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In a world where people spend 3 hours daily on their smartphones, the future for app publishing sure looks bright. Apps have become so essential that the average person uses nine of them throughout the day. Unsurprisingly, global app revenue is expected to reach $755.5 billion by 2027.
But the competition is fierce. In a sea of over 5.6 million Android and iOS apps, getting yours noticed, downloaded, and regularly used can be difficult.
Choosing a development approach for your app is among the first and most important decisions to make. And when it comes time for development, no topic is more polarizing than cross-platform app development vs. native.
Which one should you pick? In this blog, we’ll compare native app development vs. cross-platform to help you find the right fit. We also give you some tips for choosing a mobile app development company if you’re looking to hire a dedicated development team.
Native development involves building apps tailored for a specific platform using languages and tools that are native or natural for that platform’s natural operation. This means Swift for iOS app development and Java or Kotlin for Android.
The native approach allows full access to the platform’s resources and features. However, it also means you need to build and sustain separate native applications for each platform. This trade-off can be worthwhile in some cases because native development offers the following advantages:
Overall, native app development is a dependable approach that continues to be widely used. But it has several drawbacks:
Native app development may be the best choice if you intend to launch an OS-specific app on just one platform. It can also be effective when device-specific features are necessary.
For example, if your app requires access to lower-level system tools such as the iPhone’s CarPlay.
But outside these two scenarios, native cross-platform development is the clear winner.
The terms hybrid cross-platform and native cross-platform are often used interchangeably, but they’re slightly different. Let’s distinguish the two before we proceed.
Hybrid cross-platform development broadly refers to building a single application that runs on multiple platforms using another technology as a bridge to build apps. During its early days, this approach relied on web-based technologies like Cordova (previously known as PhoneGap) and Ionic.
Native cross-platform development is a newer type of cross-platform approach. It refers specifically to using tools and frameworks that leverage native UI components and platform-specific APIs, resulting in apps that look and feel native. When it comes to frameworks, Flutter and React Native are the current leaders.
From Microsoft to Shopify, big tech loves native cross-platform because of its clear value proposition — invest your efforts in building and maintaining one high-performing app instead of diluting resources in separate apps. This preferred approach offers key benefits:
Given all these benefits, it’s easy to see why analysts expect the cross-platform tool market to grow by 17% every year until 2030.
But while native cross-platform frameworks have come a long way in accessing device-specific features, they can’t leverage all the functions native development can. For example, some hardware components (such as sensors) may not be fully accessible.
After reviewing each approach’s benefits and limitations, you can start deciding which strategy best serves your project. This means looking at factors beyond just the platform.
All things considered, native cross-platform development is the best choice for most projects. When wielded by a highly-experienced mobile app development company, this “write once and use everywhere” approach is superior to native development.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet to answer one of the most common questions – which is better: native app development vs cross-platform app?
|Time to market
|Ease of updating
|Medium to complex
|Medium to low
|Quality of UX
Working with a mobile app development company that has the right skills, experience, and approach is crucial for the success of your app.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a partner:
You can also benefit from their efficient coding techniques and optimal resource allocation. This can result in faster time-to-market, reduced costs, and an app that delivers a consistent and engaging user experience across both iOS and Android.
Dedicated development teams excel in communication. Their focused approach improves understanding and teamwork. Established processes and channels reduce miscommunication and delays, allowing team members to quickly reach a consensus. Close collaboration and familiarity also encourage continuous improvement.
Cheesecake Labs is proud to be one of the best mobile app developers in Latin America. We are trusted by a long list of mid-market and enterprise clients to deliver high-quality apps that work seamlessly on multiple devices. With our expertise in cross-platform frameworks, we can build native-quality apps efficiently.
Ready to chat about your mobile app development project? We can turn your idea into a fully viable product. Get in touch to get started!
VP of Engineering at Cheesecake Labs - IA / IoT enthusiast. Go bravely where no one have never gone before!