Native vs Cross-platform mobile applications: What’s the Difference?
Nowadays, audiences are more mobile-oriented than ever and mobile apps drive the majority of mobile minutes in all markets.
In the early days of the smartphone era, developers were constrained to create applications specific or native to specific devices, operating systems, and whatever platforms they had to be built on. As the market and ecosystem for mobile apps grew, new approaches came out including how to make the same app for different platforms. This is how cross-platform development emerged.
In this article, we discuss the differences between cross-platform app development versus native app development. We look at the pros and cons of each approach to help you determine which one to choose as you build your next mobile app.
Native applications are those apps that are developed through their native operating environment. Each operating system has its SDK (Software Development Kit) and a unique technology stack. If you consider the main two operating systems main technologies can be classified as Java or Kotlin for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS apps. People usually go this type when you only build a specific os app. Because if you target iOS and Android, it will result in quite a budget.
Benefits of Native Apps
Since native mobile apps don’t come up with complex code like hybrid and cross-platform apps, they turn out to be comparatively faster. The majority of the app elements are displayed rapidly as they preload well in advance. Due to its high development speed and cost-effective nature, native applications are preferred by startups.
More Intuitive & Interactive
Superior user experience is what emerging entrepreneurs can expect from native apps. Since native apps are built for a specific OS, they adhere to the guidelines which ensure an improved experience that perfectly aligns with a particular operating system in all terms. Moreover, as native apps stick to the guidelines, it enables the users to interact with the applications with the help of gestures and actions with which they are already familiar.
Native app development helps in developing apps optimized for a specific platform which ensures high performance. Since native applications are built for a particular platform, these apps turn out to be responsive and comparatively fast. Moreover, these apps are compiled with core programming languages and APIs which makes native apps more efficient.
Stability in maintenance and updates
Because Android and iOS come from Google and Apple, respectively, there’s a high degree of trust and confidence that these tech giants will continue to support and enhance their mobile operating systems.
Having access to SDKs accelerates the development process and gives developers direct access to the most up-to-date features.
Native application development provides more tailored and robust security features than apps built with cross-platform frameworks. It’s usually easier for native app developers to implement file encryption, intelligent fraud detection, and other security features through each platform’s respective libraries and resources.
Cons of Native App Development
No Code Reusability
If native apps are to be built for iOS and Android separately, you’ll have to do the coding part and develop the apps for both mobile operating systems. And this would demand a lot of time, effort, costs, and resources unlike the hybrid mobile apps with shared backend code or cross-platform app that has a reusable codebase.
Native app development comes up with heavy maintenance costs which are even more than the actual development costs.
Needs More Skills and Talent
Since native mobile apps are language-specific, it becomes challenging to find developers who can develop native apps back-to-back. In the case of native vs cross-platform app development, you’ll have to hire two teams for native app development, while it requires only one team for cross-platform app development.
Cross-platform apps are those that are developed through a shared operating environment. A cross-platform application is a universal solution that is supported by several mobile platforms at once. It allows them to write the code once and then run it anywhere for other platforms.
Benefits of Cross-platform Apps
Hassle-free & Rapid Development
Getting reusable code backed by improved productivity and efficiency is a real bonus for the developers and business owners in the long run. This is where a cross-platform app development framework gains a competitive edge over other alternatives.
Great Product Maintenance
Since cross-platform app development comes up with one codebase, businesses can relax with flawless outputs. As there is only one codebase, it becomes quite easy to test and deploy fixes and upgrades and experience higher accuracy and superior quality mobile applications.
A cross-platform app development framework holds the potential of supporting all sorts of platforms and ensures wider market reach at a global level with increased brand popularity of startup businesses that seek rapid traction in the market. Moreover, cross-platform apps ensure reduced upfront expenses.
When it comes to cross-platform apps, developers don’t need to write unique code every time for each operating system. A common codebase can be used for transferring code to different platforms.
Cons of Cross-platform Apps
Wait time for updates and new features
When Google or Apple releases an update or introduces new features for their respective operating systems, cross-platform apps take some time or additional effort to support the most recent releases. For instance, new SDKs for native apps are updated considerably more quickly than cross-platform frameworks.
Cross-platform apps must adapt their design and functionality across specific platforms, operating systems, and devices. As a result, it requires quite a bit of effort from developers who must handle individual differences for each type of device and platform. This can be particularly demanding for complex features. As a result, this difficulty during implementation may affect functionality.
Which one to choose for your next project?
Now that we know the mobile app development frameworks, the next question that business owners ask themselves is what is the best approach. Well, whether native or cross-platform, it all depends on the project requirements, budget, business model, target audience, demographics, and many other parameters.
The mobile app industry will continue to expand rapidly, so companies cannot be left behind in this trend.
Why Work with Clarika’s Mobile Development Team?
Clarika’s innovative approach combines agile SCRUM project management techniques, top-down and detailed business analysis, custom user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, and quality assurance and testing.
Our in-house mobile development teams are comprised of experienced front-end specialists: UX design professionals, visual designers, as wells as software engineers with deep native or cross-Platform development experience according to your requirements.
Here are a few things that set us apart from other mobile development providers:
- Agile mobile development project methodology for transparent and collaborative communication between clients and team.
- Client-centered approach to customer satisfaction is at the core of our focus.
- Proven track record of successful project and engagement delivery.
- Senior developers and designers leading a blended team for excellent rates while maintaining high quality and superior innovation.
- Competitive rates for our entire suite of mobile developers and project managers.
- Rigorous testing before release to market.
Let our experienced teams execute your next mobile app on time and within budget.