Mobile apps are gaining more and more share of the daily human activities as they are used for more than 3 hours per day according to latest statistics providing many opportunities for businesses to reach and improve business relationships with current and potential customers.
Mobile apps market revenues are expected to reach more than 190 billion US dollars by the end of 2020 as they help businesses in many areas:
- Increase brand awareness with more users using your business app
- Improve customers’ relationships with fast and personal communication options available in mobile apps
- Operate business transaction like purchase orders, booking, and payment transactions on e-commerce websites smoothly and effortlessly
- Increasing the trust in your brand with public positive reviews
With many competitive advantages provided by mobile apps, the need for many cost-effective and high-performance mobile applications development solutions has been emphasized which lead to creating many alternatives for mobile application development including Native Apps and Cross-platform Apps.
We will discuss in the following sections of this article each approach in developing mobile apps in details regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each approach (Native vs. Cross-platform) and how to choose the suitable one for developing your business mobile app.
Native mobile apps development
Native mobile apps are those apps which developed for a specific platform and operating system (mainly: Android OS for Google platform & iOS for Apple Platform) with dedicated suitable programming knowledge and skills to create the mobile app from scratch for each platform chosen to launch your business mobile app for the targeted audience.
For Android apps: the mobile development platform is Android Studio and the programming languages suitable to develop your mobile app are Java or Kotlin.
For iOS apps: the mobile development platform is Xcode and the programming languages suitable to develop your mobile app are Swift or Objective C.
Before choosing native apps as an approach for developing your business mobile app, you should learn the pros and cons of native mobile apps to make the right decision which we will discuss in details in the following two sections of this article.
Pros of developing native apps
Native mobile applications are distinguished with many competitive advantages including:
Performance: Native apps are known with their high performance as they utilize all online and offline features and apps of the device with full access to all hardware and software components including camera, local DB, geolocation, USB input, complex networking and consume the device resources more efficiently including memory, battery, and CPU.
User Experience (UX): native apps are developed with the platform-specific IDEs (Integrated development environment) which enable the simplifying of the designing process and developing stages to create fast, responsive apps with fewer number of crashes and a familiar user interface for each operating system to meet the high standards required of user experience.
Testing & Updates integration: native mobile apps are integrated quickly with the operating systems and devices updates and new features plus the ease of testing by the platform-specific IDE that enables for virtual tests for every feature and methods included in the application.
More Exposure: native mobile apps are the favorites to be approved for each platform to upload the app on App Store or Google Play to reach the desired audience with more exposure than rejected apps that didn’t meet the required performance and user experience standards which will not be reached easily as they are not available on Google Play or App Store.
Cons of developing native apps
Developing a native mobile app is not an easy game to complete without some obstacles including:
Costs & Development Speed: native apps will require a longer period to develop as you start from scratch to develop the app for each platform with the need to the dedicated team of Android and iOS mobile developers to develop each app which will consume more and more of financial and human resources.
Target Audience: when you develop a native app for only a specific platform and operating system either android or iOS, you’ll lose a huge market share of potential users for your app who are not users of the chosen operating system.
Maintenance & Updates: the situation for maintenance and updates is the same for the app development as you’re required to discover and fix development bugs for the app maintenance for each version of the app plus the need for performing regular updates for each version on your app which will require more time and efforts for your business app maintenance and updates.
High Performance Standards: many mobile apps are rejected by the chosen platform (Google Play or App store) to upload and publish your app due to failure of meeting high-performance standards which creates a solid chance that your business mobile app will not be available to potential users after consuming financial and human resources to develop this app.
Cross-platform mobile apps development
Cross-platform mobile apps are the apps developed with “Compile once, Run Everywhere” concept as they are developed with a single reusable codebase to run on different mobile platforms and operating systems.
The need for Cross-platform mobile apps development arises due to limited budgets or tight schedules for businesses which is not suitable to develop a native mobile app for each chosen platform.
There are many development tools and frameworks for developing cross-platform apps including:
We will discuss the pros and cons of developing a cross-platform mobile app in details to reach a conclusion about if this is a suitable solution for your business app based on the business needs, goals and available resources.
Pros of developing cross-platform mobile apps
Cross-platform mobile apps are distinguished with many competitive advantages including:
Costs & Development Speed: cross-platform mobile apps save from 50% up to 80% of development costs and time allocated for developing native apps as the code is reusable once you finished the coding phase, the code will be interpreted to make up run smoothly on different platforms & operating systems with no need to a different additional team to develop the app for each platform.
Larger Audience: when you develop a cross-platform app for different mobile operating systems, you’ll increase the audience base for potential users as your business app is ready to run on any mobile operating system they use.
Development Skills & Knowledge: cross-platform mobile developers will only need to learn the programming language of their chosen development framework like C# for Xamarin platform and how to use this platform to create an efficient cross-platform mobile app runs smoothly everywhere.
Maintenance & Updates: regular maintenance activities and periodic updates are required for mobile apps but it’s easier for a cross-platform app as the all changes will sync and reflect automatically on all platforms and devices once you’re done.
Cons of developing cross-platform mobile apps
There are some deficiencies related to developing a cross-platform mobile application including:
Performance: cross-platform mobile apps are known for their performance issues related to launching speed, scrolling, clicks, and many crashes as they are not developed on the platform-specific IDE with limited access to the features of the device, hardware, software components, and the device native APIs as they not developed for specific devices with no focus on each device features with many bugs to fix for the app maintenance.
User Experience: with many performance issues and unified design of the app unfamiliar for Android and iOS users, it’ll be difficult to reach the desired user experience standards as many cross-platform apps provide a poor user experience.
More Platform Rejection: official platforms for mobile apps like Google Play and App store will require meeting high performance and user experience standards and many cross-platform apps receive a rejection from these platforms to upload your business app which will decrease exposure to potential users.
Delayed Updates Integration: cross-platform apps are slowly integrated with updates and new features added to the operating systems or devices which delay it for the app users from enjoying the benefits of these new features or updates.
Choosing an approach for your business mobile app development depends on many important factors including the available period for developing the app, the allocated budget, target audience and whether you have an internal mobile development team or you’ll deal with an experienced agency in technology solutions.
Native mobile apps are a suitable choice for:
- Many features apps
- Graphics-intensive apps
- Single-platform apps
- Specific-device features apps
- Mobile apps with a focus on high performance & user experience standards
Cross-platform mobile apps are a suitable choice for:
- Simple mobile games apps
- Limited-budget projects
- Narrow time schedule projects
- Testing projects
- Content and informative apps
Contact Sendian Creations today to start developing your business mobile app