Apps can offer your users greater convenience and smoother user experience. If your brand is looking to engage with users more frequently, then developing an app is a natural choice. While the decision to start an app is easy, the actual development and execution of it is not as straightforward. Developers today can choose between three types of app development when building one: native, cross-platform and hybrid. This distinction arises because consumers largely fall into two categories: those who use Android and those who use iOS. Each platform has its own unique interface tools and requirements. Until recently, the only viable option was to develop an app ‘native’ to each platform; i.e., Objective-C or Swift for iOS devices and Java for Android devices. Today, you can choose between two types of app development: hybrid and cross-platform. The best choice for your app will depend upon your requirements.
Here are the key features of each type of mobile app development to help you choose the right one for your product.
1. Native app development
Native app development is developed specifically for a platform, for example, native android development or native iOS development. Because of this, native apps tend to operate very smoothly, are highly responsive and offer a better user experience. Developers also have complete freedom to optimize and customize the app. Two of the biggest benefits of developing a native app is that it can operate offline and it tends to be the most secure type of app.
The main drawback of native apps is that they require intensive work, which can translate to higher costs. Because developers need to create unique processes for each functionality of the app, the time required to develop a native app can also be significantly longer. The development timeline can get pushed even further since comprehensive testing and a quality check will need to be run on two platforms instead of one. In many cases, you might not be able to make new features available on both platforms simultaneously because of the extensive coding process required for each. There are, however, new extension features being introduced which can share code between both platforms. This can reduce the effort involved by some extent for native android development and native iOS development.
Who should use a native app development: If costs aren’t a concern to your business and if ensuring a seamless user experience is critical, then a native app is the best option. If you are a bootstrapped company and need to allocate resources wisely, a native app might be too resource-intensive for you.
2. Hybrid mobile app development
Hybrid apps might seem to offer a win-win solution for developers, however, they are not without their drawbacks. The user experience can be quite slow in a hybrid app when compared to a native app. This is especially pronounced if the hybrid mobile application has 3-d effects or high-definition graphics. Hybrid apps also rely on open source frameworks, which can be quite limiting for developers.
Who should use a hybrid mobile app development: If time is of the essence to you and if you don’t have the resources for a native app, a hybrid mobile application is certainly the best option. You can also enjoy the best of both worlds by custom-coding your hybrid app to add additional features.
3. Cross-platform mobile app development
The downside to cross-platform mobile app development is that it cannot be easily customized since it is almost entirely dependent upon external frameworks. Since the language has to be rendered, the speed of cross-platform apps can be quite slow, which can negatively impact a user’s experience. Coding for cross-platform application development is also not completely transferable between both platforms, oftentimes, developers will still need to custom-code many features.
Who should use a cross-platform mobile app development: If your app doesn’t require high-definition graphics or if speed isn’t a major concern, a cross-platform app could be the right option for you.
Each of these three types of app development come with their unique set of pros and cons. Before choosing between the three, make sure you list out your app’s objectives and available resource to help guide your decision.
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