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During the last several years of I.T. evolution, mobile application development market has led both the clients and mobile developers to face the questions:

Should we look for native app on each mobile platform (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows) or should we build a cross-platform solution? Which Platform is right for our business?  

Here are some major factors that we assessed while searching an optimal solution and the right balance between time, cost and performance of the app:

 

  • TIME: Native mobile app development for a specific device and porting it to other platforms is very time consuming process as each new platform requires more or less similar amount of development/coding time.
  • DEVELOPMENT SKILLSET and Talent: Native app development leads to an increased range of the required skills – hence, it increases the number of the developers involved in the project;
  • COST: As per above-mentioned factors – the cost of native mobile apps development may vary for each project where sometime client needs the app in two platforms simultaneously or more. It increased cost to be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled depending on the number of platforms he would like to cover.

Let’s have a look on different market places and their specification.

Market Place Apple Itunes Google Play Blackberry App World Windows Phone Marketplace
Languages Obj C, C, C++ Java Java C#, VB.NET, Silverlight
Tools Xcode Android SDK (*Eclipse*) BB Java Eclipse Plug-In Visual Studio and Win Phone Dev Tools

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Native Development

Native is essentially the code compiled for specific mobile platforms or devices. For iOS, it’s Objective-C and for Android it’s Java. It is best to choose native app development, as it’s more efficient and stable according to hardware. Native apps always give you better performance and consistent layout. If a requirement of your app is performance you should look very seriously at developing using any specific platform’s native language. By performance we can simply say how responsive your application needs to be, how quickly your app starts, how it interacts with other apps and the device itself and how it consumes available resources. Native applications will always be the most performing.

There are certain cases when we prefer to develop a native mobile application instead of cross platform:

– When solution requires processing large amounts of data on the client side;

– When high performance is essential;

– When developing mobile solutions based on video or game scenarios.

– When developing utilities that manage system resources or Operating Systems (OS);

Advantages of Native Mobile Applications:

  • Much Better Performance
  • Access to all hardware/OS features out of the box (camera, storage, Mic) access provided by the native API
  • No Limits between your imagination and the device’s capabilities

Disadvantages of Native Mobile Applications:

  • Porting app to another platform need same amount of code or time.
  • Number of developers needed

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Cross-platform

There are many at least 100+ of these Cross platform Tools in today’s market, though we only typically hear of a few which are popular and used by most developer. Cross-platform mobile application development is a solution in which code languages usually HTML/CSS and JavaScript are used and compiled for multiple platforms. You essentially need one code base to compile to multiple devices. Some solutions will compile it into native code but some use web views and hooks to use native features. There are many factors why people use cross-platform solutions; one is to keep costs down. Some Examples of Cross-Platform solutions are Titanium Appcelerator, Phonegap or Cordova, Corona, Sencha.

 

When to go with Cross Platform App

  • Your app ports on more than one platform.
  • Need access to basic native features (Contacts, Calendar..)
  • Need simple look and feel/performance

 

Some Advantages of using Cross Platform App

  • Write once build for anywhere
  • Saves time
  • Standard performance

 

Some Limitations of using Cross Platform App

  • Sometimes we need to write platform specific code
  • To write plugins/modules again in Native Code (Obj, Java, C#)
  • End user may find difference in performance.
  • It’s young now (but the number of strong supporters is growing)

 

We can see both Native vs Cross platform mobile application by comparing into a table :

Mobile Platforms Device Access Development Speed Development Cost Approval Process Code Base
Native Full Best Expensive Mandatory Different
Cross-Platform Full Better Reasonable Mandatory One

 

If you still have doubts and would like to choose the best alternative at a price that does not drive a black hole in your pocket, get in touch with us for an expert opinion.