Why you should choose Native apps over Cross-platform apps

Why you should choose Native apps over Cross-platform apps

Definition

Native App is a smartphone application developed specifically for a mobile operating system (either iOS, Android, or Windows). Native apps are installed through the application store (such as Google play for Android and Apple’s app store for iOS). 

Cross-Platform mobile apps are apps that can run across multiple device platforms. It’s a combination of a native app and a web app. These apps are developed using HTML, CSS, Javascript and run in Webview.

Comparison

The table below gives a clear understanding of differences and lets you choose the type of development based on the factors important to you.

 

Comparison factors

Native App Development

Cross-platform App Development

Technologies

Swift/Objective C (iOS)

Java/Kotlin (Android)

Javascript (React Native),

C# (Xamarin), Dart (Flutter)

UI/UX

Specific UI

Unified UI, limited customization

Performance

Excellent and smooth

Performance issues are common, 

low app speed

Testing

Seamless with tools available in the framework itself or browser

Vary with the frameworks available

Functionality

Broad

Limited

Time to Market

Long if you have to build apps for both platforms

Short as there a single codebase

Team Size

Big Team Size 

(Different teams for different platforms)

Mid-sized Team

(Single team for all platforms)

3rd Party SDKs availability

Excellent

Average

Advantages of Native apps

Choosing Native over Cross-platform depends on your app’s intended feature set and timeline. If your mobile app is supposed to become a business of its own (like healthcare or marketplace) or you going to add complex features (AR/VR, built-in games, etc), going native is an obvious choice.

 

  • High Performance and Great UX;

  • Full integration of the device;

  • Broad functionality;

  • Highly interactive and customizable;

  • Seamless graphics & API;

  • Store’s support;

  • More secure and safe.

Why building a Cross-platform app might be a mistake

Different platforms work in a different way

Android and iOS are different, Android and iOS users are different, and they should be approached differently. You can’t build an app for one platform and expect it to get good ratings when you simply copy-paste it onto another platform. Simple and quick development doesn’t mean good development.

  • Mark Zuckerberg called the Facebook’s over-reliance on HTML5 once of its biggest mistakes; “Unfortunately, because all the rendering is done using web tech, we can’t produce a truly native user experience.”

  • Google about its tool J2ObjC “J2ObjC does not provide any sort of platform-independent UI toolkit, nor are there any plans to do so in the future. We believe that iOS UI code needs to be written in Objective-C, Objective-C++ or Swift using Apple's iOS SDK (Android UIs using Android's API, web app UIs using GWT, etc.).”;

  • Southwest Airlines experience “It was horrible across every metric: functionality, performance, UI. Spend the time developing deeply on one platform. Then, once you’ve nailed that, you can branch out. From both a speed and quality perspective this is the only way to go.”

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