20 Jun 2017

Native vs Cross Mobile App Development

comScore Inc, an analytics and media measurement company, explains in its recent report that Apple is the leading OEM

Smartphone Manufacturer with around 43.4% market share and Android is the leading smartphone platform with 52.9% market share. With the mobile device market being flooded with these two leaders, there is a high chance that you may lose nearly half of your target audience if you develop a business mobile application for a single platform only. Both Apple and Android have their own merits and demerits.

Let us take a look at the mobile app development approaches of both these technologies before you decide to invest in one:

Native mobile application development

Native app development relies heavily on the innate hardware components and their interaction with the application. Native applications have platform specific development languages, SDKs and development environment.

Just to give you an idea, for Android, the developers usually use Java as the programming language, Android Studio as the Development Environment and Android SDK. The iOS users, on the other hand, use Swift and Object C as main programming languages, Xcode IDE and iOS SDK.

These native tools help create mobile applications for business which have advanced features and extensive collaboration with native components of your mobile phone such as GPS, camera and so on.

To develop native mobile app might seem lucrative in the beginning, it certainly is time-consuming and resource intensive. For creating native applications for each platform, developers need separate codes for Android and iOS. Moreover, you need additional investing, if you plan to release your app on other frameworks such as Windows.

Cross-platform mobile application development

In the simplest of terms, cross-platform applications have a single set of the codebase for all platforms. They follow what is known as "one-size-fits-all" policy. Hybrid applications are affordable; they are scalable and they can be easily updated across all platforms.

However, with so many tools available to develop a cross-platform app, it might become difficult to settle on a single solution.

There are three types of app development approaches for creating cross-platform apps. They are a hybrid, compiled and interpreted solutions.

  1. Hybrid App Development

    Hybrid application development is the most popular cross-platform approach. The "Write Once Run Anywhere" approach makes use of tools like CSS, HTML 5, JavaScript and standard web technologies to create code. This code is then wrapped in a native container and then produced as a regular application. Hybrid apps function like mobile websites. They use UI Web View for displaying components inside the application. They can be developed quickly and have a lower development cost.

  2. Compiled Solutions

    Compiled solutions use different technology stacks for application development. The compiled approach to app development has gained popularity in the last few years. A significant player here is Xamarin source code; written in C# and .Net framework and cross-compiled as native code for Android, iOS and WP.Cross-complied applications perform better than hybrid apps and often categorized with native applications.

  3. Interpreted solutions

    The interpretation approach uses web-based technologies for developing mobile applications which run natively. Integrated applications are similar to compiled solutions in terms of performance, speed and efficiency, but even they cannot provide full native proficiency. However, interpreted solutions work best for businesses which offer services from shared codebase and require running the app on multiple platforms.

Choosing the right approach?

A recent study indicates that 85% companies plan to develop 1 to 20 business mobile applications in the near future. Deciding on the right development strategy and toolset for your application is imperative if you have a backlog of more than 3 mobile apps for the next few years.

BluEnt can help you choose the right platform, based on your business needs. We offer custom app development services for small, medium and enterprise businesses and have happy customers all over the world. Get in touch today to know more about the development services we provide.

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Your Citation

Bluent Tech. "Native vs Cross Mobile App Development" BluEnt Byte, Jun. 20, 2017, https://www.bluent.net/blog/native-vs-cross-mobile-app-development/.

Bluent Tech. (2017, June 20). Native vs Cross Mobile App Development. Retrieved from https://www.bluent.net/blog/native-vs-cross-mobile-app-development/

Bluent Tech. "Native vs Cross Mobile App Development" Bluent Tech https://www.bluent.net/blog/native-vs-cross-mobile-app-development/ (accessed June 20, 2017 ).

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