Two platforms are now definitely the market leaders for some time- iOS and Android. Windows and Blackberry now being non-existent. The challenge is to create apps for these two platforms with minimal effort and hence cross-platforms have gained recognition. Basically cross-platform kills two birds with one stone and are now the new-kids-on-the-block for developers and businesses.
Business cannot risk being missing on either platform but budget is an issue when a business decides to go for native apps. And so cross-platform app development is emerging as the first choice. Cross-platforms allow developers to produce mobile applications compatible with both iOS and Android. It allows them the capability to write the code only once for either iOS or Android. These frameworks though work well on paper and for discussion purposes, come with performance issues and erratic application behaviour. So a cross-platform is good when you have to produce an app for an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) but businesses are realising that when a product has to stand the test of time, it’s easier to code in native apps than waste time on cross-platform ones.
Neither of these Platform development choices are a simple black or white choice and business needs to decide based on other parameters like time to delivery, market reach, aim of the product – a small market research or continued presence, etc. to decide on their choice of development of the app in these platforms.
Pros Of Cross-Platform Development
- Code Reusability: One of the biggest Pros that business usually views. A single code used for multiple platforms and hence half the effort and time for development.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Offers lower cost of development as code is written once and uses for both(or more) platforms.
- Consistency in UI Components: Offers a decent consistency and uniformity in the look and feel.
- Easy Hosting: Easier to host on respective app stores.
- Cloud Integration: Easier cloud integration with enterprise-grade plugins that offer universal compatibility.
- Fewer Technical Barriers: Fewer technical barriers in terms of learning specific languages for different platforms.
- Shorter Time to Market: Offers a shorter time to market and a wider market reach as turnaround is fast.
- Saves Marketing effort: App availability on multiple platforms at same time saves marketing effort.
Cons Of Cross-Platform Development
- Limited Feature Support: Cross-platforms may not always support all the features of different devices on different platforms. The lack of feature support may suspend the developer from going for a better design.
- Sluggishness in Running the Code: As there are too many cross-compliance codes running at the same time.
- The UX May not Always Be Optimal: Getting the same UX on all platforms is a challenge. It is a task to figure the unique capabilities that each platform has to offer.
- Need for Updates: This is not automatic but codes have to be implemented as updates on their end and so waste time especially if there are many updates.
- Available Tools May Not Be Enough: Platforms sometimes do not support the tools available. So, the developer needs to invest time and effort to go back to native tools to complete some tasks.
Advantages Of Native App Development
- Work well with device’s built-in features and usually have a much smoother UX performance.
- Get support from respective app stores. App stores also prefer apps that seem less suspicious.
- Allow easier and faster updates and integration of new features.
- Hardware dependent items like multi-touch events, gestures, geo-location, etc. are easier to implement.
Research thoroughly before you start the project and choose well.