Native vs. Multi-Platform App Development

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Mobile application development has become a major source of driving revenue for IT firms but when it comes to developing applications for the mobile, one major aspect that is considered is whether the apps should be developed using Native or Multi-platform app development environments. Since, each environment has its own Pros and Cons, the decision is reached in most cases keeping in mind the requirements of the clients or the developers. In this post, we shall discuss the benefits and drawbacks of native vs. cross/multi-platform mobile development.

Native App Development

Apps are those that are developed specifically for a particular mobile platform without using HTML or other basic scripting language. The UI of the apps is also built for the native platform using native controls. The various pros and Cons of native app development are given below.

Pros

  • Ensures complete hardware support as it fulfills all the feasibility requirements.
  • Implementation and modification is made easier.
  • The apps are developed by more experienced and efficient developers.
  • Testing and quality analysis (QA) can be done more successfully.
  • Native apps are fully supported by app stores.

Cons

  • Takes more time to develop apps singularly for each platform.
  • More resources and investment is required for development.
  • Regular and frequent updating is required for the latest OS and its features.

Cross/Multi-platform App Development

Cross platform apps are developed using the basic scripting languages such as HTML, CSS and C++. The apps are so built such that they are compatible with various mobile platforms such as Android, IOS and windows. There are many Multi platform mobile development tools available on the web namely PhoneGap, Xamarin and Sencha etc. that allow the developers to built and code apps for various platforms. The biggest advantage is that these tools are available for free and reduce the time for developing apps manifold.

Pros

  • Uniformity across platforms due to the use of known and basic technologies.
  • The code generated and created is reusable across the different platforms.
  • Greater reach and user base cover due to availability on all platforms.
  • Mobile and web view are also uniform.
  • Update code at one place and sync for all platforms.

Cons

  • All the requirements may not be converted into functionality.
  • Still has limited compatibility across the various platforms.
  • Apps run slower and user interaction is affected since the app is built to perform on all platforms.
  • Difficult to test on the actual devices and optimizing app for a particular platform can be tough.
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