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

Posted on the 13 June 2013 by Finoit Labs

Mobile App Development

Mobile app development accompanies loads of considerations based on which the developers decide whether they should go for native or 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’s App store for iOS apps or 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 alternate 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 on more 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.

Reliability: Native apps are developed for specific mobile OS using respective SDK, hence it is easier for them to exploit all the hardware resources to the hilt. They perform faster and are less prone to crashes. Cross platform apps on the other hand, often cease to perform quicker and may also 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 for later on or for apps developed on 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 such small businesses as it does not need much investment in terms of team of developers leading to much reduced development cost.

Marketplace: Native apps have their own market place in the form of app stores from where uses can install them for free or paid. 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.

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

Siya Carla

Siya is a social media enthusiast with a background as Web and UI designer, and is Social media manager of Finoit. She has deep inclination towards writing about emerging technologies,Web and Mobile app development and other technology related stuff.
Native vs. Cross Platform Mobile App Development: Which One Is Better?

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