Which Platform Is Better for a Mobile App? Native vs Cross-Platform

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The advantages and disadvantages of native vs cross-platform mobile development.

It is pointless to deny the growing demand for mobile app development due to the wide range of features and flexible interface that is easy to use on your phone or tablet. Since nearly all of us have mobile devices now, companies need to implement mobile solutions as soon as possible.

In this article, we would like to share our opinion on two approaches to app development: native and cross-platform. We will help you choose the best option that suits your particular business.

So, We Will Start by Answering the Question, What Are These Approaches About?

As you may know, each platform has its own native language to each operating system recommended by the manufacturer. The examples are Objective-C and SWIFT for iOS, Java, and Kotlin for Android or C# for Windows Phone. The native application is embedded in the mobile device software and is available in official stores.

When talking about cross-platform apps, we refer to a solution designed to compile the source code for execution on multiple mobile platforms with minimal efforts.

In that way, the native approach implies application development for each operating system separately while in the cross-platform approach everything is created at once.

The Main Strengths of Native Development Are:

  • Stability and high speed. Developing platforms in their native language means fully utilized benefits of each platform, ensuring better application performance.
  • Opportunities for the required functionality. The ability to make the most of a particular platform and its features which allow making the application more flexible and scalable.
  • No limitations of third-party libraries when writing code, therefore the ability to avoid compromise solutions.
  • Availability of standard decisions in UI/UX.

Cross-Platform Benefits:

  • The speed of development is slightly higher while time and resources consumption is less.
  • Ability to use the same code base for different platforms, which helps to avoid potential errors and greatly simplifies application logic changes.
  • Updates and support simplification.

Now Let’s Answer the Main Question, Which Is More Suitable for Your Project?

We Recommend Native Development If:

  • Application performance and user experience have a value.
  • Constant use of system resources and functions of mobile devices (including cameras, GPS, accelerometer and other sensors) is essential.
  • It’s important to provide low power consumption of the application.
  • The project requires a complex interface or complex animation.
  • Integration with third-party resources (API, etc.) is set.

Cross-Platform Solutions Are Beneficial If:

  • You need to write a prototype application for several platforms in a short time, but it is not planned to develop the prototype further.
  • There are powerful cross-platform solutions like Unity3D, which have rich built-in functionality for developers when developing complex games.
  • If the application takes all the information from the server, the animation and the interface are not very important, and the logic is already implemented.
  • If modest performance is acceptable and a part of the content is downloaded from the Internet.

We hope the article helped you clarify the distinction between approaches to mobile development and brought you closer to making a choice according to the goals of your business.

Nevertheless, any chosen solution had to be performed in the correct way. We find it important before making a decision to speak to a proven mobile solution developer that has experienced the benefits and pitfalls of both alternatives and able to advise you a customised solution.

If you want to discuss your ideas, feel free to contact us.