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At Hashlogics, we offer cutting-edge AI app development services that harness the power of artificial intelligence to create intelligent and innovative mobile and web applications. Our team of experienced AI developers and data scientists specializes in leveraging advanced AI technologies to build smart, intuitive, and personalized applications that deliver transformative experiences for users. Whether you need an AI-powered chatbot, recommendation engine, image recognition system, or natural language processing solution, we have the expertise to bring your vision to life.

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Optimized apps for native performance.

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Transforming Ideas into Powerful Mobile Experiences

At Hashlogics, we specialize in mobile app development, creating intuitive, engaging, and high-performance mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms. Our dedicated team of mobile app developers, designers, and testers work closely with you to turn your vision into a reality. Whether you need a native app, cross-platform app, or a hybrid app,

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Crafting intuitive experiences for mobile users.

Crafting intuitive experiences for mobile users.

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At Hashlogics, we specialize in UI/UX development, creating visually stunning and user-friendly digital experiences that captivate and engage your target audience.

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Native vs Cross-Platform Mobile Development: Finding the Best Fit for Your App

March 7, 2024

Content

As of 2022, there are about 1.85 million apps in the iOS App Store and 2.56 million in the Google Play Store. Many of these apps are available on both iOS and Android, while a smaller number are also accessible on less common operating systems like KaiOS and HarmonyOS.

These applications have become integral to modern life. They provide access to extensive music libraries, find connections, organize schedules and documents, and enable cashless transactions.

The market for these applications is vast, with over six billion smartphone users globally, and approximately five billion of them have internet access. Some of the most widely used apps, like Facebook and YouTube, have larger user bases than the population of China.

In this blog, we explore the differences between cross-platform app development and native app development. We outline the pros and cons of each approach to help you decide which one is best suited for your next mobile app project.

Cross-Platform Application vs Native Mobile App 

A cross-platform mobile application is developed from a single source code, enabling it to reach various operating systems through a single development project. These apps are built on cross-platform frameworks, which use a single API to interface with platform-specific SDKs for iOS or Android.

On the other hand, Native mobile apps are created specifically for either Android or iOS devices. Developers use a programming language specific to the targeted operating system for coding these applications. 

What is Cross-Platform App Development?

Cross-platform mobile app development is the process of creating applications that are compatible with various platforms. This is done by using frameworks like React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter to facilitate deployment on both Android and iOS systems.

While cross-platform app development can save time and money, there are drawbacks in terms of quality. It is challenging to create an app that runs perfectly on different platforms, and adding an extra layer during runtime can lead to slower performance.

Cross-Platform Frameworks:

Some widely used cross-platform frameworks are: 

  • React Native – created by Meta 
  • .NET MAUI – created by Microsoft 
  • Flutter – created by Google 

Advantages of Cross-Platform Mobile Applications 

When considering native vs cross-platform mobile app development, here are the advantages you can gain by choosing a native app.

Code Reusability:

One of the main advantages of cross-platform development is the ability to create a single codebase for both iOS and Android apps. Unlike native applications, where code for each platform is written separately by different developers or teams, cross-platform development allows the entire codebase to be kept in one place. This approach saves time and effort, as the development team can work on both platforms at the same time.

Faster Development Process: 

Cross-platform app development simplifies the process by creating a single app that operates across multiple platforms. With code reusability, businesses can avoid the need for separate Android and iOS projects, resulting in faster development. This approach allows product, design, and engineering teams to focus on a single project.

Cost-effectiveness: 

With cross-platform development, you only need one team of developers skilled in the chosen framework, reducing expenses. This approach also helps your app reach a wider audience and test the market.

Disadvantages of Cross-Platform Mobile Applications

Some cons of Cross-Platform Mobile Applications are listed below:

Expanded digital presence: 

Cross-platform apps have larger file sizes. You need to pay attention to available mobile optimization options.

Integrations Challenges:

Cross-platform frameworks may not integrate all platform-specific features, while some might require additional expertise in native app development for certain hardware-specific integrations.

Low performance: 

Cross-platform frameworks often include a custom runtime layer, which requires increased computational load that potentially impacts app performance.

Delayed access to platform updates

Updates to SDKs often introduce new features and improvements, which may not be immediately accessible through cross-platform frameworks and might require separate updates for full integration.

What is Native App Development?

Native app development is the process of creating an application specifically for a single platform. If developers want to deploy their apps on multiple platforms, they can still do so natively. However, each platform requires its own development process, often running parallel with others.

Advantages of Native App Development 

Better Performance:

Native mobile app development involves creating applications specifically designed and optimized for a particular platform. These apps are installed directly onto the device, enabling them to take full use of the smartphone’s operating system. Consequently, native apps are known for their efficiency and best performance.

Access to Feature Set:

Native mobile applications can use all features and functionalities of the device, enhancing user experience with seamless integration. Additionally, they can use services such as push notifications, which is important for user engagement.

Enhanced App Security: 

When discussing cross-platform vs native mobile development, app security is an important aspect to consider. Native mobile apps generally offer more secure and tailored security features compared to cross-platform apps. Additionally, native app developers often find it easier to implement advanced security measures, such as intelligent fraud detection and file encryption using the resources and libraries provided by the platform.

More Visually Appealing:

When considering hybrid app vs native app in terms of visual appeal. Native apps are designed to align with the operating system and use every detail to improve the overall visual experience.

Low Risk of Bugs:

Native app developers get access to updated SDKs promptly upon release. These updates often include improvements and new features that lead to few bugs.

Disadvantages of Native App Development 

No-Code Reusability:

Developers have to create and maintain separate codebases for targeting different mobile operating systems.

More Costly:

Developing native mobile apps for both iOS and Android platforms can be expensive as it needs separate development teams working on each platform.

Time-Consuming:

Native mobile app development is time-consuming because the work completed for one platform cannot be duplicated for another. It needs for a separate team to work on the other version.

Native vs Cross-Platform Examples 

Some popular native and cross-platform mobile apps are:

Native Mobile apps:

  • Google Maps
  • Spotify 
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest 

Cross-Platform Mobile Apps:

Examples of cross-platform are:

  • Skype 
  • Instagram 
  • Walmart 

Native vs Hybrid App Development: A Quick Overview 

A hybrid app is a type of native app that can be downloaded from a platform’s application store like a native application. Furthermore, hybrid apps can use all of the native platform’s features, including GPS, camera, accelerometer, and more.

Native Apps are designed to operate exclusively on a single platform, such as iOS or Android, while Hybrid Apps are developed to run on multiple platforms using a single codebase.

Hybrid App Examples

  • Amazon App Store 
  • Instagram 
  • Twitter 
  • Gmail 

Cross-Platform Mobile Development vs Native: Which One to Choose?

Choosing a development approach is not always a clear-cut choice. Each project has its own priorities and circumstances to consider. Here’s a summary of key factors to help you in the decision-making process.

Cross-Platform Mobile Development Is a Great Fit When It Comes To: 

  • Fastest Time-To-Market 
  • Less Development Cost 
  • Reduced Workload
  • Code Reusability Across iOS and Android Platforms
  • Lightweight Apps with Minimal CPU and GPU-intensive
  • Consistent Interface and Navigation Experience

Native Mobile Development Is an Ideal Fit When It Comes To: 

  • Application Performance and Speed
  • Application Security 
  • Customizable Features and UI/UX Configurations
  • Fast Deployment of Updates and New Features
  • Resource-intensive apps, including Mobile Games and Animation-Rich Applications
  • Use of Mobile Hardware Capabilities, Such as Advanced Camera Functions

Conclusion:

The main distinction between native and cross-platform development lies in their targeted operating systems. Native apps are designed for specific OS like Android or iOS, whereas cross-platform apps are compatible with multiple systems.

In mobile development native vs. cross-platform has different pros and cons, and the choice between them depends on factors, such as project requirements, budget, and timeline.

Unsure about the best approach for your mobile app? Hashlogics is here to support you every step of the way. As a leading mobile app development company, we specialize in both native and cross-platform development, offering customized solutions to meet your unique needs. 

Contact us today to discuss your project requirements, and let us help you bring your app idea to life.

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