A Detailed Comparison Between Native and Cross-Platform App Development

There are nearly 5 million applications available on both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store targeting more than 14 billion mobile devices globally. If you are planning to build and launch your business application, one of the most crucial decisions you have to make is choosing the right approach for building your […]

A Detailed Comparison Between Native and Cross-Platform App Development

There are nearly 5 million applications available on both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store targeting more than 14 billion mobile devices globally. If you are planning to build and launch your business application, one of the most crucial decisions you have to make is choosing the right approach for building your app – native application development or cross-platform mobile app development.

You need to choose one from the two keeping several factors in mind like the development cost, the performance of the app, the application development time, your budget, and many more things.

Now, here are the pros and cons of both native and cross-platform application development that will help you choose the right one as per your preferences and requirements.

What is native app development?

Native application development primarily focuses on a single specific platform. In other words, native apps are built specifically for a single platform at a time, either iOS, Android or Windows.

And in this type of application development approach, the apps leverage the features of a specific Operating System and features of the devices running on that particular OS like GPS, camera, gyroscope, gravity sensor, and more. Also, native apps can be built faster and more easily just considering the features and guidelines of a specific platform.

Here are the pros of native application development:

  • Higher Performance: Native apps show higher performance in terms of responsiveness, speed, and operational efficiency. And this is because these applications are built using core APIs and programming languages specific to a single platform. Also, these apps can leverage the processing speed of the device, ensuring lower loading time.

  • Broad Functionality: One of the biggest advantages of having a native app is that this type of application can access almost all the features and functionalities of the platform or OS it is made for. And this results in a better user experience.

  • A Great UX: native applications have a great UX that is synonymous with the platform for which it is created. These apps give a consistent feel and look to all users of the platform.

  • Better Store Support: Native apps are much easier to publish as these are built for a specific platform.

Cons of having a native application:

  • Expensive: Building a native application can be more expensive as you need to get the app built separately for a specific platform that is once for Android and then once for iOS and so on if you want to launch it on more than one platform.

  • Time-consuming: Native application development cost is more as the codes are written and the tools used for one platform cannot be used for the other platforms.

Now let’s see what cross-platform application development is.

Cross-platform application development gives the flexibility to build the application using a single code base compatible with multiple platforms. The key advantages of this approach are code reusability that simplifies the process and lowers the app development cost and time.

Here are the pros of cross-platform app development:

  • Cost-effective Option: You need to develop the code once using a single codebase and a single set of tools and you can launch the app on multiple platforms, unlike the native applications. This simply means it is a much more cost-effective option.

  • Faster Development: – Only one single app development cycle is needed to build the app and make it run on more than one platform. In other words, you need to do the programming once and can release the app on multiple OSs. And that reduces the development time.

Cons of cross-platform apps:

  • Slower Performance as compared to Native Apps: Unlike native applications, these cross-platform apps are not specifically built for a single platform and do not exactly leverage the features of a specific platform, which lowers the performance as compared to the performance of the native applications.

  • Limited Functionalities and UX: – Developers face difficulties in assessing platform-specific features and functionalities like camera, microphone, geolocation, etc., with cross-platform apps. And as these are not built for any single platform and can’t take the advantage of the native UX components, they fail to deliver a consistent UX experience to users of different OSs and devices.

Now, having explored the pros and cons of both the development approaches, hope you can choose the right one as per your requirements.

Again to help you out:

Choose the native application development approach if you want:

  • A highly responsive and high-performing app
  • No budget constraints
  • That can give a consistent user experience.

Or else, choose cross-platform application development if you need:

  • If you have a restricted budget.
  • Need to launch the app faster on multiple platforms.

Consider all the points outlined above and make the right choice for your business application development project.

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