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Native App or Cross Platform App: Decide even before the Wireframe Stage

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Mobile app development may prove deceptive, unless you are equipped with in-depth planning, precision and streamlining of processes to create a final app. It starts with an app idea and is drilled down to design, development and deployment. However; one thing that needs to be decided even before getting down to the Wireframe stage is the way, you would want to design, develop and deploy your mobile app.

It is really an important decision to be made whether you would want to go ahead and develop a native or cross-platform app. Let me tell you, that it is not at all an easy task as it may sound. Not to forget that this is the most important part across the mobile app development lifecycle and the final choice is based on several factors including your budget, technical skills and of course the end user base.

Native app or Cross Platform App

Native Apps

A native app is the one that is specially developed for a particular device and installed straight on the device. Designed ground up, native applications are coded in a specific programming language and provide a high-degree of power, reliability, and performance. These apps can be downloaded via app store such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play store.

These Native apps are the ones with access to inbuilt device features including camera and address book, and in some cases the app performs in offline mode as well. But I would like to highlight one thing here, that the speed and functionality, though is an added advantage, comes in at a premium price. It is so because native apps are developed for a particular operating system, the companies are compelled to create multiple versions for different platforms.

Cross-Platform Apps

Mobile strategy is just not about having apps, instead the shift here is towards supporting multiple mobile platforms. Several big companies enjoy the luxury to focus on just one operating system and turn blind eye towards other operating systems. However; the fact still remains that most businesses need to target different device types and platforms.

If you are a startup, developing on different platforms might prove to be a challenge in terms of costs and manpower. No doubts that several development tools floating around in the market may help you overcome these barriers using cross-platform mobile framework.

Cross platform is a term used for the technique for developing apps with common code base. The cross platform app development tools use single code base to write your code, while the Cross Platform SDK produces apps that are designed and developed to work on several platforms. Cross Platform apps can be developed using cross platform tools that make them run through several mobile devices as well.

Flexibility comes at a premium price

Low cost of cross platform app development comes at a real hefty cost; really, let me explain. One of the major drawbacks of using cross platform app development tools is that while customizing the app, you always will have to rely on the cross platform tool itself. This certainly restricts you from capitalizing on the security, performance and of course the upgrades of the platform. The code might not run fast as compared to using other native tools itself. Last but not the least, there is no surety that the framework will support each and every feature of an OS or device.

Conclusion

Native apps might seem to be an expensive proposition in the initial stage, but they are faster and much more efficient. If you are looking out to take strategic advantage of some of those latest features in the underlying OS, a targeted user experience for the platform, robust performance and complete control over optimization, a native app works out to be the best option for you. If you are looking for options to quickly launch a mobile app on various platforms with a fast time to market, you can consider going ahead with a cross platform tool.

So what do you think, what will be your approach – a cross-platform development for mobile apps or a native one? Do you favor using a framework or want to go ahead with native all the way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

About the Author:

Hitech ITO
Mobile App Development

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