Disputes between supporters of native development and adherents of cross-platform hardly ever subside. Many App developers only involve in the native mobile apps development and the reasons are listed in this article.
What is the difference between native and cross-platform development?
Native development is the development of apps for a specific operating system of a mobile device. The development environment can be different and there are many programming languages, but for creating applications for Android, the Java language is used mainly, less often Kotlin and iOS applications are usually written in Objective-C, Swift.
An alternative to native development is cross-platform. Its essence lies in the fact that the source code of the application software turns into native so that it can work on devices with different operating systems.
The main advantages of native development:
• Full hardware support for the mobile platform allows native applications to work quickly and smoothly;
• All problems related to the speed of the code can be traced during the development phase, by finding the areas that are slowing down the process and optimizing them;
• In the development process, you can also track at what point the application begins to require more memory or processor resources;
The main disadvantages of cross-platform:
1. Unpredictable UX
Since each platform uses unique user interface elements, cross-platform development cannot completely tailor the application to the system requirements.
For example, Apple application developers have to comply with the requirements of the corporation in order to get into the App Store. In this case, the time spent on writing the user interface code for a specific platform may outweigh the benefits of programs for developing cross-platform applications.
2. Problems with the introduction of new features
Cross-platform development cannot provide immediate support for the latest iOS and Android updates, as they are third-party software. You just have to wait for the release of a suitable plug-in and once again postpone the release date.
3. Massive application size
Depending on the set of functions and the level of complexity, cross-platform applications are usually heavier than native ones. Sometimes the difference in numbers is just incredible.
The memory size of an app written on Xamarin can be as high as 30 MB, and its full equivalent, written in Objective-C can be 2 MB. You will have to look for additional ways to optimize in order to keep the size of the installation file within reasonable limits.
4. No sustainable support
Cross-platform application developer communities are many times smaller than iOS-and Android-community. But the search for suitable specialists does not end the problem: since the framework ecosystems are constantly evolving, and library updates are released almost every month, you will have to invest a lot of time and effort in studying the documentation. Moreover, in some cases, the lack of custom components leads to the fact that developers have to look for a separate solution.
Why App developers use native development
There are many good reasons why App developers use native development for mobile app development. These are some of them:
1. You can release applications with a break
Writing two applications into your digital strategy is easier than it sounds. It is only necessary to determine which platform your customers have priority.
Suppose an iOS app should go to the App Store as soon as possible, and the Android version can wait. In this case, the choice in favor of native development is obvious. By the way, Apple’s Swift programming language wins in its own speed, and mastering it is not so difficult: commands like “add” and “remove” are easy to remember, and you can almost instantly see how the application will look.
Do not forget about a competent PR campaign and an email update, so that the users you keep on standby can install the version they need right after it appears in the store.
2. No extra cost
To choose the optimal platform, it is necessary to estimate not the current investment in the project, but the amount in relation to the time spent.
At first glance, the development of cross-platform applications seems cheaper, but additional costs can accumulate like a snowball. Since the tools for their creation are relatively new, you will need more time and money to find enough experienced specialists.
With a native application, you can create a competent job description and adequately assess the cost of developing it several times simpler: there is more than enough data to analyze the market.
3. More technical capabilities
If you are building a business around a mobile application or you are going to include complex animation and “heavy” graphics, you should choose a native design. It allows you to quickly make changes to the source code, access all device services, automatically track application performance and improve the quality of animation and rendering.
One of the companies that chose the path of native development to improve their applications is LinkedIn. Due to this, LinkedIn gave users more memory, added debugger programs, and adjusted animations.
4. Satisfy your target audience
If you know the devices that your target audience is using, the native application will be the perfect solution. If the number of owners of Android-smartphones is approximately equal to the number of owners of Apple gadgets, two applications will have to be released at once. But, as we said in the first paragraph, it is not at all necessary to do this at the same time. For your mobile app development, you can contact App development companies.