native vs cross platform mobile app wireframe sketch

Native vs Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

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There are two major approaches to building mobile apps: Native App development and Cross-Platform App development. This article will examine the differences between native and hybrid to help you decide which method is best for your business.

Cross-Platform Apps

Cross-platform mobile apps combine both native and web applications and work on all devices with Android or iOS operating systems. Built with web technologies like Javascript, CSS and HTML, they use open-source frameworks, such as Ionic or React Native, to enclose the code within a native application.

Fast, secure and easy to use, this type of app is essentially web pages that are added to the home screen of Smartphones and Tablets and viewed through an embedded browser rather than the web browser. Using plugins, they can also access native hardware and functionality of the device, such as GPS, camera and address book.

They are more straightforward to manage and require less build time, as a single code base exists. As a result, they are less expensive than their Native cousins.

Native Apps

Native Apps are designed and developed to work on a specific platform – chiefly iOS (Apple) and Android (Google). These tend to be faster, and since they look and feel more like the operating system, they can feel more familiar and easier to use. Native code is faster than web technologies, so graphic-rich or highly animated native apps usually perform better than cross-platform apps.

So, in the native vs cross-platform mobile app development comparison, we can definitively determine that cross-platform apps are less intensive and often cheaper to build but can suffer lagging and differences between operating systems. Native apps are faster as they reflect the features of the intended device. However, development requires more time and, therefore, money.

Differences in App Development Cost

It’s not easy to determine the total cost of developing an app. Prices can vary greatly depending on several factors like the complexity of features, API calls to other systems, design, development, deployment, maintenance and more.

As a rough guide, if your budget is below £100k, you might consider developing a hybrid mobile app. However, if you have between £100k and £250k, you can create a cross-platform or native mobile app.

From a user perspective, if an app is free, it could be created as a hybrid. However, if consumers need to pay for it, they expect an optimal user experience, so a native app build is more suitable.

Ensure your mobile app brief is complete to help determine costs. At Ronins, we take pride in assisting our clients to complete their mobile app briefs without commitment. We hope you have enjoyed reading our detailed take on the native vs cross-platform mobile app development comparison.


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