Development

Native or Cross-platform app development?

Making it easier to decide

If you are in the business of developing smart phone apps, one of the foremost questions that you’ll be asked by you app developer is probably going to be about the nature of your app.

What the developer means by the “nature of your app”? It is quite simple actually. The nature of a mobile means the software environment in which the app is developed. A mobile phone app can either be developed for specified smart phones (it is Native development), or be cross-platform. These two types are called, accordingly, Native apps and cross-platform (hybrid) apps.

Questions you need to answer to decide what type of development will be the most effective in your particular case are:

  • Do you have a precise app idea (all the functionality and features)?
  • Do you have any time/budget limitations?
  • Have you defined the target audience for your app?
  • What are your plans about revisions and updates in your app?
Let’s make it clear, what are the essential differences between mentioned types of app environment, and why this choice is so important.

Native apps

Native apps are developed for particular platforms or operating systems. For instance, if a native application is developed for Android operating system, this app will run only on Android-based phones and can be used ONLY by Android users. It seems like native apps may limit the audience, which is also true in a way, but native app development also has many advantages inaccessible for cross-platform development.

Cross-platform apps

Cross-platform apps, on the contrary, allow users to download and run the app on multiple operating systems. For instance, if a cross-platform app is developed, the running of this app is not limited to a particular operating system or platform. Instead, it can be run on multiple platforms (as the name suggests, cross-platform app). Cross-platform apps can be downloaded from Google Play, App Store and Microsoft Store. This type of development allows engaging huge audience to the app.

When is the native app development your best option?

Depending on conditions, native app development can be the best choice for you.

  • When only one platform is targeted
  • Some apps supposed to be interesting for particular platform users. In this case, native app development obviously is the best option for you.

  • For fast results
  • Native app development offers quick and efficient results. The target is precise and uncomplicated. Coding complications and errors are reduced to a minimal level.

  • If you are looking for an easier app development approach
  • Native app development can be simpler in comparison with cross-platform development. In native app development, if there occurs an anonymous bug in the code, Android or iOS tools can solve the issue. Whereas in case of any errors in cross-platform development, you are on your own.

  • If you want to integrate more features
  • Native app development offers a variety of options for integrating new features. You can add and modify as many features as you like.

  • If your app involves cooperation with other devices of the same OS
  • If you are working on iOS, your app may involve cooperation with MAC laptops and other devices. In such cases, native app development allows you to provide easier communication between devices and definitely becomes your best option.

When does the cross-platform development become your best choice?

However, there are cases, when your champion is cross-platform development.

Pros of cross-platform app development

  • Reusability of code
  • Obvious advantage of cross-platform development is actually the possibility of using an original code on different platforms. That means you can use your cross-platform app for different OS, for instance, for iOS, Android and Windows platforms simultaneously without changing.

  • Less time – less costs
  • From the point above it is understandable, that if you can use the same code for different platforms and devices (not developing separate code for each of them), you are saving time of development. Accordingly, if your developers work less hours, it will cost you less money.

  • Best for games
  • According to almost every app developing expert, cross-platform is your best choice if your app is a game. The audience can be much wider, when the game is compatible with different Operating Systems. Obviously, the income is increasing as well.

  • Larger target market
  • It goes without saying, with cross-platformapp development the audience increases on a massive level. Where you can only get users from one platform in native app development, with cross-platform app development, the users from all the platforms can run and interact with your app.

Conclusion

Both native and cross-platform environments have their pros and cons. To choose the best type of development you need to define as precisely as possible the app’s specifications and extra conditions of your project (time or budget limitations, target audience, future perspectives).

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