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About The Author: Hanna Shnaider
PhD in Philology | Passionate About Modern Technologies | Bringing Digitalization Towards the Business
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Mobile apps are everywhere and mobile app development as a consequence. From the latest trends to pop-culture icons, we are all in this together. With mobile apps dominating our lives and continuing their growth at a rapid pace, it is important for app developers to know what direction they want to take before getting started.  

Mobile app development methods are constantly evolving and changing. There are many different approaches to developing a mobile application, but the best approach will depend on your needs. 

Since there is a debate on which type of development method will be most profitable native or cross-platform? The end goal is a clear understanding of which type of solution is right for your project, whether that’s native or cross-platform.  

Let’s explore some factors that may influence your decision when deciding whether you should develop using Native or Cross-Platform Development.

What is native and cross-platform app development?

Native app development is a technique that involves programming an app for a certain operating system, which in turn means it will only work on one device as opposed to cross-platform app development. Cross-platform app development, however, allows the app to run on multiple devices.  

This is achieved by programming the app once and then compiling it into a format that can be accessed on different devices. With the abundance of devices available in the market today,  native app development has become a choice for many companies as it allows them to create an app that is specific to a device and thus offers better compatibility.

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What are the differences between native mobile app development and cross-platform mobile app development?

Native mobile app development is the process of developing a mobile application for one native platform. The developers write the code from scratch using the programming language supported by the platform. 

A cross-platform mobile app, on the other hand, is an automatically generated skeleton application that is coded in HTML5 and JavaScript. It can be extended with native projects to support features like camera, location, accelerometer, etc.

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What are the factors to be considered in selecting a mobile application development approach?

There are a few factors to be considered in selecting a mobile application development approach. 

  1. The first thing to consider is the constraints of the developers. A skilled developer will be able to use a software framework that will allow him or her to get the maximum out of available resources. It is worth noting that such frameworks cannot always guarantee the success of a project.
  2. The second factor to consider is the type of application that you want to create, especially if it has never been created before and there are no existing frameworks that can serve as templates for it. A feature-rich application would require a large amount of programming, which would necessitate having in-depth knowledge about various aspects of mobile app development such as animation, UX design, memory and CPU efficiency (with regards to Android), cross-platform responsiveness, and others. On the other hand, the developers may opt for a framework that will enable them to develop apps with simpler functionality.
  3. The third factor is the purpose of the app and whether it requires any special features. For instance, an application designed for social media would require integration with Facebook or Twitter accounts, creating a native login system, and building in features that are commonly associated with social media.
  4. The fourth factor is whether the application to be built requires any specific hardware capabilities. For example, if you are building an augmented reality mobile game, you would need access to a phone’s camera sensors and GPS location support, among other features that may or may not come as standard in each smartphone device.
  5. The fifth factor to consider is the type of end-users that would be using your app. If you want it to be used by a general audience, its design will have to be simple. However, if you are targeting a specific audience, such as teenagers or elderly people with vision problems and other related disabilities, you need to look at implementing features that will allow these users to use the application without having any difficulties.
  6. The sixth factor is the development cost and whether your budget can accommodate it.
  7. The seventh factor is whether you would be using a cross-platform framework or an app development technology for Android in particular, as many of the top mobile app development companies would advise.
  8. The eighth factor is the developer’s experience. It would be ideal to choose a group of developers that have previously developed apps with similar characteristics as yours, although it is worth noting that there are certain building blocks within any app development technology or framework that are more or less common across various other applications. More experienced developers will also be aware of the common pitfalls to avoid, as well as knowing the right service providers when hiring freelancers or outsourcing your project.
  9. The ninth factor is whether you can communicate effectively with your chosen developers and their availability. It will be ideal if they are available for email communication during business hours, although that may not always be possible given that some developers work from their homes or another location
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Is cross-platform the best choice for mobile app development?

Cross-platform is the best choice for mobile app development and I can tell you why. Cross-platform apps can be developed on any operating system, including Android, iPhone, iPad or any other phone. For example, if you are developing an Android app then you can publish it on iOS. 

With this approach you will save a lot of time and effort as your code will only need to be written one time. Taking a general approach we can see that cross-platform has two main advantages: time and cost savings. 

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Mobile apps are a trend that will continue to grow at an exponential rate, and as such, it is important for developers to know the difference between native mobile app development vs. cross-platform mobile app development. 

For example, if you want a simple one-page website with minimal features or functionality then you may not need anything more than HTML5 coding skills; however, if your business relies heavily on location services and other advanced technology then you should think about investing in native programming that has been created specifically for this type of device. 

Our developers are here to help you in bringing your idea into a ready market solution. Whether it’s a mobile app or a webpage, or a complex software solution – we are here to provide you with best practices, knowledge and expertise.