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Cross-Platform vs. Native App Development: Choosing the Best Strategy for Your Business

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In the early days of app development, creating apps was a meticulous and time-consuming process. Developers had to craft separate versions for each device: one for iPhone, another for iPad, and yet another for Android devices. While it was technically possible to download an app intended for a different device, this often led to frustrating issues like poor resolution, mismatched screen sizes, and a generally subpar user experience.

Today, the landscape of app and web development is very different. The emergence of responsive apps and websites has transformed how developers approach multi-device compatibility. They are most commonly known as cross-platform apps, designed to operate seamlessly across various devices and operating systems. 

However, businesses are often left wondering: should you choose a cross platform app or a native app? In this blog post, we'll delve into the core differences between these two development approaches, their unique advantages, and the scenarios in which each might be the ideal choice for your business.

Understanding Cross-Platform App Development

Definition of Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform app development is an approach that allows you to build a single mobile application that runs smoothly on several operating systems. In cross-platform apps, some or even all of the source code can be shared. 
This means that developers can create and deploy mobile assets that work on both Android and iOS without having to recode them for each individual platform.

Why Do People Choose Cross-Platform App Development?

There are several compelling reasons why businesses and developers opt for cross-platform app development:

  • Code Reusability: Using a single codebase saves time and effort, as developers can write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Simultaneous development for multiple platforms makes development faster and eliminates time needed for building multiple apps.
  • Cost Efficiency: Developing cross-platform apps can be more economical since a single, unified team can handle all aspects of app development, reducing overall costs.
  • Consistent UI/UX: Building a cross-platform app ensures that branding and brand identity remain consistent across different platforms, to provide a unified user experience.
  • Broad Market Reach for Testing and Prototyping: A single app used across various platforms allows for extensive data collection on testing, bugs, and user issues, all of which can be addressed in one place.

Use Cases of Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform app development is versatile and can be particularly beneficial for applications which have a multi-platform user base, need to have very consistent branding or have complex features which have to be deployed across a variety of platforms.  

Here are a few key examples where cross-platform app development is beneficial: 

Social Media and Networking Apps

Social media and networking apps are ideal candidates for cross-platform development due to their broad user base spread across different devices and platforms. These apps need to provide a consistent user experience and feature set regardless of the device being used.

E-Commerce Applications

E-commerce and retail apps benefit from cross-platform development because they need to reach the maximum number of users quickly. What's more, their complex features such as product browsing, shopping cart, user accounts, and payment gateways can be implemented once and deployed across all platforms with minimal hassle.

Business and Utility Apps

Business and utility apps, such as task managers, note-taking apps, or productivity tools, are well-suited for cross-platform development. This is because these apps need to be available on various devices and send quick updates from one platform to the other to accommodate the diverse preferences of their users, from smartphones to tablets.

Understanding Native App Development

Definition of Native App Development

A native application is a software program developers build for use on a particular platform or device. Since developers build a native app for use on a particular device and its OS, it has the ability to use device-specific hardware and software, making the application a better user experience.

Why Do People Choose Native App Development?

Native app development offers several advantages that make it an attractive choice for businesses and developers:

  • Performance and Speed: Native apps are specifically built for a particular platform, resulting in superior speed and performance.
  • Maintenance and Update Stability: Direct updates from platform providers ensure better stability and compatibility with the latest operating system versions. This helps reduce the risk of app crashes or compatibility issues.
  • Hardware, Features, and UX/UI Customisation: Extensive customisation of features and UI/UX tailored to specific platforms, devices, and hardware maximises device capabilities for enhanced functionality.
  • Application Security: Native apps receive platform-specific security updates, which help mitigate threats identified by developers of that specific platform.
  • High Level of Specialisation: Access to highly skilled platform-specific developers who offer deeper insights beyond technical skills. This means working with devs who understand wider app trends with the space and user bases.

Key Examples of Native App Use Cases

Native app development is the preferred choice for various applications that demand high performance, seamless integration with device features, and access to platform-specific tools.

Here are some key examples:

High-Performance Gaming Apps

Native app development is often the preferred choice for creating high-performance gaming apps. Games require intensive graphics processing, smooth animations, and real-time responsiveness, which can be best achieved using the native SDKs and tools provided by the platform.

Enterprise and Productivity Apps

Enterprise and productivity apps often require robust security, seamless integration with the device's features, and high reliability. Native development ensures that these apps can leverage all the platform-specific features and provide a stable and secure environment for business-critical operations.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Apps

AR and VR apps benefit greatly from native app development due to the need for real-time processing and high interaction with the device's sensors and hardware. Native development allows these apps to fully utilise the platform's AR and VR frameworks.

DEAZY: Your Partner in App Development

Whatever type of app you decide to build, Deazy can help. With experience across hundreds of apps and clients, in a huge variety of sectors, your app development is in safe hands with Deazy’s flexible network of adaptive developers and UK-based delivery experts.

Key Benefits of Deazy’s Services:

  • Adaptive and Cost-Effective Workforce: Whether you're opting for cross-platform or native app development, Deazy offers an adaptable solution that scales according to your project needs, ensuring cost-effectiveness without compromising quality.
  • Faster Access to Top-Quality Talent: Say goodbye to lengthy hiring processes and high agency fees. With Deazy, you can swiftly access top-quality tech talent for both cross-platform and native app development projects, ensuring faster time-to-market and lower overall costs.
  • Quality and Reliability: Unlike freelance marketplaces, Deazy's vetted professionals guarantee higher quality and reliability. You can trust that your app development project will be handled by experts, who have experience in your sector, desired tech stack and development approach.

Ready to take your app development to the next level?

Contact Deazy today to discuss your project needs and unlock the full potential of your app idea. Let's build something amazing together!