In a recent article, The Economic Times published that India has become the fastest-growing mobile app market in the world. The YoY growth for Q1 2018 was as much as 41% -- ranking India 29th in terms of revenue generated from mobile apps pegged at roughly $47 million. While the mobile app industry continues to grow, it leaves behind a much-debated subject – that of having to choose between a native app or a cross-platform app. To help you understand the concepts and make a fair decision, we’ve listed the pros and cons of both options below. Here goes.
To begin with, let’s quickly highlight the basic characteristic of Native and Cross-platform apps.
Native apps are developed using a programming language for one particular platform such as iOS, Android, or a Windows phone. In these cases, the app will be written using Swift/ Objective -C, Java or C#/ VB.NET respectively.
On the other hand, cross-platform mobile apps are developed in such a way that it can be customised to fit various other platforms.
Compatibility with device: Because native apps are designed for a particular OS, the app can seamlessly integrate with the user’s device. It also enables the app to access the phone’s features such as the camera, microphone, Bluetooth, GPS, etc. This compatibility increases convenience for the customer.
Better Ranking: Native apps are known to do comparatively better than cross-platform apps because of its user-friendly interface. This also helps the mobile app rank higher in the respective app store – a very important factor when it comes to business profitability.
Great Display: Because the code is compatible with the OS and device hardware, the overall graphics and display of a native app is much better as compared to cross-platform apps. This leads to an improved user experience and also reduces the chances of crashing.
High cost: Native apps are more expensive as separate mobile applications need to be developed for each platform. The business will need to hire designers who are fluent in each platform making the overall cost of investment much higher.
More time-consuming: Developing multiple mobile applications for various platforms is a rather time-consuming process. This will also increase the development period – something that most businesses look to avoid.
Lack of adaptability: A mobile application for a given platform cannot be converted for another platform. This forces the business to strategize and stick to a given platform or develop apps for multiple platforms.
Cost-effective: Having to develop a single mobile application that can be used for multiple platforms is like striking two birds with one stone. The company doesn’t need to hire many developers to serve a single function, thus, making it easy on the wallet.
Time-saving: Writing a single program is understandably faster than writing many programs. Cross-platform mobile applications can be used across multiple platforms. This reduces time spent on customizations and reduces the time-to-launch.
Weak Performance: Where native apps are developed to completely synchronize with a given platform, cross-platforms apps fail to do the same. This results in the app occasionally crashing or having a lag. The weak performance, in turn, affects user preference and thereby its popularity.
Constant updates: Cross-platform mobile applications cannot support every feature of the OS as it’s not exclusively designed for the same. This requires the app to be updated every time the OS is revamped or has a new feature.
Internet Connection: Unlike most native apps, the cross-platform mobile applications cannot function in off-line mode. This makes it difficult for users to be able to access important apps. Clearly, mobile application development is not easy and has to be a rather well thought out decision. If you’re still confused and would like a professional opinion, Aress can help. Get clear strategies and implementation direction through our dedicated mobile application business unit.