Native or cross-platform. What is your choice?

There is a constant dilemma in the world whether to choose Nikon or Canon, Coca Cola or Pepsi, manual or automatic transmission. It seems to be faster to determine which was the first - egg or chicken than for programmers to decide which applications are better - native or cross-platforms. We are going to take a neutral position as we have specialists in all areas and our HRs will never forgive us if we sided with something one. Anyway, each option has its own pros and cons.

It is crucial for us that our clients’ businesses are successful. Not only do we create programs, but also support them in the future. Therefore, we take into account all available options and requirements while making a choice of the best development method in order for the client to get the maximum profit and positive feedback from users.

Native or cross-platform with examples.

Native applications

Native applications have seamless access to device hardware, such as microphone, camera, GPS etc. In this way, these applications get all possible benefits of the device and provide high performance and better UX. Thanks to native applications there is no need to worry about their compatibility with the device or browser behaviour. 

IOS applications are created using the XCode development environment and the Swift and Objective C programming languages. Android Studio is most frequently used in order to create applications for Android. Android applications are developed with the help of Java and Kotlin.

Advantages of native applications:

  • They are ideally suited to the platform for which they are created, perfectly integrated and work best on it.
  • They are able to get all the updates as soon as they are released by their native platforms.
  • It is possible to take full advantage of native features and better UX. 
  • They are definitely safer and more complex for cyber attacks (more in our article ). 

Disadvantages of native applications:

  • They are more expensive to develop if it is necessary (and mostly it is) to create applications for all platforms as it requires creating a separate program for each platform.
  • The bigger team is needed, because each platform requires a different specialist.
  • More time is needed for the creation. The reason for it is the same.

In which cases it is better to use native applications:

  • The program is complicated.
  • A lot of updates and improvements are expected.
  • Not only software, but also hardware should be created.
  • In case your target audience is mostly on one platform and the other you either do not create or create as an additional. 

An example of our native application is the Medical Assistant , which was created exclusively for iPads.

One more example is the application for charging electric cars

Cross-platform applications

Cross-platform application development is a simplified development process for different platforms. These programs provide users with the appearance and feelings similar to Native. In addition, these programs are stable and easy to maintain. 

The most known cross-platform frameworks are React Native and Flutter. There are also other cross-platform frameworks with their own strengths and weaknesses , but the percentage of their usage is too small, so specialists of our company mostly use these two.

Advantages of cross-platform applications:

  • The budget savings of about twice. This is the most significant fact in favour of cross-platform development. 
  • They are easier and faster in development, which provides an opportunity to test new products, determine whether they will be liked by users and bring the desired income.
  • A smaller team is needed, which facilitates communication, especially while working with outsourcing companies.

Disadvantages of cross-platform applications:

  • There are problems with simultaneous adaptation to two platforms. In some cases, two separate codes are required to be written for IOS and Android, which slows down the process and increases the cost.
  • There may be problems with UX. The program may run slower than its analogues due to the large number of layers.
  • The speed is also affected by the large amount of additional third-party modules offered by the cross-platform development environment 'just in case’. 

In which cases it is better to use cross-platforms:

  • The budget is limited or the prime cost of the application shouldn’t be high.
  • It should be created quickly.
  • The program is not complicated.
  • MVP is needed to be made or a startup is needed to be tested.

The examples of cross-platforms, which we have created:

Smart Shower, which is c reated on the Flutter

Location Based Dating App, which is created on the React Native

The technology is developing incredibly fast, but we have analysed the market and our customers’ requests and assume that in a few years cross-platforms will have more advantages than native applications. Despite this fact they will remain as vinyl players and film cameras for true connoisseurs and admirers.