So, you’re planning to get a mobile app developed for your business. Congratulations!
With the growing reliance of the world on mobile devices, mobile apps are becoming more mainstream. Enterprises are becoming ‘appified’ as mobile business application landscape is expected to cross USD 101 billion by 2020.
But the question is: should you get a native or a cross-platform mobile app developed for your business?
Native vs. Cross-Platform Apps
Native mobile applications work only on the platform (iOS, Android, or window) for which they’ve been developed. To make the application run on multiple operating systems, developers have to write different sets of code for each OS. Maintaining large enterprise applications in this environment can be challenging, time-consuming as well as a costly affair.
Thankfully, cross-platform apps solve all these issues! Developed and designed using the latest technologies such as HTML5, Sencha, React JS, etc, these apps offer the same user experience and a wider reach on all platforms.
Just one code works on all platforms! It entirely resolves the platform compatibility and security issues that developers used to face during the initial days of app development approach.
While cross-platform technology presents an ideal answer to the mobile app development conundrum, it still has some challenges. To shed some light on the situation, we’ve rounded up some pros and cons of cross-platform mobile app development over native one.
Cross-platform apps are faster and easier to develop. It’s because these mobile applications use the same code to work on various platforms of your choice. You don’t need to develop a different set of code from scratch for each individual platform.
All you need is to get one codebase and customize it for multiple platforms. It also makes managing changes and updates to your mobile apps simple, efficient and faster. Developers can synchronize any iteration of their app across devices and platforms for smooth functioning at all times.
Drastically Reduced development costs
Since cross-platform apps use single codebase, you can save a lot on development costs. This is true unless your application needs a lot of customization for each platform.
With multi-platform technologies, you pay for an app that can be supported by all platforms easily. It saves you time, resources and money in many ways. Make sure you roll out the app on various platforms thoughtfully to save big.
Better Availability of Plugins
Cross-platform app development platforms, such as Xamarin, TheAppBuilder, PhoneGap, NativeScript, feature surprisingly large libraries of plugins. Developers can use these tools with the help of different services to enhance the overall functionality, appearances, and versatility of their mobile apps.
Enterprise and cloud support
Cross-platform mobile app development frameworks enable you to integrate with enterprise and cloud services easily. Thanks to an Exchange Integration code! This code allows the app to operate on various platforms. It also enables the app to be integrated with cloud services such as Salesforce and AWS in a hassle-free manner.
Greater Audience Reach
Multi-platform apps automatically increase their reach as they don’t have to pick one platform over the other. Designed to run equally great on iOS, Windows, Android and Blackberry phones, these apps target all audiences instead of alienating the one.
Uniform UI/UX Allows Better User Experience
User experience matters the most when it comes to apps today. Cross-platform mobile apps use a uniform UI/UX across various platforms and devices for every update.
Makes Your Content Easily Searchable
The content of HTML 5 and other cross-platform technologies is easily crawled and indexed by search engines. So, the chances of your app or content being discovered by people on search engines are very high. It increases the visibility and accessibility of your app tremendously.
Availability of Limited Tools
While using cross-platform frameworks, it becomes compulsory for developers to use the only tools and suites supported by the framework. Because if this restriction, you may have to omit a few preferences of users and start with the development of the same app from scratch. Developers may also need to spend time on native IDE’s to accomplish the task.
Restricted Supporting Features
Usually, cross-platform app frameworks don’t support 3D and graphic elements. It restrains developers from adding many impressive and eye-catching features to their app designs. Besides lack of proper graphics support, the cross-platform firmware does not support all features and modules of iOS, Windows, and Android. It impacts the stability of some of your app features and makes your app sub-optimal.
Integrating a multi-platform app with local settings, preferences and notification apps can be difficult. You may need to engage an external cloud service for diverse storage options.
Compromised User Experience
Apps for iOS and Android demand different, functions, layouts, etc. It makes designing an ideal app for the best user experience with all platforms is undoubtedly challenging. It’s important to notice that most of the successful consumer apps are native. Even Facebook, which once opted for the cross-platform mobile app, later moved towards Native iOS and Android for optimal user experience.
Inefficient Code Running
Too many cross-compliance processes may negatively impact the speed at which the code runs. It eventually affects the performance of the app. Since the development is not executed in the native language of the platform, the final may rely on the translation engines for efficiency, which makes the code bloating and have performance impacts.
Despite these challenges, cross-platform app development is preferred due to its cost efficiency and wider market reach. But, using the right framework with major components, allowing the creation of media-rich content, has large libraries, etc. eases the development process and bridges the functionality challenges.