Native, Web or Cross-Platform Apps – What to Choose?

Should my app be responsive web app or native or cross platform app

Native, Web or Cross-Platform Apps – What to Choose?

Mobile app development is gaining momentum in the enterprise landscape. With the Mobile-First Indexing and Mobile-Friendly approach introduced by Google, companies have started to look out for mobile app solutions that skyrocket their customer experiences and business performances.

The growth of mobile applications (thanks to global digital transformation services) has contributed to different kinds of app development, starting from simple web apps to complex native and cross-platform applications.

The aim of this post is to help you with the differences/advantages between these app types for choosing the best one for your unique requirement.  

Before getting started with the comparison of native vs. cross platform vs. web applications, let’s put a deep dive into the modern trends and future outlook of the mobile app market for enterprise sectors.

Current Trends and Future Prospects of the Mobile App Market

According to a report from The Allied Market Research Group, the global mobile application market size was valued at $106.27 billion in 2018, and projected to reach $407.31 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 18.4% from 2019 to 2026. 

Mobile application market

(Courtesy:  Allied Market Research)

The idea of partnering with a mobile app development company or web application development company is a wise option. But you’ll be bombarded with a barrage of terminology like native apps, web apps and cross-platform apps etc.

How do you know which is best for your business?

Of course, the requirements vary among companies yet it is critical to know about these apps before finalizing the best one for you.

Let’s nosedive into the topic to understand what these apps really are and which will work best for your business.

Native vs. Web vs. Cross-Platform App – What’s the difference?

Let’s discover the impact of having either of these apps for your business in the below sections.

Should I invest in web app or native apps or cross-platform apps? Before we nail the answer let’s get started with their differences, opportunities, and challenges.

Responsive Web App Development and Advantages for Your Business

Mobile Web apps basically are websites, which are built only for access from smart devices. This is a common option most companies look for. A responsive website helps a mobile user to access a website through smart mobile phones or tablets seamlessly.

The technologies used to build these websites include, HTML5, JQuery and others. The underlying technologies are Java, HTML and CSS.

The most important benefit of responsive web apps is it can combine the resourcefulness of the internet and the functionality of the touch-enabled screen. It works on almost all browsers and across devices.

Some advantages of responsive web apps include

  1.     Cater to larger customer base while providing service across multiple device types.
  2.     Cuts the cost, because single coding base, build once and see it run across platforms.
  3.     Works equally well with 20” monitors, 15” laptops, 10” notebooks, 7” tablets and smaller devices.
  4.     Improves SEO, since it’s a single version website.
  5.     Reduces maintenance cost.
SEE ALSO: Do’s & Don’ts of UX Design

Native App Development and Business Advantages for Your Business

The word “Native” has nothing to do with geographic location. It describes the device’s native features. Native apps are built to take full advantage of a particular device’s hardware and software specifications. In other words, native apps are built for specific mobile operating systems. It can take advantage of the latest technology available in the device like the camera, microphone, GPS, etc.,

Technologies like Objective-C are used for developing iOS and Android apps utilizing Java, etc. Each mobile platform offers developers their own developing tools, interface elements and standardized SDK.

Advantages of native apps include

  1.     Offers the fastest, most reliable and most responsive experiences ever.
  2.     Taps wider functionality of the device; like swipe gestures, compass, microphone, camera, etc.
  3.     Publishers can make use of push notifications services and stay connected with the users.
  4.     Delight designers with their user experience advantage.

The only downside of a native app is that, when building for multiple platforms, developing a native app, therefore, can be quite expensive (when done from scratch), as it will require you to build and maintain multiple, and separate versions of your app.

It is also general that coders specialize in one platform, so when developing an app for different platforms, you need to hire different coders and it costs extra money.

The bottom line is if the budget allows you, native apps are ideal, offering the best experience to the user.

Cross-Platform App Development and Advantages for Your Business

Cross-platform mobile development refers to the development of mobile apps that can be used on multiple mobile platforms. In today’s fast-growing and changing business structure, companies have started adopting a new trend called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which refers to people bringing their own devices to work, and because of which companies have to customize their applications so that they run on all these different devices.

And thus cross-platform apps have become the talk of the town now. If your target audience is split between iOS, Android, and Windows phones, then designing and developing for multiple platforms might make sense.

The bulk of the app is built using cross-compatible web technologies, such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript — the same languages used to write web apps.

SEE ALSO: Top Enterprise Development Companies According to SDCR site

Some advantages of cross-platforms apps

  1. Speed – it is potentially faster to develop a cross-platform app than to develop native apps in iOS or Android and Windows platform.
  2. Ease of Coding – You can leverage one codebase and customize for multiple platforms, rather than coding separately for different platforms.
  3. Cost-effectiveness

However, there are some things to take into notice before we decide on cross-platform apps. The app itself will not be as fast as a native app as it still depends on the browser speed. Getting your hybrid app to run appropriately on each platform generally takes substantial work.

And when a user tries to access your web content through the cross-platform apps, the performance may be a little sluggish.

Native vs. Cross Platform vs. Responsive Apps – What is your choice

What kind of apps should you develop or implement? That depends solely on your requirement. Yes the need decides the type of app that works for you. If the need is for a small static project with budget constraints, try cross-platform. And cross-platform apps work well for games. But if budget isn’t a concern and you do not want to compromise on quality and if it is a large scale multimedia oriented project, native apps should be the order of the day. Whatever it is, choose the right one to make your business deliver a seamless customer experience.

Need expert insights? Or looking for a leading mobile app development company for your mobile app requirements? Let’s talk.