Native vs Cross-Platform: An Expert Guide from a Mobile App Development Company

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Businesses used to succeed by concentrating solely on their products. But the age of technology has also forced companies to keep up with the newest developments in software development, including automation, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and more. Businesses can increase corporate efficiency, seize market opportunities, and obtain a competitive edge with the use of enterprise mobile apps, often developed in collaboration with a trusted mobile app development company

Mobile applications can be created in two different ways: natively, for a single operating system, and cross-platform, for a variety of operating systems. Selecting between native and cross-platform development is a crucial choice for any mobile application project. The design of the app, the technologies utilized to make it, and eventually the consumers who can access it are all greatly impacted by this one choice.  

Despite the equal popularity of these two platforms, according to a recent Statista study, only roughly 33% of mobile application developers worldwide employ cross-platform frameworks; the remainder prefer native technology. 

Based on our experience, we think both strategies have advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, before making a decision, it’s advisable for you to obtain thorough information, including the distinctions between native and cross-platform apps. 

Partnering with a reputable mobile app development agency can provide valuable insights and expertise to guide you in making this crucial decision.

Native App Mobile Application

Native mobile applications are those made specifically for iOS or Android platforms. Typically, the programming language used to write your apps depends on the operating system for which they are being developed. 

You use the Java or Kotlin programming languages to create native Android applications. The first language used to develop Android apps was Java. In 2017, Google brought Kotlin support to Android. While Java can only be used for object-oriented programming, a trusted mobile app development company can leverage Kotlin to handle both functional and object-oriented programming in the development of cutting-edge Android applications. 

Native mobile applications are created just for one operating system, such as iOS or Android OS, as was previously discussed. Therefore, you would choose native mobile app development, which entails writing the application in the OS’s programming language needed, based on your desired operating system (both business and customer-wise).  

Top Native App Examples 

  1. Google Maps 
  1. Artsy 
  1. Pinterest 
  1. Spotify 
  1. WhatsApp

Tools for native apps 

Native mobile development necessitates an integrated development environment (IDE) in addition to operating system-specific software development kits (SDKs). 

You must use Android Studio or IntelliJ IDEA to create Android apps. Linux, macOS, and Windows can all use these tools. You must use Xcode or AppCode as your IDE while creating iOS apps. These are macOS-only tools.

Native App Advantages 

  1. Improved app security 

When comparing native vs cross-platform mobile development, app security is yet another crucial aspect to take into account. Compared to cross-platform apps, native mobile apps have more comprehensive and specialized security protections by default.  

Additionally, using the tools and libraries provided by the intended platform to add sophisticated fraud detection, file encryption, and other security features is usually easier for native mobile app developers. 

  1. Wide Range of Use 

Every tool and API offered by the platform you’re working on will be available to you. There are theoretically no restrictions on how the programmers can utilize the new application. 

  1. Improved Shop Assistance 

Because native mobile apps operate faster and provide superior performance, they are typically easier to publish and rank higher in the app store on the platform. 

  1. Improved app stability 

Android and iOS are known for receiving ongoing maintenance and development from Google and Apple. For example, to help developers of iOS and Android create and improve mobile apps, both tech giants provide SDKs, interface components, and other essential development tools. 

Native App Disadvantages 

1. No Reusability of Code 

You will need to write code and develop apps for both iOS and Android if native apps are to be created independently for each mobile platform. In contrast to cross-platform apps with a reusable codebase or hybrid mobile apps with common backend code, this would need a significant investment of time, money, and resources. Engaging a trusted mobile app development company can help streamline the process, reduce costs, and ensure efficient development for both platforms. 

2. Development time 

It takes time for different teams to work on comparable programs for different platforms. Enhancements and maintenance also take a lot of work. 

3. Cost 

The deployment of native mobile applications is typically expensive. For each platform, you must have a different team of developers. For instance, to create a native Android app, you need developers who are skilled in Kotlin or Java. For native iOS, you will additionally want additional Swift/Objective-C developers.

Cross-platform App Development

A single codebase is used to create a cross-platform mobile application, which targets many operating systems with a single development effort. These mobile applications are developed using cross-platform frameworks that leverage a single API and a platform-specific SDK (iOS or Android). 

Because of this, cross-platform development is a popular option for creating enterprise mobile apps because it makes the platform’s numerous frameworks and SDKs easily accessible to developers. 

Mobile cross-platform apps are typically built with native user interface components to give them a native feel. They offer an abstraction to the underlying platform SDKs, as was previously indicated. Access to the GPS, battery level, camera, and microphone are among the exposed sensors. 

Cross Platform Popular Tools

You still need to have a Windows, macOS, or Linux computer with the Android SDK installed in order to launch your program on Android. You still require Xcode, the iOS SDK, and a macOS computer in order to use iOS. The list of IDEs that are compatible with the previously stated cross-platform frameworks is as follows: 

  1. Mobile apps for React Native: VS Code, Android Studio, WebStorm, Xcode, and Atom 
  1. Mobile apps for Flutter: VS Code, Android Studio, and IntelliJ 
  1. Mobile apps for.NET MAUI/Xamarin: Picture Studio 

Cross Platform App Advantages

  1. Reduced Cost   

To design a cross-platform mobile app, you only need one development team rather than two. As a result, you will save money on development. 

  1. Faster total development time  

Cross-platform apps are developed faster since they only require one development cycle to be deployed across several platforms. Additionally, because of the app’s code reusability, businesses can cut out the requirement for different teams to work on different platform projects, which shortens time-to-market. 

  1. Code reusability & Less maintenance 

You can use a single codebase with cross-platform frameworks. This guarantees that the business logic is applied consistently. 

It’s simpler to update a cross-platform application. The reason for this is that you are working with a single codebase. The same code is used in all builds intended for the various platforms, guaranteeing consistency. 

Cross Platform App Disadvantages

  1. Restricted UX Design  

Native UX components are not available for cross-platform apps. As a result, it is unable to provide the same user experience as someone who is familiar with the platform. 

  1. Reduced app performance 

The poor speed and performance of cross-platform mobile apps is one of their main disadvantages. Cross-platform applications are slower and perform worse because they require an extra abstraction layer and a rendering process. 

  1. Slower Application & Restricted Capabilities 

The cross-platform application is slower than its native counterpart due to the requirement for an extra abstraction layer and rendering process. 

Developers could find it challenging to use smartphone features like the camera, microphone, and geolocation in ways that are feasible for native apps.

Which is Better for Developing Enterprise Mobile Apps: Native or Cross-Platform?

Businesses are naturally adopting corporate mobile app development at an increasing rate given its many advantages. In the end, those who will have to choose between native and cross-platform mobile development.  

There are basic differences between native and cross-platform development when it comes to the operating system that your software will run on. Native mobile apps, like those for iOS or Android, are designed for a particular operating system. Cross-platform applications, on the other hand, are compatible with several operating systems and enable companies to use a single source code to target numerous platforms. 

When facing this decision, consulting with a trusted mobile app development agency can provide valuable insights and expertise to help you choose the right path for your project. 

Final Thoughts

One of the first steps in developing a successful, reliable, and well-received mobile application is deciding which operating system, or platforms, your application should work with. 

While developing a mobile application, keep in mind that while there are native and cross-platform development approaches for the Android and iOS operating systems, you should weigh the advantages, disadvantages, tools, and techniques of each approach. 

Both native and cross-platform development can assist you in creating a successful app, but in order to ensure effective development, you must take into account the tools, frameworks, advantages, and disadvantages of each. 

As you delve into the complexities of choosing between Cross-platform and Native Mobile Development for your enterprise, you need a partner you can trust. Our team of experts understands the nuances of both approaches inside and out. With years of experience and a proven track record, we’re uniquely equipped to guide you through this critical decision.

Don’t Settle for Second Best.  

Choose Excellence and Expertise.  

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