According to Persistence Market Research, the global mobile app market is worth $112 billion and is expected to grow by 2.7 times by 2030, with Android and Apple dominating platform mobile app development. Statista indicates about 27.6 billion apps are downloaded from Google Play and 8.1 billion from the App Store annually.
Yet, the critical question remains on what app development platform to choose, which is when cross-platform vs. native mobile app development comes into play. So, let’s explore the inquiry in more detail and determine which approach toward mobile app development is better for you.
Cross-platform vs. native mobile app development includes two key approaches to mobile software development. Let’s start with the first one and explore its pros and cons.
In a nutshell, cross-platform app development is the approach to building mobile apps that can operate on various platforms and operating systems using a single source code. As we mentioned above, mobile apps running on Android and iOS dominate the market. In such a case, cross-platform development enables developers to build apps that work on both these platforms. Most apps made for different platforms use cross-platform mobile app development frameworks, for instance, Flutter and React. Knowing the definition of the notion, it is time to explore why some companies choose it and why others prefer to steer clear of it.
There are some notable advantages offered by cross-platform (vs. native development) approaches. For the cross-platform mobile app development, these are the core upsides:
These are some distinct advantages of cross-platform vs. native app development. However, as with any approach, this method is not a panacea.
When it comes to the downsides of cross-platform vs. native development, keep in mind the following:
Considering these disadvantages is crucial when choosing between cross-platform vs. native mobile app development. Let’s proceed to the second approach – native mobile app development.
Essentially, the difference between cross-platform vs native development is that the first approach targets a single platform. While cross-platform apps are universal, native apps are platform-specific and are usually written in a particular programming language, for example, Java or Kotlin for Android; Swift or Objective-C for iOS.
What is more, when working with native app development, you must always think about software development kits (SDKs), which must be specific to the operating system you have chosen for your app-to-be. Besides, native development requires an integrated development environment (IDE), like Android Studio or AppCode. Yet, similarly to cross-platform app development, to decide whether to choose a native mobile app development, you need to know its pros and cons.
Building native mobile apps come with the following upsides:
These are some key advantages brought by native mobile app development. Yet, in the case of cross-platform vs. native mobile app development, there are downsides to both approaches.
For the native apps, the disadvantages are as follows:
Keeping these downsides in mind is vital when choosing between cross-platform vs. native development.
When considering cross-platform vs. native mobile app development, one cannot say that one approach is better or worse. In our experience as a software development company, many businesses tend to start with a cross-platform approach and then switch to native app development as a more reliable way to develop and high-quality and secure application. To sum it all up, the choice between the two approaches depends on what you are looking for. If you want a low-cost app developed fast and are ready to compromise on security, cross-platform mobile app development can be your pick. However, if you want to deliver the best performance and protect user data to the fullest, native app development is the best pick.