Which solution would be better for your business?

Native or Cross-platform development

refresh iconUpdated 12 Jan 2023
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Native or cross-platform development
Native or cross-platform development

No matter whether you are a technical or non-technical entrepreneur, making a decision between a native app or a cross-platform app for your business can be a challenging task. In this article, we'll outline the pros and cons of each mobile app development approach, so you can find out which solution fits your business needs better.

What is Native app development?

To start with, native app development is the creation of applications specifically for a particular platform/operating system. To put it simply, if you need your native app to be presented on Android and iOS, you should create two distinct apps applying different tech stacks and tools. Thanks to this, you can provide the best possible user experience in the matter of the app’s visual style and functionality.

What are the most popular native apps? We bet you’ve already known them: WhatsApp, Spotify, Pokemon Go, SoundCloud, Twitter, DocuSign etc.

Key difference between iOS and Android apps

To gain a better grasp of why you need separate native apps for iOS and Android platforms, let’s delve into distinctions between them:

Classifier iOS apps Android apps
Programming language Objective-C or Swift Java or Kotlin
Development environmentAppCode, XcodeEclipse, Android Studio
Development processEffortless and swift due to the limited number of devices availableMore sophisticated as it requires accommodating a wide range of device screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware specifications
Revenue potentialThe worldwide number of iOS apps users is smaller, however, these users are more likely to conduct in-app purchasesAndroid apps have a larger global market share, however, their users spend less on in-app purchases and paid apps
DesignApps for iOS must strictly follow the platform’s design guidelines. As a result, all iOS apps look and feel similarAndroid app development allows more flexibility in the matter of design
App Store approval processMore complicated process as iOS platform policies are quite strictIt’s easier for creators to get their apps approved as Android policies offer more space for creativity

If you have enough time to build separate apps and want to take into account all the peculiarities of both platforms, then native app development would be an excellent choice for you. Now, let's explore some other advantages of native apps that can convince you to choose this approach for your project.

Advantages of native app development

1. Outstanding performance

It’s proven that native apps are highly responsive and efficient and have excellent operations. This is explained by the fact that such apps are capable of interacting directly with native APIs. They do not need to rely on any middleware.

2. Ability to leverage the full potential of the operating system's

With a native app development approach, you can get full access to customization options (including camera, microphone, and geolocation that are always challenging to implement). It means that you can create something unique, impress your target audience, and outpace competitors. Moreover, you can create a solution that will be perfectly tailored to your needs and goals.

Native app development provides an unrestricted environment, eliminating the need to combine features from various operating systems. So you can enjoy the benefits of a single, consolidated platform for your development needs!

advantages of native app development3. Top-notch user experience

Native apps are always more intuitive and provide a more convenient experience for users. As we mentioned above, each platform has its own UI/UX design guidelines. With a native approach, developers can fully adhere to these standards and take care of users' visual comfort and habits.

4. Enhanced security

File encryption, intelligent fraud detection — these and many other security features are much easier to implement in native apps.

5. Better scalability

With a native app development approach, you can get full access to customization options (including camera, microphone, and geolocation that are always challenging to implement). It means that you can create something unique, impress your target audience, and outpace competitors. Moreover, you can create a solution that will be perfectly tailored to your needs and goals.

These and many other benefits make native app development a preferred choice for businesses for many years. However, cross platform app development has also gained momentum. Let’s delve into its specifics as well!

What is Cross-platform app development?

Cross platform app development is a process of building applications that are capable of running smoothly on different platforms/operating systems using a single codebase. Still, there could be minor differences in workflow or the app’s design. For example, for another platform developers can cut some features that are in the original app to keep the seamless performance. Developing cross platform apps, you can save your time and budget, as well as reach a broader and more diverse audience.

The most popular cross platform apps: Skype, Slack, Adobe Reader, TeamViewer.

Hybrid and cross-platform apps. Is it the same thing?

This is a question that typically arises when discussing cross-platform development. The concepts of hybrid apps and cross platforms apps are quite similar; however, they’re not interchangeable.

The first thing you need to know is that both of these app types enable developers to create mobile applications that can operate on multiple platforms. The main difference is the following:

Hybrid apps have a web nature. It means that if you want to develop hybrid app you need to use web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, if you want to distribute it through the app stores, it could be wrapped in a native container. That’s how without any magic your web app can turn into a mobile hybrid app!

In contrast, cross platform app development is about building a single codebase that can be compiled into native code for multiple platforms.

Advantages of cross platform app development

1. Cost-effectiveness

All you need to do is to create a single codebase that can be reusable for different platforms. There is no need to create separate apps, hire two development teams and cover other development costs twice. This way you can save your budget significantly.

2. Accelerated time-to-market

Again, with a cross platform approach and single code, you can reduce the time and effort needed to create and maintain multiple versions of the same app.

3. Ability to reach broader audience

You’re not limited by the audience of one platform. You can engage a wider audience than would be possible with a single native app.

4. Effortless maintenance

Updates and constant support of several apps at once can be too stressful and exhausting. Moreover, it requires additional costs and increases the risk of errors and other issues. With a single codebase, maintenance tasks can be performed more efficiently and consistently across all platforms.

Advantages of cross platform app development

As you can see both native apps and cross platform apps can be a beneficial solution for your business. So how should you make your final decision? Our bonus tips may come in handy.

Bonus. Key points to consider when choosing an approach to mobile development

To make a winning decision, it's essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and then compare them with the specific requirements and available resources of your project, such as time, budget, available talents, etc.

We recommend taking into account the following points:

01. If your key priority is loading speed and perfect performance, it would be better to pick a native app development approach. The thing is that cross platform apps are usually slower compared to native apps as they need an additional abstraction layer and rendering process. Moreover, because of difficulties caused by adaptation to different platforms, you can face some functional constraints.

Also, there’s always a risk that cross platform apps may not work consistently across all devices or platforms.

02. If you don’t have enough time and your budget is tight, you should think of a cross platform app. Native app development can turn out to be too time and cost-consuming.

03. If you don’t need to focus on a single platform, then choose a cross platform approach as native apps have limited cross platform compatibility. However, if you analyzed your audience and found out that your customers are, for example, mainly Android users, and then develop an Android app only using a native approach.

04. If you need to create a one-of-a-kind app, you may probably need full access to all the native features. In this case, native app will be a better solution. Cross platform app development can be tricky in terms of customization.

And last but not least…

Bonus. What type of app is easier to maintain after release?

It's a very important factor to consider as app development does not end up launching on app stores. You should constantly preserve its smooth operations, fix unexpected errors, make updates etc.

Actually, both native and cross platform apps are easy to maintain if you apply correct approaches and know the nuances of different platforms.

For example, in the long run, native apps are generally easier to maintain for the following reason. Native apps are designed to operate exclusively on a specific platform, utilizing the platform's native programming language and tools. Consequently, there should be no problems with updates and compliance with security patches.

maintaining of mobile app

Still, keep in mind:if you have not one but several native apps, you should spend more time and effort to ensure that each app operates following the relevant requirements of various platforms.

The maintenance of cross platform apps can be also seamless as your developers just need to update the codebase once to make changes across all platforms.

However, cross-platform apps may require additional testing and development time to ensure that the app works smoothly on all platforms, which can make maintenance more complicated.

Bottom Line

To sum up, the decision on which approach to take is tightly connected with the specifics, needs, and aims of your business. If you still doubt which solution is the most optimal for your project, our team is ready to provide consultations and help you make the winning choice!

Also, if you're looking to develop a cross platform or native app, don't hesitate to get in touch with us! DreamX team has the expertise and experience to help you achieve your goals. Wait no more to get started!

What is mobile app?
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Online or offline mobile application or mobile app is a software that has been developed for mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. This is one of the areas of expertise of our team (there are other areas that we work in: Web App, SaaS Systems, CRM, ERP etc.) For such projects, we develop both the mobile app design and the necessary software code. We develop mobile applications for both IOS and Android, as well as hybrid apps.
Is it the same as tablet app?
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Smartphone apps and tablet apps are both mobile apps, but there are some key differences that necessitate considering a different approach for tablet apps. First and foremost, tablets have a much larger screen size, which means a different design layout. Additionally, your app may require more features or functionality to fully utilize the available screen space. Another difference is how users interact with the device, as tablet apps need to support a wider range of user inputs, such as stylus pens or attachable keyboards. Finally, tablets usually offer higher performance compared to smartphones, which broadens the list of design and functionality features that can be offered to the user. If you have a need for a tablet app version of mobile app designing, you need to think about it in advance, so we can discuss the development details and set a separate budget for its implementation.
Do you make apps for both iOS and Android platforms?
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Yes. Our development and design team specializes in both of these major platforms. In most scenarios, we develop mobile applications for both iOS and Android simultaneously. In some cases, either due to the specifics of the target audience or budget constraints, an app can be developed only for a specific platform. We can do an additional consultation to help you make the right platform choice.
Can I order a hybrid app?
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Yes, we are also developing mobile apps as a hybrid modification. Due to the specifics of such apps, you need to consider all the additional nuances and make the right decision. If you need additional advice on this type of web application, we will be happy to answer all your questions.
Will your company market my app?
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Yes, this is one of the workflow stages of development of mobile apps. Our team works with all modern platforms, so we can help you pass all stages of verification and publish your mobile application at an online marketplace, such as App Store or Google Play.

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