Cross-Platform Development Pros & Cons: Which One Is Best For Your App Development?
Cross-platform and native apps are two popular app development trends that have been around for some time. Cross-platform development is building one mobile application that can be used on multiple operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows and more. On the other hand, native apps are standalone applications that run on their own platform.
Both cross-platform and native app development helps in bringing useful features to different users without making them install a different version of your software. However, they come with advantages and disadvantages as well. We will look at these below to help you decide which kind of app is right for your business.
What is cross-platform development?
Cross-platform development is when software is developed to work on various devices, operating systems, and programming languages. This is distinct from web development, where code can run on multiple devices regardless of the programming language used. Developers create apps that can run on various platforms, which lets them reach more users and reduce the risk of failure. The catch is that developing and testing across different platforms is hard. The resulting apps may suffer from bugs or performance issues that aren’t specific to the device or operating system they’re running on.
Advantages of Cross-Platform App Development
Cost Effective: Cross-platform app development is cost-effective as you don’t have to develop multiple apps for different platforms. Instead, you can focus on one app that can be used on various platforms.
Wide Range Of Devices: Cross-platform app development helps you develop an app that can be used across a wide range of devices like tablets, smartphones, wearables and more.
Reusability: If users download your app on different platforms, they will automatically get the same app with the same functionalities. This is known as reusability.
Disadvantages of Cross-Platform App Development
Complex: Cross-platform app development is difficult and time-consuming. You must develop the app for multiple platforms and store them in different stores.
Security Issues: Cross-platform app development may cause security issues as you don’t know who is accessing which app from where.
Codebase Issues: Cross-platform app development is difficult as you don’t know how the codebase will look on the different platforms.
Losing Control: If you are developing an app for cross-platform, you won’t have complete control of the app.
What is Native App Development?
Native app development is the best option to create an app that can be used across many devices, including desktop computers, laptops, Android and iOS smartphones and more. Native apps are standalone applications built for a single platform like Android, iOS or Windows. Native apps are made for a specific operating system and don’t depend on any external service or API. Similar to cross-platform app development, native app development involves multiple steps like creating an app prototype, implementing the functionalities, testing it and finally launching it on the app stores. However, it differs in a few ways.
Advantages of Native App Development
Control: Unlike cross-platform app development, you have complete control of the app development process during native app development.
Performance: Since the app is built for a particular operating system, it is based on an existing codebase. That makes the app performance better than the cross-platform apps.
Access To Additional Resources: During cross-platform app development, you must ensure you don’t use too many external resources like images, videos or music. But this is not required for native app development. Thus, you get access to additional resources for your app.
Disadvantages of Native App Development
Expensive: Native app development is quite costly as you need to hire specialized resources to build the native app.
Long Development Cycle: Native app development is time-consuming as you need to implement the functionalities individually.
Technical Limitations: Native app development is also limited as you can only use the features of the native operating system.
What To Consider When Choosing An Approach To Build Mobile App
When deciding to go down the cross-platform development path, you’ll need to consider the following: -
What do you need to build? If you have a long development process — such as choosing the right platform — you might want to stay with native development. This approach is best for production-ready apps with long development processes and plenty of code.
What are your team’s skill levels? If you have a team with experience in native development, going cross-platform might be your choice. If not, choose the approach that gives you the best chance of success.
What are your budget constraints? If your budget is limited, native development might be your best option because it adds the least cost.
What is your timeline for development? If you have a tight timeline for action, you might want to go with a more rapid approach, such as cross-platform.
Both cross-platform and native app development helps in bringing useful features, and both are very popular in the developing world. However, they come with advantages and disadvantages as well.
Mobio Solutions are the world’s leading software development company. We use cross-platform and native app development to create the perfect application for our clients, which will help them deliver a satisfying experience to their consumers and increase company growth.