Native vs. Cross Platform Mobile App Development: Which One Is Better?

By Siya Carla
Which one is better

Is it getting difficult to know the ultimate winner between Native vs. cross platform mobile app development? Read on further to know the verdict.

Mobile app development accompanies loads of considerations based on which the developers decide whether they should go for native or choose cross platform mobile app development. Both these ways are vibrantly used at present by small and big enterprises. The selection of a particular platform, however, depends on one’s specific business needs, budget considerations, time constraints, etc. Let’s discuss these two approaches in depth and know if they are really at par or any one of them overshadows the other.

Native Apps

Native apps are developed for specific mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc. Professionals utilize Software Development Kits (SDKs) of respective mobile OS (Android SDK, iOS SDK, etc.) for native development, and the same goes for languages – Objective C, Cocoa Touch for iOS apps, Java for Android apps and so on.

Native apps are available for download through app stores, such as Apple App store for iOS apps and Google Play Store for Android apps. Owing to the fact that they are exclusively developed to run on a specific platform, they can use the hardware facilities of the concerned device in entirety, whether camera, GPS, contact list, Bluetooth, voice recording, notification system, etc.

Cross-platform Apps

As the name suggests, cross platform apps are developed using a single code and can be customized for use on multiple mobile OS. They can be of different types such as:
  • Hybrid Apps: Comprise native code surrounded by HTML. Use JavaScript and HTML5 for native part and web view, respectively
  • Mobile optimized web apps: Developed using frameworks such as PhoneGap, Appcelerator Titanium, Rhodes, etc.

Each of these cross platform mobile app development approaches are meant to help the business get smart, cost-effective and feasible alternative to native apps.

Native vs. Cross-platform Mobile App Development

Comparing both the methods on various criteria of mobile app development leads to the following results:

  • User Interface: When it comes to user interface, native apps hold an upper hand over their cross platform counterparts. Be it an iOS, Android or Windows Phone app, each flaunts its distinctive look; while Android’s UI emphasizes more on productive and functional look, Apple restricts its apps to a more usable yet simple UI.

    Talking about cross platform mobile apps, their user interface vary depending on the platform for which they have been developed. Hence, they manage to give a functional and decent appearance but as compared to the native apps, they lag behind.
  • Related Article: 4 Effective Tips: Great UI Design for Mobile Apps
  • Reliability: Native apps are developed for specific mobile OS using respective SDK; hence, it is easier for mobile app developers to exploit all the hardware resources to the hilt. These custom mobile apps perform faster and are less prone to crashes. Cross platform apps, on the other hand, often cease to perform quicker and may often crash out owing to compatibility issues with the device hardware and OS.
  • Reusability: To develop Native apps, developers have to write the code from the scratch for each platform. However, for cross-platform apps, the code once written can be easily used later on or for apps developed over other platforms.
  • OS Updates: This is a place where native apps overpower cross-platform apps. Natives would instantly support the new features updated by their operating systems. However, to reflect the same changes in cross platform apps, the framework in which they are developed need to be updated first.
  • Cost: For native app development, companies have to maintain separate platform specific teams. While big enterprises can afford to have sizable teams, SMBs may often find it difficult to do so. Hence, cross platform is a better option for small businesses as it does not need much investment in terms of team of developers leading to reduced development cost.
  • Marketplace: Native apps have their own marketplace in the form of app stores from where users can install the applications for free or may buy the paid subscription. Cross platform apps are available for download from web browsers as well as from app stores (in case of hybrid apps). Hence, compared to native apps, they get extended coverage, more users, and hence an edge over their native counterparts.

To summarize, both the native as well as cross-platform mobile apps hold their own advantage and disadvantage. While native apps lead in terms of interface, speed, performance and reliability, cross-platform apps hold an edge in terms of marketplace, mobile app development cost, and reusability.

However, it all depends on the concerned business and the budget they have set, whether they would like to invest in the costlier or the cheaper option.

Both native and hybrid mobile app development companies have their specific audiences and the delivery generally depends upon the requirements of the projects and the choice of the clients.

Finoit is a bankable service provider in the field of mobile application development. It holds expertise in both the native as well as cross platform development and owns enriched reputation of accomplishing the projects well within time.

Finoit provides capable mobile development services in both the native and cross-platform mobile app development domain. Contact us at the earnest to avail out services in this vertical.

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