When discussing native vs cross platform mobile development, it’s not so much a question of which is better as much as which is best for your goals. Both native and cross platform apps have advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when choosing a development strategy. Generally speaking, native apps are a great tool for making quality, highly-responsive products. Cross platform apps are more versatile, but have their disadvantages as well.
As a web and mobile app development company with strong experience helping clients move to the digital marketplace, we have the know-how to help customers of all sizes and types. In this article we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of native and cross platform applications, as well as explain how to choose the right fit for your project.
Native applications are apps that are developed for their native operating environment. They are designed for a specific mobile platform, like iOS or Android, and can be easily found in app stores. Native apps are known for their high performance levels.
The Benefits of Native Apps
The benefits that make many companies choose native mobile app development include:
- High performance
Designed with platform-specific details in mind, native applications are more flexible and responsive than others. Whereas you might notice slow processing speed in a non-native app, such deficiencies are virtually non-existent in native apps.
- Available offline
Since native apps are installed directly on your device and use it cache memory, you can use them anytime, even offline. They’re perfect for a mobile user who can’t always connect to the internet or wifi.
- Works better with your device
Since native apps are designed with your platform in mind, they can maximize your device’s potential. Native apps make full use of all your devices features, allowing for an all-around better user experience.
- Intuitive experience
Native apps are well known for their intuitive user experience. Intuitively designed for the user and simple to understand, they provide a user experience that allows for customization to customer specifications.
The Drawbacks of Native Mobile App Development
Despite the mentioned advantages, there are aspects that might discourage digital leaders from choosing this strategy for your mobile app project, including:
- Increased cost
Native applications require a lot of time, effort, and expertise to complete. They are serious, professional projects that require a substantial budget, which is why they cost more.
- Limited to one platform
One disadvantage of native apps is that they only work on their specific platform. Since native apps are designed for one platform, they are limited to that platform and can’t be used on others. That would require developing a new app, since it isn’t possible to share the code between different platforms.
Cross Platform Applications
As implied by the name, cross platform apps function across different platforms and parts of their code can be used unilaterally. The main benefit of cross platform apps is that they are directly connected with the mobile operating system. Yet, there are disadvantages to this as well. Let’s look at these in more detail.
Pros of Cross Platform Mobile App Development
When it comes to cross platform apps, the better part of the code can be shared between platforms. This means that the app can be developed much more efficiently, saving you time and money on development. Thus, you can start generating revenue from your app or boosting your team results faster.
In addition, cross platform apps are created using native code. In a practical sense, this means that if the development team is following the best practices, you will get a user experience close to that of a native app.
Cons of Cross Platform Apps
Of course, the native vs cross platform apps debate would not have been so hot, if using a cross-platform approach you could get the same quality at the lower cost of development. Here are the minuses commonly associated with cross-platform development:
- Performance problems
Some aspects of cross platform apps have to be converted in the moment. This is why they are oten outperformed by native applications and experience performance issues.
- Extra plugins
Cross-platform apps use added features and plugins to complete the tasks that native apps do. This will affect your app’s performance as it requires more functions to complete otherwise simple tasks.
- Needs some native code
It’s important to remember that only parts of the code can be shared across platforms, not the entire code. For this reason, you still need to develop native code for certain aspects of your cross platform app.
Here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind when choosing between native and cross platform development.
Use native app development when:
- You need a fast, responsive app
- Your app needs to be able to function offline
- You are planning a long-term app project that will require updates, improvements, and added features throughout development
Use cross development when:
- You can sacrifice ultra fast performance for the sake of faster time to market
- The application does not involve complex functions or graphics
- You want to release the app to the market as soon as possible
Our mobile app development company has helped dozens of organizations carry out successful native and cross platform solutions. Mobile app development is one of the biggest businesses in Toronto, and our experts at ITMHouse are happy to show you why we stand out among the competition. Contact us at itmhouse.com for a free quote or consultation and discover what we can do for business.