When you decide to develop a mobile app across multiple platforms you need to make a choice. You can go the hybrid development route, which involves creating a single app that works across all platforms. Alternatively, you can develop native apps for each platform.
The latter is our focus in this article. Native development carries several advantages, which makes it the choice for many app developers. However, there are several disadvantages that you need to keep in mind before following the native route. Here is a breakdown of what native development has to offer.
First, we will look at the positives. You’ll benefit from each of the below if you develop in a native environment:
- Device features. Every mobile device has features that are unique to the device. An iPhone doesn’t work the same way as an Android-based device and vice-versa. By developing native apps you can take advantage of these unique features. This tends to lead to the creation of stronger apps that also run faster because they have been designed with a specific system architecture in mind.
- Security. Every native app needs to get approval before you can release it on Google Play or the App Store. This gives the consumer peace of mind, as he or she will know that the app has undergone fairly rigorous checks before release. Better yet, the app will receive better support from the store it is released in. This offers developers more room for manoeuvre.
- Better User Interfaces. Platform and OS providers offer native developers an array of tools to develop their user interfaces. This is a direct benefit for app users, as they enjoy superior user interfaces that allow them to access the apps key features efficiently.
So, what about the downside. Native app development tends to lead to an objectively better product, but it is not without its drawbacks.
- Slow Development. When compared to hybrid development, the native option tends to add time to the development process. You have to code with each platform in mind, which required teams with varying expertise. You will also run across problems unique to each individual platform that you must overcome.
- Higher Cost. Native and hybrid development offer similar costs when you only develop for a single platform. As soon as you add others to the mix, you will find the cost of native development increases at a much faster rate. You may need to higher new team members or outsource a native development project to another team.
- Getting Approval. While having approval from an app store is great, it also takes a fair amount of time. Each has its own processes for approval and you may find yourself waiting for several months between the completion of the app and its release onto a store.
What Should You Choose?
It all depends on the needs of your mobile app development project. Native works well when you want the highest quality product but it may not be the best choice for those working to a budget.