Is Native or Cross-Platform Development Better?

Cross-platform development

Technologies for creating mobile applications are developing quite rapidly. Therefore, today there is a choice between native and cross-platform mobile development applications.

In the article below we will tell you what it is, how they differ from each other and which way to choose: native or cross-platform mobile development.

What is native and cross-platform mobile development?

Native development is the creation of a mobile application for a specific operating system. For example, it could be iOS. In this case, the application will be supported only on one OC. Accordingly, for support on Android and iOS, two separate applications must be developed simultaneously.

Cross-platform development is the implementation of an application that runs on multiple operating systems. This becomes possible with the help of universal code in a cross-platform framework.

Pros and cons of native mobile app development

Native app development has its advantages and disadvantages. We will talk about them below.

So, the advantages of native development include:

  • Flexible functionality. Developing an application for a specific OS allows you to implement the features supported by this particular system. In addition, such functions will work more correctly. In addition, it is possible to develop functionality taking into account the unique functions of the device.
  • Faster work speed. When creating an application, a code that is understandable and familiar to the platform is used, so it is able to work more quickly and efficiently. At the same time, in cross-platform development, the application may not work as quickly.
  • More understandable interface. Guidelines are used for application design in native development. These are guidelines for adapting the design of an application for a specific platform. Accordingly, the design of the native application will be more familiar and user-friendly.

The disadvantages of developing native applications include:

  • High price. If you need two versions of a native application for different operating systems, you will need to pay for two separate applications. And if you consider that the cost of development usually starts from 1 million rubles, then the number of expenses will be considerable.

Pros and cons of cross-platform development

Cross-platform mobile app development also has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s talk about them in more detail. 

The benefits of cross-platform development include:

  • The ability to get an application that works on several operating systems at once. You do not need to develop an application for each system separately. The application developed using cross-platform technology will be available for installation both in the App Store and Google Play.
  • A cross-platform application will cost less than two separate versions of a native one. As for the difference in the cost of one native and one cross-platform application, it will not be entirely correct to compare here. After all, the cost of development also depends on the requirements for functionality.

Learn more about the benefits of cross-platform development:

The disadvantages of creating cross-platform applications include:

  • Less flexible functionality. Due to the difference in operating systems, the implementation of some functions will be difficult, and the application may not work as well. In addition, efficiency suffers.
  • More stringent requirements. In app stores, in particular the AppStore, the requirements for a cross-platform application will be higher, and moderation will be longer, and problems may arise.
  • Slower operating speed. Due to the difference in interface between operating systems, a cross-platform application is usually slower than a native one.
  • Problems with operating system updates – cross-platform applications will lag behind in functionality.

Note: Native app development will be faster than cross-platform development. This is due to the fact that in cross-platform development it is necessary to apply different approaches within the same code and test, which increases the development time.

Creating two native applications will be faster, but more expensive to develop and maintain. The higher speed and cost is explained by the fact that versions for Android and iOS are developed simultaneously by different developers who have knowledge of their OS.

Mobile development article and permission to publish here provided by Mariusz Gradon. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on May 23, 2022.

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