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Cross-Platform Vs. Native App Development: The 2022 Narrative

Cross-Platform Vs. Native App Development: The 2022 Narrative

Technology has revolutionized the way we spend our lives. We have become dependent on technology, and one of the factors is mobile app development.

Earlier, you just had to find an Android app development company or an iOS app development company to get your app built. Today, it has transcended much further. Multiple app development companies offer services in native and hybrid forms of mobile apps.

The competition has grown significantly over the last few years. It has allowed more and more businesses to consider building their mobile apps.

But what is the difference between native app development and hybrid app development? Let’s find out.

What is Native Mobile App Development?

Native mobile app development refers to the mobile applications built using native technologies. This means mobile apps are built for only one operating system, whether iOS or Android.

·         Android App Development

Android app development is when mobile applications are built for the Android operating system. These use any of the native technologies. These technologies for Android mobile apps include Java and Kotlin.

Java is a significantly older language, while Kotlin is newer. It allows users to build powerful native Android applications that are gaining popularity around the globe.

IDEs Used: Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA

·         iOS App Development

iOS app development is something when mobile applications are built for the iOS operating system. It employs any native iOS technology to build applications. For iOS, native technologies include Objective C and Swift.

The objective is an older language that has been used for years to build iOS apps. On the contrary, Swift is a newer technology that is slowly getting famous worldwide.

IDEs Used: XCode, AppCode

Apart from Android and iOS app development, there are other platforms as well, such as Windows and others, but they don’t get as much traction. Android and iOS app development are the most famous industries worldwide.

What is Hybrid App Development?

As the name suggests, hybrid app development is something that allows the apps to run on multiple platforms.

But don’t apps already run on multiple platforms such as iOS and Android? They do. Here is the difference.

Mobile applications that are built using a single codebase are termed hybrid. One language or development technology for multiple platforms helps build hybrid applications.

There are multiple hybrid or cross-platform app development technologies. Let’s review the most famous ones today.

·         Flutter

Flutter was launched in 2018. It is an open-source technology backed by Google. It allows developers to build beautiful hybrid mobile applications. They use Dart, C, and C++ as programming languages.

Flutter is primarily a UI Toolkit that eases the hybrid app development process. Mobile app developers or any Android app development company can build a hybrid application using a single codebase. With minimal code changes, a single codebase can make the apps work on both platforms.

Furthermore, Flutter has exceeded the domain and now offers comprehensive hybrid development opportunities. This means that you can build apps for the web, mobile, Linux, Windows, and more.

IDEs Used:

·         React Native

React Native is another trailblazing hybrid app development technology. It was first released in 2015, and since then, it has seen numerous changes and improvements. It primarily uses ES6 (ECMA Script 6) JavaScript for development purposes.

React Native is a Meta-backed UI framework that uses JavaScript to build hybrid applications. It allows developers to develop cross-platform mobile applications using a shared codebase. It is also an open-source platform that is maintained by the Facebook community.

Whether you want to build iOS mobile applications or an Android mobile application, you can build all of them with ease. Moreover, you can also build cross-platform applications for various business purposes and more.

Other than React Native and Flutter, there are other hybrid technologies as well. These include Xamarin, TypeScript, Ionic, NativeScript, and more. All of these technologies are less famous.

Hybrid Vs. Native: Which One to Choose?

It is a difficult question to answer. Mostly, it boils down to your requirements for a specific system. Only then can one identify that should you choose a native or hybrid mobile app for your idea.

There are multiple factors that you must consider before finalizing your decision. Let’s quickly skim through them, one by one.

1.      App Performance

Mobile app development is dependent on one major factor: performance. Mobile apps with greater performance allow the end-users to use the application seamlessly. These also enable users to add more convenience to their routine lifestyle.

In the debate of cross-platform vs. native app development, performance can vary depending upon the app solution.

If the app is focused on providing device features, native applications perform better. This is because native technologies allow developers to access more hardware features. The greater availability of features makes native apps perform significantly better.

If the app is focused on providing a business solution, hybrid apps are a better deal. This is because hybrid or cross-platform technologies enable apps to perform better. That is where cross-platform apps take the lead.

2.      Development Cost

Finances play a major role in every project. For mobile apps, development cost comprises more than 80% of the expenses during the development lifecycle. Mobile apps are expensive to build and hefty to maintain. With each additional feature, the apps become more expensive.

If you decide to build a native mobile application for just one audience, it is better to go for native development. This can be either Android or iOS app development or otherwise. But this way, you can control the cost of development under your budget.

If you decide to build separate native apps for Android and iOS users, it might end up costlier. Building separate apps for audiences is not feasible in most of the situations unless you really want it.

Here, hybrid app development is a better option. You can build cost-effective mobile apps with ultimate ease with all the necessary features.

3.      Security

Security has become in common problem for the last couple of years. The number of hacks happening worldwide has increased significantly. Today, the world takes cybersecurity as seriously as anything else.

Mobile app development technology has made it easier for many to share information. But with that, the data getting compromised has also increased. Mobile app development technologies have consistently improved over time.

However, security consistently needs to be improved. In this regard, hybrid app technologies worldwide are considered more secure. The modern and enhanced security structure of hybrid technologies makes them the first choice.

4.      UI Customization

Everyone likes great, user-friendly, and seamless mobile applications. UI customization is an important part of mobile apps.

Both native and hybrid mobile development technologies offer significant features for UI customization. However, a few functions work better on cross-platform technologies.

This doesn’t mean that native technologies don’t offer customization. But hybrid applications are just a better choice when you want a better user interface and an improved user experience.

From various animations to amazing transitions, UI/UX plays an important part in ensuring a great overall experience

Final Word

The debate on whether native apps are better or hybrid apps is ever continuing. Technologists, developers, and entrepreneurs have their own opinions about the subject.

In this article, I presented a rather balanced point of view. Choosing the technology in 2022 doesn’t have to be random. It must be based on your requirements and what will benefit you in the long term. So whichever technology you choose to build your mobile application, choose it wisely.

Consider all the factors listed in this article, and you will surely land a profitable decision.

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