Not sure which is the best fit platform for your Mobile App Project?

In today’s technology era and excess use of smartphones, more and more people are moving towards mobile apps development for various reasons – to shop, play games, access news and information, engage on social media platforms and many more.

But with increasing competition between iOS and Android, people have a million-dollar question which is, how do you determine which platform is the best fit for your app? Here, we compare the pros and cons of native, cross-platform and hybrid apps.

Native Development

Using Native platform app are developed using native programming language specific to the phone and its operating system, and with native one specific app is created for one targeted platform.

Native development is done with Objective C and Swift for iPhone and iPad(iOS), Java for Android phones and Tablets and C#/Visual Basic & XAML for Windows Phone.

Pros of developing using Native Platform

  • It provides access to all the features offered by the device and operating system.
  • Allows utilizing advanced features that your OS have introduced or make available with the recent updates, such as Access USB input, complex networking, memory management etc.
  • There are no limitations in terms of app performance and speed. This is important when creating a graphics intensive app, such as a game, or an app that will be used by millions of users or when you want to handle a lot of data and last but not the least when you want to use or access devices’ native resources.
  • Built using technologies recommended and used by the device’s manufacturer
  • It can provide a native user interface ‘out of the box’ – when used correctly the app’s user interface will update as the operating system updates over time
  • There are no limitations in terms of advanced user interface customization or any enhancement.

Cons of developing a Native mobile app

  • If supporting multiple devices (e.g. iOS and Android), two or more separate apps have to be developed
  • No code can be shared between the versions of these separate apps
  • Development time can be slow (if supporting two or more separate apps)
  • Testing time is affected, as two or more completely separate codebases need to be tested.
  • Sometimes the output and result of apps in terms of look and feel or performance will be slightly different due to the platform dependencies and limitations.

Cross-platform Development

Cross Platform

Cross-platform development is carried out with an intermediate language, such as Javascript, that is not native to the device’s operating system. This means that some, or all, of this code can be shared across targeted platforms – for instance, across iOS, Android and Windows.

Cross-platform apps are developed with Xamarin, Appcelerator, React Native, Unity, Cocos2D-X, Corona, Nativescript etc.

Pros of developing a cross-platform mobile app

  • Code can be shared between different versions of the apps across devices (possibly up to 80%)
  • The User Interface is rendered using ‘native’ controls, so UI performance can be very near to native development.

Cons of developing a cross-platform app

  • Not all code can be shared, so some native code may need to be written
  • Speed can be impacted, as some of the intermediate language may need to be interpreted ‘on the fly’
  • Access to the device and operating system features rely on the framework or plugin support
  • User interface customization is dependent on the framework support and their updates as it sometimes very late then Native Platform updates.

Hybrid Development

Hybrid development can also be achieved with both native and cross-platform development but it renders the user interface using an embedded web browser, leveraging HTML, CSS and Javascript.

HTML5 hybrid apps are developed with Cordova (PhoneGap), Trigger.IO, Ionic Framework, Sencha Touch, Kendo UI and Telerik Platform.

Pros of developing an Hybrid mobile app

  • Code can be shared between different versions of the apps across devices (possibly up to 80%)
  • Building the core part of the app using web technologies allows for faster development time (depending on your developer, of course)
  • Libraries, such as Ember, AngularJS, React, PaperJS, can be leveraged for web development
  • The core of the app can be updated without going via the AppStore (via “hot code push”)

Cons of developing an HTML5 Hybrid mobile app

  • Not all code can be shared, so some native code may need to be written
  • Speed can be impacted, as interaction is via the embedded web-browser control
  • Access to the device and operating system features are dependent on the framework or plugin support
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