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Native or Cross-Platform Mobile App – A Definitive Guide

# Cross Platform v/s Native App Development – An Introduction:

Let’s say Bob, a businessman, owns an on-demand grocery delivery app for iOS devices. Since its launch, the app has served as a virtual online store, bringing in new orders from diverse user segments.However, since the app was developed exclusively for iOS users (using Swift), Bob is missing out on customers using Android devices.

Now, Bob wishes he’d hired a cross-platform app development company instead. This happens all the time.However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a cross-platform app is the best solution for your unique enterprise needs.

The truth is.

Many factors are at play that determine which app development solution will offer the most flexible, robust, and intuitive user experience.For some, acquiring React native app development services may be the best fit based on their performance and functionality needs. Other times, not so much.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Fret not.In this guide, we compare the two approaches based on their individual benefits and limitations.

Let’s get started.

# Back to Basics: Cross-Platform v/s React Native Mobile App Development

  • What is Native App Development?

Native app development involves building customizable, feature-rich apps using the platform’s “native” language (Java or Kotlin for Android; Swift for iOS). The process involves utilizing APIs and frameworks specifically designed to be compatible with a single OS.

Most default in-built apps in Android or iOS devices are “native” (e.g. Apple Music, Pokémon Go, File Manager, etc.) and hence will run smoothly on specific platform/OS.

  • What is Cross-Platform App Development?

In the simplest of terms, a cross-platform development approach using a single codebase. A single, shareable code enables a cross platform app development company to save project-associated time, cost, and complexity.

React Native is the most popular open-source UI cross-platform framework known for its fast and secure deployment. Enterprises can hire React Native app development services to make their app run on multiple operating systems (Android, iOS, web browsers).

Some widely renowned cross-platform mobile apps include –

  • Instagram
  • Skype
  • Walmart
  • AirBnB
  • NY Times, etc.

Many of these apps were developed via React native app development services.

# Native v/s Cross Platform – Which is better?

Now that we know the gist of the two app development approaches, let’s scale them based on crucial considerations.

  1. App performance:

Since native apps interact with different codebases, it usually results in a more responsive and dynamic end-product. The lack of rendering and abstraction layer helps optimize app functionality.

Also, since native apps are usually smaller in size and directly interact with their source code and tools, they experience fewer lags/crashes.

  1. Development lifecycle:

To create a native app, developers need to create different programs for different operating systems. Also, code-reusability is not an option when deploying a React Native framework.

Due to the need for writing multiple code bases, the time associated with native app development is considerably higher than cross-platform.

  1. Cost:

Cross-platform apps are generally associated with lower cost because a single codebase is written and optimized for all platforms. Hence, enterprises don’t need to hire separate development teams to create the same app for iOS and Android users.

Also, a shorter development timeframe automatically reduces costs since organizations don’t have to hire teams for an extended period of time.

  1. UX/UI design:

Native apps offer a smooth and rich user experience since developers can customize or configure various features based on the platform, OS, and business requirements.

Moreover, complex layouts, animations, and AI-powered tools optimize the app’s feel and functionalities across platforms/OS. With more room for innovation, native apps generally offer a more interactive and immersive user experience.

  1. In-built security features:

The SDK for a native mobile app can be instantly integrated with the latest security features. Features like data encryption, fraud detection, two-factor authentication, etc. can be integrated using in-built OS libraries.

That being said, debugging and security optimization becomes straightforward via React Native app development services, I.e., a cross platform framework. That’s because you don’t need to deploy additional resources to add security patches on multiple platforms.

  1. Coding complexity & reusability:

Developers love cross-platform apps for their code reusability. About 75-90% of code can be repurposed to simultaneously iOS and Android OS. This reduces development timeframes, time to market, maintenance costs, etc.

Enterprises looking to quickly test and launch their mobile apps are better served by hiring a cross platform app development company.

  1. Compatibility and scalability:

Native apps are built using a specific code environment for a single operating system. Hence, enterprises may face compatibility issues when adding new features or pairing the app with other platforms.

On the other hand, cross-platform frameworks can be integrated with platform-specific features. They are relatively easier to diversify and work seamlessly across different platforms.

# Final Takeaway?

So, what did we learn?

Enterprises should be careful and consider multiple factors when determining which framework will better suit their specific business objectives.

For instance, it’s better to partner with a cross-platform app development company if you’re looking for faster time-to-market and cost effectiveness.

On the other hand, a “native” approach might be suited to organizations with an unlimited budget that need a complex, feature-rich solution.

Or maybe, you can get the best of both worlds, I.e. “performance and security with reduced cost” by adaptive React native app development services.

Our proficient mobile app developers ensure rapid business transformation through tailored app development solutions.

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Chat with our dedicated team today and see where a stunning mobile application can take your business!

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