptional user experience. Their visuals are very well-tailored to the platform UX. But, they are generally built at a very high cost as you need to build two separate apps for separate platforms. Hence, it even consumes a lot of time. Now, let's discuss the pros and cons of native app development for its better understanding.
These are the pros of native mobile app development:
A native is usually ranked higher on any platform’s app store as it provides high-quality performance and speed. This makes it very easy to publish.
Native app is highly functional. The developer has access to all the APIs and tools provided by the platform. There are almost no limits for the programmers to work with, technically.
Native apps also tend to be more scalable due to the flexibility in resources management and the variety of tools available. So, the developers can easily make the necessary changes to the app as and when required. This is a very useful feature for any developer.
There is a direct link between the code and the underlying results. Hence, it provides high performance. Also, they have a high-quality UX which helps with great user experience.
These are the cons of Native mobile app development:
When you want to develop an app for both Android and iOS platforms, then you need to develop two separate apps. Hence, you would be requiring two different teams working on different platforms which make the cost double. So, in this way, native app development is very expensive.
As you know, native app development requires two separate apps for both the platforms- Android and iOS. So, work done on one platform cannot be duplicated for another platform. Hence, by default, you would require two separate teams working on both the platforms. This results in a lot of time being consumed.
Now, after knowing about the native app development, let us know about the cross-platform app development for a clearer picture.
Cross-platform app development means the process of developing an app that can run on various platforms. Here, the apps developed can be used on more than one platform. They are developed using tools like React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter where the apps can be used on both the platforms- Android and iOS.
As you do not need different apps for different platforms, it saves on your time and cost. But, it’s very difficult to develop an app that runs very efficiently on several platforms, so it requires an abstraction layer while running. Due to this, the quality and performance of the app are affected. This is one key point to be looked at for cross-platform mobile app development.
Startups would normally favor the savings on time and cost with the cross-platform app development, but it allows customizations only up to a certain extent. So, it would be very difficult if the app requires frequent upgradations for the future.
Now, let us discuss the pros and cons of cross-platform app development to have a better understanding of it.
These are the pros of cross-platform app development:
Cross-platform apps work on various platforms, so you need only one team and do not need different teams for different platforms. Hence, it saves on the cost.
As you know, you need only one team to develop on a cross-platform app. So, there is only a single cycle of development required. So, the app develops faster, saving your time.
The app is developed using only one cross-platform development tool. So, it requires only one codebase.
These are the cons of cross-platform app development:
In cross-platform app development, a single app works on various platforms. Hence, it needs an abstraction layer and rendering process which makes the app work slower. This affects the overall performance of the app.
Due to the abstraction layer, the developers find it difficult to access some functions like microphone, camera, geolocation, BlueTooth, etc. It limits the overall functionality of the app.
Due to the low performance and limited functionality of the app, it affects the UX components too. It doesn't give that good a UX experience as compared to its native counterpart.
Both native and cross-platform have their own advantages and disadvantages. None of them is a clear winner. The selection between them totally depends on the project requirements.
For high-quality user experience and performance, native apps are the best though they are costly. But, they require minimal maintenance and provide better visuals.
Cross-platform apps save on your time and cost, but you have to compromise a bit with the quality of user experience and performance.
Are you still confused to choose between the two applications: Native and Cross-Platform app development? Then I recommended getting the professional advice from the best mobile app development Company, Openxcell
Native and cross-platform apps have an ever-changing list of pros and cons, which can affect the app owner, users, and developers.
Android and iOS are the most extensive and accessible mobile app platforms in the world.
According to research, a massive proportion of the global market is occupied by Apple, and Android falls second. This suggests that if the user wants the app to function globally, they need to focus on all the target areas.
The image shown above displays the global market share of smartphones. Focusing on the target area makes it mandatory to choose an app development platform precisely. The app developers should know their target audience’s location and build region-specific apps.
Native apps are explicitly designed for a specific platform and in a language that is compatible with the platform. For Instance, Apple favors Objective C and Swift for iOS, while Google prefers Java for Android. These programming languages can be used by the developers to bring out the best features of these platforms. A native app built for Android will not operate on iOS and vice versa.
Cross-platform apps are compatible with numerous platforms. As iOS and Android have most of the market shares, a majority of cross-platform apps are limited to these two operating systems. These apps are created in HTML and CSS since these technologies are platform-independent. There are multiple cross-platform app development tools available in the market that enable developers to build these apps smoothly.
Native apps make the best use of available resources and utilize the platform's proficiencies up to its full potential. This makes it clear that native apps are fast, responsive, and less likely to crash high performing apps. If the developers possess expertise on this platform, they can optimize native apps to emphasize that platform's best features and capabilities.
Cross-platform apps are often occupied with performance issues. Since they are developed implementing the one-app-fits-all approach, it is usual for these apps to act out on specific devices.
Native app development takes double the time as cross-platform apps. The cost of developing native apps is higher as more than one app is required to be built. Maintenance is equally time-consuming and costly to build native apps, as the developers have to locate bugs and challenges for each platform and create various updates consequently.
Cross-platform apps cost less in terms of development and maintenance when compared to native apps. While choosing this app, the user invests in a single app and has to maintain only that much. However, often, the right amount of capital needs to be invested in troubleshooting a large number of bugs and issues.
Best - Both
The success of any app development platform lies in the satisfying user experience, which makes it an essential aspect of an app.
Native apps deliver a tremendous user experience by providing its users with better performance, higher speed, and better device utilization. App developers and designers get to design attractive and smooth functioning apps. One of the advantages of these apps is that they are not just responsive but also intuitive.
Cross-platform apps are equally intuitive, and such features often come at the cost of speed. It is a challenging task for developers and designers to fulfill all the UX requirements of different platforms simultaneously. In short, cross-platform apps do not provide a satisfactory user experience.
Best - Native
Native apps seem far supreme in terms of performance and user experience, which makes them better than cross-platform. However, it depends on the app requirements to select the best platform for your app. Simple games and content distribution apps are usually developed as a cross-platform app, while apps with specific features are native apps. Cross-platform apps are also preferred for B2B apps, where deployment time is the most essential. Some of the small businesses also select cross-platform due to their limited budget. It is crucial to choose a platform that best fits your business requirements as well as caters to your target audience. You can consult
for all your app development requirements. The company comprises a dedicated team of experts that work towards providing the best user apps for every platform. Openxcell is one of the best mobile app development companies that provide both cross-platform and native mobile app development facilities to its clients.
As per a trusted resource, 72% of all internet users will primarily use smartphones for web searches by the year 2025. And with 10.6 billion connections worldwide, an app has become vital for businesses to be present in the mobile market to leverage the massive user base.
But, before you start mapping out the business plan and model for your app, the first thing you need is a development strategy. There are two types of strategies - cross-platform app development or native app development. Choosing the right strategy depends on numerous factors such as cost, functionalities, time etc. You should choose the strategy that best aligns with your business goals.
As the name suggests, this is about building a platform for more than one platform. It is created by employing tools like Flutter, React Native, Xamarin so that the apps can be published on both iOS and Android. It is well-suited for small businesses who have limited capital and want to develop the app faster.
With this, you get maximum audience exposure globally, it is easy to integrate and demands less developmental costs. Since it is cross-platform, it is created using a single code base, it also allows uniformity and quick modification.
However, in that process – you miss out on the opportunity to tailor your product with the platform usability. It also needs an additional abstraction layer and rendering which hamper the performance of the app.
Native platform apps
It is exclusively designed for one platform. For this, specific programming languages and tools are employed to build the app. You can use a combination of Java and Kotlin for Android apps and pick Swift and Objective – C for iOS apps.
They are well-tailored to deliver unmatched performance and outstanding user experience. It broadens the functionality for the programmers to try and test various API.
Apps built on native platforms rank higher in the app market because they ensure better speed and performance. It also enhances the scalability, because these apps provide great flexibility in resource management. Although, native apps are costly and take a lot of time to build.
All things considered
If you want an app that is highly-responsive, has heavy graphics/animations and is scalable then you can go for a native app development strategy. However, if your app doesn’t have complicated UX/ graphics, can sacrifice the performance and wants to enter the market faster then cross-platform is the right choice for your business.
Weigh the pros and cons of each one to identify the best platform that matches with your business goals.
I'd argue that both are equally valuable to developers. Both allow the developer a quick and easy way of getting their project off ground quickly, while still staying relevant on other platforms as well. However, with cross-platform code, you have the opportunity at some point between initial release and future releases for each new version without any changes or additions in your existing source tree. With android projects, they tend not too far away from this reality since every major branch has various features implemented which will change over time
When it comes to cross-platform mobile apps, their interface varies depending on the platform on which they are developed. Most of them are developed using HTML and CSS, a standard web technology that is platform-independent. What makes native apps so special is that they can be developed on any platform of your choice, allowing for a better user experience.
If you want your app to be present on both platforms, you have to develop two separate apps with the help of native mobile app developers. On the other hand, cross-platform mobile developers create a unified UX style that is typical of both iOS and Android apps, therefore it is important not to go overboard in maintaining the default appearance and key elements, otherwise, you will confuse your users.
Cross-platform app development gives you the flexibility to develop a mobile application in a universal language, making it compatible with more than one mobile platform. While native apps are leaders in interface, speed, performance, and reliability, cross-platform apps are ahead in terms of market, mobile app development costs, and reusability. Both native and hybrid mobile app developers have specific audiences, and deployment depends on the project's requirements and customer choice.
5. Platform Orientation
There are a lot of differences between native and cross-platform app development, but one of the key differences in the platform orientation. In particular, two platforms, Xamarin and React Native, can be categorized as other types of native app development. Cross-platform mobile app development is an approach designed to help companies be smarter, more cost-effective, and more workable as an alternative to native apps.
Basic Difference between Native and Cross-Platform App
Now that you know the difference between cross-platform and native apps, let’s see how they compare.
Native and cross-platform developments have different pros and cons. So, It is important for you to choose a platform that meets your needs, requirements, as well as your target audience, needs to create your winning app.
Both are good; it all depends on what are your preferences. If you want to reduce your budget by using a cross-platform app or want to attract maximum traffic on one platform (instead of divided traffic on iOS or Android platform), then a cross-platform or hybrid app is good for you. If you want a stable app, with the best performance and functionality, you can go for native apps.